Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani
A Leader’s Legacy 1913-1949
December 16, 2013 - February 8, 2014

QMA Gallery, Building 10 Katara Cultural Village


Focused on one of Qatar’s most influential leaders, the exhibition highlights the beginnings of the modern history of the State of Qatar. Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani, A Leader’s Legacy explores the era of Sheikh Abdullah which oversaw the advent of Qatar’s petroleum industry, education and hospitals, infrastructure and the transformation of Doha. Featuring historic artifacts, photographs, oral history interviews, and original films, the exhibit presents new insights into Sheikh Abdullah’s life and legacy to Qatar's people.

Organized and curated by the National Museum of Qatar



Organized By

Principal Sponsor

Family Tree

Life of Sheikh

Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani (1871-1957)

Sheikh Abdullah was first appointed as Governor of Doha in the year 1905 and held this position until the passing of his father, His Highness the late Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani in 1913. He was a leader well known for bringing civil and social stability to the State of Qatar.

Ruling between 1913-1949, Sheikh Abdullah’s personal and leadership qualities, as well as his wisdom and intellect played a prominent role in the economic and political expansion of Qatar. His foremost achievement took place immediately after he ascended to authority during the Anglo-Ottoman convention in 1913 at which time the Ottomans renounced any claims that they had on Qatar, thus terminating their presence on the peninsula. The convention also recognized that Al Zubarah rightfully belonged to Qatar.

Sheikh Abdullah signed a treaty with the British in 1916 which recognized him as the Ruler of Qatar. This treaty also ceded the conduct of Qatar's foreign affairs to the United Kingdom and placed the sheikhdom under British maritime protection. Oil was discovered in the year 1939, and was one of the main contributors to Qatar's rapid economic development.

During his time as ruler, Sheikh Abdullah gained the love and loyalty of his people through his commitment to improving their quality of life. His role in transitioning Qatar into a new phase of its history was one that was pivotal. He managed the country's internal affairs in a graceful manner and reduced any possible external intervention despite the difficulties that he endured. Sheikh Abdullah's character and abilities made him a great leader for the people of Qatar for more than 37 years.

Admission & Hours

9:00am – 8:00pm
3:00pm – 9:00pm
9:00am – 8:00pm

Admission is FREE and open to all.

QMA Gallery will be closed on December 18 & 19, 2013 for National Day.

QMA Gallery
Building 10
Katara Cultural Village,
PO Box 22899,
Doha – Qatar


The National Museum welcomes groups of all abilities. The Museum is accessible to visitors with limited mobility:

  • Access to Events and Public Programs can be arranged by contacting the museum in advance.
  • Selections from the exhibition such as oral history interviews offer assistive listening devices.
  • Guided tours may be adapted to the varying needs of students. To book a tour online for your class, please see Education


Visit Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani, A Leader’s Legacy and participate in our series of special exhibition events, programs, and workshops. All are free, open to the public and will take place in QMA Gallery, Katara Cultural Village unless otherwise indicated.

Talks & Lectures
Special Events



Family Fridays

Drop-in between 4:00pm-7:00pm on Friday

Join us for an action-packed afternoon of fun for children ages 3-12 and their families. Children accompanied by their adult friends are invited to drop in any time between 4pm and 7pm for a hands-on workshop inspired by the exhibition.

Climbing the Family Tree
Friday December 27, 2013

Enjoy learning about your very own family. How well do you know them all? Come and have fun creating your own Family Tree design. Then make a Spoon Puppet of your favorite relative – or even yourself!

Blooms in the Desert
Friday January 3, 2014

Have you ever seen a desert rose? If not, we will let you have a peek at ours. It’s so beautiful we have been inspired to create a new museum from its design. Come and make your own Desert Rose to take home and keep. Then make a paper rose to give to the special person in your family.

Super Skylines
Friday January 10, 2014

Look at the wonderful photographs of Qatar's Past. Make your own customized sunglasses and view the wonderful skyline of the present. Design Doha in the Future and create your own future city in a box. Use special materials to view it in different lights, and see your cityscape change like Doha at night.

Who is Behind the Door?
Friday January 17, 2014

There will be lots to keep the whole family busy in this make and take session. Use our gorgeous range of materials to design and decorate your own gateway for a Royal home. Can your masterpiece match the designs in the Old Palace itself? See the Palace in the exhibition.

Children’s Storytelling

4:00pm (English), 5:00pm and 6:00pm (Arabic)
Every Friday, December 27, 2013 - January 17, 2014

Come and listen to our exciting tales from Qatar’s past including early adventures of Sheikh Abdulla Bin Jassim. Tell us some of your own. Children will also enjoy a hands-on activity. Each 45-minute takes place in the museum’s exhibition’s story corner. Stories are recommended for young children ages 3-7.



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Talk & Lectures

Join us for informative lectures by Qatar’s scholars and specialists. All lectures to provide accompanying translation unless otherwise indicated.

All lectures are free, RSVP requested at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Literature and Poetry of Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Era

Dr. Rabia Al Kuwari

Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 6:30-7:30pm
Museum of Islamic Art Auditorium

Sheikh Abdulla Bin Jassim Al Thani Palace Conservation & Restoration of Old Rayyan Fort

Mohammed Ali Abdulla

Monday, January 20, 2014 at 6:30-7:30pm
Museum of Islamic Art Auditorium



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Special Events

Khamis Jumaa Al Kubaisi Qatari Dancers

January 30, 2014
QMA Gallery Courtyard, Katara Cultural Village
Traditional Qatari dancers performing the Aarda will be featured as part of the closing of the exhibition.


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The son of the founder, Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani, played a significant role in the country's modernization. How will you leave your mark on Qatar? Your legacy can be as simple as your relationship with your family or as grand as doing something extraordinary for the country. Share with us how you plan to leave your mark using #MyLegacy for a chance to win a Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim gold coin. You can share a photo or a Vine video using Instagram, Twitter or the QMA Facebook page to participate. Just make sure that you use #MyLegacy so we can see your vision for your future. Entries are open until 28 January, after which they will be judged by a panel from the National Museum of Qatar. Winners will be announced via QMA social media accounts on 30 January and winners will contacted directly. please click here to read Terms and conditions for this contest.


As part of Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani, A Leader’s Legacy exhibition, the National Museum of Qatar offers school programs created and presented by professional educators. We present a range of curriculum-based educational workshops and exhibition tours for different ages and abilities, in both Arabic and English.

"I learned the characteristics of a good leader, information about Sheikh Abdulla bin Jassim and saw images that help us to understand [his life]"
"I learned who is Sheikh Abdulla bin Jassim and what did he do. I also learned about the old palace...and how he built it"
"I liked when I did the activities and learned new things"

School Outreach

September 29-December 12, 2013 & Winter-Spring 2014

Sundays through Thursdays

Free, booking required

The National Museum Of Qatar travels to your classroom to offer a range of 45 minute hands-on workshops to choose from, including:

  • Super Heroes (5-8 years): Students explore the story of Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim through the adventures of popular children’s characters.

  • Pride of Place (7-11 years): Students look at key buildings in Qatar’s history, including Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim’s Old Palace.

  • I am a Curator (11-14 years): Students examine qualities of leadership, and learn how objects in museums can tell the story of important historical figures.

For more information and to book your visit, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Schools Visited

Al Wafaa Primary School for Boys

Bin Sinna Kindergarten

Al Kauther High School for Girls

Amna Al Jida Primary School for Girls

Al Jazeera Academy Primary School

Abu Baker Middle School for Boys

Atiqa Primary School for Girls

Al Doha Middle School for Boys

Al Maha Academy Primary School for Boys

Al Khor Secondary School for Girls

School Tours

December 22, 2013 – January 30, 2014, Monday through Thursdays

9:00am-10:00am or 10:30am-11:30am

Katara, QMA Gallery Building 10

Free, booking required

Students participate in a special guided tour of the exhibition followed by a hands-on activity in the galleries. Each tour and activity is adapted to the appropriate age level. Tours last one hour and must be booked one week in advance.

Maximum 40 students per school

For more information and booking your visit, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Teacher's Guide

The National Museum offers Teacher's Guide to extend student learning before and after their visit to the exhibition. Packs are available in Arabic and English and include information on Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani, A Leader’s Legacy, pre-tour activities, and suggested curriculum connections.

Download your Teacher Guide in Arabic or English.

For more information and to book your visit, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Family Guide

Explore the exhibition with a Family Activity Guide and Discover the History and Life of Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim al Thani. Designed for young people to do on their own, or children assisted by an adult, these free, printable guides are available for download or at the exhibition. Solve a puzzle, play a word game, and learn a fun fact or two!

Download your Family Activity Guide

Kids Club

Kids Club is a place where kids can play fun, online games and activities inspired by A Leader’s Legacy.


The press packet includes all basic information for Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim al Thani – A Leader’s Legacy. For additional information, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Publications List

The vision of the National Museum of Qatar is to maintain strong social cohesion and cultural exchange in Qatar. The Publications Department, as part of the museum, adopts the highest standards in publishing. It has issued an outstanding series of stories from traditional Qatari heritage to enhance national and Islamic culture.

For more information about our books, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Keep in touch

QMA Gallery
T: 4408 1255
E: qmagallery@qma.org.qa
School Programs
T: 4402 8769
E: hismail@qma.org.qa
T: 4402 8009
E: laldorani@qma.org.qa