We used to call it the Emir’s Farm, which is not quite true, as the ‘farm’ does not belong to the Qatari Emir, but belong the Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani who is one of the richest men in Qatar and a distant relative of the Emir. We may call it a farm but it’s more of a traditional establishment that consist of – surprisingly:
- A museum of Sheikh Faisal’s massive collection of all sorts of old stuff, from old cars to old money to old artifacts of the land.
- A small plot of land where fancy animals/big birds can live freely, such as ostriches and peacocks not to mention normal birds like pigeons etc.
- Another plot of land where he keeps Arabian Oryx, a genus of antelope species that is also the animal symbol of Qatar. The Oryx were once extinct but reintroduced again in the Arabian peninsula in captivity, and I guess one of the breeding places is here, in Sheikh Faisal’s farm
- A farm of date trees which is not very interesting.
- A Horse stable, where he houses dozens of horses, either his own or individual horse owners who don’t have enough facilities to look after their horses. The horses in this stable varies from the normal thoroughbred to the popular in the region horse breed: the Arabian Horse. At the moment this stable is also looking after the Qatar’s most beautiful Arabian Horse:
As Doha (as well as Qatar) doesn’t have many places to go to at weekends, this place is one of the few places one can visit on weekends apart from a morning walk at one of the parks or another walk at a shopping mall. Sheikh Faisal’s Museum is open for public by appointment; while the stable is different, it’s a nice place to bring a family to introduce children to different animals/pets. Or even learn horse riding (youngsters and adults).
Currently I am learning to ride a horse here, where I manage to ride a different horse each time I come for a lesson. Sometimes they also take us for a hack around the establishment together with other pupils, our trainer and horse groomer, as well as their pet dogs who happily walk and play around the horses. I may sound naive, but I guess this is one of so many things that I am able to do as an expat as horse riding in Indonesia is not readily accessible for everybody…
Museum working time:
9.00 am to 6.00 pm week days only (Friday closed).
The museum is located in Al Samriya, 22km west of Doha or about half an hour by car from central Doha. Take the Dukhan highway heading to Al Shahaniyah. Turn off at the sign of Al Duhailiyat to take to the flyover, take the 3 exit toward the slip road heading to Dukhan. There will be sign post of the museum to turn left toward the gate of the museum. However, if you fancy to go to the horse stable, turn left directly after the museum main gate.
Like many places in Doha/Qatar the postal address is a PO Box and geographical address means literally a map, so here is the map of the location:
For the horse stables, you can check out their Facebook Page: Al Samariyah Equestrian Centre