The National Council for Culture, Arts and Heritage was established in 1998 to sponsor national culture, arts and heritage affairs, and specifically seek to attain the following objectives:
- Develop and enrich cultural gains and intellectual products.
- Provide the suitable atmosphere in which artistic and literary productions can develop and diversify.
- Protect national heritage, highlight its peculiarity and encourage research.
- Encourage, develop and spread fine arts.
- Preserve national legacy of heritage and archeology.
- Survey prevailing cultural, artistic, literary conditions as well as conditions related to heritage and collect data on efforts of various bodies in their individual fields of interest and specialty.
- Prepare required studies to upgrade cultural, artistic and literary production and preserve national heritage.
- Issue directories, dictionaries, indexes and other published works, compile documents and contribute in publishing the worthy genuine and translated works of the intellect.
- Participate in cultural and artistic exhibitions, conferences and festivals, locally, regionally and internationally.
- Designate quality standards for various fields of intellectual production in the country and decide material support, awards and incentives in relation to such production.
The council is formed of a chairman, a deputy chairman and a number of board members, whose appointment and terms of duty are ordered by an Emiri decision.
Administrative Units Forming the Council
Department of Culture and Arts
This department is responsible for sponsoring the intellectual, literary and artistic movement in the country; supporting fine arts; developing music and theatrical arts; stimulating the cultural movement by holding lectures, symposia and shows and staging cultural and artistic exhibitions.
The Theater in Qatar
has known the theatre since the 1950s through the performing activities
of social private clubs, scout groups and several other organizations
whose trials mainly dealt with social matters of that time. Many
establishments and individuals were well known for their outstanding
contribution in this field. Formed in the 1960s, the Folklore Group for
Performing Arts is the nucleus for the theatrical movement in Qatar.
However, it wasn't until 1972 that Qatar had its first-ever proper
theatrical group-Qatar Theater Troupe . The following year witnessed
the establishment of a new group, al-Sadd Theatrical Troupe, the second
of its kind in the country. In 1974 Masrah al-Aladwaa troupe was
formed; and in 1983 the folklore troupe for performing arts reappeared
after having been dissolved. In 1994 the four troupes were merged into
two major theatrical groups named Qatar Theatrical Troupe and Doha
Theatrical Troupe, which have been staging their works locally and
abroad. Culture and Arts Department supports every theatrical work
presented by private theatrical troupes with all available artistic,
technical and material potential, free of charge.
Culture and Arts Department hosts Arab theater scholars, who share their expertise with Qataris through lectures, symposia and training courses. The Department also sends theatre trainees to attend courses abroad and encourages artists to pursue academic studies on theatrical arts in the Arab countries such as Egypt and Kuwait and other foreign countries so as to further their knowledge in this field.
Within the context of its annual programs and plans, Qatar National Theater hosts the performances of visiting Arab and international theatrical troupes. A1-Ahli theatrical troupe leads Qatar representation at the Arab and international theatrical festivals held abroad. The troupe, formed of actors chosen from other theatrical troupes, is supervised by the Department of Culture and Arts and is considered the nucleus for the national theatre in the country. Qatar marks the 27th of March International Theater Day each year by staging distinguished theatrical performances that reflect the latest artistic trends in the field of performing arts.
Department of Public Libraries
Dar al-Kutub al-Qatariyya is one of the oldest national libraries in the Gulf and the Arab world and one of the outstanding cultural landmarks in Doha. It was established in 1962 by merging the Public Library and the library of the Ministry of al-Ma'arif (Education) into one body by a decision from the then minister of al-Ma'arif. The decision put the library under the direct authority of the minister of al-Ma'arif and gave it an independent budget. The new body, now called the National Library, is currently part of the Department of Public Libraries at the National Council for Culture, Arts and Heritage. Its responsibilities include compiling, storing and preserving the Qatari heritage; preparing indexes; organizing local book fairs; participating in book fairs abroad; providing book-lending service for the public; exchanging data, information, copies of manuscripts and periodicals with data centers and procuring various publications
The National Library Project
contract has been signed to establish a national library adjacent to
the building of the National Council for Culture, Arts and Heritage,
costing $120 million and occupying 15000 sq meters.
The project incorporates a main reception lounge, display halls for manuscripts and old books, a natural history museum and a science museum.
Department of Museums and Archeology
The responsibilities of this department include
preserving the national heritage by means of exploring, compiling,
sorting, categorizing, studying and explaining national heritage
components; excavating antiquities; restoring archeology and historical
buildings with the aim to preserve them; establishing, supervising and
organizing museums; highlighting and enhancing the civilized, cultural
and educational role of museums in society.
The museums belonging to the department include Qatar National Museum, Maritime Museum, Weaponry Museum, alKhor Museum, al-Zubarah Fort Museum and Doha Fort Museum (al-Kout Museum).