Rotana Cancels Qatar Summer Festival

Jeddah – It appears that the artistic and cultural scenes in Doha will witness major paralysis as it becomes only natural for artists from the Gulf and Arab worlds to stand united with their countries’ decision to sever ties with Qatar.

Qatar, which has organized annual music festivals over the past 20 years, attracted Gulf and Arab stars and set up production companies, will be faced with the apologies of artists, who are first and foremost citizens of their nations.

CEO of Rotana Music Salem al-Hindi announced that the Summer Qatar Festival has been canceled only weeks after its program was announced at a press conference in Doha. A number of Gulf stars, including Mohammed Abdo and Nawal al-Kuwaitia, were due to throw concerts at the event.

Al-Hindi told Asharq Al-Awsat: “We canceled the festival and they were informed of this.”

Major challenges lie ahead of the Qatar Summer and Souq Waqif Festivals in setting up their events.

It was expected for Arab stars, especially Saudis, to cancel their concerts and participation in Qatar festivals.

Doha depended heavily on Saudi Arabia’s contribution to the success of the artistic and cultural movement there. Riyadh played a major role in attracting Saudi artists, journalists, poets and composers to the emirate, who repaid the favor by opening its media platforms to those seeking to attack the kingdom and destabilize it and the whole Arab world.

Kuwaiti artist Nabil Shuail told Asharq Al-Awsat on January 9, 2003 that he refused to attend the fourth Doha Song Festival over Al-Jazeera television’s actions and “constant attacks against us.”

Since then and to this very day, Shouail has not visited Qatar. He has not sung in the emirate in nearly 15 years over his rejection of its actions.