MIA Park attracts crowds for World Tourism Day celebration

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The pleasant weekend weather has attracted throngs of visitors to the Museum of Islamic Art Park, one of the eight sites included in Qatar Tourism Authority’s (QTA) five-day celebration of World Tourism Day (WTD), which concludes today.

Many families and visitors were seen taking picnics or simply enjoying the afternoon sun in different locations of the park yesterday when Gulf Times paid a visit.

Some of them also trooped to the MIA Park Cafe where people can take selfies at a life-size photo frame located just beside one of the small hills in the area.

The QTA has also placed other frames in tourist destinations such as Al Zubarah Fort, East-West/West-East by Richard Serra, Aspire Zone, Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum, Souq Waqif, Katara, and the Imam Mohamed bin Abd al-Wahab Mosque.

According to the QTA, the frames are part of its social media competition aimed at encouraging people to visit and take pictures of these landmarks. Uploading these photos on social media using the hashtags #ShowcaseQatar and #WTD2016 gives participants a chance to win a prize from the QTA, including a weekend stay at a local 5-star hotel.

Doha-based photographer Mohamed al-Fawal told Gulf Times that as part of a client photo shoot, he had the chance to visit all eight landmarks since the QTA launched the competition on September 27.

But al-Fawal, who, for the past four years, has been taking photographs of many destinations and events in various places in Qatar, lamented that he was not able to upload any of his photos and join QTA’s social media competition.

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“I’ve been on a tight schedule and my work is quite hectic. Despite being able to travel and see these landmarks, I didn’t have the time to join the competition, he said.

Rachid Oubraim and Ely Jane Dalagan had already set plans for the weekend but were unaware of the QTA’s social media competition.

“We’re glad that we decided to take a stroll up to the MIA Park Cafe because otherwise, we wouldn’t see this frame and learn about the competition,” said Oubraim, who added that they also plan to take selfies at the frame in Souq Waqif where prizes are given on the spot by a QTA staff.

A staff of MIA Park Cafe said many people have taken selfies or photographs at the life-size frame since the competition began.

He also pointed out that the competition has helped draw more people to the area as well as to the cafe thus, increasing the number of their customers.

The QTA, in its website, said Qatar will host the official United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) celebrations next year. It added that “an exciting programme of activities” was designed “to #ShowcaseQatar to the world.” (Gulftimes)

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