Katara cultural village : Doha, Qatar


The Doha Tribeca Film Festival, was one of the largest Arab film festivals in the world until 2012, and has mysteriously not been running from 2012. The DTFF for 2011, was held in a place that no one had heard of before. The Katara cultural village, is not exactly a village. Located on the east coast of Qatar, and spread over 1,000,000 square meters, it is anything but a village.

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Opened by the Emir of Qatar, HH Sheikh Hamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, the Katara cultural village is a large ecosystem where art, culture, and a few bureaucratic offices coexist in a very beautiful way. Etymologically named after an old name of the country itself, the village shines against the Katara beach as a place for people to meet and interact, about art and culture.

The first thing that you notice when you enter the Katara village is how the buildings are randomly arranged. And this was completely intended. The whole idea is to give the look and feel of a Qatari village layout.

One of the first things that you will notice is a massive amphitheatre, some what resembling a marriage between Greek and Islamic architecture. With a seating capacity of 5000 people, the amphitheatre opened in 2011 with a concert by Vangelis.

Amphitheatre at katara cultural village

The amphitheatre

Amphitheatre in Katara cultural village

One of the many entrances to the amphitheatre

katara cultural village

katara cultural village, Doha

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The cultural village is also home to a gigantic opera house and a photography museum. While I could not enter the opera house, I did manage to enter the photography museum, which had an exhibit on photographs from Palestine.

Additionally, there is a masjid (mosque) which is pretty impressive in terms of architecture, and houses some interesting works of art.

masjid at katara cultural village

Masjid at Katara cultural village

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About Abhi Surendran

Abhi quit his corporate job, and decided to immerse himself in travels, photography, occasional periods of bankruptcy, and copious amounts of insanity. He is currently working on a book of his experiences, and a dream road trip through South Asia. Both in a haphazard fashion. He blogs at Iamnothome and you can also catch him at times on Facebook and twitter.

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