Coming from the city center, on our way to The Pearl, our cab passed by a huge construction site in the middle of (almost) nowhere. One sign points a road going to a place called Katara Cultural Village. In an instant, we were wooed to check it out.
As its name implies, Katara houses a lot of museums, galleries, studios and an amphitheater that obviously features art, festivals, memorabilia and anything one can put under the “cultural” category. Our cab dropped us in a huge cobbled parking lot. A few steps is a beach that charges a ridiculous 100 riyals per head. We walked past the beach and hop on one of the golf carts that took us to the heart of the village. The ride was pretty long and after all the walking we did that day, I bet we won’t be able to reach that area had we decided to travel by foot.
We were welcomed by these twin pigeon towers located next to the Persian-motif mosque. I remember seeing photographs of these pigeon towers before but never knew that I’d find them here in Doha.
From there, we walked further and found ourselves in a labyrinth of streets that has exhibitions, artist studios and museums. Artworks are almost everywhere and it’s lovely how they pop out of the monotonous beige buildings.
There were a lot of exhibitions that time so we hop from one gallery to another. As we walk further, we heard music playing from somewhere. We followed and looked where it was coming from and found ourselves out in the narrow streets, where more artworks were on display and a festival was going on.
I find these sculptures really cool!
There it goes, an African festival where a lot of singing, dancing, chanting and drumming going on. Booths were also set up for each African country in which they can tell you more about their country and sell/display native goods.
I particularly liked this stand selling African portraits. The style and the strokes are lovely — I wish I could take home one of these or make similar art at least.
These ladies were demonstrating their art of hair braiding. I can tell that it hurts by the way they’re pulling the hair strands.
These cute kids were in for a jembe lesson.
After going over the African feast, we headed to an exhibition named Designed To Win, which features the design revolutions of various sports equipment. It’s entertaining and informative even for the not-sporty type *ehem* like me. Designed to Win will run until the 23rd of June. The friendly security personnel told us that the exhibit will be “touring” around GCC. We’ll watch out then when it will be coming to Dubai.
We capped our Katara experience with a good few minutes of people-watching from the amphitheater. This cultural village caters to everyone whatever your interests are — may it be art, history, dining, family time or just plain hanging out.
Here’s to looking forward to the final touches of the cultural village. I know it’d be more awesome once all the construction stuff are done.
Katara Cultural Village
West Bay Lagoon, Doha, Qatar
+974 4 408 0000