As Qatar gears up for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which will be hosted in Doha from 21 November –18 December 2022, anticipation is in the air.

As part of the run-up, Qatar Creates — the year-round movement promoting cultural activities in the nation – has announced a new wave of 40 public artworks, which will be unveiled in Doha and across the nation. Over the coming weeks, a total of 100 artworks will be on view for residents and the 1.5 million international visitors expected in the capital for the World Cup, transforming the city into an ‘outdoor museum experience’.

Daniel Arsham (b. 1980, United States) Sports Ball Galaxy, 2012 Cast Hydro-stone. Qatar Olympics Sports Museum Photo copyright Iwan Baan. Courtesy of Qatar Museums
Daniel Arsham (b. 1980, United States) Sports Ball Galaxy, 2012 Cast Hydro-stone. Qatar Olympics Sports Museum Photo copyright Iwan Baan. Courtesy of Qatar Museums

Among the show-stopping new additions are Jeff Koons’ Dugong (2022), a colossal polychromatic steel sculpture depicting the marine mammal that inhabits the waters surrounding Qatar; commissioned desert installations by Ernesto Neto and Olafur Eliasson; a potent light installation by Shilpa Gupta at Stadium 974 and a collection of ephemeral sculptures and installations by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. Other international regional and native artists include Daniel Arsham, Lawrence Weiner, KAWS, Faye Toogood, Peter Fischli & David Weiss, Rashid Johnson, Ahmed Al Bahrani, Monira Al Qadiri, Franz West and Shouq Al Mana. 

‘The addition of 40 new, major works of public art this fall is a significant milestone for Qatar’s public art programme. Public art is one of our most prominent demonstrations of cultural exchange, where we present works from artists of all nationalities and backgrounds,’ said Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, chairperson of Qatar Museums, in a statement. ‘From the arrivals at the best airport in the world — Hamad International Airport — to every neighbourhood in our nation, public art is there to make your experience unique.’ 

Shouq Al Mana (b. 1995, Qatar) Egal, 2022 Stainless steel. Lusail Marina Photo copyright Iwan Baan. Courtesy of Qatar Museums
Shouq Al Mana (b. 1995, Qatar) Egal, 2022 Stainless steel. Lusail Marina Photo copyright Iwan Baan. Courtesy of Qatar Museums

Sculptures and installations will be located in populated public areas and those off the beaten track, from the expansive Qatari desert to the bustling Souq Waqif. 

‘These works vary in size and form, and they encompass a wide range of subject matter, but all further our mission to make art more accessible, engage our publics, celebrate our heritage, and embrace the cultures of others,’ Sheikha Al Mayassa continued. ‘More importantly, artists from every corner of the world – representing all continents – have been invited to express their artistic creativity with our very own diverse population. Our longstanding commitment to public art is visible across Qatar, and we hope these works will be welcomed by locals and enhance the experiences had by the millions of visitors we expect to welcome to Doha this year.’ §

César Baldaccini (1921–1998, France) Le Pouce (Thumb), 1965-2016 Bronze with gold patina Souq Waqif Photo copyright Iwan Baan. Courtesy of Qatar Museums
César Baldaccini (1921–1998, France) Le Pouce (Thumb), 1965-2016 Bronze with gold patina Souq Waqif Photo copyright Iwan Baan. Courtesy of Qatar Museums
Subodh Gupta (b. 1964, India) Spooning, 2009 Stainless Steel M7, 2nd floor, Msheireb Downtown Doha Photo copyright Iwan Baan. Courtesy of Qatar Museums

Subodh Gupta (b. 1964, India) Spooning, 2009 Stainless Steel M7, 2nd floor, Msheireb Downtown Doha Photo copyright Iwan Baan. Courtesy of Qatar Museums

Faye Toogood (b. 1977, United Kingdom) Clay Court, 2022 Jesmonite, cement composite Various Dimensions Qatar National Theatre Photo copyright Iwan Baan. Courtesy of Qatar Museums 

Simone Fattal (b. 1942, Lebanon) Gates to the Sea, 2019 Bronze. National Museum of Qatar Photo copyright Iwan Baan. Courtesy of Qatar Museums

 Damien Hirst (b. 1965, United Kingdom) The Miraculous Journey, 2013 Bronze. Sidra Medical Centre Photo copyright Iwan Baan. Courtesy of Qatar Museums.

 Damien Hirst (b. 1965, United Kingdom) The Miraculous Journey, 2013 Bronze. Sidra Medical Centre Photo copyright Iwan Baan. Courtesy of Qatar Museums

Shua’a Ali (b. 1974, Qatar) Milestones, 2022 Concrete, stone, bronze and paint. Grand Hamad Street Photo copyright Iwan Baan. Courtesy of Qatar Museums.

Shua’a Ali (b. 1974, Qatar) Milestones, 2022 Concrete, stone, bronze and paint. Grand Hamad Street Photo copyright Iwan Baan. Courtesy of Qatar Museums.