Contained within the Qatar Museum, the Doha Aquarium is a captivating point of interest located along one of Doha’s scenic coastal hills. As the country’s sole authority on its prolific marine heritage and equally impressive shipping industry, the aquarium is a museum cum marine life centre that documents Qatar’s centuries old relationship with the ocean.
As a donation of the Aquatic Biological Consultancy Services of England, the aquarium houses twelve massive tanks full of the vibrant aquatic creatures of all shapes and sizes that showcase the truly diverse marine inheritance of the Gulf. A plethora of fish species including sharks and stunning sea shells are also on display at the venue in addition to delicate corals that have been extracted from the sea bed to give visitors a glimpse of what lies beneath the emerald waves.
Having dominated the Gulf’s shipping industry for centuries controlling over two thirds of its key regions, the shipping legacy of Qatar as a nation is anything but mediocre. This aspect is further explored in the aquarium where five ancient sailing boats are anchored in specially built lagoons. Used during the pioneering days of exploration when tradesmen were just beginning to discover the Indian Ocean these sturdily built vessels broke through the frontiers of a mysterious landscape that was yet to reveal itself. Considered to be some of the oldest wooden sailing crafts and some of the last to have been built sans the contemporary inboard engine alterations, the vessels offer a look back into the golden era of new discoveries where human ingenuity was also at its peak.
The aquarium also houses a special quarter devoted to the country’s traditional boat building methodologies which documents the complex measures employed to construct such enormous wooden vessels. The local fishing enterprise also takes centre stage here with a number of exhibits dedicated to it and that of commercial pearl diving, as both played a significant role in the country’s economy in the period before oil was unearthed from the region.