I visited Cultural Village the first time on Feb 2010, while it was under construction. Afterwards, I have paid couple of visits so the pictures here are collections of many visits.
Built on reclaimed coastal land to the north of Doha, the Cultural Village conceptualized to reflect the heritage of Qatar through traditional architecture that accommodates lots of activities. This US$82million project includes an amphitheatre, heritage centers, libraries, art galleries and other academic facilities, not to mention retail outlets, coffee shops, museum facilities and market areas.
Located in the West Bay area of Doha with a total area of 99 hectares, the Cultural Village is accessed for free through a gated entrance opposite Doha Exhibition Center (coordinate: 25 21’05.45″N 51 31’27.86″E (entrance gate)). Another entrance
will be made is available through Lusail Street (continuation of Al Istiqlal St), about 400m before the next roundabout after Exhibition Center R/A (coordinate:25 21’35.02″N 51 31’14.04″E). If you enter through the latter, you will see a big underground car park (which I think it’ll become a commercial/shopping center in the future).
Cultural Village is now rebranded as “Katara”
The Katara Project has been divided into different areas, the first of which will encompass societies and institutions. Visitors are free to meander around the main Katara area which has been built in the style of the traditional Qatari alleyways, call al fareej. 37 traditional style buildings will be home to various societies and institutions (see Layout below).
The project additionally includes a media center, various academic facilities, a handicraft souq, book market, cafes and coffee shops, green areas and information centers, as well as access to the beach. The latter (Al Yazwa Public Beach) unfortunately requires fee to access (if I’m not mistaken QR100 for adult and QR65 for children; other water sports facilities incur separate fees).
The second area features several restaurants, all exclusive to Middle East, and all themed: Saffron Lounge (indian), L’wzaar (fish market), Khan Farouk (Egyptian) and Sukar Pasha (Turkish). There are also street/beach vendor selling cai and gahwa (tea and coffee), and La Gelateria (ice cream).
The third and fourth areas will incorporate retail and residential buildings, with views to having a mall, hundreds of shops, and hundreds of villas.
The final area is the minaret center, based around three towers. The first, a hotel, will be 580m in height, making it Qatar’s tallest. The second tower will be for additional accomodation and the third for office use. The center will be built on the old Aladdin Kingdom’s site.
Katara has held various performance since its opening: Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, Doha Tribeca Film Festival, Photography Exhibitions (i.e. Our Time, Doharama), Cultural Performance during AFC Asian Cup Jan 2011.
Katara has been built out of a desire to make Qatar foremost in the ME as a center of arts, music and literature.
Updated 16 March 2012 – Diplomatic Bazaar
Wow, it’s been 4 months since my last visit. No major changes – in terms of physical – but Katara is more lively. I visited Katara, 16 March 2012, to have a look at Diplomatic Bazaar, participated by 25 countries/diplomatic reps.
Updated 8 Nov 2011 – Eid Al Adha
Updated 10 Oct 2011
Updated 20 August 2011
See more pictures in Katara in 50mm
Updated 2 June 2011
The Official website of Katara is now active presenting calendar, venues and activities, and about facility itself. Good informative website. Taken from the same website below is an updated map of Katara.
Update 25 March 2011 after visited an exhibition in Main Purpose Hall
Update 18 March 2011 – Taken from Seafront East Side Qatar Marine Festival location
Update: 2 March 2011
Got this aerial view shot from the window of Qatar Airways’s Airbus, 18 February 2011.
Update Jan 2011
First issue: February 2010
Easily found is the amphitheater which seats 5,000 people.