Right across Souq Waqif's courtyard are four heritage houses turned into museums known as Msheireb Museums. Like the other well-known museums, it's also free to enter. But what's in store for you at these museums? We compiled a list of some of the things you can check out at these historical sites in Msheireb Downtown Doha.
You can download the Msheireb Museums app so you can have a self-guided audio tour at the heritage houses. You'll be asked to sign on the visitor sheet when you enter each house. COVID-19 precautionary measures apply.
Download the Msheireb Museums app here.
Go down Msheireb Metro station. Take the Downtown East exit and walk until the Msheireb Tram stop. Take the Msheireb Tram and go down at Station 5 - Heritage Quarter station. Start at Bin Jelmood House (on the left side of the tram stop).
One of the parts of the house that you'll notice as you go inside the museum is the beautiful courtyard from floor to length glass windows. Beautiful as it may be now, but it tells the story of a man who was once a slave trader. Make sure to watch the videos inside the rooms to learn not just the history of slavery in the world but also how it proliferated in the Gulf and nearby countries.
You'll also learn more about their stories and how the slaves lived back then. Modern slavery is also tackled. Make sure not to leave the house without making a stop at the "Commitment Room" wherein you can make your personal commitment to join the fight against modern forms of slavery.
Inside Company House you'll learn not just how oil was discovered but you'll also learn about the history and significance of the site.
You'll get to see first-hand some of the things that the first Qatari pioneers used during exploration and excavation of what they called "black gold." Generators, calculators, telephones, radio, marbles, and even an old tiffin. Compare them to what these objects look like today.
You can also take a look at some of the mementos of some of the pioneers as well as learn of their stories.
Don't forget to check out the map of Qatar from 1952!
As you head inside the historical residence, you'll first pass through the courtyard which is called "housh." But take a few seconds to stop and look down at what's under your feet. You'll learn about its significance as well as the open corridor to old Qatari houses.
Said to be the "first archaeological excavation site in Doha", you'll be able to take a peek at various stages of Radwani House before it was remodeled and restored. Items that were excavated are also displayed. In addition, you'll learn what a typical Qatari courtyard house looked like before and after electricity was used. Make sure to check inside each room and check out the various items and personal belongings that tell of life back then.
See if you can spot the photo of Doha taken from the Ottoman fort in 1904.
Tired of walking? Stop by at the garden on the way from Radwani House to Mohammed Bin Jassim House. There's a cluster of seats surrounding a water feature amidst greenery. Heading to the garden, you'll pass by a small street which gives a peek of the towering buildings of West Bay.
Learn about the history of Msheireb at Mohammed Bin Jassim House, how it evolved, and to how it is today and will be in the future. The house was built by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Jassim Al-Thani, the son of the founder of modern Qatar.
In this house, you'll find out some of the firsts in Doha - the first street in Doha to have electricity, the first pharmacy, the first hotel, the first 'modern' school, and more.
Don't forget to stop by and watch the video inside the big room wherein you'll see the evolution of Msheireb Downtown.
Where to go next? Hop on the Msheireb Tram again and explore Msheireb Downtown Doha. Check our Msheireb guide here!
Have you been to Msheireb Museums? Which is your favorite heritage house? If you haven't visited yet, when are you planning to? Let us know in the comments!
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