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Within the last decade, Qatar has become an important hub of art and culture not only within the region but is also being recognized all over the world for promoting the art of Islamic civilisations through the ages and Qatari traditions, customs and its rich heritage. Its different museums that have become must-see attractions for visitors and locals alike are proof that Qatar’s vision of becoming the world’s capital for art and culture is slowly becoming a reality.
Below are the three museums that make up part of the Qatar Museums and are visited by thousands of people every year to marvel at and be amazed by the thousands of ancient artefacts and art collections this wonderful country has on offer. Also discussed is Qatar’s upcoming museum, the National Museum of Qatar, which is bound to become another icon of Qatar’s magnificence and glory.
The Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) is one of Qatar’s most iconic buildings and is world famous for its exotic collection of Islamic masterpieces from different Muslim countries spanning across centuries. Thousands and thousands of visitors pass through its doors every year to witness the marvel and splendour that make up the Islamic world through art pieces collected over the years and carefully conserved so visitors can understand the Islamic traditions, culture and heritage through the centuries.
MIA was built in the mid-2000s and was opened to the public on 1 December 2008. Under the patronage of the Chairperson of the Qatar Museums Authority’s Board of Trustees, Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the museum has flourished and, today, it is a source of pride for Qatar.
The MIA’s thousands of art pieces are from different eras and though they may be connected through Islam, a lot of them are non-religious. The pieces come from the opulent homes of influential people of their times and also from the humble homes of ordinary people. Each piece tells its own story and takes you beyond the museum walls and transports you to the world of yesterday.
The MIA also has a number of temporary exhibitions with artefacts and art pieces brought specifically to Qatar ad these change periodically. These are also very popular with visitors. MIA also loans its artefacts and collections to other museums across the globe.
MIA is one of the most visited attractions in Qatar; it’s a must-see for adults and children alike, who visit the museum to enjoy and understand Islamic culture through its profound art exhibits.
Saturday 10:30am – 5:30pm
Monday, - Thursday: 10:30am – 5:30pm
Friday: 2pm - 8pm
The museum is closed on Tuesdays, 25 December and the first day of the two Eids.
Address: Al Corniche Street, Opposite Al Fanar Centre, Doha - Qatar
Tel: +974 4452 5555
The Mathaf (which means ‘museum’ in the Arabic language and is pronounced as ‘mat-haf’) Arab Museum of Modern Art was established on 30 December 2010 and houses over 6,300 pieces of Arabian art that start from the 19th century up to the modern day. The museum is located within an abandoned building that used to be a school in Doha’s Education City and was completely renovated by the French architect, Jean-François Bodin who transformed it into the modern museum that it is today.
Under the patronage of His Highness H.E. Sheikh Hassan bin Mohamed bin Ali Al Thani, who is a passionate art collector and artist, the museum has flourished and turned into a huge and splendid treasure trove of modern Arab art. Most of the art work has been donated by him and he also has a vast collection of periodicals and books about Arab artists and artwork which he used to start an artist residency program at the museum.
The maze-like layout of the museum adds to the splendor of its interconnected galleries that contain lively paintings in soft colour shades that contrast with the gleaming fluorescent lighting between the two floors sometimes giving the feeling of a stimulating sensory experience.
Though the museum is still in its infancy stage, it is growing in popularity and visitors from all around the world visit it to marvel at the contemporary works of art by Arab artists that include Ismail Fattah, Dia Azzawai, Ali Nouri, Sliman Mansour, Mahmoud Said and Wafaa Bilal, amongst others.
Do not miss the opportunity of visiting this one-of-a-kind Arab museum.
Entry to the museum is FREE of charge for the permanent exhibitions.
QAR.25 for all temporary exhibitions.
Children under the age of 16, students, ICOM and CIMAM members can visit the permanent and temporary exhibitions for FREE.
Sunday – Sunday: 11am - 6pm Monday: Closed Tuesday – Thursday: 11am – 6m Friday: 3pm - 9pm
Address: Education City, Doha – Qatar Tel: +974 4402 8855 / 8830
The Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum (FBQ Museum) is a fascinating place with a huge collection of ancient artefacts, furniture, Islamic art, weapons, coins, carpets, vintage cars, prehistoric bones and fossils of dinosaurs and other creatures that roamed the earth at that time, and lots more. There’s even a plane in the museum!
The FBQ Museum is a must-see tourist attraction in Qatar and draws people from around the world who come to the museum and are awe-struck by the magnificent collection of over 15,000 relics and artefacts of immense historical importance. Each piece has been handpicked over the years by Sheikh Faisal himself on his travels around the world.
The FBQ Museum is the pride of Qatar and has earned Sheikh Faisal the title of ‘Heritage personality for 2012’ by the Arab Center for Tourism Media in 2012.
Though it is Sheikh Faisal’s private museum, it is open to the public. Tour guides are available to show visitors around the museum and explain the artefacts and different pieces in detail.
Sunday: 9am – 4pm
Monday – Thursday: 9am – 4pm
Friday: 2pm – 7pm
Saturday: 10am – 6pm Contact Details
Address: Al Samriya (22km west of Doha on the Dukhan highway; just after the Mall of Qatar) - Qatar Tel: +974 4486 1444
Fax: +974 4486 2555
For more information and to make a booking, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
For membership or a research-based visit to the museum, contact: email@example.com
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Designed by Pritzker prize-winning French architect Jean Nouvel, the interlinking disc design of the National Museum of Qatar represents petals that are positioned at different angles and has been inspired by Qatar’s unique ‘desert rose’ made from gypsum deposits in a crystallized form. It evokes and depicts the life of the Qatari people between the desert and the sea. The museum’s structure is located on Sheikh Abdullah Bin Jassim Al Thani’s old palace where he once lived and ran the country for 25 years. It is one of most recognisable landmarks in Qatar and serves as a monument to the historical way of life in the country which will be a fitting central exhibit within the museum once it opens.
Even though the museum has not yet opened, it has already won the prestigious ‘Façade Design and Engineering of the Year’ at the ABB LEAF Awards held in London last year and is the first project from the Gulf region to be highlighted in the “Best New Architectures of 2018” listing.
Visitors to the museum will get to learn more about Qatar’s ancestors and the dhows that were once a very important part of the country’s legacy, how the early cities were formed and the transformation of the country that has led up to modern Qatari society. Exhibitions in the museum will merge historical objects with modern influences and signify the impact made by the rapid change in the Qatari lifestyle.
Address: Near Ras Abu Aboud Bridge, Along Al Corniche Street, Doha – Qatar
Tel: +974 4452 5555
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