National Day

Qatar National Day(Arabic:اليوم الوطني لقطر‎‎;Al-Yaoum al-Watanili Qatar) is a national commemoration ofQatar's unification in 1878. 

On 18 December 1878,Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thanisucceeded his fatherMohammed bin Thanias ruler of the Qatari Peninsula. He is deemed to have unified all the local tribes by combating external forces. He also earned a considerable degree of autonomy for the tribes of the peninsula. 

This national occasion emphasizes Qatar’s identity and history, embodies the ideals and visionary aspirations that this country was founded on, and pays homage to the great men and women who participated in building this beautiful nation. 

It is celebrated on the 18th of December every year in order to remember how national unity was achieved and how Qatar became a distinct, and respected nation out of a society torn apart by conflicting tribal loyalties, devoid of security and order, and overrun by invaders. 

The holiday was established by a June 21, 2007 decree of the then Crown Prince and Heir Apparent SheikhTamim bin Hamad Al Thani. It is also known as Founder's Day. It is a national holiday and most of the public are given the day off from school and work.  

Prior to the Emiri decree in June 2007, Qatar National Day was annually celebrated on 3 September, the day of Qatar's independence. 

The holiday has been instrumental in developing a sense of national identity among locals and expats. It has also helped improve knowledge and appreciation of Qatar's heritage. 

Check out what is happening around Doha as of 8 December and leading to National Day on the 18th. Let’s all join in the fun and celebrations. 

18 December | 7:00 AM - 8:00 AM 

National Day Parade 

Corniche 

A fantastic show where people will enjoy a parade by MOI, Emiri Guards, Lekhwiya, Civil Defense and other governmental bodies. There will also be aerial and sea displays by the air force and navy. Last year, a troop of military school boys participated in the parade. It was a beautiful sight! The Corniche will be closed before 7:00 am, so make sure to get there early! 

 

15-18 December | 8:00 PM - 8:10 PM 

Fireworks show 

Corniche 

Music, lights, and giant fireworks will light up the Doha skies! A beautiful show surely not to be missed.  Make sure to get a good spot! 

 

 

18 December | 8:00 PM - 8:10 PM 

National Day Fireworks Display 

Corniche 

Witness a spectacular 10-minute National Day fireworks display in all its glory to be staged across the skyline on December 18. 

 

 

18-19 December | 1:00 PM-10:00 PM (18th) 10:00 AM-10:00 PM (19th) 

Katara National Day Celebrations 

Katara Esplanade 

This year's celebrations at Katara will display a line-up of exceptional activities and programs, including entertaining and rich events of military and traditional shows, as well as local and popular-themed competitions and contests that will be staged for your pleasure. 

 

 

15-31 December | Sunset-Sunrise 

Palm Tree Illumination 

Corniche (and around Qatar) 

Don’t forget to pass by the Corniche to check out the Palm Tree illumination! It's a beautiful sight. 

 

8-20 December | All day event 

Al Ezba 

Darb El-Saai 

Al Ezba teachespeople to ride camels and how to deal with them. To establish the concept of originality and take souvenir photos, you can catch a group of camels during the night parade. 

 

8-20 December | All day event 

Al Nasa - Rifle shooting 

Darb El-Saai 

Al Nasa is a sport that Qataris are famous for since ancient times.Qataris are well known for rifle and shotgun shooting as a sport. Come on down to learnthe basics of shooting with rifles, pistols, electronic devices and the bow and arrow. 

 

8-20 December | All day event 

Al Shaqab - Horse riding 

Darb El-Saai 

The Al Shaqab event provides special trainers to teach visitors,including kids, horse riding. There will also be presentations that will provide tips and advice on how to care for and breed horses. 

 

 

 

8-20 December | All day event 

Al Doha - Retrospect 

Darb El-Saai 

View a showcase of Qatar's history and development through the times. Government and Civil organizations have come together to show the public how Qatar came to be what it is today. 

 

8-20 December | All day event 

Al Bidaa 

Darb El-Saai 

Al Bidaa depicts the old marine life in Qatar. The event will have boat-making shops and a host of popular games and competitions. 

 

 

 

8-20 December | All day event 

Darb El-Saai 

Darb El-Saai grounds 

Darb al-Saai is one of the major attractions of the QND 2016 celebrations held at the grounds in Al Sadd. It runs from December 8-20, showcasing different tents by different entities. There will be a food court tent with stalls that sell traditional Qatari food, as well as juice, snacks, and other items. 

 

8-20 December | All day event 

Al Fareej - Neighborhood 

Darb El-Saai 

Fareej means neighborhood in Arabic. A tent has been set up where there will be traditional cultural activities, such as Ardha Al Qaseed (poetry reciting), and Elmerada (traditional girls dance) 

 

8-20 December | All day event 

The Rail Train 

Darb El-Saai 

This is a mini replica of the metro rail experience that will allow the future generations to simulate this project that has inspired both citizens and residents.Let’s go for a ride! 

 

8-20 December | All day event 

Qatar Traffic 

Darb El-Saai 

A village, dedicated to children, and which includes a set of recreational and educational activities. These include test driving a car, and getting a (temporary) driver's license after passing the safe driving test in an area provided with streets and special traffic light signals.Maybe the adult drivers should be tested, too! 

 

8-20 December | All day event 

Newspapers 

Darb El-Saai 

The Newspapers event will interact with the public at Darb El-Saai by holding competitions in the art of journalism that enshrines the national identity arts, and to encourage journalists of the future from the new generation to practice the profession. 

 

 

8-20 December | All day event 

Civil Defense 

Darb El-Saai 

The Civil Defense activities will have workshops, lectures, stage and field presentations to explain safety and security measures, as well the guidelines for emergency exits and to learn about safety and security requirements in camps. 

 

8-20 December | All day event 

Health 

Darb El-Saai 

Free medical check-ups for visitors as well as vaccinations against seasonal influenza are available at the tent. There will be workshops and coloring competitions for children. 

 

8-20 December | All day event 

Al Maqtar - Storytelling 

Darb El-Saai 

Al Maqtar is an event that showcases poetry thatportrays the lifestyle of the desert in ancient times. People visiting will get to learn about the daily life gatherings of the Qatari family, the women’s gathering, the house of the colonel and the house of the hunter.