The new museum aims to take visitors on a journey through the global history of sports.
Qatar Museums is set to open the ‘3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum’ to the public on 31 March, at the Khalifa International Stadium.
The museum will open under the patronage of the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. Its opening date will coincide with the 72nd FIFA conference, which will be held in Qatar.
Chairperson of Qatar Museums Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al Thani, described the opening of the museum as “a symbol of the importance of sports in Qatar’s national vision 2030. The museum belongs to the Olympic Museums Network and is a legacy project of the Doha Asian Games 2006.”
The museum was designed by Spanish architect Joan Sibina, and is approximately 19,000 square meters, making it one of the largest museums of its kind in the world.
The ‘3-2-1’ museum is made up of seven galleries that contain objects from around the world, including ones dating back from the beginning of the history of sports.
The galleries, as organised by Deputy Director of Curatorial affairs Kevin Moore, are:
World of Emotion
This gallery serves as the reception area and lobby. It provides an overview of the museum and the role of sports in Qatar.
A Global History of Sport
The history of sports around the world from ancient to modern times can be found here. The objects and recreations in the gallery go back as far as the 8th century BCE and as recent as the early 20th century. It also includes graphics, audio-visual and interactive digital elements.
Here you can discover the history of the Olympic Games from their beginning in Ancient Greece to the birth of the modern Olympics. The gallery features a display of every torch from the Summer and Winter Olympic games from 1936 onwards. It includes an immersive video which tells the story of birth of the modern Olympics whilst introducing the factors that allowed individuals, most notably Pierre de Coubertin, to revive the Olympic Games.
The Hall of Athletes
The hall covers sporting heroes from around the globe. Across the three floors of the gallery, it profiles 90 athletes from the 20th and 21st centuries, representing a wide range of sports. It records their journey and achievements.
Qatar – Hosting Nation
As a frequent host of major sporting events, this exhibition focuses on important tournaments hosted by Qatar in recent years and the international attention they have received, starting with the 2006 Asian Games in Doha.
This space covers the development of sports in Qatar, from traditional sports to the arrival of international sport and competitions. It also brings attention to Qatar’s established sports activities, such as falconry, pearl diving, and camel racing. The gallery exhibits the connection between the sports and Qatar’s heritage.
The final gallery encourages physical activity by inviting visitors to walk through six spaces that emulate the landscape of Qatar. They can pass through the park, the market, the desert, the beach, the city, and finally the arena.
The museum collaborated with the International Physical Literacy Association to develop a National Physical Literacy Journey aimed at encouraging a healthy lifestyle. It also partnered with Accessible Qatar, a Doha based advocacy group, to ensure that the facilities are fully accessible.