With all the changes being made to Qatar’s road network, it may seem that getting to Education City is quite a task. But this flagship community of Qatar Foundation (QF) has stood for two decades as a bastion for knowledge and innovation, and is now expanding in new directions. Today it is not just a hub for education and research, but for culture, community, sports, entertainment and much more.
Over the past few years Education City, well known in the community and region for being home to prestigious universities and cutting-edge research facilities, has diversified through a string of developments to make its campus more accessible to the community at large. This diversification has been far-reaching and multifaceted, and includes fabulous open green spaces, sports and recreation facilities, and world-class convention and medical centres to name a few.
In a publication in 2016, Engineer Jassim Telefat, Group Executive Director, QF Capital Projects, Facilities Management and HSSE, spoke about the reason for expansion and diversification, explaining:
‘There are several projects, newly-completed or under construction, in Education City that focus on a common theme of improving health and well-being, in line with QF’s mission to develop human potential. Traditionally, Education City has been a hub for academics, professionals, and students. However, it is now time to make it a destination with wider appeal to the general public, both within and outside Qatar.’
In general, the idea is to create a community that will cater to the needs of a diverse and seasoned population, including the increasing number of regional and international visitors who attend conferences and events at the Qatar National Convention Centre on a regular basis.
Here are some of our favourite reasons to visit:
Oxygen Park is an impressive 130,000 sq m green space near the Hamad bin Khalifa University (HBKU) Student Center, and offers a welcome respite. This green space was inspired by ‘oxygen’, and the park offers sports and exercise facilities that have been integrated with play and relaxation areas. The park has been designed to reflect the geography of the region with fluid land formations and rocks. This space is home to 117 species of plants, as well as a running track, an equestrian track, sports pitch and a covered walkway.
The running tracks and path are embedded in the topography. This design creates a challenging training ground with looping tracks, cooled tunnels, and steep hills. The park is open to the public, and promotes a healthy lifestyle within the community.
Torba Farmers Market
Launched in November 2017, the Torba Farmers Market offers a wide-range of fresh, locally-grown produce and homemade items, including organic fruits and vegetables, preserves, nut butters and syrups, as well as handicrafts and gardening supplies.
The Torba Farmers Market offers the opportunity for a great outing over the weekend – for the entire family. Stalls are set up around picnic tables that are quaintly decorated with a vase of baby’s breath giving the market a rustic feel. On offer is not just fruit and vegetables but also a variety of homemade treats – from slices of pie to a selection of healthy juices and salads, marshmallow jars and s’more kits, coffee, macarons and much more. For those of you on a gluten free or vegan diet, pop-up stalls offer incredibly delicious food and drinks.
Torba is fast becoming a popular destination. The market creates a sense of community as small businesses and home-based entrepreneurs come together to create this wonderful space.
Tip: Carry cash, but if you forget, don’t worry – there is a mobile ATM on site.
When to go The Torba Farmer’s Market is hosted by QF and can be found in the Ceremonial Court which is accessible from Gate 2. Timings: Thursday 9 am – 4 pm, Friday 8 am – 11 am/2 pm – 5 pm, and Saturday 9 am – 4 pm.
For more information, visit farmersmarket.qa.
A member of QF, Al Shaqab is dedicated to the Arabian horse. It is an enduring tribute to the breed and continues the tradition of equestrian excellence in Qatar. This extraordinary facility has been open for 25 years and in 2017 rebranded during Qatar National Day celebratory activities in support of Qatar National Vision 2030. Al Shaqab has made a significant contribution to equestrian sport in the country, combining world-class competitions while keeping Qatari heritage alive.
Al Shaqab organises tours and is open to the public including organisations and institutions. The idea behind the tours is to raise awareness of equestrian culture in the country, and are both informative and recreational. To request a tour, complete the form online at alshaqab.com.
Marwan Club is the result of a joint venture between Al Shaqab and AMLAK (the latter is a commercial arm of QF). It offers a serene oasis within beautifully landscaped grounds where members can relax and get fit. Membership provides use of the family pool, children’s pool, personal training sessions and fitness classes. The Kids Zone offers a number of activities.
Location Gate 7, Al Shaqab Street, in Al Shaqab.
Membership fees One month QAR750 (male), QAR550 (female); three months QAR2,000 (male), QAR1,400 (female); six months QAR3,700 (male), QAR2,500 (female).
For more information, visit amlak.com.qa.
Chef’s Garden is the organic, farm-to-table concept restaurant in Education City. Attached to the Marwan Club, the restaurant partners with local, organic farms for the majority of its vegetable produce, lamb and chicken, and also uses its own garden to harvest herbs and vegetables to create delicious and healthy meals. Open since October 2014, Chef’s Garden continues to be a popular option among locals and expatriates. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the restaurant has outside seating and a supervised kids’ area.
Location Chef’s Garden is within Marwan Club, Gate 7 on Al Shaqab Street, within Al Shaqab grounds. Access through Gate 6 via Education City is also available.
For more information, call 4409 5041.
Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art
Mathaf, meaning ‘museum’ in Arabic, offers an Arab perspective on modern art. A member of Qatar Museums, Mathaf showcases art created by Arabs in Qatar and the Middle East, as well as those residing in other parts of the world. The museum offers an informal space for visitors to engage in contemporary art, share ideas and learn.
For more information, see Sightseeing in the Discovering Qatar section for details of opening times and the free shuttle bus connecting Mathaf to the Museum of Islamic Art.
For more information, visit mathaf.org.qa.
Qatar National Library
The Qatar National Library (QNL) opened its doors in November 2017. The library is home to comprehensive online resources, a Heritage Library, book and media borrowing, the continually growing archive of its Digital Library, a fun and engaging Children’s Library and a Teen’s Section. The QNL Adaptive Services provides programmes, books, technology, equipment and software that cater for people with special needs. Members can also use QNL’s creative and collaborative facilities, including the innovation stations, study rooms and writing centre.
QNL is open to the public, with free membership available to anyone with a Qatar ID, including children. Events are held throughout the year and visitors can also avail of library tours. See the up to date schedule of events and tours at qnl.qa.
Qatar International Golf Club
Designed in line with USGA and PGA standards by golfing legend and double major winner José María Olazábal, this 18-hole Championship Course is yet to open. It is a beautiful green oasis at the heart of Education City and is landscaped to reflect desert and wadi terrain. The challenging Par 72, 7,306 yard long course has subtly varied topography, with hazards in front of greens and long carries being limited. The course offers numerous tee box positions to suit a variety of skill levels, while the layout will allow golfers to use the full range of clubs in their bag.
At the time of going to press, only a few outstanding projects remained to be completed, mostly associated with the buildings and supporting infrastructure. The Club has projected a soft opening in early summer 2018, with a full opening anticipated for later in the year, ready for the 2018/19 season.
For more information, visit qigolfclub.com.
Education City is a great weekend destination!
Education City is a wonderful destination for a day or overnight trip for the whole family. If you choose to stay in the area overnight, book a room at the Premier Inn Hotel, near Education City. Keep updated with events via our online calendar, including Art Trails (a guided art tour around the campus), expos and conferences at Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC), exhibitions at VCUarts Qatar and Mathaf, tours at QNL and much more.
Author: Sarah Palmer
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