A football fan’s guide to Qatar Museums

A football fan’s guide to Qatar Museums

Qatar Living
By Qatar Living

As football fans enjoy one of the most inspirational FIFA World Cups in Qatar, those looking for art and culture break between matches have an amazing array of options to choose from, ranging from world-famous museums, cutting-edge exhibitions and heritage sites to outdoor spaces and unexpected public art.

Helpful hints

All Qatar Museums venues are open daily from 10 am until 8 pm, unless otherwise noted. See the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ information page for the latest updates and review Visitor Guidelines for essential information about dress code, photography policies, and other useful tips. 

Plan ahead! Book tickets in advance to secure the preferred day and time to visit. 

What’s On

Whether for an hour or a full morning, visitors will find something to do and see across the network of museums, public parks, heritage sites and public art. 

Museums and Special Exhibitions

Qatar Museums sites and gallery spaces are at the centre of Doha’s thriving cultural landscape.

Don't miss the recently opened 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum, a family-friendly, interactive museum dedicated to sport. Alongside gallery highlights such as a treasured football connected to the one and only Pelè, visitors will find the special exhibition The World of Football.  

Heads up: Visitors to the 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum will need to show a valid admission ticket as well as a Hayya card. 

But there is much more to offer all across Doha, from a celebration of haute couture at the Forever Valentino exhibition on view at M7, to an in-depth look at the storied city of Baghdad at the Baghdad: Eyes Delight exhibition on view at the Museum of Islamic Art. 

At the National Museum of Qatar, visit On the Move to discover an international array of objects, archival footage and historical images that offer a glimpse into the lives of nomadic and semi-nomadic peoples. 

At the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) Park, visit Safar to experience stories of Afghan refugees beginning with a look at Afghanistan's rich history through to 2021’s evacuation process. 

At the Museum of Islamic Art, visit Raku Jikinyū’s ode to Qatar in this exhibition comprising fourteen ceremonial tea bowls.

Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art is home to four cutting-edge, contemporary exhibitions:

  • Qatari American artist Sophia Al-Maria is showcasing her first large-scale museum exhibition in the Middle East. This exhibition consists of a variety of media including installations, video and commissioned soundscapes, to highlight the importance of storytelling as a strategy for survival, imagination, and reclaiming narratives.
  • Presented within a global context of social uncertainty and the fragility of historical narratives, No Condition is Permanent looks at artist Taysir Batniji’s diverse practice and meditations on Palestine.
  • Majaz: Contemporary Art Qatar showcases five years of the Fire Station: Artist in Residence program celebrating young local and regional talent.
  • One Tiger or Another, presented by Rubaiyat Qatar, explores the creative potential of art and media as a means of storytelling through the iconography of the tiger in South and Southeast Asian history.

At QM Gallery Katara, experience Labour of Love as it delves into the symbolism of traditional Palestinian tatreez (embroidery). 

At the Fire Station, visit Experience Al Jazeera to learn more about how the network grew from a single pioneering television channel to a global media phenomenon. And check out the nearby DADU gardens (see below).

Qatar Museums has impressive plans for the future, opening several new museums in the coming years including the Art Mill Museum and Lusail Museum. Take some time to see preview exhibitions of both world-class museums:

  • Discover the new Lusail Museum and the art making its home there at the Lusail Museum: Tales of a Connected World exhibition at QM Gallery Al Riwaq near the Museum of Islamic Art. 
  • Experience architectural transformation at the Art Mill Museum 2030 exhibition and learn about the future vision of this museum dedicated to international modern and contemporary art.

For an overview of all the exhibitions, see Fall 2022: An Exhibition for Every Interest. 

Outdoor Spaces

Nature lovers can enjoy the sunshine in parks and green spaces. The Museum of Islamic Art has expansive gardens that offer amazing views of Doha’s skyline, perfect for an evening picnic. DADU gardens, part of Qatar’s upcoming Children’s Museum, are designed to be ‘living classrooms’ for visitors up to 11 years of age. The park also includes a community garden and an amphitheater.

Qatar’s Unique Heritage

Did you know that Qatar is home to a range of heritage sites, including forts, towers, historic settlements and rock carvings? Most of the heritage sites are free to visit, except for Al Zubarah, where an entry ticket is required. Learn more about timings and entry requirements.

Contemporary Qatar

And finally, contemporary art lovers will find art to love on the beach, in the desert, on the corner of every street. Qatar has an impressive collection of public art, some site-specific, commissioned especially in celebration of the World Cup, and some adorning the city temporarily. The works of widely celebrated contemporary artists, such as Damien Hirst, Richard Serra, and Jeff Koons are on display across the city, free and open to the public. This new interactive public art map can help visitors plan their itinerary.

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