Revamping Doha: How Local Artists are Transforming the City with Colourful Murals

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Mubarak's iconic mural at the Fire Station stayed up for three years. Credit: Mubarak Al-Malik

In the heart of Qatar, lies the bustling city of Doha, where a breathtaking transformation has taken place. Thanks to the collective talents of artists involved in the JEDARIART programme, the city has blossomed into a vibrant haven of creativity and innovation. Splashes of colour and vivid murals now dance across Doha’s urban landscape, breathing life and energy into every corner.

The JEDARIART initiative, unveiled in 2020 by Qatar Museums, has paved the way for a blossoming art scene in Doha. By providing a platform for artists from diverse backgrounds to showcase their talent through mural painting, the programme has not only added to the city’s aesthetic appeal but also captures the dynamic and progressive spirit that pulses through Doha.

In the past, street art faced resistance and scepticism in Qatar, with public wall painting strictly prohibited. However, perceptions have undergone a dramatic shift, and street art is now celebrated as an integral part of the city’s cultural fabric.

The contributions of artists like Mubarak Al-Malik and Abdulrahman Almutawah have been instrumental in reshaping these perceptions. Their collaboration on a mural displayed at Qatar’s 2023 International Horticultural Exposition helped challenge the negative view of street art and pave the way for acceptance.

Local emerging artist Abdulla Alemadi has also left an indelible mark through the JEDARIART programme. His commission to create a mural at The Fire Station, a revered art venue in Qatar, represents a mix of excitement and trepidation as he boldly portrays elements of Qatari culture in a modern and vibrant manner.

Muna Al-Bader, a contemporary artist, has also been given the opportunity to showcase Qatari culture on the global stage through her mural work. Supported by Qatar Museums, she has made a lasting impact on the global art scene with her unique expressions.

The JEDARIART programme not only empowers local artists by providing them with opportunities for growth and collaboration, but it has also transformed Doha into a dynamic open-air museum, enriching the lives of residents and visitors alike. As the initiative continues to expand, it is poised to breathe new life into the streets of Doha, leaving an enduring impression on the city’s vibrant artistic landscape.

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