Winter in Qatar heralds the onset of a culturally and recreationally significant period – the winter camping season. Rooted deeply in Qatari tradition, winter camping is not merely a leisure activity but a reflection of a centuries-old lifestyle, where the serene, nocturnally cool deserts become a haven for rejuvenation, exploration, and socialization.
The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MoECC) has officially announced the opening of online registration for the annual Winter Camping Season for 2023-2024, inviting citizens and residents to immerse themselves in this enriching experience.
The registration, spanning from October 22 to 31, marks the prelude to a season that not only allows participants to bask in nature but also to engage in various activities that celebrate Qatari culture and its unique environment.
The camping season, commencing on November 1, and concluding on April 30, 2024, is meticulously planned, ensuring participants adhere to guidelines that safeguard both the environment and the rich experiences it offers, as reported by The Peninsula.
The registration process, delineated in three separate stages for central, southern, and northern regions, is accessible via the MoECC’s official website. The permit holder is required to pay permit fees within six hours of receiving the approval confirmation via text message, ensuring their application remains valid.
The MoECC has updated the conditions and obligations related to camping across all regions, underscoring a commitment to sustainability and preservation of the local environment and its diverse, distinct plant cover.
The MoECC emphasizes the importance of conserving the environment and safeguarding its natural resources, urging campers to comply with the conditions and regulations of the new Winter Camping Season.
These regulations include compliance with designated coordinates for each camp and maintaining specific distances between camps, manors, farms, and villages.
Ministry teams will actively monitor the implementation of these conditions throughout the day to ensure the success of the camping season while preserving the local environment without any adverse impact on local flora and fauna.
An awareness camp in the “Sealine” area within the Khor Al Adaid Reserve will be established by the MoECC, dedicated to awareness and recreational activities. Various programs and competitions will be organized, and prizes will be awarded to the best winter camp that promotes environmental conservation.
Approximately 2,000 saplings of various wild plants will be distributed, along with 2,000 seed packets containing plants such as “Ziziphus jujuba, Prosopis cineraria, Acacia tortilis, Lycium shawii, and Acacia ehrenbergiana.” First aid kits will also be distributed to campsite owners.
The MoECC, through its initiatives and guidelines, seeks to ensure that the camping season is sustainable and that it preserves the local environment in all regions of the country. The conditions for camping have been established to preserve the biological diversity in these areas of plants, animals, and trees.
The ministry’s follow-up to these requirements is not for the purpose of imposing penalties on violators, but to contribute to guidance and assistance in following instructions.
Winter camping in Qatar is not merely a seasonal activity but a vibrant cultural event, offering a glimpse into the traditional Bedouin lifestyle. The desert, with its serene landscapes and nocturnal coolness, provides an escape from urban life, offering a unique opportunity to explore nature, engage in adventures, and socialize in a different setting.
The camping season also brings with it a plethora of activities and experiences, from traditional games to exploring the diverse desert flora and fauna. It provides an educational aspect, where people, especially the younger generation, learn about desert life, survival skills, and the importance of environmental conservation.
The various heritage and entertainment events planned during the camping season introduce visitors to Qatari culture, providing a rich, immersive experience.
The MoECC has also provided guidelines for the safe transport of cabins and caravans to the camping areas. The ministry has urged all campers to adhere to the guidelines and instructions issued by the ministry to ensure their safety and the safety of others during the transport of cabins and caravans.