The seas and waterways around Qatar are beaming with life. Marine habitats include coral reefs, salt marshes, mangroves and over 150 species of fish. Dolphins, sharks and rays have also been regularly sighted. However, there is something bigger than all of those that also makes the waters around Qatar its home – the magnificent and mysterious dugong.
The dugong has lived in Qatari waters for over 7,500 years. The Arabian Gulf hosts the second largest population of dugongs in the world, and while they are often found in pairs of two – a mother and a calf – Qatar hosts a strange phenomenon. In the northwest region, herds of 600-700 Dugongs have regularly been found swimming together, while in 2020 a record-breaking herd of 850 was sighted.
Seagrass Tales, Dugong Trails at NMoQ
The exhibition introduces dugongs and their habitat through fun facts and interactive exhibits. You can also learn about the vital work of scientists studying dugongs in Qatar and how we can all they can protect dugongs them and their environment.
There is so much to learn about these gentle, mysterious creatures – it promises to be a fascinating day out for adults and children of all ages. Entry to the museum is free for all residents and citizens of Qatar but tickets must be purchased online in advance of your visit. You can book your tickets here.
And if you're lucky, you might even get to see Murjana.
Who is Murjana? Introducing our new mascot
Murjana is the newest member of the Qatar Museums family and the official mascot of the museum. Earlier this year – to celebrate both the launch of the exhibition and NMoQ's first birthday – we launched a very special competition, asking people to send in their designs for a potential mascot.
The response was overwhelming, with dozens of incredible designs sent in – making the job of selecting a winner almost impossible. We are delighted to introduce you to the newest member of our family – Murjana the dugong!
The winning design was created by Choy Salonga, a resident of Qatar originally from the Philippines. And here it is.