The special exhibition, which celebrates Qatar’s deep-rooted and unique relationship with Kuwait, reveals new insights into the ancient roots of Islamic Art

The National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ) will reopen its permanent galleries starting from 1 October and unveil the landmark exhibition ‘Splendours of the Ancient East: Antiquities from The al-Sabah Collection,’ in its Temporary Exhibition Gallery.

Drawn from the extraordinary holdings assembled in Kuwait by Sheikh Nasser Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah and Sheikha Hussa Sabah al-Salem al-Sabah,  more than 170 objects provide a sweeping overview of the artistic and material culture of the ancient world, while also revealing new insights into the roots of Islamic art.

NMOQThe objects selected for the collection range in date from the third millennium BCE to the fifth century CE. They include:

  • jewelry and adornments (rings, earrings, necklaces, pendants, bracelets, buckles, and buttons)
  • household furnishings (bowls, beakers, jars, ewers, cups, rhytons, bottles, dishes, and rugs)
  • anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figurines and ritual objects
  • decorative elements
  • carved gemstones and seals

The objects in the exhibition are made with materials including gold, silver, bronze, lapis lazuli, carnelian, turquoise, garnet, agate, amethyst, pearl, diamond crystals, glass, ivory, alabaster and enamel. The use of such precious materials, and the exquisite workmanship of these artifacts, have made it possible for these objects to be preserved and treasured for millennia. They now testify to an artistic heritage that flourished in the Gulf region and nourished the later achievements of Islamic art.


‘Splendours of the Ancient East: Antiquities from the al-Sabah Collection’ will be on exhibit until 3 January 2021. NMoQ is open from 9 am to 7 pm, Saturdays to Thursdays, and on 1:30 pm to 7 pm on Fridays.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Qatar Museums has implemented health and safety protocols that include requiring visitors to purchase tickets in advance on QM’s website. Additionally,  visitors must  present a “green” health status on the Ehteraz virus-tracing app, and bring and wear face masks for the duration of their visit.

In addition to the special exhibition, guests will also be able to visit the National Museum’s gift shops ad JIWAN, the museum’s restaurant, which will operate at a limited capacity from Saturday to Thursday for lunch and afternoon tea. The Desert Rose and Café 875 will also be open at a limited capacity, as will the museum’s playground and library. The collection galleries of the NMoQ remain closed due to maintenance.