Travelers can reveal the charm of Qatar through Doha’s cultural treasures. The city is filled with unique gems that explore the rich history of the country and the Islamic world.
One of the first places to head is to the marketplace.
Souq Waqif is Doha’s central market. It is a maze of alleyways that form a labyrinth of unique shops, cafes and galleries. They are one of the city’s major tourist attractions, and shopping is just one reason to visit. The souqs are a cultural and architectural touchstone in the city.
Many travelers come to purchase carpets, rugs and textiles, Bedouin weaving, Arabic coffee pots, antique silver, incense burners, prayer beads, jewelry boxes, regional art, handicrafts and more.
It’s not just a place to find authentic treasures. There are shisha lounges, art galleries and traditional restaurants and cafes. Visitors can also come to the souqs to learn about falconry or see Arabian horses at the stables.
For those looking to take a deeper dive into Qatari culture, travelers can explore 14 centuries of history in one building at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA).
The museum, designed by IM Pei, is an architectural gem as well as a treasure trove of artifacts that depict the long history of Islamic culture.
The award-winning collections include paintings, glassworks, metalwork, ceramics, textiles and manuscripts and cover periods as important as Mughal and Safavid.
Doha is home to several more museums housing even more treasures.
Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani Museum is a private collection of more than 15,000 exhibits covering a spectrum of arts, artifacts and equipment, as well as many everyday household items.
The Mathaf museum is located in Doha’s Education City and features an Arab perspective on contemporary art. There is also the Doha Fire Station museum, a community of studios with residency programs for artists. Al Riwaq is another modern art space in a warehouse with groundbreaking exhibitions.
Visitors can also explore Qatar Museums Gallery, the Arab Postage Stamp Museum and Al Markhiya Gallery.