Qibla Cultural District


Qibla Cultural District (QCD) and the Kuwait National Museum

In 1983, in the presence of scores of Kuwaitis, diplomats, non-Kuwaiti residents of the country and representatives from leading cultural institutions around the world, the Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah was opened in the largest building at the Kuwait National Museum (KNM). Objects from The al-Sabah Collection of art from the Islamic world held in the Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah joined ethnographic galleries highlighting tradional life in Kuwait, an exhibition featuring the remarkable finds from archaeological excavations, largely in Failaka Island, examples of traditional dhows and an inspiring planetarium to complete a cultural experience to all visitors.

Less than a decade later, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait saw the pillaging and destruction of the museum. Slowly some buildings have been restored and reopened, including the planetarium, archaeology and ethnographic galleries.

When discussing the needed renovations of the museum and the DAI galleries, Sheikh Nasser Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah and Sheikha Hussa Sabah al-Salem al-Sabah, co-owners of The al-Sabah Collection recommitted to the loan The al-Sabah Collection objects to the museum. They expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to have the stories of the objects told in an environment that hosts so many people, especially school children and others there to learn about art and culture of what would become the Islamic world. To ensure a comprehensive story is being told, they proposed including a new exhibition of pre-Islamic objects from the same geographic spread. This will greatly enhance the educational and cultural opportunities available in the museum.

The growth of the physical structure of the museum and the art objects within it, marry with nearby cultural destinations, including the National Library, Sadu House, al-Badr House, and the al-Sharhan Mosque and the Qubliyah School to create Kuwait’s Qibla Cultural District.

What to do at QCD

CLOSED – Museum under rehabilitation

Contact Information

The Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah galleries are not yet open. For information on the visiting the other galleries, please contact the museum directly.

Phones: +965 22451195 / 22456534


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