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 Photography Museum.
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.