Years of Culture



Experience The Rich Traditions of Qatar


Qatar is an extraordinary meeting of worlds, where the contemporary and the traditional coexist in perfect harmony. As a futuristic Smart City, Doha is often known for its avant-garde and innovative architecture, yet Qatar is also a nation steeped in tradition, with a long and proud cultural history. Here are three of the most fascinating sites to discover and experience the Qatar of the past, alongside the Qatar of today.
A corner of Katara Cultural Village with ornate facades of the blue mosque and one of the pigeon towers in the background.
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Al Zubarah fort

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Al Zubarah fort offers a glimpse into Qatar’s history. Adjacent to the walled coastal town of Al Zubarah, this 20th century fort is the youngest and most prominent feature of the Al Zubarah Archaeological Site, a UNESCO World Heritage site.  

A pristine example of a typical Arab fort, its one-meter-thick walls warded off invaders and helped keep rooms cool during the hot summer.  This important site houses residential palaces, mosques, courtyard houses, fishermen’s huts, streets, double defensive walls, a harbour, a canal, and cemeteries.

The fort overlooks the ruins of a once bustling pearling and trading town which bore witness to fierce tribal battles in the 18th century as powerful empires fought for regional dominance.  Today, the fort has been transformed into a museum where visitors can explore artefacts from the pearl diving era. 

Katara Cultural Village

Katara Cultural Village is an exceptional cultural project that epitomises the blend of tradition and modernity at the heart of Qatari Culture. 

The village is home to an astonishing collection of cultural and arts venues, including an elegant opera house, classical Greek-style amphitheatre, planetarium, museums, galleries and more. Katara Mosque is a breathtaking explosion of colour, while the nearby Gold Mosque gleams in the sunlight with its golden facade. 

Katara also hosts international, regional and local festivals, conventions, exhibitions, live performances and workshops, welcoming visitors from around the world. 

A breathtaking waterfront, fabulous restaurants and cafes and plenty of green spaces make this a truly family friendly destination with something to captivate every interest. 

Explore Souq Waqif

Souq Waqif is a traditional marketplace built on the original site of a historic Bedouin trading market. Fully renovated in 2008, the buildings and bustling atmosphere of the souq feel like stepping back in time.

Meander through charming alleyways, browsing wares from exotic spices and traditional handicrafts to unusual garments and gifts, or watch the world go by from one of the many outdoor restaurants and shisha lounges. 

A particularly unique experience is a visit to the Falcon Souq, catering to the traditional sport of Falconry in Qatar, with many striking birds of prey and even a dedicated Falcon Hospital.  

Other historical sites offering a glimpse into the rich history of the State of Qatar include the 18th Century Al Wajbah Fort, the Barzan Towers and UNESCO world heritage site, Al Zubarah, a beautifully-preserved gulf merchant town.