Peek into “Katara” Cultural Village, Doha

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).

Map showing Katara Entrance and nearby landmarks

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.

Katara's Diplomatic Bazaat, near gate 23 of Katara Beach
Watchtower at Katara Beach
A wider view towards Diplomatic Bazaar location (from the spot in front of Amphitheater)


Katara Beach, from Gate 22, view towards Intercontinental Hotel area and West Bay

Updated 8 Nov 2011 – Eid Al Adha

MAMIG - Armenian and Lebanese Restaurant

Updated 10 Oct 2011

Bird's-eye view of Katara (10 Oct 2011)

Updated 20 August 2011

See more pictures in Katara in 50mm

Katara at night during Ramadan

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.

Katara Map (source:

Update 25 March 2011 after visited an exhibition in Main Purpose Hall


Building 16 in Katara
Near Qatar Photography Society
View from Building 12 Multi Purpose Hall
View from Ampitheater towards Qatar Marine Festival location
Inside the Friday Mosque - Katara
Inside Wall of the Friday Mosque Katara
With my kids at amphitheater


Update 18 March 2011 – Taken from Seafront East Side Qatar Marine Festival location

Katara, Dhow and Zigzag Towers
Katara from Seafront East Side (Qatar Marine Festival location)
Katara beachside - seen here birdtowers, and seaside restaurants
Katara's Amphitheater

Update: 2 March 2011

Got this aerial view shot from the window of Qatar Airways’s Airbus, 18 February 2011.

Katara and West Bay Lagoon

Update Jan 2011

Katara Al Yazwa Public Beach at night
 Update December 2010 
Katara - Valley of Cultures site plan (Source: Katara adv. in Marhaba, winter 2010/2011 edition)
Bird Tower at night
Amphitheater at night
Katara used as center stage for Doha Tribeca Film Festival 2010

First issue: February 2010

Striking structure. "Real estate" for birds
Monotonous yet impressive architectural curves

Easily found is the amphitheater which seats 5,000 people.

Side entrance to amphitheater
Different expressions of us
Traditional elements are maintained
A door at the base of birds tower
Water tap
Mosque in Cultural Village
Parking lot view towards Doha city
Beach at Cultural Village; view towards The Pearl. Zigzag Towers on the background




A window in one of the Katara buildings

24 thoughts on “Peek into “Katara” Cultural Village, Doha”

      1. Hi, the first comment was for 2010 Qatar Marine Festival. It was originally being planned for February but then postponed to April 2010.

        Yes. The 2011 Marine Festival is going on right now…


  1. Can you visit and just wander around the Heritage Village when there are no festivals on or is it locked up?

  2. Wow!

    Will they have real Roman Gladiators fighting it out in the amphitheatre? Note that feeding Christians to lions might not be considered politically correct nowadays given the current geo-political hoo-har.

    Anyway I’m sure this project is worth every penny. After all, there aren’t any starving people in the world who need the cash, are there? Or will they feed the starving people to the lions?

    Love, Phil

  3. very interisting your sites,we come from germany and go to doha in the end of february cultural village theatre or amphitheatre.all the best for you gerhard

  4. Love the pictures. Doing a report on Qatar for school and find the heritage village very interesting. We in the United States know very little about your area of world, except when there is trouble and it hits the news. It is nice to see a more pleasant perspective on life there.

  5. I Adoooore Katara its realy amazing place,is there any one who knows if thers will be any activity today in katara?

    1. There is an exhibition titled The Golden Age of the Arab Science organized by Insitut du Monde Arabe and France Embassy, run until 30th April, at Building No.12

  6. Hi!

    Great article! I was wondering if I could use some of the pictures for an article that I’m writing? Thanks!

    1. Hi Fatima. Thanks! Feel free to use some of the pictures in the post. Good luck with your writing an article.

  7. hello Wahyu ~ i was browsing the internet to look for restuarants at the Katara Cultural Village and your blog came up and it was indeed very informative. i appreciate your effort in taking time conveying messages to people about the place. i would like to thank you because i was able to use informations from this blog and reduced my time in searching for an appropriate information.
    best regards

  8. hi everyone, i’m from India and new in qatar. I came to know about Katar Cultural Village from a brochure that my daughter brought from her school and i was searching for its location and found this site.thanx to wahyu Family. The brochure is about a fun filled kite flying event which will be held on May 6th and 7th,2011.Hope u all will join and explore the event….

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