Celebrating more than a decade of success

At Qatar Museums, we are proud to celebrate more than a decade of success since our inception as a national institution designed to develop, promote and sustain the cultural sector to the highest global standards.

Since our inception in 2005, we have focused on art, creativity and heritage. Our role has also been closely aligned with the Qatar 2030 National Vision, to transfer Qatar from an oil-based economy into a thriving knowledge-based economy. During this time, under the guidance of our visionary Chairperson, H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, we have made considerable progress in realising this vision by connecting the nation’s cultural institutions and heritage sites and creating the conditions for them to thrive and flourish.

Through the hard work and enthusiasm of all who work for the organisation, we have made significant progress in realising our vision, to show how Qatar is open to the world, to enrich the lives of all those who live in and visit our country, and to inspire an indigenous culture of creativity and innovation within the Qatari community.

As we look back on our achievements since 2005, we have built an exciting creative future for Qatar. 

ART: We have strived to make art an integral to daily life in Qatar and brought it to new audiences

We have developed incredible collections. Over the years, we have invested in the success of world-class institutions including the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA), Mathaf, the opening of the Fire Station, the QM Gallery Al Riwaq, Al Zubarah Heritage Visitor Centre and the QM Gallery in Katara.

Mathaf has established itself as a world-class museum of modern art in Qatar and hosts an array of outstanding exhibitions of modern and contemporary art. We have made great progress in establishing a leading platform for modern Arab artists as well as a space for innovation and expression for the local community. Today, Mathaf holds the world’s largest collection of modern art across the Arab world.

MIA has rapidly become an iconic feature of the Doha landscape and houses one of the world’s greatest collections of Islamic Art. The museum continues to achieve milestone successes and attracts an increasing number of visitors through it’s expansive collections, diverse exhibitions and school out-reach programme.


Through the years, we have brought some of the world’s leading contemporary artists to Qatar to inspire future generations of artistic talent and engage the community. We have also placed a great emphasis on celebrating home grown and established artistic talent, including Yousef Ahmed and Faraj Daham, and celebrate the influence and impact of Arab artists more generally.


Our public art pieces have brought art to the streets of Doha on a huge scale with high impact and mass appeal. Today, everyone in Qatar can access and interact with culture as they go about their daily lives; from unique and innovative desert sculptures, to public art in the departures lounge of the New Hamad International Airport and archaeological sites and finds.

HERITAGE: We have honoured the traditions of the past while embracing the future

We have paid close attention to honouring our historical past by protecting and documenting Qatar’s heritage. The ancient, cultural significance of our country’s history was fully recognized by the international community when in 2013 UNESCO designated the fortified ruins of Al Zubarah as Qatar's first world heritage site in recognition of its special cultural and physical significance.  Our dedicated team have also made great strides in excavating, restoring, protecting and promoting the sites of Qatar that flourished long ago.


The Mal Lawal biennale invited everyone in Qatar to share objects that have made an impression and resonated with them throughout their lives. The exhibition represented the heritage and passion of local people. 

CREATIVITY: We have nurtured emerging talent

We have continuously strived to seed creative networks and have invested in emerging local talent, developing a wealth of initiatives to inspire an indigenous culture of creativity and innovation. This includes running school’s programmes – inviting school children to our museums to take part in workshops inspired by our exhibitions; the creation of Mathaf’s Project Space, dedicated to emerging artists and curators’ experimentations with new ideas; and the opening of the Fire Station: Artist in Residence programme in 2015.

CULTURAL DIPLOMACY: We have created sustainable platforms for collaboration and cultural exchange

Since 2012, we have been running a landmark cultural exchange programme ‘Years of Culture’. Our Years of Culture initiative has been hugely successful, and works to deepen the understanding between two countries and their people through the mutual exchange of arts, culture, heritage along with promoting cultural dialogue and programmes that build bridges between nations.


This year our partner nation is The People's Republic of China, previous Years of Culture partnerships were Qatar Japan 2012, Qatar UK 2013 and Qatar Brazil 2014 and Qatar Turkey 2015. 

What’s to come

We look forward to the opening of the National Museum of Qatar – a futuristic, iconic, world class building designed by architect Jean Nouvel, modelled sensitively around the refurbished Old Palace that was the traditional home of the old NMQ and the 3,2,1 Olympic and Sports Museum, which will promote the positive value of sport and will showcase the origins, development and significance of sports culture within Qatar and beyond.

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