From world-renowned archaeological and heritage sites to immersive special exhibitions to the latest in contemporary public sculpture and murals, there is an incredible amount of outdoor art and culture to explore in Qatar. Although summer temperatures can be daunting, it is well worth spending time outdoors. Here are some tips to help you maximise your visit.
With the warmest months of the year approaching, we’ve gathered a few tips to make your visit to our public art and heritage sites enjoyable all summer long.
Before Your Visit
- Timing is everything. Plan your visit for early morning or late afternoon and avoid the heat of the midday sun. Temperatures typically peak between 11am and 3pm.
- Dress appropriately. Wear comfortable shoes and light, loose-fitting clothing made of breathable fabrics like cotton or linen. Avoid dark colours and tight clothes that can trap heat. Remember to dress modestly and be respectful of local customs. (Shoulders and knees should be covered when visiting public places.) And don't forget to bring a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and a refillable water bottle.
- Plan ahead. For sites like Al Zubarah, consider booking a tour or hiring a guide who can help you navigate the site and provide you with valuable information about the history and culture of Qatar.
During Your Visit
- Hydrate. It's easy to become dehydrated in the hot and humid weather, so make sure to drink water regularly. For visitors to our archaeological or heritage sites, where there are no water fountains or vending machines, it is recommended to bring a minimum of 1.5 litres of water per person, preferably in reusable bottles, to ensure an adequate water supply during your visit. To keep drinks cool, consider using a cooler bag or an icebox. A useful tip is to include one frozen water bottle inside the cooler to help cool the other beverages.
- Take breaks in the shade. Many of our heritage sites have indoor and outdoor areas where you can step out of the sun. Take advantage of these spots to rest and cool off.
- Stay alert. Pay attention to all public health and safety guidelines, and follow rules regarding designated entrances, exits and car parks.
- Respect the art. Certain sculptural materials may become hot in high temperatures. One more reason not to touch the artwork!
- Leave no trace. Do not drive through archaeological sites. Instead, park vehicles in designated parking areas and be sure to follow marked tracks and paths while exploring the site and avoid straying off the designated routes. Please note that climbing structures is strictly prohibited to ensure personal safety and prevent any damage to the archaeological site.
After Your Visit
When you’re ready to come back inside, visit one of our museums and galleries, which showcase Qatar’s rich history and culture and also offer many dining options and cafés for refreshment and relaxation.
What To See
Olafur Eliasson: The curious desert (until 15 August 2023)
The curious desert is the first solo exhibition of Olafur Eliasson’s work in the Gulf region, bringing together a dozen new site-specific installations located in the desert, near the Al Thakhira Mangrove in Northern Qatar, and an extensive gallery presentation at the National Museum of Qatar. The outdoor installation consists of twelve temporary pavilions that Eliasson considers to form an artistic laboratory in the desert.
Our historic settlements, towers, forts and mosques offer a unique opportunity to learn about Qatar’s rich culture and history. Of particular note is the UNESCO World Heritage site, Al Zubarah Archaeological Site.
A Summer Like No Other
Visiting our many outdoor sites and artworks during the warm summer months is a memorable experience. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore a wide range of public art and heritage offerings in a uniquely Qatari context.
Loubna Zeidan is a Senior Editorial Specialist at Qatar Museums.
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