Institutions and heritage sites reopening first will include the Museum of Islamic Art, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Al Zubarah, Al Jassasiya and Barzan Towers

Qatar Museums (QM), under the leadership of its Chairperson Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, has announced it will reopen a number of its museums and heritage sites to the public on 1 July 2020, in accordance with recommendations from Qatar’s Health Protection & Communicable Disease Control office of the Ministry of Public Health. The reopening will align with the Ministry’s second phase of the general resumption of public activity in Qatar, based on milestones reached in controlling the Covid-19 pandemic. Qatar Museums plans to reopen the remainder of its museums in phases, while rolling out the new health and safety protocols, following global standards, and carefully monitoring progress to ensure the well-being of staff and visitors.

Museums and galleries opening on 1 July include the Museum of Islamic ArtMathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art and the Garage Gallery at the Doha Fire Station. Heritage sites that are opening include Al Zubarah, Al Jassasiya and Barzan Towers. The permanent collections of MIA and Mathaf will be open to visitors, as will the special exhibition Picasso’s Studios, organized in partnership with the Musée national Picasso-Paris, at the Garage Gallery at the Doha Fire Station.

Ahmad Al Namla, CEO of Qatar Museums, said, “With gratitude toward the Ministry of Public Health for its guidance, we are excited to gradually begin to welcome back the public to a number of our museums and heritage sites from 1 July. To create a safe and comfortable environment for staff and visitors, we have put in place a robust set of health and safety measures. While the team at Qatar Museums has done extraordinary work during the pandemic to engage the public through digital initiatives, we look forward to beginning to reopen our doors. Our audiences are proud of these cultural institutions that offer not only inspiration and knowledge, but also provide gathering places for the community and space for respite, which is needed now more than ever.”

Museum gift shops will be open and cafes will offer limited service during museum opening hours. From Saturday to Thursday IDAMrestaurant at MIA will operate at limited capacity for dinner service, while JIWAN at the National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ) will be open at limited capacity for lunch and afternoon tea. The NMoQ gift shops will also be open, though the NMoQ galleries will remain closed as the museum undergoes maintenance work. During this initial phase, public programs, group tours and special events will remain suspended, and QM’s playgrounds, libraries, and parks (including MIA Park) will remain closed for the first phase.

In keeping with the guidelines set by the Ministry of Public Health, a limited number of visitors and staff will be allowed inside each museum. The museums and heritage sites will be open from Sunday through Thursday, between the hours of 9am to 3pm. Visitors will be required to reserve tickets in advance on the QM website. Upon arrival at the museum, ticketholders must present a “green” health status on the Ehteraz virus-tracing app. Each person will also be checked for a normal temperature reading at the entrance. Visitors (12 years of age and above) will be required to bring and wear a mask. Hand sanitizer stations will be placed throughout the location encouraging visitors to keep their hands clean. Signage reminding visitors to keep a safe distance from other visitors will also be visible on site. Cloak rooms will be unavailable during this period. In addition, interactive features at each museum such as touchscreens will be temporarily removed, and gallery guides will be offered online only.