Msheireb Museums Qatar is one of the most popular museums in Qatar and was built by renovating the old commercial center of the city with a traditional lifestyle based on the community. The reconstruction of four heritage houses, Bin Jelmood House, Company House, Mohammed Bin Jassim House, and Radwani House, is a significant part of the development of Msheireb Doha city center.
The four historical houses in the courtyard of Msheireb Museum date back to the early 20th century, and together they form the main element of the development of Doha city center. The interior architecture has been reconstructed using traditional building techniques and materials. The floor surfaces and hidden recesses are integrated with new services and technologies.
About Msheireb Museums
The theme of each museum building relates directly to the occupations or perspectives of those who originally lived in them, making these buildings become a real and resonant Qatari cultural resource.
The establishment of Msheireb museums in the heart of Doha sheds light on four important strands of Qatar’s history. One is the pioneering work of the Qataris in the oil fields, the second is the ordinary domestic life in the 20th century, the third is the past and the future of the Msheireb region, and the fourth is the regional and international slavery.
The museum buildings are located close to each other, and this is historically significant. From the middle of the 19th century until the beginning of Doha’s urban modernization in the 1950s, the cityscape consisted of clustered courtyard buildings divided by alleys.
The four museum buildings are outstanding examples of traditional Qatari architecture but have changed over time. Their high-walled, columned courtyards have been common in Qatar since the early 19th century to moderate the hot, scorching summer climate.
Although houses vary in size and layout, buildings share a number of key features. In other words, their designs are individual but also undeniably collective.
Architecture of Museum Buildings
The architecture of the museum buildings reflects the traditional Qatari life. Courtyard buildings ensure home privacy and enhance the impact of light and decorative patterns.
Pools of water and decorative geometric stonework, such as columns and the patterns of light and shadow they make, create a sense of fracture and dissolution.
The juxtaposition of solid and patterned surfaces is an example of traditional Qatari architecture and protects from the intense heat and sunlight in Qatar’s summers.
Privacy is of fundamental importance in Qatari culture. Traditionally, buildings have long walls and no courtyard windows. Low entrance doors and reception spaces make it impossible for passers-by or visitors to see the yard directly.
Qatar’s traditional buildings, featuring walls made primarily of plaster, offer several fascinating features. They include ventilation slots in the roof or tower walls.
The ceiling beams are made of wood, and the ceilings are decorated with plaster and corner pieces of columns known as Roknit. The openings for draining water from roofs and yards are covered with small seashell layers.
The cultures, traditions, and religions of Qatar have greatly influenced the design of the buildings of the four museums, which represent the key architectural and spatial traditions related to the public and private life of the Qatari people.
Museums of Msheireb
These four houses, which form the core of the Msheireb Museum, date back to the early 1900s. Preservation and renovation of museum and exhibition spaces with international standards have provided a space to record memories of Qatar’s history.
The museum’s temporary exhibition gallery is just a part of the remarkable renovation project, which also includes visitor facilities and restaurants of the highest standards. Also, you can buy all kinds of souvenirs, including clothes, books, paintings, and accessories available at the Msheireb Museum Gift Shop.
These beautifully restored buildings invite visitors from all over the world to experience a distinct chapter in Qatar’s history.
Bin Jelmood House
Travel back in time when you visit this house to discover how slavery has spread as civilizations have moved over thousands of years.
Slavery has existed in various forms since the first civilizations appeared on earth. The mission of Bin Jelmood House is to pay tribute to the social, cultural, and economic contributions of formerly enslaved people.
Visitors travel back in time to discover the spread of slavery and learn the stories of slaves and how they were treated.
Bin Jelmood House exclusively focuses on the stories of slavery in the Persian Gulf and the role of Islam in abolishing this practice.
This museum is in a house formerly used as the headquarters of Qatar’s first oil company. It tells the story of the pioneering workers of Qatar’s oil industry and their families, who helped transform Qatar into a modern society.
Along with seeing the inside of the house, you can see tools that were used decades ago, such as generators and telephones, before comparing them to the tools used in today’s oil operations.
Mohammed Bin Jassim House
In this house, we travel back in time to see the history of Doha and its unique architectural heritage. This house deals with the past, the present, and the sustainability aspect that Msheireb, the center of Doha, is based on.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Jassim Al Thani, the son of the founder of modern Qatar, built this house.
Radwani House was first built in the 1920s. This renovated house showcases the traditional Qatari family life and collects, preserves, and shares the memories of Qatar, and is one of the popular tourist spots in Qatar.
Radwani House offers visitors an insight into how family life in Qatar has evolved over the years. This house not only displays how it has changed over time but also indicates how family life in Doha has changed.
Through the displayed objects, you will learn about how family life changed and developed with important milestones such as the discovery of oil and the introduction of electricity.
Radwani House also houses the first archaeological excavations in the city, and you can see the different stages of the house’s reconstruction when it was part of Ali Akbar Radwani’s family for more than 70 years.
Bin Jelmood House is also the venue for a permanent exhibition titled: Journey to the Heart of Life. This exhibit focuses on DNA and how we can learn about prehistoric migration and integration around the world through genetic inheritance.
Through six sections, the exhibition aims to show visitors how genetics and genomics can help us understand Qatar’s cultural and historical heritage. You will also learn how genomics can be useful in early disease diagnosis and personalized medicine.
More Information to Visit Msheireb Museum
Visiting hours: Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday closed.
Address: Msheireb Downtown, Doha, Qatar
Msheireb Museum entrance fee: Completely free for all visitors
How to go to the museum: You can easily go to Msheireb museums by Doha metro.
Nearby attractions: This museum is located near National Museum of Qatar and is only 4 kilometers away from it.
A Journey to the History of Qatar
In the heart of Doha’s Msheireb city, the oldest part of the capital is where you can find preserved historical and cultural houses and Msheireb museums, such as the Qatar Museum of Modern Art, which cover the authentic history and rich culture of Qatar.
There are four houses in this museum, each of which displays different stories and uses a combined strategy of technology and natural resources to show ancient stories in the present. If you plan to travel to Qatar, be sure to include a visit to this spectacular museum in your schedule.