Qatar is definitely a novel place to be and a remarkable sight to see. With a trove of deep-rooted traditions and celebrated cultures, a visit to the monuments in Qatar departs from the humdrum sightseeing tours to bring you an enriching experience of scenic colonial buildings. Doha is Qatar’s capital city, the country’s most populous city, and the most important commercial center and continues to flourish more than ever. Surrender yourself to the infectious energy of the locals, coated in the beautiful tongue of the Arabic language, as you embark on this journey. Here are some of the top monuments in Qatar:
List of Monuments in Qatar
1. Pearl Monument
Pearl Monument is a famous fountain that pays tribute to Qatar’s history of pearling situated at the heart of Qatar’s capital. The most thriving industry in Qatar was pearling before oil, pearls still play an important role in the country. You will love the structure of this popular monument in Qatar which portrays a giant open oyster with a massive pearl in its mouth. The fountain normally lights up at night giving visitors an ideal location for photo sessions while at the same time paying homage to Qatar’s pearling history. This is the perfect place to create unforgettable memories in Qatar.
Address: Corniche St., Doha, Qatar
2. Barzan Towers
The Barzan Towers were erected in the 19th century to stand guard over the precious rainwater that collected in the nearby valley. Barzan means ‘high place’, and with watchtowers that stand over 16 meters in height, the place is well named. These important monuments in Qatar were also used for observing the moon to accurately pinpoint the start of Ramadan. The towers are just 15 km north of Doha and are open 24 hours a day, so there’s never a bad time to visit. With enormous staircases and impressive buttresses, the architecture here offers some great photo opportunities for visitors, with the best views available from the top. There are some shops nearby too, so you don’t have to worry about finding refreshments while visiting.
Address: Muhammed, Qatar
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3. Doha Tower
Known also as Burj Doha, the iconic Doha Tower rises 238 meters above the West Bay in Doha, Qatar. Its phallic shape rises 46 stories above the ground, with a further 3 floors stretching underground. The French architect Jean Nouvel, who designed the building, described its shape as suggestive of “a fully assumed virility.” Though this high-rise office building looms large in the skyline, it’s by no means the largest in the city. It is, however, one of the most unique. Its outward lattice of diagrid columns echoes Islamic Mashrabiya architecture, with a design intended to protect the building from the scorching heat and sandy residue that coats many of the glass buildings in the region. A photo of this extremely distinctive skyscraper will serve you well as a memento of your visit. This famous monument in Qatar is especially beautiful when illuminated at night.
Address: 1 Al Corniche St, Doha, Qatar
4. Sidra Public Art
You’ll find a renowned art installation by the controversial British artist Damien Hirst located right in front of Sidra Medical and Research Center. Known as The Miraculous Journey, this beautiful historical landmark in Qatar consists of 14 large bronze sculptures depicting the human journey from conception to birth.
Hirst has charted the miracle of birth in vivid detail with sculptures ranging in height from 5- to 11-meters tall. The reality for some may be shocking as among the scenes depicted is a breech birth. There was some controversy surrounding the unveiling of the sculptures initially, but this divisive art piece is now widely praised. While some were upset with the harsh realism of the scenes, this fascinating public art installation is certainly worth a visit.
Address: Al Gharrafa St, Ar-Rayyan, Qatar
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5. Al Wajbah Fort
One of the oldest historical sites in Qatar, Al Wajbah Fort dates to the late 18th century. The site of significant battles between the Qatari people and OttQatar forces, the fort holds a special place in the hearts of the locals and evokes a strong sense of national pride for many. With thick walls and 4 high watchtowers, the fort contains weaponry displays and exhibits detailing its history.
Access to Al Wajbah Fort is free to the public and it is just 15 km west of Doha. The watchtowers stand out impressively in contrast to the predominantly flat landscape that surrounds them. They make for an excellent backdrop for some photographic mementos of your visit to the country.
Address: Dukhan Road, Al Wajbah, Al Rayyan
6. Msheireb Museums
Msheireb Museums was constructed by the Msheireb Properties with the aim of celebrating the four historic houses namely the Company House, Radwani House, Bin Jelmood House, and Mohammed Bin Jassim House which are all located at the heart of Msheireb Downtown Doha. The cultural monument in Qatar reveals a lesser-known aspect of Qatar’s cultural and social development by creating safe and trusted environments where people can exchange thoughts about both their history and fantasize about the future of their nation. The restoration of the four heritage houses into world-class museums is in line with the city’s plan for the Msheireb Downtown Doha development.
Address: Doha, Qatar
7. Qatar National Library
This historical landmark in Qatar houses over 1 million books, as well as extensive digital collections. Membership is open to all Qatar residents and visitors are also made welcome. Located in Doha’s Education City, the book collections aren’t the only draw to this library. Each month, the library hosts up to 80 free events that are open to the public. You’ll find everything from a knitting group to art exhibitions going on here. Once a month, the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra holds a free public performance. Details of each month’s events can be found on the library’s website.
Address: Education City, Al Luqta St, Doha, Qatar
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8. The Pigeon Towers
Qatar’s Pigeon Towers are undoubtedly one of the most unique monuments in Qatar. A popular photo opportunity for tourists and locals alike, the towers also serve an extremely practical purpose. Home to thousands of pigeons, the distinctive towers have been designed to collect their droppings for use as fertilizer by local farmers.
The Pigeon Towers are designed in a traditional Islamic architectural style located right beside the Katara Mosque in the Katara Cultural Village. They are worth the trip to the cultural village alone but can easily be combined as part of an itinerary to take in several other nearby attractions such as the amphitheater, the convention center, and even a beach.
Address: Katara Cultural Village, Doha, Qatar
9. Katara Cultural Village
Katara Cultural Village is undoubtedly the largest cultural project in Qatar. This iconic historical site in Qatar was established with the aim of transforming the country into a cultural beacon through several activities in music, literature, theatre, and conventions. In alignment with the goals set by the Qatar National Vision 2030, Katara plays its role by spreading awareness on the importance of preserving one’s culture and on the importance of civilization. The cultural village of Katara offers a glimpse of the future where people of various cultural backgrounds overcome their differences and work together with the hope of promoting unity. Katara is the place where the past meets the splendor of the future.
Address: Doha, Qatar
10. Aspire Tower
Aspire Tower is a 300-meter high-rise hotel in the Aspire Zone complex in Doha, Qatar. This is certainly a must-see monument in Qatar located near to several local attractions, including Villaggio Mall Shopping Center and the Khalifa International Stadium. The building’s proximity to this stadium saw it become a focal point when Qatar hosted the 15th Asian Games in December 2006. Aspire Tower is one of the tallest structures in Qatar. For a view over a spectacular cityscape and a little fine dining, check out the Panorama Restaurant at the top of the tower itself.
Address: Baaya, Doha, Qatar
11. Abdul Wahhab Mosque
Named after Imam Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab, the state grand mosque is perhaps the main mosque of Doha. Located in the South of Corniche, the place boasts of amazing architecture. With a number of domes inside this religious monument in Qatar, it is also somewhat of an architectural marvel. Imam Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab was known to propagate only the original teachings of Islam. He was not a supporter of undesirable innovations in Islam and hence this Mosque came from a very strong school of thought. The mosque is made by Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani who made it in the memory of his father.
Address: Al Muhandiseen St, Doha, Qatar
12. Qatar National Convention Center
One of the beautiful monuments in Qatar and premier events venues, Qatar National Convention Center offers several state-of-the-art theatres, conference halls, and meeting rooms within its distinctive building. The building’s facade is designed to resemble a desert tree, the Sidra. At the front of the foyer, you’ll find the world-famous spider sculpture, Maman. You’ll also find versions of this sculpture by French artist Louise Bourgeois in museums around the world, including the Tate Modern in London.
The convention center plays host to top regional and international acts and is an excellent spot to catch a show while in town. You’ll find everything here from stand-up comedy and public discussion forums to Hello Kitty Live and classical music, so be sure to check ahead to find something to suit your tastes.
Address: Ar-Rayyan, Qatar
13. Omar Bin Al Khattab Mosque
Omar Bin Al Khattab Mosque is one of the most peaceful places that you will come across in Doha. With beautiful architecture, the simplicity of this ancient monument in Qatar will completely bowl you over. You will experience the religion and culture of the Middle East on every footstep once you are in this mosque. It also has a lot of historical significance related to it. This is also a great place to meet the locals and interact with them about the Islamic culture the way they see it.
Address: Madinat Khalifa South, Doha, Qatar
14. Al Zubara Fort
Located near a now-deserted town of the same name, Al Zubara Fort is a large fort dominated by 3 huge circular towers and a single rectangular one. This one of the most visited monuments in Qatar was built in 1938 by Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani to serve as a coast guard station. It’s now used as a museum and hosts regular exhibitions on the history of the area.
Located about 105 km from the capital, the remains of the deserted town and the fort protecting it are a UNESCO World Heritage site that lies on the northwestern coast of the Qatar peninsula and can make for an interesting day trip. Be sure to bring snacks and plenty of water and note there’s little in the way of shade while exploring here. It’s probably best to avoid arriving around midday and early afternoon when the heat is at its most intense.
Location: Al Zubara Fort, Madinat Ash Shamal, Qatar
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15. Al Koot Fort
Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani, the ruler of Qatar from the year 1913 until 1949 got this fort built in the year 1927. This historical place in Qatar is a definite must-visit for history lovers and fort loversInitially a military fortress. The color of the fort shines in the sunlight and it is one of the most beautiful places for photography in Doha. Today the fort stands as a museum. The ruler’s brother later converted the fort into a museum and today it houses Qatari local handicrafts and items. The highlight of this place though is the simple daily life illustrations that you can find here.
Address: Address: Ukaz Street, Doha, Qatar
16. Tornado Tower
Also known as QIPCO Tower, this historical building in Qatar stretches 52 floors almost 200 meters into the skyline. Tornado Tower’s distinctive hourglass shape is instantly recognizable. Though most of its space is rented office space, there are a number of restaurants open to the public inside, including a sushi restaurant and a steakhouse. On the 27th floor, you’ll find a gym while fine dining with a view can be found on the 28th floor.
The tower is located in Doha’s West Bay district. If you’re driving here, there’s ample parking available in the underground car park. If you come in the evening, you’ll get a chance to see the building’s spectacular exterior lighting that secures its position as a highlight of the capital’s skyline.
Address: West Bay, Majlis Al Taawon St, Doha, Qatar
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