Cultural Heritage Management
Means and Methods
We engage in archaeological field work daily and are continuously excavating and conserving heritage structures across Qatar.
We work in urban Doha, the coastal regions of Qatar’s north, and the remote desert areas of the south.
Preventive Archaeological Activities
Rescue and preventive archaeology make up most of our archaeological activities in Qatar. These two disciplines are currently the most useful tools to answer the needs of a fast growing country and a thoughtful population keen to protect its heritage.
These undertakings comprise desktop studies, field surveys, recording of buildings, watching briefs, trial pitting and rescue excavations, and are performed prior to any development project. They are essential to figure out if a development project affects or alters heritage assets.
Developers in Qatar are forced to obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from QM during the design phase of their projects.
Urban Fabric of Old Doha
In the first half of the 20th century, the urban fabric of Doha was largely made up of one and two story houses. These consisted of rectangular dwelling units surrounding a courtyard that might have included arcades on one or more sides. The buildings were clustered closely together, separated only by narrow alleys. The inner courtyard served as the core of the house and was open to the sky, providing ventilation and sunlight. Materials such as stone, mud and plaster were used to construct the houses, usually with a flat roof supported by danshal, mangrove beams. Many of these traditional buildings have been reused and modified to meet the needs of modern living.
In the mid-1950s building techniques changed when concrete and cement blocks were introduced to construction and, by the 1960s and 70s, buildings were almost entirely made of concrete and cement blocks. These early modern buildings often imitated the design of traditional houses, with an inner courtyard and rooms aligned along the sides, two or occasionally three stories high. Later, the urban fabric of Doha was transformed yet again, as modern and high-rise buildings were built with concrete, cement blocks, metal and glass, in a distinctly contemporary design.
Explore our projects on the urban fabric of Old Doha:
Cultural Heritage Database - QCHIMS
In 2009 we started recording field surveys, remote sensing and marine geophysics project data through a cooperative project between Qatar Museums and Birmingham University, called the Qatar National Historic Environment Record (QNHER).
Since then, we’ve implemented and launched a system extension, Qatar Cultural Heritage Information Management System (QCHIMS), designed to manage all key datasets in a central, integrated database, easily accessible by all staff and stakeholders. It integrates the data of QNHER, which manages the major datasets about heritage areas. QCHIMS is an effective and sustainable working tool for us, across our disciplines. The database is fully bilingual (Arabic and English) and implemented in a modular way.
Our work extends to cultural tourism, developing the concept itself and defining the importance of it. We place a strong focus on engaging and mobilizing local communities to participate in cultural life, as well as our international visitors. As part of this work, we produce self-guided tours of various lengths that offer visitors a personalised journey through QM’s museums, galleries and heritage sites.
Our team works on several projects in cooperation with international organisations. These include: