Years of Culture

Building bridges between nations

Every year, we run a cultural exchange programme that aims to convey Qatar to an international audience. Through a variety of exhibitions, festivals, competitions and events, our programmes promote mutual understanding, recognition and appreciation between countries. They invite people to explore their cultural similarities, as well as their differences. 

Qatar India 2019

The Years of Culture is a unique initiative by the State of Qatar to deepen its ties with nations and people around the world through mutual cultural collaborations. As the guest country for 2019, India partnered with Qatar to explore and celebrate their cultural similarities and differences, bringing the two nations closer. The selection of programmes were based on 12 pillars that included theatre, music, museums, exhibitions, sports, cinema, photography, sustainability, literature, education, fashion and design.

Both countries facilitated the exchange of ideas, knowledge and experiences of traditional and contemporary culture, via a host of workshops, performances, exhibitions, talk and events. In the true spirit of fostering cultural exchange, this years’ programme enabled people from both nations to forge long-lasting, collaborative relationships, strengthen their friendships and gain enriching experiences.


Qatar Russia 2018 

The award-winning Igor Moiseyev Ballet marked the beginning of the Qatar Russia 2018 Year of Culture. The performance, directed by Elena Shcherbakova, renowned artistic and executive director of Igor Moiseyev State Academic Ensemble of Popular Dance, is part of Qatar Museums’ (QM) Years of Culture initiative. 


Qatar Russia 2018 Post Image

Qatar-Germany 2017

In partnership with the Goethe-Institut Gulf Region and the German Embassy Doha. The broad and varied programme involves a number of high profile organisations in Qatar including the Qatar National Library, Doha Film Institute, Katara, and the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra.

The year-long programme involves exhibitions, competitions and events – all designed to promote mutual understanding, recognition and appreciation between Qatar and the Federal Republic of Germany.

Qatar Germany 2017 logo

Qatar-China 2016

This year, we celebrate the cultural ties between Qatar and China. The Qatar-China 2016 Year of Culture will connect cultures and promote mutual understanding. It will celebrate and explore common values between each of our cultures, breaking down barriers and opening minds.

This is a partnership that will further demonstrate that Qatar is a cultural destination open to the world. We hope that it will bring a taste of China’s culture to Qatar, and take our heritage, art and traditions to the world.

More about Years of Culture

Qatar-Turkey 2015

In 2015, we explored the contemporary and traditional cultures of Turkey, including world class exhibitions, such as the travelling Pearls exhibition, educational programmes and cultural exchanges across both countries.


Qatar-Turkey 2015 logo

Qatar-Brazil 2014

In 2014, we ran an exciting cultural exchange programme with Brazil. It built on a legacy of artistic exchange between the two nations and celebrated their combined spirit. Although Qatar and Brazil may seem worlds apart, they have enjoyed close ties in recent years.

Qatar Brazil 2014 Cultural Exchange Program

Qatar-UK 2013

We had huge success with Qatar-UK in 2013. We held the Ehtifal family festival at the Serpentine Gallery in London in July, just one of the collaborative events.


Qatar UK 2013 Ehtifal Family Festival

Qatar-Japan 2012

We launched Qatar-Japan in 2012, a year of many firsts, including Japanese artist Takashi Murakami's first major exhibition in Doha, which was part of the programme.


Japanese artist Takashi Murakami
"The Years of Culture initiative reflects upon and displays Qatar’s past, present and future by creating and interpreting culture through art. It brings world cultures to Qatar and takes our heritage, art and traditions to the world"
Safiya Al Hajari, QM Director of Strategic Cultural Relations

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