Though the history of the region can be traced back over 50, 000 years, Qatar as a state only gained independence in 1971. Prior to independence, Qatar was considered a British protectorate and before that, it was ruled by the Ottomans. Given its history of colonisation and being subjected to domination, several attempts have been made to highlight the cultural heritage, history and architecture of the Qatari people. One such initiative is the establishment of Katara.
Katara refers to a Cultural Village located in the capital city of Qatar, Doha. ‘Katara’ is effectively the name by which the state of Qatar was known prior to the 18th century. Tourists residing in hotels in Doha, Qatar i.e. in the heart of the city, such as the Souq Waqif Boutique Hotels, may need to hire a vehicle to reach the Katara Cultural Village as it is closer to the Pearl. The Village can be accessed from two entrances – one entrance is opposite the Doha Exhibition Centre, and the other from Lusail Street. It is a worthwhile excursion if one wishes to gain knowledge and discover the historical and cultural heritage of the country.
Having been in operation since 2010, the cultural village has also been known as the Valley of Cultures, named after the insight it provides into the traditions, arts, culture and architecture of the Qatari people. The village has been divided into separate regions and visitors can marvel at the traditional architectural styles of buildings, sample delicious delicacies and well known Qatari dishes and end the outing with some retail therapy at a shopping mall.
The Katara Cultural Village has hosted numerous events including the Fath Al Kheir Journey, an event to celebrate the maritime heritage of Qatar, the Katara Art Forum and Aida, a classic opera. These events are hosted in the Katara Amphitheatre, the Opera House and the Drama Theatre. All these attractions can be visited during a visit to Katara.
Damon Starky is a creative nomadic travel writer, who is well informed and experienced on a wide range of interests that would connect to the needs of any type of traveler.