Qatar residents, as well as online viewers from abroad, will now have the opportunity to visit the country’s historical and heritage sites virtually, Qatar Museums (QM) has announced.
“We're launching virtual tours of Qatar's historical heritage sites! You can discover the hidden gems of Al Ruwais Police Station, Barzan Towers and more – and all right from the comfort of your own home. Keep an eye on our channels to find out how you can take part #CherishQatar,” QM tweeted Friday.
Old Al Ruwais Police Station
Besides museums and art galleries in the country, QM also found a way for people to explore other historical sites by using their electronic devices such as laptops, tablets, and mobile phones.
The old Police Station at Al Ruwais, for example, can be toured online instead of driving 110km from Msheireb Downtown Doha. It has been restored and now serves as a permanent exhibition space with an onsite café – Arsan.
The café opened in 2019 and its name was inspired by horses, meaning “a bridle, which is a strap or rope that riders use to guide and control the horse.”
Meanwhile, the Barzan Towers, built between 1910 and 1916 by Sheikh Mohammed bin Jassim al-Thani, founder of Umm Slal Mohammed village, “may have served as lookout to protect local water sources and as an observatory to determine the dates of the lunar calendar.”
QM said Barzan is the name given to the western tower. At 14m high, it consists of three levels and, with its distinctive ‘T’ shape, is considered unique to the Gulf region.
According to QM, the eastern tower, Al Burj Al Sharqi, also built with stones and cladded mud has a more typical rectangular shape. Most of the early settlements had one or more towers that were cylindrical or rectangular in shape, usually built from stone.
Apart from Al Zubarah, Al Jassasiya and Barzan Towers, QM noted that all museums, except the National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ) and the Old Palace, are open but with precautionary measures in place to ensure the safety of staff and visitors.
QM, in accordance with directives from Qatari authorities, also opened IDAM restaurant at Museum of Islamic Art, Jiwan restaurant at NMoQ, Parks at MIA and NMoQ, libraries at MIA and NMoQ, and the library at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, are also open to the public.
While NMoQ has remained closed, people can still visit the museum virtually through Google Arts & Culture, including MIA and Mathaf where an array of collections and exhibitions are on show.