The series of larger-than-life paintings at Katara -- the Cultural Village provide tourists a glimpse of the many facets of Qatari tradition and culture, as well as well-known destinations around the country in just one visit.
“The artwork and design are very important because most of them not only reflect Qatari heritage but also the beautiful people of this country,” said tour guide Hari Pokharel, referring to the ‘Katara Murals with the Brushes of Artists’ projects comprising 104 murals by 54 artists representing 16 countries.
Pokharel, who regularly leads tour groups around Qatar, described the initiative as a “packaged destination” for tourists, especially for visitors who have limited time to stay in the country. He said the colourful murals depict images of heritage buildings and watch towers, traditional falcon and hunting festival (Marmi Festival), mangrove and coastal areas around the peninsula, archeological sites, and calligraphy, among many others.
Children at play.
In a previous statement, Katara explained that the initiative is “a reflection of the popularity of the art form and an opportunity for artists to display their techniques and proficiency on a platform.”
Katara general manager Dr Khalid bin Ibrahim al-Sulaiti also said the project “stemmed from the Cultural Village Foundation’s ‘keenness to constantly enrich the local art scene’ through initiatives that contribute to the development of an authentic meeting place that unites arts and cultures under one umbrella.”
“I know some of the local artists and I have seen them while they were painting at Katara. I have also joined some of them while training with Qatar Tourism Authority. Though I am not directly working with the QTA, I am fortunate to train under their wing to promote tourism in the country,” he pointed out.
Aside from the murals, Katara is also showcasing large billboards of different scenes inside the Cultural Village, many of which are large photographs and artist renditions of infrastructure and facilities within Katara premises.
Asked about visitors’ reactions, Pokharel said many of the tourists he accompanied to Katara “are inspired by the murals.”
“Rather than marvelling over the tall buildings at West Bay, they are happier seeing these large paintings. While the buildings depicted in the murals are smaller compared to the actual skyscrapers, they said the long stretch of artwork created a huge and positive impact on their tour of Qatar,” he stressed.