What’s this all about then?
Currently Katara Cultural Village Foundation, in conjunction with the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, is supporting an amazing initiative called the Mahaseel Festival. Its aim is to awareness about Qatari home grown food products, and the farming communities.
Katara’s GM, Dr. Khalid bin Ibrahim Al Sulaiti, sees the Market as serving the community and sees it as “Katara’s commitment towards supporting Qatari agricultural sector and national livestock and food products, as well as offering new business opportunities to the owners of Qatari farms.”
Everyone is becoming more aware about how vital it is to support your local producers. The increased popularity of the crafts and the home goods producers selling at MIA Park attests to the need for more open-air markets.
There are existing Markets in Al Mazrooah Yard, Al Wakra or Al Khor Al Thakira Farmers Markets. However, many Doha residents find it difficult to get there, so Katara is a relatively accessible location for many.
The Mahaseel Festival has been organised efficiently with an emphasis on providing excellent produce at fantastic prices.
What else is going on there?
The Cultural Village Foundation has also arranged competitions, and exhibitions to promote awareness about Qatari home grown food products, and the farming communities.
There will be a Nakheel Exhibition which focuses on Qatar’s famous palm trees. Visitors will learn all about the growing phases of the Palm and its connected industries, including traditional crafts.
There will also be a food zone supervised by Qatari women, who will share their knowledge about cooking local dishes.
Where is it? When?
The Mahaseel Festival is at the southern area of Katara and scheduled from January 3rd to 7th 2017 (8:00am to 9:00pm). Thereafter it will be open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 8:00am to 6:00pm until April 2017. UPDATE: On Fridays the Festival is open from 3:00pm due to Friday prayer break.
Qatar’s Farmers Market at Katara
Why Should I Visit?
Here are 5 epic reasons as to why we think you NEED to visit this corner of Katara!
1. A large variety of fresh produce!
You can find all you need for your weekend fresh produce grocery list, including quite a few organic products! We’re not just talking about vegetable and fruits here. You can purchase dairy products, poultry, fresh juices, flowers and honey. Lamb and Beef can also be purchased.
TIP: Just be sure to bring a cool box with you if you plan to leave your groceries in the car whilst you explore the rest of Katara.
2. It’s cheap!
You can get vegetables from as little as QR1 per kilo! You can find cucumber at QR3/kg; broccoli at QR8/kg; cauliflower at QR3/kg; cabbage at QR1/kg and courgettes at QR3/kg.
When you go to pay you may find yourself paying less than the price of a Starbucks Frappucino!
3. You can buy flowers grown in Qatar!
Flowers, flowers, flowers! Wherever you look you will find flowers grown and harvested here in Qatar – it’s not all deserts and rocks in Qatar!
4. You’re supporting your local communities.
Food is brought straight from the farms, rather than a trip in air cargo, so you will receive fresh local produce. And by buying directly from farmers you are helping to support their future farming activities.
Katara Village Foundation have also ensured that no food will be wasted, as any unsold fresh produce will be donated to needy families within the local community through the Sheikh Thani bin Abdullah Foundation for Humanitarian Services (RAF).
5. The location is perfect for a day out with the family!
Go early, take the kids, and have a good browse. Take moment to learn more about the producers and their farms. Be sure to take a good look at the honey stalls selling locally produced Qatari honey!
When you’re done shopping, you can enjoy a stroll on Katara Beach, and visit any of the eateries in Katara Village which include dine-in restaurants, to street carts for a quick snack. If you have time head to the Beach area near Katara Amphiptere where you can buttery chapatis, spicy chaats, or hot fish and chips.
UPDATE: You can also head to Magical Festival City which is right next door and now open to the public (however some stalls are not yet open). Operated by EzdanWorld it has tonnes of rides and attractions for all ages. Currently in season 2, the organisers have amped up the fun factor with hanging floral arrangements. There are also plenty of food stalls to buy a meal or lots of sweet snacks and treats! (Check out our feature on Season 1 of Magical Festival City including its location).
Qatar’s Farmers Markets = Fresh, cheap local produce. It’s a win for everyone!
Pic Credits: Katara Cultural Village