The Katara Cultural Village in Doha, Qatar: Fascinated by the Masjid of Katara

Friday, June 02, 2017 0 Comments

Katara Cultural Village in Doha, Qatar
You may have heard, seen, or perhaps read about “Katara” once or a few times. If you’re a South Asian, you might have used a Katara dagger; or as a Greek, you might have trekked at the famous Katara Mountain Pass; or even relate to all the Avatar: The Last Airbender fans (me included!) in enjoying Katara’s character in the television series. But no, it’s not all those, but instead, we have the Qatar’s Katara. It’s this grand cultural village worth visiting, when in Doha.

A little past 10 in the morning, while the sun was slowly roasting our almost dehydrated bodies, our group found ourselves having a stopover at the Katara Cultural Village. I was instantly enamored by the excellent introduction of local culture and lifestyle through the beautiful features present at the entrance area.

"Katara", which is actually the historical name used for Qatar prior to the 18th century, is this huge area with facilities like an open amphitheater, an opera house, a multi-purpose cinema, a conference hall, as well as a souq. At the entrance grounds alone, the sight is definitely a Middle Eastern masterpiece!

Inspiring, multi-cultural, and of high quality, indeed the vision about the Katara was brought to life so well. The wise leadership of HH Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thanithe Father Emir  of the State of Qatar was so obvious in every inch of the village.

I could not deny my eyes on having the privilege to see the Pigeon Towers and the Masjid of Katara. Designed by the renowned Turkish mosque designer, Zainab Fadil Oglu, the features seen are mesmerizing. Despite having the sun so high, the intricate details still illuminate the place so well.

Embellished with turquoise and purple mosaic, I can only point out positive opinions about it. The minaret, the dome, and the mihrab are, in fact, inspired by famous mosques found in various cities of the Muslim world. The artistic ornaments, inscriptions, and mosaic tiles gave that instant likable impression, every one of us who were there that time took photos of it immediately. 

And then, of course, the Pigeon Tower, which I had no idea of at first. For a second, I thought it was a traditional Qatari tower of some sort. But apparently, dovecotes are a thing in Qatar. Dovecotes are shelters with nest holes for domesticated pigeons. It’s especially prevalent in some cultures like Medieval Europe, United Kingdom, and even areas like Egypt and the Middle East. This one in the Katara Cultural Village is a must see.

Needless to say, the Katara Mosque is a must experience rather than a must read. I don’t think I have ever come across a place like this so far; it’s one of those memorable cultural villages you’ll see. Now my question to myself is that, how in the world are they able to come up with faith and art filled designs so neat and masterful like this? Any ideas?

[QATAR TRAVEL] Read the rest of Explore Qatar Travel Blog Series:


Bowdy is an amateur adventurer, a coffee sleepyhead, and a start-up rooter, with a penchant for classic-looking photos. At last count, he has visited some 60 countries, and is now living in Singapore. He's always in search of fascinating routines to exploit, within the edges of after-office hours and (un)limited holidays.

For collaboration ideas, email bowdywanders@gmail.com.

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