In Qatar we are constantly confronted with dimensional opposites. The country’s small size for example becomes relatively large in the vast and infinite desert. The towns around the country are teeny tiny in comparison to how immensely big Doha has become. There are little houses and the tall buildings of the Diplomatic Area in West Bay. One can easily lose their heads over it! This leaves us wondering: does size matter? We think it does! And exceptional size in an extraordinary country can be stunning, impressive, intimidating, highly cultural, unique and SUUPER fun! Check out our TOP 10 for BIG things that make us and Qatar seem very small!
1. This horse sculpture
Where to spot it: Outside the Kempinski Marsa Malaz
Description: The 18 meter tall Horse is made of Bronze and was designed by Doha- based Iraqi artist Ahmed Al Bahrani. The horse that weighs around 45 tonnes was not easily installed and took over a month to be fully assembled.
What it symbolizes: The bronze horse, with its intricate design and detailed muscles to simulate movement is intended to honor the tradition of Arabian horses and the cultural importance of horses in the Arab World.
2. The giant Oryx statues
These are located: Outside St Regis Hotel
Description: The three 14 meter high Oryx sculptures are designed by Mrs Ellen Hlavta and were designed using the lasted cutting edge technologies and coated using a chemical element ‘Molybdenum’ to withstand the extreme heat of Qatar’s summers. The stainless steel sculptures weigh a total of 12 tonnes!
What it symbolizes: These three musketeers are supposed to artistic reminders of the importance of preserving the country’s rich culture and heritage.
3. A falcon hood of unusual size
Where to see it: Katara
Description: This villa sized falcon hood is home to the headquarters of Al Gannas Society, the society for Falconry in Qatar. Red color and big window fronts are characteristic of the building.
What it symbolizes: It represents a falcon hood, which protects the falcon’s head and eyes, especially during the initial training period. It also keeps the falcon calm, which contributes to the animal’s well-being.
4. These gigantic gifts
Soon to be found in: Katara
Description: The giant gifts will form part of Katara’s shopping mall. The children’s mall will be found within the gifts. These are approximately 2-3 stories tall and “wrapped” in red and gold.
What it symbolizes: The boldness of these designs seeks to reflect the country’s inclination towards the development of modern architecture landmarks and to surprise visitors and create wonder.
5. The largest pearl monument
Spotted at: At the Corniche near Museum of Islamic Art
Description: This oversized monument of the pearl oyster has become one of the most well known attractions of Doha. Water is dwelling out of the oyster shell and a white pearl finds itself in the center of it.
What it symbolizes: The pearl oyster simply celebrates Qatar’s pearl diving history and heritage. What is in Paris the Eiffel tower and in New York the Statue of liberty is the pearl monument for Qatar. With an appearance on Google in 2013, tourist selfies are a must.
6. The massive Richard Serra monuments East-West/ West-East
Where to find it: In the Brouq Nature Reserve (close to Zekreet)
Description: Richard Serra’s installation is a combination of four perpendicular standing German steel plates. The plates that are 15m long will slowly oxidize and thus change color to finally reach a rich amber.
What it symbolizes: After examining the topography of the land of Qatar, and the beautifully vast, desolate space of the desert, Serra created this piece of art for Qatar that is both timeless and modern. He hopes that this will one day be a landmark of Qatar.
7. This oversized Lamp Bear
Where it is found: Hamad International Airport
Description: The 23ft teddy bear is a creation by Swiss artist Urs Fischer. It is canary yellow and sculpted from bronze and sits in the middle of the foyer of HIA and its world-class duty-free hall.
What it symbolizes: The teddy bear being an object of childhood shall remind travellers of being young and objects from home, and humanizes the space around it with the lamp. Qatar Museums wanted to place art pieces like this into the airport to bring the museum experience of Qatar to HIA.
8. The enormous shopping cart
Where it was found: Outside of Hyatt Plaza (WAS)
Description: One of the world’s largest shopping carts could be found in the parking lot of Hyatt Plaza. This is now in the past, since it was taken down almost two years ago. The big metal trolley may be gone, but its size will continue to live in memory and nostalgia.
What it symbolized: With Giant Supermarket the trolley used to suggest Doha’s biggest supermarket being in Hyatt Plaza. While that hadn’t been true for a long time it was still a funny sight!
9. The huge desert rose
Where to sight it: By Ras Abu Abboud Street
Description: Enormous sand colored discs intertwine and interlock to assemble, in different angles and positions, the formation of a desert rose. These are made up of steel structures with glass fiber reinforced panels.
What it symbolizes: The desert rose will be the new National Museum of Qatar, and that has a clear purpose, which is to build the bridge between Qatar’s heritage and the rapid development and modernization. This is in strong connection to the art world, as the Museum will be filled with amazing art. The poetic desert rose also has further significance; it represents the beauty of opposites colliding, since the desert rose is crystalized between sea and desert. Sea and desert are representative of culture and tradition against development and technology.
10. The giant spider “Maman”
Where to find it: in Qatar National Convention Center
Description: The biggest Sculpture of the Spider-Series by artist Louise Bourgeois is over 9 meters high with its lanky legs and carries a sack with 26 eggs made of marble. The name is French for “Mother”.
What it symbolizes: The spider is a key art piece to understanding the Bourgeois’ art. It is also an homage to the artist’s mother who recovered tapestries. The spider is therefore a metaphor for her work constantly rebuilding the intricate webs. The spider is in the eyes of the artist a friend, protective and helpful.
Wow, Qatar has indeed got some gigantic and enormous buildings, sculptures, statues and beings to showcase. I think we can all agree that all of these don’t only make Qatar seem small, but essentially make us feel small too. In a country as small as Qatar, we need these BIG things to keep us leveled, stimulated, inspired or just entertained! What do you think? Anything else of unusual size and dimension?
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