Fortresses and old castles embody the arts and are the main evidence of traditional Qatari architecture. Landmarks from an era when security was a major priority, several Qatari cities preserve their architectural heritage in the forts scattered around the country
Al Wajbah Fort
Al Rayyan One of the oldest forts in the country, Al Wajbah was the site of the 1893 victory when Qatari forces under the leadership of Sheikh Jassim Bin Mohammed Al-Thani defeated Ottoman invaders in a battle that for many signals the start of the Qatari nation. www.qma.com.qa With high towers and thick walls, Al Wajbah features two large towers and a splendid display of weaponry and details of the fort’s history. Wajbah means ‘meal’ in Arabic, an unusual name for a fort.
Al Zubara Fort
Al Zubarah Part of a UNESCO World Heritage site, the fort is a wonderfully preserved example of a military fortress built in the desert.
Situated 100 km west of Doha in the town of Al Zubara, this fort-turned-museum was constructed in 1938 during the reign of Sheikh Abdullah Bin Jassim Al-Thani. Square-shaped with circular towers in three corners and a rectangular tower in the fourth, today Al Zubarah remains an operational coastguard station. www.qma.com.qa
Umm Salal Built in the early 20th century to serve as watchtowers, Barzan Tower is the western of two towers erected in Umm Salal Mohammed at the eastern end of Doha Corniche. Standing 16 meters tall, Barzan Tower’s “T” shape is considered a unique architectural style in the Gulf region. www.qma.com.qa
Katara Cultural Village
West Bay A modern interpretation of the rich heritage of Arabia, Katara is perfect for a relaxing day of cultural immersion and culinary exploration with family and friends. Katara Cultural Village plays host to theatre troupes, music performances, film festivals and much more. www.katara.net
Mohammed bin Abdulwahab Mosque
Khuwair The State Mosque of Qatar is named in honor of the great reformist, pioneer and Muslim theologian of the 18th century and can accommodate 10,000 worshippers. The building’s design features three main doors, 17 side entrances, 28 large domes covering the central hall and 65 domes covering the outer quadrangle. The Mosque serves as a platform for reform and worship of God, and welcome visitors of all faiths.
Al Markhiya Gallery
Al Markhiya gallery was established with a mission to promote and represent a distinctive group of emerging and established Arab artists in Qatar, the region and throughout the world.
Visitors benefit from Al Markhiya gallery partnerships with major galleries throughout the world, facilitating exchanges of exhibitions and increased exposure for local and regional talent. www.almarkhiyagallery.com
Katara Art Center
Katara Cultural Village Katara Art Center is a collaborative, ground-level art centre that fosters creativity and spurs cultural industries in Doha. Hosting and inspiring both emerging and established artists and designers, Katara connects them to a growing local creative community.
Artists, designers and people of all ages are encouraged to expand and challenge their understanding of contemporary art and creative disciplines when visiting Katara. www.kataraartcenter.com
Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art
Nr Education City Exhibitions, programs and events that explore and celebrate modern and contemporary art, Mathaf offers an Arab perspective on international art.
Conceived by its patron and founder H.E. Sheikh Hassan bin Mohamed bin Ali Al Thani as an inspiring space for dialogue and scholarship about modern and contemporary art in Qatar, Mathaf opened to the public in 2010.
Mathaf is located in a converted school building on the edge of Education City, off Al-Luqta Street. www.mathaf.org.qa
Museum of Islamic Art
Doha Corniche Gaze upon 14 centuries of Islamic art and artefacts all contained within a masterpiece of architecture designed by world-famous architect, I.M. Pei.
Located at the south end of Doha Bay, the museum is the first of its kind in the Arabian Gulf. Drawing influence from ancient Islamic architecture, the museum showcases a world class collection spanning 1,400 years in Qatar’s iconic masterpiece on the Doha waterfront. www.mia.org.qa
Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani Museum
Holding enormous cultural significance in Qatar and internationally, the Sheikh Faisal Museum boasts a very special collection of unique and extraordinary artefacts from Islamic Art, Qatar Heritage, Vehicles and Coins & Currency from five continents. www.fbqmuseum.org
Souq Waqif Arts Center
Al Ahmed Street, Central Doha Presenting a selection of small & artistic shops with exhibition rooms laid out around a long narrow courtyard, the Souq Waqif Art Center is located in Qatar’s cultural quarter, close to the Fish Market.
Exhibitions have included The Islamic Arts, with displays of ancient calligraphy, some dating back centuries, carpets and photography.
Stroll along the history-inspired alleys amidst a variety of traditional merchandise, or sit down for a coffee and watch the world go by – a true taste of old Arabia with a modern twist.
Nr Ali Bin Abdullah Street, Central Doha With gold reaching record prices around the globe, it remains a bargain commodity in this part of the world. Gold on display in the Gold Souq ranges from spectacular Indian and Arab bridal jewellery through to humble bracelets, all created in 18 carat or 22 carat. Many visitors choose to take home gold and, with government regulation guaranteeing purity, you can be assured gold purchased in Qatar is high quality.
Nr Wholesale Market, Bu Hamour Visiting the Omani Market is a fascinating shopping experience. You will discover many plants, pots, garden materials and a selection of woven mats and baskets imported from Oman and, increasingly, Iran and India on sale.
Take the time to browse before bargaining withthe friendly and enthusiastic vendors for a better price – it is all part of the authentic shopping experience at the Omani Market.
Thursday and Friday Market
Salwa Rd, Ain Khaled Located opposite the Fish Market, this vibrant market comes alive on in Thursday and Friday evenings for visitors seeking out a variety of authentic goods and bargains. Browse through assorted perfumes, clothes, carpets, fabrics and household items, all at a much lower price than a shop or supermarket. Be sure to arrive early to get the best selection of goods ahead of the crowds.
Al Ahmed Street, Central Doha Every hour of day and night, Souq Waqif bustles with people walking the alleys window-shopping or enjoying shisha with friends and family at one of countless authentic restaurants.
An excellent place to gather, shop for traditional knick-knacks or just enjoy a good meal, Souq Waqif offers boutique hotels and dozens of restaurants specialising in international cuisines.
Live performances and seasonal festivals, street artists and traditional folk troupes transform Souq Waqif into a one-of-a-kind cultural bazaar in Qatar.