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Cultural Development Strategy

Reconciling tradition with modernity is a sizable challenge for any country. An important goal of the Qatar National Vision 2030 (QNV 2030) is to modernize the state while preserving the country’s culture and Arab identity.

Qatari society has undergone a rapid change in a relatively short period of time. The transformation from natural pearl production to the global fossil fuel industry has affected almost all aspects of everyday life, from family life to the national workforce and to Qatar’s enhanced status among the international community.

New developments in communication, transportation and technology are creating new forms of cultural production, allowing for higher flows of cultural products into and out of Qatar. Qatar’s huge expatriate population represents a variety of cultures and includes practitioners of many different religions.

Throughout its evolution, Qatari society has successfully maintained the essence of its culture and continuity from the past. This continuity includes observing the fundamental principles of Islam, maintaining the inherited status and prestige of the leading families and preserving the connectedness of family affinities.

Key Objectives

In order to preserve culture, the government has outlined priority objectives, committing itself to:

  • Use culture as a platform for building national pride and encouraging intercultural understanding.
  • Safeguard and develop Qatar’s cultural heritage to preserve its national identity and strengthen family cohesion.
  • Use culture to enhance young people’s learning, build their self-esteem and help them realize their full potential.
  • Attract and nurture high-quality talent to inspire and stimulate the growth of the culture sector.
  • Encourage greater interest in culture by providing research and information on the growth and potential of the culture sector, as well as the benefits of being involved.
  • Raise Qatar’s profile and standing as a lively cultural destination and a center for cultural exchange.

Qatar is fulfilling these objectives in many ways, including cultural program exchanges, international film festivals, athletic competitions, enriched academic curricula targeting artistic development and more. The Doha Capital of Arab Culture 2010 is a successful, year-long event celebrating the arts, music and film through conferences, cultural summits and mutual knowledge-sharing.

Investing in Culture and Society

The government will continue to invest in culture through a grants program managed by the Ministry of Culture and Sports. The ministry is responsible for funding cultural organizations and artist advancement as well as research on cultural development. These grants take an interdisciplinary approach, involving key culture stakeholders in a collaborative, participatory process. The grants will be targeted to artists and institutions but made available to a broader audience, particularly young people, women and the socially disadvantaged, thus promoting social integration and equality. They will also encourage cross culture exchanges, forging new international relationships and promoting worldwide understanding of Qatari culture.

Building Sustainable Culture

The Government of Qatar knows cultural sustainability can only be achieved through intergenerational awareness. As the current and future consumers and creators of culture, Qatar’s youth are the key stakeholders in the nation’s social development.

As Qatar diversifies its economy, there is an increasing emphasis, especially in higher education, on subjects that propel a knowledge economy, such as math and science. However, the government is equally committed to emphasizing other subjects such as the arts.

A visual arts and design high school will be established with a focus on developing skills, improving techniques and enhancing creativity. The school will give students practical exposure to the arts and design industry and include elective subjects such as film, photography, digital media, design and technology.

Qatar foresees a vibrant community of artists living and working locally. The Ministry of Culture and Sports is working towards creating a more enabling environment for Qatar’s youth to pursue careers in the arts. A new framework for artist development is in the works to help address the obstacles for artists such as limited opportunities for specialized training and negative public perception on the value of an arts career.

By reaching the country’s children at an early age, the government will be taking the first, crucial steps in cultivating a dynamic, sustainable artistic foundation for the future.

Download a copy of Qatar National Development Strategy.