The National Museum of Qatar (NMQ) opened two of its highly anticipated children’s playgrounds to the public on 15 February 2020. The playgrounds are specially created outdoor play areas as part of the second phase of NMoQ’s opening. The two playgrounds have very distinct themes. The first playground is named ‘The Cave of Wonders.’ The replica dahl, or cave, has openings in the roof and glowing rocks to allow light into the cave. The cave also contains “archaeological artifacts” in the sand, rock carvings, bats, and a giant gecko.
Rahmah Bin Jaber, a historical figure and captain as well as a famous Arabian horse and pearl trader, inspired the second playground. The second playground, ‘Adventure Ship,’ is inspired by Rahmad Bin Jaber and his Ghatrousha. Rahmad Bin Jaber was a famous captain known for trading horses and pearls.
The Ghatrousha is a type of dhow or Qatari boat. While enjoying this playground, children can learn about sailing, pearling, fishing, trading throughout the ages. The children will learn about Qatari culture and history with the stories and songs, cargo, and treasure found at the ‘Adventure Ship’ playground.
Both ‘The Cave of Wonders’ and ‘Adventure Ship’ are designed to engage all ages and aim to bring the NMoQ’s collection and galleries to life. The playgrounds encourage visitors to explore not just the galleries themselves but also Qatar’s natural and cultural offerings.
“We are committed to ensuring that museums are a place of learning for all generations. From the natural formation of the land to a time where Qatar was one of the major pearl traders of Asia, the playgrounds – similar to the permanent galleries at the National Museum of Qatar – are immersive and experiential, telling the story of Qatar and its people. As we progress towards the second phase of the museum’s opening, we look forward to welcoming both children and adults as they explore two very important parts of our country’s heritage and culture.”
– H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al-Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums
Last year, the National Museum of Qatar revealed that TOTAL, one of the top oil and gas companies in Qatar, is the official sponsor of the third playground. The third and final playground will focus on oil and gas and will open later this year.
To go along with the opening of the two NMoQ playgrounds, The Al Khor Family Park has reopened after it was closed for three months during renovations, which include the addition of a zoo. The new design of the park is spread across almost 2,600,000 square feet. Over 4,000 people visited the massive park in its first two days of being reopened. The zoo is home to rhinoceroses, elephants, giraffes, lions, crocodiles, and several different species of monkeys, birds, and oryx.
There is also a large play area with new games and a train for kids to play in. The upgraded park includes more coffee shops, restaurants, toilets, and other facilities. Abdullah Maqlad al-Muraikhi, a member of the Central Municipal Council for Constituency 25, stressed that the park has become much better after the renovations, expressing his happiness and that it would have a positive impact on increasing the tourism in the city of Al Khor.
(Image Source: Twitter – @emranabdullah3)