Last Updated on June 9, 2023 by Molly Egan
The art in Qatar, the number of museums, art in public places, and the fun for all ages and interests are impressive – it will pleasantly take you by surprise!
Qatar Offering An Artistic Freedom
Qatar provides a platform for artists to express themselves freely through its diverse museums and cultural institutions, fostering an environment that encourages artistic exploration and creativity.
If you are visiting Qatar with those that are not interested in seeing the newest Qatari artist creations at M7, top galleries, or walking through Islamic culture art then see this list of best things to do in Qatar.
Little Visibility for Qatar’s Growing Art Scene
Qatar’s art scene is rapidly growing and evolving, but it still needs to gain global visibility and recognition. Many initiatives and efforts exist to increase exposure and promote local artists internationally.
The Qatar Foundation has been instrumental in the growth opportunities to showcase Qatari artists and bring modern and contemporary art to the capital city. We are eager to see the growth of the art and artwork in Qatar.
Qatar Museums on the Map
Qatar’s museums have gained international acclaim, with world-class institutions like the Museum of Islamic Art and the National Museum of Qatar firmly putting Qatar’s cultural heritage and contemporary art scene on the global map.
Leaders in the Qatar Museums have expressed the goal for Doha to be the Art Mecca of the middle east. The number of art pieces and rotating art installation
Art in Qatar
The public art of Qatar is scattered through Qatar’s urban fabric and full of worldwide renowned artists, and Qatari artists are pretty impressive – the scale and density compared to this city’s size.
Public art is available in the Hamad International Airport, Katara cultural village, outside art galleries, Msheireb Downtown Doha, the national museum, and several Qatar museums. We compiled a list of our top favorites – consider it a scavenger hunt!
Modern and contemporary art selection in Qatar has big names that any art collector would know. These familiar artists include Louise Bourgeois, Jeff Koons, Richard Serra, Damien Hirst, and César Baldaccini.
Qatari Women In Art
Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani is instrumental in Qatari society’s art and museums. Her advocacy for art in Qatar and the growing number of Qatari artists is admirable. She’s a must follow in Instagram!
Top Art Galleries and Museums:
Museum of Islamic Art
National Museum of Qatar
Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art
Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum
Fire Station Museum
Al Zubarah Archaeological Site
Al Riqaq Gallery
Arab Postal Stamp Museum
Museum of Illusions Doha
1. Museum of Islamic Art
One of Qatar’s most iconic museums, MIA has a magnificent collection of rare Islamic art spanning over 1,400 years – It houses a vast array of Islamic art and artifacts from around the world, spanning over 1,400 years.
2. National Museum of Qatar
Innovative architecture inspired by the desert rose and designed by Jean Nouvel. The National Museum of Qatar offers a unique experience through its innovative architecture. Explore Qatar’s history, culture, and heritage, providing visitors with an immersive journey through time.
Insiders Tip: Plan on two hours to enjoy it all and then eat at the cafe!
3. Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art
This museum is a leading institution for modern and contemporary Arab art. The museum features diverse artworks, exhibitions, and educational programs in Education City, Doha.
4. Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum
This museum has a diverse collection of over 30,000 artifacts worldwide. This private museum showcases the personal collection of Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani, a prominent Qatari businessman.
The museum houses many artifacts, including Islamic art, vintage cars, traditional Qatari handicrafts, and historical documents. Unique but crazy and chaotic with the variety and the quantity – it’s way more than 30,0000 curiosities.
Insider’s Tip: You may go up to three times and only see some of it!
5. Msheireb Museums
Explore Qatari heritage through restored heritage houses. Each home explores a different aspect of Qatari life, including heritage, architecture, and traditions.
Radwani House Comprising four restored heritage houses in Doha’s Msheireb Downtown area, the Msheireb Museums offer insights into Qatar’s social, cultural, and political history.
6. M7 Incubator
M7 is a fashion incubator and art gallery with exhibitions. It showcases more fashion with local artisans.
7. Fire Station Museum
An art museum housed in a converted fire station in Doha, this contemporary museum space hosts both local and international artists. In 2014 it was reopened as an ‘adaptive reuse project’ to host the Artist in Residence initiative.
The artist-in-residence program has residencies in New York and Paris for Qatari residents.
8. Al Zubarah Archaeological Site
UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring the ruins of an 18th-century town. While not a traditional museum, the Al Zubarah Archaeological Site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that offers a glimpse into Qatar’s history as a vibrant trading hub.
Visitors can explore the ruins of an 18th-century coastal town and learn about its significance.
Insiders Tip: Go to the ‘shadows traveling on the Sea of the Day’ exhibit around the corner.
9. National Library
This modern building is a beautiful library that has an archive in the cellar level with more than 2,400 manuscripts.
The Heritage Library’s collection consists of Qur’ānic manuscripts. Some of the collection dates back to the 15th century!
Insider’s Tip: Take a walk in education city and marvel at the modern architecture.
10. Al Riqaq Gallery
This temporary gallery rotating art installation showcases contemporary art exhibitions. It is next to the Museum of Islamic Art, so check it out on your way to walk all the art along the Doha Corniche.
11. Anima Gallery
Features contemporary art by emerging and established artists.
12. Katara Amphitheater
The cultural venue hosts various performances and events.
13. Arab Postal Stamp Museum
Collection of stamps from 22 Arab countries.
14. Museum of Illusions Doha
Interactive optical illusion exhibits. Insiders Tip: The vortex tunnel is quite the Instagrammable moment!
As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities to see art galleries and art museums throughout Qatar. Our favorite hidden gem is the “The Golden Thumb Statue” by César Baldaccini in Souq Waqif.
Insiders Tip for Families and Kids: Check out the Dadu Gardens. It’s a great place to run around, and you’ll find a Jeff Koons sculpture! Soon, the Dadu Children’s Museum will be complete.