The 12th Conference of Culture Ministers in the Islamic world, organized by the Islamic World Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) and hosted by the State of Qatar through the Ministry of Culture, has officially designated the city of Lusail as the Capital of Culture in the Islamic world for the year 2030.
This decision was made during the ministerial meeting, where they discussed and adopted the mechanisms of the ISESCO program for Islamic world capitals.
The selection of Lusail as the Capital of Culture in the Islamic world is a recognition of the exceptional efforts and success of the Ministry of Culture in Qatar during its tenure as the Capital of Culture in the Islamic world.
The current approach to selecting cultural capitals in the Islamic world is primarily based on the principles outlined in the ISESCO document. It emphasizes the need to celebrate cities with prominent cultural histories, revive their cultural and civilizational achievements, promote cultural and civilizational dialogue, and strengthen values of coexistence and understanding among peoples. In addition, these cities are expected to distinguish themselves through modern urban structures and possess cultural, artistic, and creative facilities that attract intellectuals, artists, and creators, as well as a wide audience from both residents and visitors. Furthermore, they should contribute significantly to the creative industries that play a pivotal role in achieving economic development.
The document also underscores that the new approach presented by ISESCO in the selection of cultural capitals in the Islamic world for the coming years is aligned with the guiding principles on culture and the city, which were adopted by the Conference of Culture Ministers in the Islamic World during its tenth session in Khartoum in November 2017. These principles call for the preservation and revitalization of historic centres in member states rich in diverse cultural heritage, turning them into hubs of sustainable cultural revitalization. This involves organizing new cultural events around these cultural heritage sites, revitalizing them with modern cultural facilities, and making them vibrant centres for various cultural and artistic activities. This approach has been incorporated into urban planning for these cities and encompasses concepts such as creative districts, integrated cultural complexes, or creative cultural cities. These initiatives have significantly contributed to the urban development of these cities and enhanced their image on a global scale.
ISESCO announced that the new format of the Capitals of Culture in the Islamic World program includes additional cities that have previously served as cultural centres and hubs with the Islamic world, even if they are not currently members of the ISESCO. This expansion is carried out in cooperation with regional and international partners, serving the interests of the Islamic world and enhancing its international presence.
ISESCO has selected six cities to hold the title of Capital of Culture in the Islamic world for the coming years, starting with Shusha in the Republic of Azerbaijan in 2024, followed by Samarkand in the Republic of Uzbekistan in 2025, then Hebron in Palestine in 2026, and Abidjan in the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire in 2026. This will be followed by Siwa in the Arab Republic of Egypt in 2027, leading to the celebration of Lusail in the State of Qatar as the Capital of Culture in the Islamic world in 2030.
The city of Lusail is considered a historical, cultural beacon, and its name is derived from Qatar's authentic heritage and its cultural values. The name is also associated with one of the rarest flowers in Qatar, symbolizing the uniqueness of the city and the seamless blend of Doha's heritage and modernity.
The city covers an area of 38 square kilometres and includes four exclusive islands, 19 multi-purpose residential areas, as well as recreational and commercial uses. This vibrant city boasts 22 world-class hotels, making it a gift for hospitality, tourism, and investments in Qatar.
The city stands out with its wide array of upscale shops, fine dining restaurants, residential spaces, offices, hotels, parks, water gardens, theatres, fitness centres, and multi-screen cinemas. There are plans to open the new Lusail Museum in the coming years.
The area includes the iconic Lusail Stadium, which can accommodate up to 80,000 spectators and hosted several matches for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, including the tournament's closing ceremony and the final match.
Lusail City is also a sustainable city for several reasons, including the rating by the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS). All residential and office buildings in Lusail are rated at least two stars, with some achieving three, four, and five-star ratings. The city relies on modern, non-traditional transportation networks, such as the metro, light rail, and tram. The comprehensive urban plan aims to reduce distances, thereby decreasing the reliance on car usage. The city features green spaces and parks covering an area of 3.5 million square meters, using treated water for irrigation. Additionally, it preserves a 27-kilometre coastline and has created artificial coral reefs along the waterfront.
Image credit: Shutterstock
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