Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum – Doha, Qatar - Atlas Obscura
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Doha, Qatar

Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum

This mix of Islamic art, vintage vehicles, weaponry, architecture, and history is an ode to eclecticism.  

When a museum is described as “eclectic” a certain image often comes to mind, namely a collection of ancient and modern pottery, paintings, statues, costumes, coins, jewelry, weapons, and other various artifacts. Yet, the Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum (FBQ Museum) goes further.

Opened in 1998, the FBQ Museum preserves Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani’s private collection of artifacts. An enthusiastic collector, he travelled extensively throughout the world amassing a truly impressive variety of items. The museum houses more than 15,000 items, and it is broadly divided into four sections: Islamic art, coins and currency, vehicles, and Qatar heritage.

The cornucopia of artifacts includes modern and ancient boats, cars, motorbikes, bicycles, vintage cigarette packets, Princess Diana paraphernalia, ancient religious manuscripts, carpets, samurai armor, radio sets, stethoscopes, forceps, sewing machines, toys, prams, looms, doors, windows, saddles, fossils, desert roses, and various military insignia, just to mention a few. Obvious standouts are an airplane, a dinosaur skull, an F1 racing car, a Christian confession cubicle, and a reconstructed Syrian house.  

Thematically consistent, the mix of old and new that is inherent in the collection is also reflected in the building that houses it, which is interesting in its own right. It is a renovated and repurposed fort, complete with turrets, gates, archways, yards, wells and ponds.