Saturday, December 20, 2014

Qatar National Day

Thursday was National Day so most businesses were closed and people had the day off work, including me.

The day starts off with a military parade on the Corniche but I didn't go this year. You have to be there by 7am to see the parade and as I was out the night before with some friends until 1am there was no way I was getting up around 5 to go down to the parade.

Later in the day I did go to Souq Waqif to meet friends for dinner and to then go down to the Corniche for the evening fireworks. At the Souq a large venue had been set up for a concert.

And the police were out in force.

The Souq was nicely decorated with Qatari flags and when evening came around things got hectic as tens of thousands of people went down to the Souq and the Corniche.

After dinner my friends and I headed down to the Corniche only to see a mob of hundreds of labourers and “bachelors”. The police were not letting them down to the Corniche to see the fireworks and things were getting heated. Because we were with a lady we were let through. I’m not sure why security were stopping people from going down to the Corniche. Why can't labourers enjoy the fireworks as well?! Besides, when we got down to the Corniche there were hundreds of labourers there already so why not let the rest in? I felt bad for the ones that were stopped, most of them probably bussed down all the way from the Industrial Area to see the fireworks.

On the Corniche traffic was moving slowly as hundreds of vehicles decorated with Qatari flags and other things were parading up and down the street. Silly string was also a common sight so I took my pictures from a safe distance.

Afterwards we went back to the soup to have coffee then we all walked back to my place to chat and have tea. My friends joined me as there was no way they were going to get home through the traffic jam caused by the thousands of people trying to get home. It was much faster getting to my place by walking.

After about an hour at my place (total of 2+ hours after the fireworks) traffic lightened up a bit so my friends could go home. If you are planning next year to see the fireworks save yourself some stress and go for dinner or coffee afterwards. You are better off relaxing in a restaurant for a couple hours than sitting in your car.

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