The Qatar National Museum is the largest museum in Doha, the capital of Qatar. The museum was inaugurated in June 1975 in the restored palace of Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al-Thani who had used it as his residence. The museum is located on the eastern part of the Doha Corniche and the museum complex comprises of the Old Palace, the Archeological and Natural History Museum building, a Lagoon and Maritime Museum & Aquarium. The museum is divided into two divisions – the museum and the aquarium. The museum allows you to peep into a kaleidoscope which reveals the country’s customs, crafts, history, habit, and habitat.
The Qatar National Museum is located on the eastern part of the Corniche. The palace is surrounded by high walls. Beyond the walls and surrounding the palace you can see a lagoon that was a part of the sea until the Corniche was built. The museum is popular with the tourists and local visitors. The restoration of the palace building has been done so carefully and painstakingly that it has the rare distinction of winning the prestigious Aga Khan award for restoration of Islamic Architecture. The museum is the largest in Doha and it is agreed that it is the best museum. The highlight of the museum is a lagoon where traditional dhows are moored.
The Qatar National Museum is built around a central courtyard and there are many reconstructed small rooms. These rooms give us a fair idea of the style of living before this century as well as the types of artifacts and utensils used in those days. The main building of the museum deals with the geographical and geological aspects of how Qatar came into being. You can also see an interesting exhibition of the local flora and fauna and also samples of some rocks which lead to crystal formations.
The Qatar National Museum has a beautiful and exclusive collection of Islamic artifacts and relics. The museum gives us knowledge about the history of Qatar. The museum also displays exhibits on the early days of oil exploration as well as geological history of the region. The museum is also considered to be a maritime museum and displays the fishing wealth of the region. The various medals presented by foreign rulers to Qatar are also on display here.
The main room of the museum has an archeological collection that takes you back to the time of the first Qataris. Another room has on display the Qatari marine ecosystem which was their way of life prior to the discovery of oil. There is also a collection of military decorations pertaining to the royal family.
The Qatar National Museum has an exclusive section about the Bedouins. The museum has an exceptionally beautiful garden that has an exact replica of a Bedouin tent. The tent is made traditionally from wool cloth and decorated in the traditional style with Qatari furniture. The section deals with the lifestyles of the Bedouin tribesmen, their habits, habitat, customs, and social behavior. You will also see some exhibits which depict traditional Qatari life, history, coins, jewelry, clothing, artifacts, environment, and archeology.
The Qatar National Museum has pavilions which are constructed in the traditional Qatari style using thick walls which does not allow the heat to pass through. Pillars were constructed using plaster. The pillars were constructed using coral rock blocks and joined with mud mortar and gypsum plaster.