If you are planning a visit to Qatar soon, Doha has a lot to offer when it comes to cultural sites. So make sure you schedule some time for learning more about the country’s history and culture.
Known locally as ‘Al Koot’ and located in Al Bidda area, it is one of the city’s few remaining historic buildings. Doha Fort dates back to 1880 and was originally built as a police station, before being converted into a jail in 1906 and used for military purposes in 1927. Since 1978, it serves as a museum for traditional Qatari handicrafts, although for some the real interest is in the building itself.
The Museum of Islamic Art
A city landmark, the MIA is situated on the Corniche and was designed by Chinese American architect I.M. Pei, a master of modern architecture. Thus, the design has a unique modern take on traditional Islamic architecture. The MIA has a large collection of artworks gathered from around the world since the late 1980s, and includes manuscripts, textiles and ceramics. The place is also known for its park where different outdoor musical events are planned each year.
The Arab Museum of Modern Art
Mathaf is the place to go if you are an aficionado of Modern Art. It is home to a permanent collection of modern Arab works of art. Re-designed by the famous French architect Jean-François Bodin, the museum also includes a library and an education wing where established artists offer regular talks and classes.
The Heritage Village
Located in Rumaila Park, the Heritage Village is an imitation of the village life of Qatar in the past. A traditional seaside village is recreated, where you can see hut styled houses, traditional kitchens, dhow building (Qatari fishing boat), and pearl trading like it used to be done in the past. Authentic food from Qatar and the region is available for visitors to add to the experience. Dancers and other performances are also featured during the evenings.
Qatar National Museum
The national museum, which is set to open its doors this year, is designed by the French Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel. The building with the interlocking innovative disc design takes inspiration from the desert rose. It will provide, in addition to the galleries, a 220-seat auditorium, a dedicated food forum preserving culinary traditions, a research center and a park filled with indigenous plants. Visitors will learn about Qatar’s past, the formation of the early cities and the modernization of the Qatari society.