Rides & games aplenty at Summer Festival gala opening tonight
DOHA: Qatar Summer Festival’s (QSF) biggest Entertainment City yet opens its doors at Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre (DECC) tonight as a major highlight of this year’s month-long event organised by Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA).
The city will open at 7pm marking the launch of QSF 2016, with a fireworks display at 9pm on the Corniche near Sheraton Doha.
Occupying the entire 29,000sqm area of five exhibition halls, the city is divided into 11 zones offering over 100 games and rides. The zones include Colour Your Summer; Giant Games; Skill Games; Entertainment Stage; Thrill Rides; Go Karting; Tech Games; Life-Size Games; Inflatable Games; Video Games; and Food Court.
The area, almost double the size of the amusement centre’s former home (15,000sqm Doha Exhibition Centre), has enabled the organisers to provide more games and DECC’s 18-metre-high ceiling allowed for high rides, said Mashal Shahbik, Director, Festivals and Tourism Events, QTA.
Apart from over 20 family and thrill rides, the city is set to attract visitors with games, some of which have never featured at the annual festival such as virtual reality, karaoke, boxing, iPad gaming and remote-controlled car race.
Fans can play Candy Crush and Angry Birds using iPad and experience the reality of the games. Go Kart racing, a popular game in amusement centres here, is expected to be one of the crowdpullers.
Several inflatable games such as slides and water games for children can also be found at the amusement centre and an area where they can play Lego and dough, among others.
Qatar Foundation, through its National Reading Campaign, has set up a reading maze children have to traverse to read a story in full.
Daily cultural shows will take place throughout the festival. Twenty-six food outlets will offer a variety of cuisine at the food court.
“We have tried to bring the food court the same way we did at the food festival by having different cuisines in one area with a nice look and feel,” Shahbik said during a media tour yesterday.
Entry fee is QR15 and can be used for video games. Entry for kids under two is free. There is VIP all-access bracelet costing QR120 which entitles the person to play everything.
Prices of games start from QR5. Prices of games and rides have been lowered this year to allow more people to enjoy the festival, Shahbik said.
“We dropped the prices by 50-60 percent from last year. We felt the need to accommodate as many visitors as possible and benchmarked by looking into the prices in other countries,” Shahbik added.
Starting tomorrow and running until this month-end, the Entertainment City is open from 1pm until 11pm, except Fridays when it will close at midnight.