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Updated by Joanna James on Apr 27, 2020
Headline for 5 Interesting facts about Qatar National Museum – Things You Need to Know before Visiting
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5 Interesting facts about Qatar National Museum – Things You Need to Know before Visiting

From the design to the purpose, here are some of the interesting facts that you should know about this architectural masterpiece.
After several years of construction, the new National Museum of Qatar was open to public on 28th March 2019. Also known as the "Desert Rose", this museum displays the rich cultural heritage, artifacts and other oral histories of Qatar through commissioned film and art. As this is the latest addition to the excursions list in the country, it is a must to visit this museum during your trip to Qatar. Amongst the many hotels in Doha Qatar, if you stay in a hotel that is closer to the museum such as Souq Waqif Boutique Hotels by Tivoli, you will be able to visit this museum within 30 minutes of time.


Purpose of the museum

The new museum is dedicated to portray the rich cultural history of the country. The 560,000 square foot museum presents 700 million years of the country's history arranged in three chronological phases through 11 permanent galleries. The phases are; beginning, life in Qatar and the modern history and heritage of the country


Architect behind the project

Main architect behind this $434 million building is Pritzker Prize-winning French architect Jean Nouvel, who's other designs include Louvre Abu Dhabi, Burj Doha and One Central Park in Sydney.


Building design

The museum is also known as "Desert Rose" due to its unique design of the building. It is constructed using large interlocking discs to give the look of a desert rose, a crystal that creates naturally in rigid regions. This new structure was built around the museum's previous home which happens to be the restored historic palace of Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani, who is the son of modern Qatar's founder.


Cinematic displays

Interior angular surfaces of this modern museum are covered with films and dioramas portraying the evolution of Qatari's. The country's 700-million-year old history is portrayed in the gallery space arranged in a 1.5 km walk way inside the gallery chronologically from the inception to the modern days providing a good understanding about the country's history and its development. One of the galleries showcases a nine-minute short film on "Life in the desert" by one of the famous Mauritanian writer-director Abderrahmane Sissako.


Sculptural work

As much as in the inside, more of Desert Rose's sculptural work can be seen outside the building too. The central courtyard showcases "On Their Way- a group of four camels" by the French artist Roch Vandromme that denotes Qatar's nomadic history. ALFA, is another such installation of 114 standalone black fountains that gets activated every hourly. These fountains denote reeds that are used by Arabic calligraphers to make pens. In addition, there is another 3000-foot-long installation done by another French artist - Michel Othoniel that is set in the park surrounding the Desert Rose.

In addition, this modern museum also a range of cafes, restaurants, an auditorium and its own shop to give a unique experience to its local and international visitors alike.

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