Qatar is well known for its high investments in culture and art. The latest
developments in Corniche Bay include the Museum of Islamic Art, Mathaf: Arab
Museum of Modern Art, Al Khor Museum, Al Wakra Museum, Orientalist Museum,
Weaponry Museum, Sheikh Faisal Museum, Museum of Modern Arab Art and Qatar
The Katara Cultural Village is an important addition to the city because of
its cultural events. Situated on the eastern coast of Doha, the cultural village
is an integrated cultural landmark that possesses the character of a historic
and inspirational breeding ground for arts and culture in Qatar. The village is
built on 1 square kilometer.
The village includes an open amphitheater, an opera house, a cinema that can
double as a drama theatre, a multi-purpose hall, a handicrafts souq, a book
stall, and a beach, in addition to a rich variety of international cuisine.
Katara hosts entertaining and informative festivals, exhibitions, forums, and
other cultural events, while it also accentuates Doha’s globally recognized
position as the capital of Arab culture.
According to Public Relations Manager Nabil Maaoui, the vision of Katara was
to build a common ground to promote dialogue and exchange on cultural, artistic,
intellectual and innovative matters in addition to contributing to the
achievements of the Qatar National Vision 2030.
Established by Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of the State of
Qatar, Katara not only aims to develop local artists and talents, but
international ones as well.
“We designed Katara to be a top tourist attraction capable of welcoming
visitors from all over the world,” Maaoui said. “We sporadically arranged the
various buildings and facilities in such a way to look and feel like an old
traditional Qatari alley [Al Fareeg].”
Katara aims to create an environment suitable for nurturing and activating
the cultural and innovative activities in the country and to be a cultural hub
and a meeting place for the educated and the creative.
One of the main objectives of the village is to raise public cultural
awareness through festivals, exhibitions, forums and other cultural events and
to invest in the buildings and facilities of Katara.
Museums and culture in Doha
Katara also conducted research and studies, Nabil said, and the village would
publish prints and periodicals promoting its goals and activities.
To fulfill its mission Katara coordinates and cooperates with public
ministries and authorities, the private sector and organizations in the Gulf,
Arab and international arenas.
According to Fethiye Erbay, a scholar of museum management at Istanbul
University, Qatar’s architectural development in recent years included many
modern and postmodern features. Qatar acquired its architectural aesthetics
through its social and historical process.
Qatari Emir Hamad has played a very important role in terms of
institutionalizing the museums, Erbay said to Hürriyet Daily News. The Feb. 21,
2007 presentation she created titled “The Role of Technology in the Medical
Museum” was viewed by the Al Thani family. “This also shows how the museums are
important for the family,” Erbay said.
Erbay said the number of museums in Qatar had recently increased. The Museum
of Islamic Art was an example of the modernization movement of Doha through its
Egyptian, Sumerian and Asian influences, among others.
“The museum, which was made with the inspiration of pyramids, is a very
significant building in Doha,” Erbay said.
Erbay was able to watch the process of the museum creation. “The museum
gathers traditional Qatari architecture from classical museums and modern
museums. The museum building and its environment is in relation. The water
concept that signifies life and the world is around the building.