Katara Cultural Village is the home and centre of cultural and artistic events, festivals, exhibitions, symposiums and concerts. On the waterfront along Lusail Street, just a few kilometres north of Al Dafna, Katara is an architectural beauty, inspired by Greek, Italian, Ottoman, and Islamic architecture. In addition to dining in luxurious restaurants, there’s much to see and do in Katara.
Al Thuraya Planetarium
With a capacity for 200 viewers, Al Thuraya Planetarium offers interactive shows that include modern high-tech facilities, which are the first of their kind in the Middle East. The Planetarium boasts a full-dome digital system and a 22-m screen, equipped with state-of-the-art digital projectors showing 2D and 3D tutorial shows. There is also a museum within the Planetarium displaying astronomical figures and showcasing history such as the story of the split of the moon in the era of the Prophet Mohammed, and a number of models of the planets of the solar system. The planetarium is designed to entertain both children and adults in two languages, English and Arabic.
Entrance is free
Opening times: Sunday – Thursday 8 am – 8 pm, closed on Fridays and Saturdays
Location: Building 41
Contact: 4408 2067
The gem of the cultural village, the Katara Amphitheatre is a crafted balance between the classical Greek theatre concept and the everlasting Islamic features. It stands firm in the heart of Katara, under the clear blue sky, overlooking the radiant blue sea. Completed in 2008, this 3,275 sq m landmark pays tribute to the great tradition of the unique architectural style associated with amphitheatres and is set to host some of the most spectacular world-class events in Doha. Katara Amphitheatre officially opened on 11 December 2011 with a spectacular concert especially created by the legendary Vangelis and featuring world-renowned stars like Angela Gheorghiou, Roberto Alagna and Jeremy Irons. The seating capacity of the theatre is 5,000 persons.
Al Jazeera Media Café
Al Jazeera Media Café is the first arena of its kind in the Middle East to give an exclusive Al Jazeera experience. The café links the Al Jazeera Media Network with its audience, where the many facilities make visitors feel part of Al Jazeera. In the café’s interactive studio, all lights will be on you as you get the opportunity to be a news presenter using state-of-the-art equipment. Your moment in front of the cameras will be recorded and handed to you to take home. Al Jazeera Media Café’s museum exhibits Al Jazeera’s legacy and key moments from Al Jazeera’s journey over the past years. In Al Jazeera’s Behind-the-Scenes, you will get front-seat viewing to the behind-the-scenes making of an Al Jazeera programme. The broadcast studio is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment used to record, produce and edit programmes to then be aired on one of Al Jazeera’s channels.
Location: Building 4
Opening times: Saturday – Thursday 8 am – 11 pm | Friday 8 am – 11 am, 1 pm – 11 pm
Contact: 4034 2220 | aljazeeracafe.com
One of the most beautiful natural beaches of Qatar, Katara’s private family beach spans over 1.5 km. Beach goers have a choice between enjoying a relaxed beach experience and diving into the fun with a great variety of adrenaline-boosting beach activities. Entrance to the beach is free; however, in order to use the inflatable games, you will need to purchase a Day Pass from the cashier points located at Gates 1 and 5. The Day Pass must be purchased for those above the age of six. Moreover, feel free to bring your own chairs and umbrellas.
Gondola Ride: Daily from 5 pm – 10 pm. Katara Beach, Gate 12.
Opening times: 10 am – sunset
On weekends: Last entry to the beach at 9:30 pm, and swimming ends at sunset.
Last watersports ride ticket issuance 30 min before sunset.
Contact: 4408 1985 | 7002 9360
Large green spaces at Katara extend along the unique architectural edifice, within the exquisite geometric system, which features aesthetic design and its different components, and is one of the attraction elements that allure guests at Katara.
The total area of the gardens is 32,700 sq m, formed with carefully designed plants, trees and lawns in fantastic geometric shapes and styles that reflect the diversity of ornamental plants and trees, with a minimum 225 trees brought from different countries to grow in Qatar.
Katara Masjid (Blue Mosque)
The Katara Masjid is one of the most beautiful mosques in the country. Designed by globally-known Turkish mosque designer, Zeynep Fadeloglu, and a team of restoration specialists from Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul, the interior and exterior architectural designs, together with the minaret, the dome, and the prayer niche (mihrab) are all inspired by several famous mosques found in various cities and capitals of the Islamic world.
The Golden Mosque
The Golden Masjid is garnished with extremely small golden chips, and it represents Ottoman style. Katara offers, in masjids, several religious programmes and a series of religious lectures delivered by a group of prominent and esteemed religious scholars. Katara also organises advanced courses in Quran memorisation that are widely attended by a considerable number of children from different age groups. Such courses bear significance because they instil the virtuous values and the good manners of the holy Quran.
When in Katara, you cannot miss the Pigeon Towers. Three are located near the Katara Masjid and the others are near Al Jazeera Media Café. Pigeons and other birds can rest within the holes of the towers, which can house up to 14,000 birds. Katara also provides water and food to the pigeons. Constructed of unfired mud brick, lime plaster and gypsum, the towers range from 10 to 22 metres in diameter and stand at least 18 metres high.
Bursting out of the wall of Building 40 is a two-storey hyper-realisitic mural of Arabian oryx. Al Maha Going Ahead is an 11-metre wall painting created by internationally acclaimed Argentine muralist Martin Ron. The mural features an Arabian oryx – an iconic symbol of heritage in Qatar – with Doha’s skyline in the backdrop.
Just outside the amphitheatre stands Lorenzo Quinn’s The Force of Nature II. The bronze, stainless steel and aluminium sculpture by contemporary Italian artist Quinn also appears in London and New York and is a piece created in the wake of the 2009 tsunami in the Pacific Ocean.
Look out for another visual masterpiece: Gandhi’s Three Monkeys by Subodh Gupta. Three sculptures show heads wearing military gear: one wears a gas mask, one with a soldier’s helmet, and the third with a terrorist’s hood. Each piece is made up of cooking appliances, buckets, and glass bowl, and are based on Gandhi’s famous visual metaphor – the three wise monkeys that ‘see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil’.
For more information on Katara Cultural Village, visit katara.net.
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