Mal Lawal

Uniquely local

Mal Lawal exhibition took place in 2012. Meaning ‘from the old days’, it invited everyone in Qatar to share the objects that have made an impression and resonated with them throughout their lives. From everyday artefacts and quirky trinkets to contemporary treasures and Qatari art, community-led contributions shaped an incredibly unique show – the first of its kind in the region.

The project represented the shared heritage and passions of local people, both esteemed collectors and amateur enthusiasts. It offered younger people a window to the past, and allowed the nation’s collective character to shine.

The exhibition will return later this year, so do check here for updates and details about how you can take part.

Spotlight on local talent

The exhibition contained a section, curated by Qatar Museums, featuring original works by contemporary Qatari artists including Yousef Ahmed, Wafika Sultan Saif Al-Essa and Wadha Al Suleati amongst others. Full of fresh thinking, it offered an insight into the country’s creative output. It demonstrated huge individual potential and exciting prospects for the future.

Every object tells a tale – there's a hidden narrative in everything. Where did it come from, who made it, how did it come to be in Qatar?

Reaching out

Alongside the exhibition, we ran an extensive outreach and education programme to encourage audiences to connect with the content. It featured a series of lectures by collectors, artists and critics, immersive workshops and specially designed activity books for younger groups. Hopefully, they recognised the importance of collecting, perhaps for the first time. We believe some visitors will have been inspired to start their own personal collections as a result.

Telling stories

Mal Lawal also provided an area where visitors could freely record and share their own stories. This allowed them to contribute to the documenting of Qatar’s heritage and identity, beyond donating objects for the exhibition. This initiative, called Wathiq, is linked to an online forum where all recordings are collated for a broader, digital audience.

Watch the TV commercial for the exhibition
Occidental Petroleum of Qatar Limited, Principal sponsor of Mal Lawal
Principal sponsor of Mal Lawal

Our Blog


His Highness The Father Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani visits ‘Picasso-Giacometti’ exhibition

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani visits ‘Picasso-Giacometti’ exhibition

Read more

8 March 2016

'What About the Art' is coming soon

Preparations are well underway for the opening of a major exhibition from 15 contemporary Chinese artists curated by internationally acclaimed New York based Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang. 

Read more

12 January 2016


As a part of Tuymans' Intolerance exhibition, Qatar’s creative community were challenged to express their views of world events though art. Here are the winning pieces.

Read more

Your Tweets
And Pictures