As such we met at Doha very early in the morning of Tuesday 16 December 2014. After all formalities at the airport had been cleared and after picking up rental car at the overstaffed car rental offices we drove straight to a very basic hotel to catch a couple of hours of sleep. Before National Day there are regular practice sessions for the parade but there is no plan known. We expected the rehearsal for today to take place around noon, but since we did not want to take the chance to miss anything we were up early and headed for the spot in the harbour where we wanted to be. And indeed, around 12 o’clock we saw the take-off of the first Alpha Jets. A little later we were treated to a full rehearsal. Interesting formations of fixed wing aircraft (Mirage 2000, Alpha Jet, C-130, C-17, PC-21) and helicopters (Gazelle, AW139, Sea King/Commando). This was followed by a solo display of a Mirage 2000 and an Alpha Jet. Everything could be photographed rather well, somewhat unexpectedly. The only down side was that the sun was at its most cooperative today. This was also the case during the second round of practices. Absolutely happy with the outcome though we did a round of wrecks and relics after the rehearsals, under guidance of an English colleague that had been in Qatar for a while already. At the end of the day we checked in at our hotel where would spend another two nights. In the evening we enjoyed a relaxed dinner outside within a souq.