National Museums and the public imagination in Qatar and the Gulf

Project: Research project

Project Details


The project will develop an understanding of the social and cultural perception and impact of the National
Museum of Qatar (NMoQ) across key demographic groups in Qatar, including Qatari nationals and expatriates
during the crucial three-year period 2015-18, which encompasses the opening of the Museum. The three year
project will be the first study of its kind in the region, implementing context-specific social science research
methodologies and resulting in essential data and conclusions of national, regional and international significance.
The data and findings will contribute to the implementation of the Qatar National Vision 2030 in terms of
developing a better understanding of the NMoQ and its relationship to the promotion of national heritage, values
and identity, as well as the social integration of nationals and expatriates. The study will result in data that aims
to improve the Qatari national and expatriate experience of the museums in Qatar, and inform the future
development of museological practice in Qatar, in line with Qatar Museums’ stated aims to grow museums from
within. The project as a whole will result in detailed understanding of conceptions of the institution of the museum
as it exists in the imaginations of Qatar’s diverse communities. This will contribute to broader regional and
international museological research into the role of museums in multi-cultural communities and non-western
contexts. Finally, the project will train Qatari national students in social science and museological research
methods, supporting the development of a knowledge economy in Qatar, and the potential for increased numbers
of locally-led projects of this kind in the future. Outputs will include reports in Arabic and English for all museums
in Qatar, an edited academic volume in Arabic and English contributing to the emerging literature on museums
in the region, and three international workshops in Doha to discuss the Qatari experience with regional and
international colleagues. The study is timely as the NMoQ is due to open in late 2016, and it is highly unusual to
have the opportunity to implement such a study that can capture pre- and post-opening data to compare
perceptions across this event. The study will be the first of its kind in the region, and of international academic
and cultural significance. The duration of project will be three years, from Autumn 2015-Autumn 2018.
Effective start/end date8/9/164/30/20


  • UCL Qatar (Agmt 2/5/17//NPRP8-389-5-051)
  • Qatar National Research Fund (Agmt 2/5/17//NPRP8-389-5-051)


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