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Explore Qatar’s Heritage

27 Dec, 2020
TopicCulture, Arts and Media
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Visitor:StudentTouristBusiness Owner
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Explore Qatar’s Heritage

The State of Qatar is keen on reviving Qatari heritage and traditional crafts such as Arabic Calligraphy, pottery making, gypsum carving, Al Sadu weaving, Al Khous Weaving, and embroidery.

And with the revival of old traditional shops such as Souq Waqif, those crafts became more popular due to what the Souq sells of traditional items that are not commonly available in other shops, such as traditional clothing, hand-crafted items, tourist souvenirs, and local Qatari dishes, hence Souq Waqif is best ways to get to know the life of people in Qatar in the past in a modern way, as it also a major tourists attraction.

Additionally, the Souq is home to Souq Waqif Art Center that nurtures developing talents in fine arts as well as Al Jasra Cultural Social Club under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture and Sports.

The connection of new generation with the past is also evident through reviving old communities and neighborhoods such as Mushaireb area through Mushaireb Downtown Doha Project, as well as preserving its historic heritage sites, such as Al Zubarah Fort, Al Koot Fort, Barazan Towers, and Al Jassasiya Rock Carvings that is classified as a UNESCO heritage site.

Culture Pass

Become a Member at Qatar Museums and receive your membership card which will allow you to gain access to all Qatar Museums and exhibitions as well as getting special discounts from the museum partners as well as gift shops, and the IN-Q Gift Shop.

For more information, please visit the culture pass page and check out the membership benefits represented in the following categories:

Arts & Culture

Qatar has always emphasized on the importance of history, heritage, and art in numerous ways through enhancing its cultural diplomacy with states of the world, establishment of art and culture centers, language centers, culture-driven architectural projects such as public art displays, museums, and global exhibitions, in which Qatar has become a beacon of light for intellectual dialogues between the cultures and civilizations of the world.

Museums & Galleries

Discover Qatar Museums and Art Galleries that has been established and revived throughout the years under the supervision of Qatar’s Museums Authority as follows:

Qatar Museums Gallery, Al Riwaq: Al Riwaq Hall is located near the Museum of Islamic Arts park and hosts a number of events that spark the public interest, in aims of enhancing fruitful discussions and gaining knowledge in various art fields such as cinematic display techniques, traditional arts and crafts, rare art pieces, and more.

The Qatar Museum events management at Al Riwaq Gallery welcomes the requests for hosting and organizing formal and non-formal events, as well as the option of using the main entrance foyer that extends up to 90 square meters to organize reception parties in an outdoor space overlooking the Museum of Islamic Arts Park.

For more information, please visit the QM Gallery Alriwaq Venue Hire page.

Qatar Museums Gallery Katara

The Qatar Museum Gallery is located at Katara Cultural Village and is considered an initiative that aims to connect the cultural village audience with the public arts created by Qatari and International Artists. The gallery is considered an important platform to display art works that centers around human topics that encourages visitors to reflect and think.

The gallery is also used a temporary platform to display the collections and projects of Qatar Museum under development.

Doha Fire Station

The Doha Fire station building was originally built in 1982 as the Civil Defense building until 2012.

To make use of the building, Qatar Museums redesigned the building to give it a modern and fresh look while protecting its original architecture details, and re-launched the building in 2014.

The Doha Fire Station has since become a major attraction for emerging talented artists, following its launch of the Artist in Residence Program, which allows creative minds to develop their talent further, by having their own studio space that allows them to indulge in their passion towards arts, collaborate with curators, and connect with arts professionals locally and globally. The Doha Fire Station organizes public art galleries showcasing the work done by its artists in residence in its Garage Gallery, and offers a variety of shops for art enthusiasts such as , Cass Art supply, Café #999, cinema theater, and an online gift shop.

Please visit Fire Station: Artist in Residence website for more information.

Arab Postal Stamp Museum

The Arab Postal Stamp Museum was established in 2010 in a collaborative effort between Qatar Postal Services Company (Qatar Post) and the Secretariat General of the League of Arab States and was officially launched in 2011. The museum contains a collection of stamps of 22 Arab countries that were handed over to Qatar by the Cairo Postal Museum. The museum is located at building 22 in Katara, which is considered a significant cultural landmark that attracts many visitors and tourists, which helps in the spreading of the culture of postal stamps.

The Museum contains a library that has albums of all Arab countries and a dedicated hall for displaying the stamps, with a special museum archive.

Moreover, a postal stamp is considered an important factor in transferring the culture of other countries throughout the historical representations that are highlighted in each stamp.

National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ)

Visiting the National Museum of Qatar is not only a fun and educational experience, but also a reflection on Qatar’s heritage in the past, present, and future.

Qatar National Museum is uniquely designed to illustrate the inspiring story of Qatar, its culture, and people, and the ties it has with other nations and civilizations.

Visitors of the museum get to learn about the geography of Qatar, its history, archaeology, transcripts, indigenous plants, in a vibrant family atmosphere filled with knowledge about each history chapter of Qatar: The beginnings, Life in Qatar, and Building a Nation.

The museum pays tribute to Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al-Thani’s original palace for 25 years, which has been reestablished and well-preserved, so future generations can witness it from a modern perspective.

The museum offers a wide range of educational resources for families and academic researchers, and places Qatar at the central map of global civilization dialogue.

Gift Shops

The museum offers a unique gift shopping experience, in a design inspired by Dahl Al Misfer cave (Cave of Light), and has a gift shop for adults, and another one for children, through IN-Q that collaborates with local artists and designers to create original merchandise and souvenirs.

Restaurants and Cafes

The National Museum of Qatar serves you the best Qatari dishes you can taste at Jiwan restaurant where you get to look at the panoramic view of the Doha bay and the stunning architectural desert rose design and Sheikh Abdulla Bin Jassim Al Thani palace.

The restaurant is called Al Jiwan because it means “precious pearl” which is a radiating rose-tinted perfectly rounded pearl.

Explore local Qatari tastes, at the desert rose café operated by Professional Qatari Chef Nouf Al Marri, and café 875 that is inspired by the design of traditional gold jewelry worn by women in the olden days. The café was named 875 because it refers to the purity of gold.

Museum of Islamic Art (MIA)

The Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) has a collection of rare Islamic art that is more than 1,400 years old, that includes material culture represented in diverse metalwork, ceramics, jewelry, woodwork, textiles, coins and glass. The Museum of Islamic Arts (MIA) has a master collection of Islamic arts, and artistic objects that belongs to central Asia, Iran, Egypt, Syria, Turkey, India, and Iraq (Basra), among other nations.

The Museum of Islamic art arranges a number of exhibitions throughout the year, that discuss a variety of topics that reflect the history of Islamic art and its significance to the modern civilizations of the world, as well as spark intellectual conversations between museums visitors to achieve their highest level of a rich learning experience.

Visitors can request guided tours as well as exploring self-guided tours.

The Museum contains a library that has a diverse collection of over 21,000 books, Islamic arts monographs, art reference books, museum collection and exhibition catalogues, scholarly periodicals on art, as well as auction catalogues. The museum also has a collection of versatile children's books such with topics such as stories, art history, art activities, culture, history, science and general reference.

Over the years, the museum has inspired artists to create their own art by visiting the library. Those who enjoy reading books in the filed can join the Majlis book club which has monthly book discussion session. The Museum of Islamic Arts has a giftshop, café, Haut cusine, 200 seat auditorium a park, prayer rooms, and a complementary free-WIFI.

You can check MIA’s website for more information.

Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art

The idea behind Mathaf first came in the early 1990s, when H.E. Sheikh Hassan bin Mohamed bin Ali Al Thani began building a collection of modern and contemporary art, that has a main focus on the region, its historical and cultural association with North Africa, Asia, Turkey, and Iran.

Mathaf is located at the heart of Education City, in Al Rayyan and was officially launched in December 30, 2010 to host and organize major historical exhibitions, artistic exhibitions, and events that explore modern and contemporary art, as well as major education programs that plays an important role in enhancing the art of dialogue, research activities, and nurturing creatives. Mathaf also offers public programs as well as learning programs and free learning resources and contains a library that has over 7,000 books and publications on art history, global modern art, and art history in the Arab World, with a number of publications in English, and other languages.

The library can also be used as a quite study space with Arabic and English-speaking staff that are ready to assist.

The library offers a complementary WIFI service, and free photocopy and scanning service. For more information, you can check the library’s page online.

Public Art in Qatar

A number of innovative public art installations can be founded in various places across are Qatar.

A couple of well-known public arts installations and sculptures include:

  • Lamb Bear at Hamad International Airport near duty free area (designed by Urs Fischer)
  • Maman, at Qatar National Convention Center (designed by Louise Bourgeois)
  • Gandhi’s Three Monkeys at Katara Cultural Village (designed by Subodh Gupta)
  • Perceval at Aspire Park (by Sara Lucas)
  • 8 Oryxes at Hamad International Airport by Tom Claasen.

For information about public arts installations in Qatar, please check the visit Qatar website.