3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum
When open, this museum will demonstrate to the world that sport and Qatar are intrinsically linked. The 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum will be an amazing experience with interactive and unforgettable exhibits, inspiring objects and unique activity areas. It will be constantly updated and designed to educate and entertain, delivering state-of-the-art sport from around the world. Ahead of its opening, the museum is reaching out to residents through temporary shows in venues around Doha. Themes centre around the cultural phenomenon of sport, and include the Olympic Games, as well local and international sports events that occur in Qatar.
Contact: 4452 5555, qm.org.qa, 321.qa
al markhiya gallery Building 5, Katara, Fire Station Artist in Residence
Promotes emerging and established Arab artists. There are two exhibition spaces for al markhiya gallery – Katara Art Center, Building 5 and Fire Station Artist in Residence.
Opening times: Exhibition space, daily 10 am – 9 pm Admission: Free
Contact: 6609 9687, 6600 8750, almarkhiyagallery.com
Anima Gallery and Lounge 30 La Croisette, Porto Arabia, The Pearl‑Qatar
The gallery focuses on local, regional and international contemporary art; there is also a restaurant.
Opening times: Gallery: Sunday to Thursday 10 am – 7 pm, closed Friday and Saturday. Lounge:
Daily 9 am – midnight Admission: Free
Contact: 4402 7437, 4029 6726 (lounge) animagallerylounge.com
Fire Station Artist in Residence
The Fire Station is an interactive artistic platform that brings together talent from various disciplines in one creative and open space. The station was built in 1982 as a Civil Defense building, and was occupied by the fire brigade until late 2012 when it was transformed into an artistic hub. Today the Fire Station is a unique entity in the region, allowing artists to come together in one space to produce artwork and allow for collaborations and interactions with the local, regional and international art scene. The Fire Station hosts several art residency programmes including Artists in Residence programme, New York Art and Residency and Paris Art Residency. It is also the home of Cass Art, an art supplies shop, and Café #999.
Opening times: Saturday to Thursday 9 am – 7 pm; Friday 1:30 pm – 7 pm Admission: Free; Fees apply for temporary exhibitions Contact: 4422 4222, firestation.org.qa, Instagram @dohafirestation
Katara Art Center
The centre is devoted to the support of local and regional art and design. The centre’s mission is also reflected in a rich range of other initiatives – workshops, events and temporary projects.
Opening times: Call ahead. Saturday to Thursday 10 am – 10 pm, Friday 2 pm – 9 pm
Contact: 4408 0244, kataraartcenter.com
Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art
A member of Qatar Foundation (QF), Mathaf is situated in Education City in a renovated former school building. QF is led by HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, while Mathaf is part of QM, led by HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. An initial group of works, gathered by HE Sheikh Hassan bin Mohammed bin Ali Al Thani, was transferred to the public institution. Now holding over 9,000 works collected over the past 30 years, the collection emphasises artistic trends and sites of production of modern art. Mathaf organises major exhibitions, both historical and experimental, and large-scale education programmes, performing an important role as a centre for dialogue, research, and as a resource for fostering creativity.
Opening times: Saturday to Thursday 9 am – 7 pm; Friday 1:30 pm – 7 pm Admission: Free admission for Qatar residents (with Qatar ID); QAR50 for non-residents; QAR25 for students (with student IDs).
Fees apply for temporary exhibitions. The library and café are open during museum hours.
Contact: 4402 8855, mathaf.org.qa
Msheireb Museums celebrate the history of four historic heritage houses in the heart of Msheireb Downtown Doha. Located within the oldest part of the capital, they form an important part of Qatar’s national history. They reveal unique aspects of Qatar’s cultural and social development in inspiring to create trusted environments in which the people of Qatar will engage, converse and exchange thoughts about both their past and their future.
Msheireb Museums are an integral aspect of the inner city’s regeneration of the old commercial centre with its traditional community-based lifestyle. The restoration of the four heritage houses, Bin Jelmood House, Company House, Mohammed Bin Jassim House and Radwani House, into world-class museums forms a vital part of the Msheireb Downtown Doha development. Msheireb Museums is open for guided tours by appointment.
Opening times: Monday to Thursday 9 am – 5 pm, Friday 3 pm – 9 pm, Saturday 9 am – 9 pm, closed Sunday. Last admission 30 minutes before closing. Contact: 4006 5555; [email protected]
Guided tour: msheireb.com/en-us/home/msheirebmuseums
Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) and Al Riwaq
Representing the full scope of Islamic art, the MIA collection includes manuscripts, ceramics, metal, glass, ivory, textiles, wood and precious stones. Collected from three continents, including countries across the Middle East, and reaching as far as Spain and China, the museum’s artworks date from the 7th through to the 20th century.
The pieces represent the diversity of the Islamic world, and are of the highest quality. Designed by noted architect I M Pei, the museum building rises from the sea at the end of Doha’s Corniche. Inspired by classic Islamic architecture, the building further glorifies the pieces contained within it. The MIA is the flagship project of Qatar Museums (QM). There is access to the MIA Park through the museum.
Adjacent to the MIA is the QM Gallery – Al Riwaq, a spacious, contemporary venue, covering a total area of 5,000 sq m, featuring temporary exhibitions by QM with a rotating schedule of exhibits of art and cultural artefacts.
Opening times for MIA and Al Riwaq: Saturday to Thursday 9 am – 7 pm; Friday 1:30 pm – 7 pm. Last admission 30 minutes before closing. Galleries, gift shop and café shut 15 minutes before closing. Admission: Free admission for Qatar residents (with Qatar ID); QAR50 for non-residents. Fees apply for temporary exhibitions. Visitors are asked to dress appropriately. Contact: 4422 4444, mia.org.qa
National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ)
Designed by world-renowned French architect Jean Nouvel, the new 40,000 sq m NMoQ building is forged using an interlocking disc design inspired by the desert rose. The museum is one of the most significant cultural projects and most recognisable landmarks in the country. The NMoQ tells the story of Qatar and its people from more than 700 million years ago to present day.
Serving as a monument to a historic way of life in Qatar, the museum officially opened in March 2019. Seemingly growing organically out of the ground, NMoQ’s structure surrounds the Old Palace of Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani – his family home and seat of the government for 25 years. The museum is organised in three ‘chapters’ – Beginnings, Life in Qatar, and Building the Nation – presented in 11 galleries. The visitor’s chronological journey, which extends through more than 2.7 km of experiences, starts in the geological period long before the peninsula was inhabited by humans and continues to the present day. Oral histories, archival images, artworks, music and storytelling contextualise the impressive array of archaeological and heritage objects as well as manuscripts, documents, photographs, jewellery and costumes.
Opening times: Sunday to Wednesday 9 am to 7 pm; Saturday and Thursday 9 am – 9 pm; Friday
1:30 pm – 7 pm Admission: Free admission for Qatar residents (with Qatar ID), and children at the age of 16 and below; QAR50 for non-residents; QAR25 for students (with student IDs). Fees apply for temporary exhibitions Contact: 4452 5555, nmoq.org.qa
Qatar Photographic Society (QPS) Building 18, Katara
Photographic courses in English and Arabic, call for current schedule. Also ad hoc exhibitions.
Opening times: Daily 8 am – noon and 4 pm – 8 pm Admission: Free; call for details of course fees
Contact: 4408 1812 (Katara, Building 18), qpsphoto.com, katara.net
QM Gallery Katara Building 10, Katara
The gallery is a temporary space allowing the museums in Qatar to present their upcoming collections and host Qatari and international artists. A wide range of exhibitions take place, such as photography, archaeology, art, sports, architecture and sculpture.
Opening times: Saturday to Thursday 9 am – 7 pm, Friday 1:30 pm – 7 pm, closed Sunday
Admission: Free Contact: 4452 5555, qm.org.qa
Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani Museum (FBQ Museum)
At his farm near Al Sheehaniya, 20 km west of Doha, Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani has built his own private museum of more than 15,000 pieces collected from his travels around the world. The museum has a huge and varied collection of artefacts in its different halls including fossils, manuscripts, textiles, weapons, ceramics, woodwork, contemporary art, pre-Islamic coins and foreign currency, as well as a special section devoted to Qatari and Bedouin heritage, including fishing boats and traditional Qatari houses. There are also vintage cars and motorbikes from around the world, with more than 100 models representing every decade of manufacture. The museum also includes the private Al Samriya Farm, which is home to a herd of more than 1,000 Arabian oryx and gazelles, and visitors will see a number of peacocks wandering around the wooded areas. The sizeable farm includes Al Samriya Riding School, a horse riding school at Al Samariyah Equestrian Academy (ASEA), which is an indoor/outdoor riding arena with horse stables for boarding and riding lessons for children and adults.
Opening times: Monday to Thursday 9 am – 4:30 pm; Friday 2 pm – 7 pm;
Saturday 10 am – 6 pm; Sunday 9 am – 4 pm. Visitors are advised to contact the museum in advance.
Admission: Non-resident adults QAR45, resident adults QAR30, children QAR20
Contact: 4486 1444 (Al Samriya), [email protected], fbqmuseum.org,
Getting there: Exit the Dukhan Road at Al Dehailiyat Interchange. If you are coming from Doha, it is the fourth exit on the roundabout; coming from Al Sheehaniya it is the first exit. There is only a small signpost with ‘Museum’ (on brown background, and ‘Al Dehailiyat’ on blue). The next sign has the full name: Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani Museum.
Souq Waqif Art Center Souq Waqif, Exhibitions of local and international modern art.
Opening times: Daily 8 am – 10 pm Admission: Free Contact: 4417 6204
VCUarts Qatar Gallery Qatar Foundation. The art gallery at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUarts Qatar), a centre of excellence for education and research in art and design. There are also exhibitions of work by international artists, staff and students.
Opening times: Sunday to Thursday 9 am – 5 pm Admission: Mostly free/open invitation
Contact: 4402 0555, qatar.vcu.edu