Home » What to Do in Education City in Doha: the Ultimate Guide

What to Do in Education City in Doha: the Ultimate Guide

by Paola Bertoni
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Education City is a neighbourhood in Doha, hub of many universities and cultural institutions. Here, you can appreciate modern like the sculptures in front of Sidra Medicine, the fantastic architecture of the Qatar National Library and the Education City Mosque, as well as the amazing Oxygen Park.

Exploring Education City: Must-See Attractions

Education City is well-known for being home to the FIFA World Cup 2022 stadium and international universities. If you’re a fan of green spaces, Oxygen Park nearby has beautiful gardens, jogging trails, and sports facilities for families to enjoy. For book lovers, the Qatar National Library has a stunning architecture and an amazing collection of books in different languages and from various time periods.

PLAN YOUR TRIP TO QATAR
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Art enthusiasts can visit the Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art to see an exceptional collection of modern and contemporary art from a distinct Arab perspective, including traditional forms like calligraphy and geometric patterns. Additionally, you can find striking public art installations such as “Maman” by Louise Bourgeois and “The Miraculous Journey” by Damien Hirst.

If you’re interested in cultural sites, the Education City Mosque, with its unique calligraphy-adorned minarets, is worth a visit. Additionally, there’s the Al Shaqab equestrian centre, dedicated to preserving the Arabian horse breed. As you can see, this neighbourhood in Doha has plenty of sights to discover!

Qatar National Library

The Qatar National Library, a stunning marvel of modern architecture, was designed by the renowned architect Rem Koolhaas. The library’s exterior, shaped like a diamond, contrasts with its spacious, light-filled interior. The bookshelves are seamlessly integrated into the building’s design, emerging from the floor and becoming part of the architectural landscape. This 45,000-square-meter building resembles two sheets of paper pulled apart and folded diagonally at the corners, creating a striking, shell-like structure.

Inside, the design allows natural daylight to flood the open-plan interior, creating an inviting space for reading and socialising. The library features pods for working, a bar, a restaurant, and a dedicated children’s area. Boasting a diverse collection, it houses rare and invaluable archival documents, books, and periodicals in various languages, including early Arabic printed materials and manuscripts. Some printed materials date back to the 15th century, showcasing the library’s exceptional antiquarian collection.

Interior of the Qatar National Library, Doha
Interior of the Qatar National Library, Doha

Education City Mosque

The Education City Mosque is an architectural marvel with a distinct, striking shape that is easily recognisable from a distance. Designed by the Iraqi architect and calligrapher Taha al-Hiti, the mosque’s minarets display vertical calligraphy that ascends into the sky. Five pillars support the mosque’s structure, each symbolising one of the fundamental pillars of Islam: the profession of faith, prayer, giving alms, fasting, and pilgrimage.

If you want to visit, the Education City Mosque welcomes visitors of all faiths, not just Muslims, regardless of religious affiliation. Situated within the Minaretein building, the mosque is part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s College of Islamic Studies, serving as a venue for numerous enriching cultural events throughout the year. The compound also encompasses the Qur’anic Botanic Garden, where you can see plants mentioned in the Qur’an alongside Qatar’s indigenous flora.

Education City Mosque in Doha
Education City Mosque in Doha

Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art

The Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art hosts an exceptional collection of modern and contemporary art representing a diverse range of styles and genres. The museum opened in 2010 and is located in a building designed by renowned French architect Jean-François Bodin.

I recommend you visit Mathaf because the museum offers a distinct Arab perspective on contemporary art. Its permanent collection features over 9,000 works by prominent artists from the 1840s to the present day, from the Arab world’s countries and regions linked to the Arab Peninsula, spanning Africa, Asia, and Europe.

The collection explores various themes, including nation-building, post-colonialism, reconstruction, the oil industry, urbanisation, and people’s aspirations in a rapidly changing world. It also encompasses traditional forms such as calligraphy, craftsmanship, and geometric patterns.

Universities

Education City is a unique hub for learning and innovation because it hosts branch campuses of prestigious international institutes, a vibrant research university, start-up incubators, technology parks, and cultural institutions.

Education City is home to the local Hamad Bin Khalifa University and seven international universities, such as Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar, Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar, Texas A&M University at Qatar, Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, Georgetown University in Qatar, Northwestern University in Qatar, and HEC Paris.

Thanks to this network, students have a diverse range of educational opportunities. They can apply at one university and study everywhere, cross-registering for classes at various branch campuses.

Oxygen Park

Located near universities, Oxygen Park features lush greenery and a range of facilities for everyone. These include jogging trails, volleyball pitches, and multi-purpose fields, making it the perfect spot to get active. Moreover, Oxygen Park hosts peaceful gardens, picnic areas, and playgrounds for children, ensuring a fantastic visit for the whole family.

Damien Hirst Sculpture at the Sidra Medicine Hospital

Sidra Medicine is one of the most important hospitals in Qatar, specialised in the care of children and women, including fertility. In front of it, you can see the controversial installation by the renowned artist Damien Hirst, “The Miraculous Journey”. The artwork depicts the stages of a fetus’s development in the womb and consists of 14 bronze sculptures, the largest being a monumental fetus at full term, standing 14 meters high.

The striking artwork powerfully states the journey of life, from conception to birth, and symbolises the institution’s dedication to unravelling the complexities of life and the wonders of medical science.

The installation has sparked widespread discussion and debate, with some praising its emotive portrayal of the beauty of life while others find it confronting and unsettling. In my opinion, it is really powerful and beautiful. It undoubtedly succeeds in evoking strong emotions and encouraging contemplation.

"The Miraculous Journey" by Damien Hirst in Doha
“The Miraculous Journey” by Damien Hirst in Doha

The Spider Sculpture at the Qatar National Convention Center

The Qatar National Convention Center (QNCC) is Education City’s convention and exhibition centre, designed to host a wide range of events, including conferences, exhibitions, meetings, and cultural events. However, the reason to visit it is the sculpture “Maman” (mother in French) by Louise Bourgeois.

This 30-foot-tall bronze-cast spider sculpture depicts a protective mother carrying her eggs. If you position yourself under the spider, you can see above your head a sac containing 17 white and grey marble eggs, symbolising the continual renewal of the cycle of life.

I know many people don’t like spiders, but this sculpture is really moving and touching. Spider mothers take exemplary care of their offspring, creating a protective web around their fragile eggs. As a mum, I want to protect my son like “Maman”.

The spider sculpture "Maman" by Louise Bourgeois in Doha
The spider sculpture “Maman” by Louise Bourgeois in Doha

Al Shaqab Equestrian Centre

Al Shaqab is an equestrian centre dedicated to preserving and promoting the Arabian horse breed in Doha. Established in 1992 by Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, the centre is home to more than 700 Arabian horses and educates young children on horsemanship and equestrianism. Additionally, it trains both riders and horses for long-distance endurance races.

Al Shaqab’s facilities span 980,000 square meters and include top-notch amenities such as indoor and outdoor arenas, paddocks, air-conditioned stables, an equine veterinary centre, and an exercise centre equipped with advanced technology like treadmills, massage areas, and hydrotherapy pools.

You can visit the Al Shaqab equestrian centre participating in a guided tour, and learn why horses hold a significant place in Qatar’s history and tradition.

Education City Stadium

The Education City Stadium, designed by Architects Fenwick Iribarren and Pattern Design, was specifically built for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. It has a capacity of 44,667 seats and comes with football training pitches, a golf course, and shops.

The complex received three awards from the Gulf Organisation for Research & Development (GORD), including a five-star rating in Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) Design & Build certification, a Class A rating in GSAS Construction Management, and a GSAS Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio certification.

How to get to the Education City in Doha

To get around Education City in Doha, you have a few transportation options. For convenience, you can choose to use a taxi or a ride-sharing service like Uber and have them take you directly to the points of interest.

If you prefer public transportation, you can take the metro using the Golden Line from the centre of Doha and disembark at the Qatar National Library Station. From there, you can follow signs and Google Maps to easily find your way through Education City.

Once in Education City, you can also use the tram service to navigate within the area. Keep in mind that Sidra Medicine is located on the opposite side of the library, so it can serve as a reference point to orient yourself within the area.

Where to stay in Doha

Doha boasts a wide range of beautiful hotels with swimming pools and fitness centers to choose from. DoubleTree by Hilton Doha Old Town is a great modern accommodation in the heart of Doha. For a sea view option, you can choose the Wyndham Grand Doha West Bay Beach. If you prefer to stay in a hotel with an Arabian touch, I can recommend La Maison Hotel Doha, or for a luxurious experience, the incredible Sharq Village & Spa, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

Education City in Doha is a hub of learning, culture, and innovation. From the stunning architecture of the Qatar National Library to the breathtaking Education City Mosque and the enriching exhibitions at the Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art, this neighbourhood offers a rich tapestry of experiences. Share in the comments if you already visited Education City in Doha or if you will add it to your list for the next trip.

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