Not too far from Doha, in the Al Rayyan area west of the capital, hides a cultural gem that is Sheikh Faisal Al Thani Museum. One fine Friday on the Eid al Adha holiday, my colleagues and I set off to discover this hidden treasure. Armed with a GPS, luckily we didn’t get lost and arrived there a bit earlier than opening time.
What sets it apart from others is that this is a private museum of Sheikh Faisal. The collection is a product of decades of accumulating artifacts and interesting memorabilia that can capture anyone’s interest.
On the right hand side of the entrance, we were greeted by a spacious Welcome Desk and an accommodating Receptionist. There is a Message Board where visitors can express themselves and museum brochures. On the left hand side is a small souvenir shop with a man who does calligraphy.
Inside the museum, the exhibit starts with an introduction on the ancient Qatari/Bedouin way of life.
In the middle of the room occupies life-sized dhows and dhows of different sizes. There are also items on pearl harvesting and diving.
The calligraphy room. I wish I have a background of what they are or at least on the most significant ones.
These are my favorite! The bicycle and unicycle section. Has the sheikh tried all of these?
A peek inside a Qatari home gives a glimpse of their way of life beneath the walls.
Religious artifacts. Yes, including non-Islamic stuff.
Occupying about half of the museum’s main hall is the Sheikh’s collection of cars. Though I am no car enthusiast, I can say that they are impressive! So much so that for some people, it is known as the “Cars Museum”.
And there is an airplane too!
Occupying a significant area also in the main hall are (antique) lamps and chandeliers from various countries. There is a lot more than what is here attached.
At the annex wing are Islamic/Arabic items. I particularly liked this Syrian House which is very elaborate and regal.
Another favorite are doors of Indian / Arabic /African origin. They are very intricate and elaborate.
Indeed, it is a nook worthy of visit. The exhibits are not the typical ones we see in a museum, but here they are, housed in one. There was something to interest anybody. The Sheikh has a very impressive collection in here.
While the museum was advertised as a place to visit during Eid al Adha, I wonder why there was no guide present to usher the guests inside the museum and there was not captions on each article on display. We would have appreciated what we were seeing just a little bit more.
It was also strange that the guard at the gate was not informed of the timings that day. He wouldn’t let us in as he said the museum will open in the afternoon.
Entrance Fee: 10QR
Camera Fee: 50QR per gadget