The UN Climate Change Conference pauses for a breather on Sunday, giving participants a much-needed day off.
The Qatar National Conventional Centre will be officially closed on Sunday, and hotel shuttle buses will not be stopping there.
The day off gives participants a much-needed opportunity to explore Doha, with a variety of events and sites to see.
The Qatar Sustainability Expo will be open on Sunday, from 11am to 9pm, and shuttle buses will continue to run through the day from the hotel hubs to the event. The Expo is free to enter, and there are a host of interactive displays and makes a great family day out.
There is also an opportunity to explore the sights of Doha – such as the Katara cultural village, and the Souq Waqif shopping area.
Katara is the cultural centre of Doha, rich in exhibitions and attractions. Its facilities, such as the amphitheatre, opera house and theatre offer a series of world-class events. It also stages an impressive programme of art and photography exhibitions and works to foster local and regional talent. The beach, with water sports facilities, is popular with families on weekends, and the restaurants, such as L’wzaar where you can pick your own fish, are always busy.
The souq is a traditional market where you can wander through the labyrinth of Qatari architecture, and visit stalls selling everything from exotic spices and perfume, to fabrics and household goods.
Visitors can barter over the local handicrafts, see the falcons for sale or relax with a shisha pipe and some Middle Eastern delicacies.
For those looking for a Sunday adventure, there is an opportunity to grab your camera and discover the desert and wildlife of Qatar on an Eco-tour to Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation. The conservation centre close to the central Qatari town of Al Shahaniyah, has many protected rare wild animals cared for by an international team of expert vets, biologists and keepers. Facilitated by Qatar’s Qur’anic Garden civil society organisation, the tour runs from 8:30am to 12:30pm. Call Fatima Alkhulaifi at +974 55458741 to sign up.
For those who prefer a lazy Sunday, lie back and enjoy a free, traditional Dhow boat tour organised by the Ministry of Culture Arts and Heritage. Accredited delegates and observers for the COP18/CMP8 conference can take a two-hour tour in a traditional Qatari fishing boat will take visitors on a relaxing trip, offering a unique view of Doha’s glittering skyline.
There are four tours taking place on December 2 leaving at 10am, 12pm, 3pm and 5pm from the Dhow harbour, which is a 15-minute walk from the Museum of Islamic Art bus hub and is clearly indicated by COP18/CMP8 signs.
Environmental issues will be featured this weekend also. The important Forest Day event will be taking place all day on Sunday at the Renaissance Hotel Doha City Centre (Shuttle bus No 22). Forest day is an annual conference that informs participants in the UN climate change talks of the most up-to-date findings from research on the relationships between forest and climate change. The event also works to provide participants from policy and practitioner communities with an opportunity to share experiences, and to ensure that forests remain high on the agenda of global and national climate strategies.
This event is open to the public, and those who wish to register can do so at www.forestday.org.
There are also events such as traditional music and dance at the Qatar National Theatre presented by the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage.