GN Focus | Qatar

Postcards from Doha

Tradition meets modernity in the island state of Qatar. We take a photographic tour of some of the capital’s icons

  • By Shalini Seth | Specialist Writer
  • Published: 00:00 December 18, 2012
  • GN Focus

  • Image Credit: Corbis
  • The Pearl Monument illuminated at night with the new high-rises of West Bay in the background. In most GCC countries, pearls, coffee pots and fish are easily identifiable on roundabouts
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Doha speaks to its visitor in visuals. In buildings as varied as the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA), Education City, the heritage Souq Waqif, the dazzling Isfahan Gardens restaurant with its mirror-encrusted interiors, the city impresses upon its visitors both its past and its future.

Qatar’s locally designed pedestrian crossing sign featuring a person in a local dress is a pop culture icon and is found on souvenir mugs, key rings and T-shirts.

At the 100-year-old Souq Waqif, visitors can come across art galleries that house paintings, sculpture, drawing and caricatures done by Qatari residents. It is in Doha that you may chance upon Google Art Project at its museums, giving visitors online access to their collections.

The MIA, located on the crescent-shaped Corniche, is also a beacon of sorts.

While quaint urban landscaping clichés such as coffee pot and pearl roundabouts are still scattered in its cityscape, Qatar is also home to some of the most self-conscious exploration of its identity in the form of Katara, a cultural centre that aims to connect the past to the future.

A delight for visitors, much of these efforts are outward-looking, bridging the gap between different worlds. Take a pictorial tour through Doha.

GN Focus