As Qatar hosted the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup Championship, which came to close a few days ago, several cultural events and entertainment activities were held to shed light on the rich heritage of Qatar and to celebrate the cultural diversity of its residents. These events, which were organized by the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy and its partners, were the highlight of the spectators’ experience. The championship was attended by a massive audience from all over the Arab World supporting the 16 participating teams.
The events and activities started at the Doha corniche even before the opening ceremony of the championship with members of more than 22 resident communities celebrating between November 26 and December 3. Different events took place in the Corniche Towers area, including music performances and light shows. Moreover, the celebrations coincided with the 11th edition of the Qatar International Food Festival, which focuses on culinary arts and international cuisines. The festival, which was organized by Qatar Tourism Authority, showcased food and drinks from Qatar and all over the world.
Mr. Khaled Al-Suwaydi, Senior Director of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, commented that “The FIFA Arab Cup was quite popular among the residents of Qatar, and it was the perfect opportunity to represent Qatar’s culture and heritage as well as the cultures and heritages of the resident communities.” He added, “Throughout the championship, spectators enjoyed a host of art performances such as folk dancing and music. These performances were held at subway stations, around the stadiums, and in many other places. The rich cultural diversity and numerous entertainment opportunities were a source of joy to all spectators throughout the championship.” As one of the main organizing partners, the Ministry of Culture held a series of cultural events to introduce the Qatari cultural heritage to the spectators many of whom were visiting Qatar for the first time.
Sheikha Najla Al Thani, Director of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy at the Ministry of Culture, expressed her pride in the celebrations of Qatari culture during the Arab Cup championship. She added, “We take pride in celebrating our culture with spectators who came from all over the Arab World during the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup. We look forward to sharing all aspects of our culture and the heritage of the region with football fans from all over the world during the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The Ministry of Culture is invested in showcasing the Qatari heritage and identity to visitors and sports fans. Even the football stadiums designs were inspired by Qatari heritage.” The stadium hosted the major celebration events. In addition to serving as the venue of the opening and final games, it served as a stage for folk dancing and games performed by young women from Al-Khor Girls Center. Ms. Jana Al-Marrikhi, Executive Director of Al-Khor Girls Center at the Ministry of Sports and Youth commented that the main stadium was the perfect venue for Qatari cultural events during the championship. She added, “The main stadium was an important platform for an outstanding series of Qatari folk dances and games. Our students were quite enthusiastic to participate in the celebrations and to perform to an audience from all over the Arab World. We looking forward to taking part in the World Cup events in 2022.”
Khaled Al-Salem, Director of the Ministry of Culture’s Music Affairs Center emphasized that the events that were held during the Arab Cup played a crucial role in creating the perfect celebratory atmosphere for the championship.”