A revival of ‘old Doha’ is in process but it’s less about modernising the capital’s oldest area than it is about finding a way to bring Qatar’s rich heritage into the 21st century.
For years, Doha dwellers have watched as the behemoth Msheireb Downtown Doha project lays its foundations just next to Souq Waqif. Now, this incredible dream – the world’s first sustainable downtown regeneration project – has taken a step into being a reality.
It all begins in The Heritage Quarter where four brand new museums have just opened.
Bin Jelmood House
An interesting addition and provocative angle within the new Heritage Quarter is present at Bin Jelmood House. Its main focus is on the global abolition of human exploitation and the house showcases, as well as pays tribute to, human adversity and perseverance against all odds. The idea is for the house to acknowledge the contribution of formerly enslaved people to the development of Qatar in a social, cultural and economic context.
This museum once housed the headquarters for Qatar’s first ever oil company and tells the story of a pioneering petroleum industry that transformed this country. Learn of first-hand accounts of the Qatari men who laboured to lay the foundations for this emerging nation, while providing for their families.
Mohammed Bin Jassim House
Originally, this house was built by the son of the founder of the state of Qatar and Doha’s long-time mayor and it highlights the journey of Msheireb Downtown Doha and emphasises the project’s aim to retain traditional values in a contemporary space. It also houses the Echo Memory Art Project, which showcases objects uncovered during demolition of the site.
Lying between two of Doha’s oldest quarters – Al Jasrah and Msheireb – the Radwani House was first built in the 1920s and has been restored to present traditional family life in a time of social transformation. This house saw the very first archaeological digs in the centre of the city, which uncovered a number of important finds leaving clues to daily life during these times.