Kite festival attracts over 20,000 in two days

Since its launch on March 6, the Aspire International Kite Festival has attracted thousands of visitors to Aspire Park to witness colourful display of flying kites and masterly skills of professional kite-flyers from around 18 countries.

The kite festival has become one of the leading festivals in Qatar and this year is being celebrated enthusiastically at Aspire Park and set to conclude today.

The festival’s end will see a ceremony that is scheduled to award participating schools and the winners of the photography competition for the best photo captured during the kite extravaganza.

According to statistical data, during its first two days, the Aspire International Kite Festival managed to attract more than 20,000 people. In addition, the morning workshop sessions were attended by more than 2,500 students from various schools across Qatar.

More than 300 vivid kites designed by international kiters have been on display and over 7,000 kites were sold to family’s children to help them emerge themselves in the festivities. Since it launched, the festival has hosted more than 20 local and international media representatives.

The festival has also been a hit digitally, with the live stories on Aspire’s social media accounts seeing a 300% increase in viewers and unprecedented levels of interaction.

The four-day event involved more than 80 professional kite flyers from countries including Qatar, Kuwait, Singapore, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, France, the United States, Japan, Indonesia, Russia, Australia, India, Italy, China, and Colombia.

“Qatar has become one of the best kite-flying destinations in the world due to its exclusive features for a major kite event,” Caterina Capelli, art director of the festival from Italy said while talking to The Peninsula. “I think kites are amazing form of art and all the guests we have in our festival are painters, sculptures and creative persons.”

Caterina Capelli, Art Director of the festival from Italy, said it was the second time she was working in Doha along with her father for the kite festival. Caterina and her father Claudio run the world’s biggest kite festival in Italy and have been invited to be the art directors at the Aspire International Kite Festival.

Caterina Capelli, Art Director of the festival from Italy

They have also brought to Doha a selection of what they describe as “the best kite artists” from more than 20 countries around the world. Its a unique gathering of kite artists.

“People saw amazing giant 3D kites which have shape of animals, some kites made specially for this event. There is 3D falcon kite flying over Aspire Park and these kites are really huge,” Capelli said, adding that there were kites which were 70 meters long.

She said: “We are having everyday theme display such as sea life; we have got fishes, octopuses and dragon and magical creatures and more than that we are having famous champions of the world for sport kite and they are flying kites on the rhythm of music so people can see the performances of kite dancing.”

Kites in different shapes, colours, sizes and concepts are there in the festival. It is a visual treat for the visitors, as the sky is dotted with vibrant flying objects shaped like the Rubik’s cube, aeroplanes, dragons, traditional masks, bears and flowers.

It is also a display of how kite-making skills have evolved over the years. From delicate ones made of paper and wooden sticks, they now use flexible materials that make them more resilient.

Commenting on the huge number of visitors that were in attendance on the first day, a member of the organising committee of the Aspire International Kite Festival, Tahani Khalifa Al Suwaidi, said: “The fact that thousands of visitors were scattered across Aspire Park during the very first day of the festival exceeded our expectations.”

The Kuwaiti team’s impressive presence was strongly felt, with kites flown by the team comprising of Abdelrahman Al Faresi, Mohammed Al Farasi, Mubarak Marzooq, Mohammed Al Mosowy and Saoud Al Ghareeb.

Commenting on their participation at the third edition of Aspire International Kite Festival, the head of the Kuwaiti team, Abdelrahman Al Faresi, said: “This is our first time to fly our kites on such a large field like this one. We’ve seen something similar in the United Kingdom but on a smaller scale. I salute our neighbouring country for organising this event.”

Apart from the venue, festival’s several side activities and attractions such as entertainment shows, theatre performances which include comedy circus and different kinds of Jacqueline, poetical and classical circus attracted families and children.

This year’s festival is sponsored by The Cultural Village Foundation — Katara, Ooredoo, Qatar Airways, Dolphin Energy, Kidzania and Al Salam Group.

Source: The Peninsula