The Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum as we know today is the result of the enduring passion of a man to preserve and spread cultures of the world alongside his own. Sheikh Faisal's enthusiasm for collecting initially manifested itself as a private collection in his majlis (Arab gathering space). Through collecting, Sheikh Faisal sought to preserve elements of cultural heritage and ultimately share them with the public, his rapidly growing collection soon became too large to be housed in a private setting.
Thus the Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum was founded in 1998 as a non-profit museum foundation of public interest, in a grand fort at Al Samriya Farm with a breath-taking exterior. Built of local stone with traditional turrets, the building is in itself a collector's piece in contrast with Qatar’s developing landscape. Envisaged by Sheikh Faisal and purpose-built to preserve and display the extraordinary collection, the museum design is particularly dedicated to upholding and promoting Islamic heritage.
In 2010, the museum was selected by the Ministry of Art, Culture and Heritage as one of Qatar's cultural landmarks as part of the 'Qatar Capital of Culture' activities.
Born in 1948 in Doha, Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani is both a pioneer in the cultural world and one of the Middle East's most influential business leaders. His passion and dedication to collecting art and artefacts of international significance have been stimulated by his travels undertaken to build his immensely successful business conglomerate, Al-Faisal Holding.
The collections mirror the journeys he has taken across numerous countries over decades. Each extraordinary and precious piece is not only a record of the time and place, but also a testimony to the breadth of his travels. The depth and degree of his interests, particularly in preserving Qatari and Islamic heritage, is clearly demonstrated through his collection. The astounding location guides the visitor on a magical journey through wildlife, nature, time and place.
In 2012, Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani received the title of 'Heritage personality for 2012' under the patronage of the League of Arab States, the Arab Center for Tourism Media. The award identifies an individual that has been active in encouraging the preservation of heritage in the Arab world.
The museum's affiliations span an array of international institutions and we have been dedicated to delivering entertainment based, engaging displays of the marvels collected by an extraordinary man.
Both museum sites are oriented towards developing educational public programs designed to enhance knowledge and sharing the wonders of the vast collections with our local community, regional and international visitors. We are a people oriented institution, and deliver our programs following an object-based teaching and learning philosophy.