After several delays the Magical Festival Village Doha will officially open to the public today (3rd March 2016) with a grand launch ceremony.
It has been designed as an innovative concept that combines shopping, entertainment and restaurants in an open air venue. The aim is to attract more regional visitors to Qatar from neighbouring countries by having a one-stop outdoors entertainment venue.
UPDATE – Magical Festival Village is open everyday from 3.00pm until 11.00pm. Family Days on Wed, Thurs, Frid & Sat; Open to the General Public on Sun, Mon, Tues.
Expected to be a winter event only, no indication has yet been given as to how long it will be open. Organisers have indicated that there will be an admission fee but no official confirmation has yet been made about the charges.
Megapolis is a similar venue offering family entertainment which will also be having it’s offical grand launch today at Andalucia Way, The Pearl from 7.00pm.
Magical Festival Village
The venue is extensive with a castle and water fountain. It will house Qatar’s first outdoor icing rink, and a go-kart track. There is a trampoline park next to the children’s activity park. There is also an emphasis on XD events with sort film showcases and a Virtual Reality Booth. It is expected that the activities may have an individual cost; although pricings for the venue have not yet been confirmed.
The highlight of the festival for young children is expected to be the ‘Disney-style’ castle and the many Disney characters dotted around the venue. There is also a comprehensive but compact children’s activity park with quite a few members of staff. The venue also has a central fountain display surrounded by a comfortable food court area.
Although it is European-styled with Disney elements, there are many traditional products on sale from carpets, abayas, and local and regional honey.
Organisers of the festival, Media Work, have indicated that there are approximately 400 stores within their souk. They will represent products from countries around the world including the Far East and Europe. The variety is extensive from beauty products, household ornaments, and bukhoor.
Magical Festival Village – The Food
The venue has been in soft opening for the past two weeks, when most stalls and activies were still to open. However, most visitors have been enjoying the central fountain with food area. Food offerings are mainly fast food and snacks from established eateries as well as local Instagram businesses. Although the opening times are not yet confirmed, most stalls were open from 5.00pm until 10.00pm.
There was a variety of dessert and beverages from karak and mocktails to popcorn, pancakes, and sweets. There are also many stalls selling a range of local regional delicacies including Qatari food, which will be of interest to visitors interested in trying Qatari snacks. Unfortunately there was no big focus on healthy foods or snacks, but there was Salad Boutique and an interesting local brand, Memo’s Facory, which claimed to produce low-calorie desserts and snacks.
The Cafe Station food truck was a lovely standout which we expect to see at QIFF 2016, whilst the Korean Dessert Cafe Snowberry selling Korean Bingsu (shaved ice cream dessert) is definitely on the ‘eat-everything-on-the-menu’ list!
Below are a few of the brands in the ‘food court’:
- Rora Cafe
- Mini Pancake
- Sukar Qasab
- Mr Bunny Chocolate
- Cupcake Queen Qatar
- Candy Bar Cafe
- Baid Tomat
- Memos Factory
- Buffalo’s Cafe
- Kaafe Chocolatier
- Minis Doha
- Chocolate Martini
- Mr Sugarcane
- Amazing Waffles Cafe
- Shiraz Palace
- Salad Boutique
- Baiz Cafe
- Bait Alyda
- Lillies Sweet
- Wonders Cafe
- Elevation Burger
- Magnolia Bakery
Magical Festival Village is also expected to have a indoors venue from where they can hold varied events, including a fashion week for women. Organisers have also indicated that they will be holding a ‘Qatar Master Chef 2016’ competition to choose the best chef in Qatar from the local four and five star hotels. There will also be a chocolate and cupcake event – all of which is good news for Qatar’s many foodies!
You can access the venue from the South side of Katara. There is also a map below of the exact location.
Pic Credits: QE and Magical Festival Village Doha