The 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum is Qatar’s museum of sports history, offering an unforgettable and inspiring interactive journey through the history and legacy of sports and the Olympic Games.
The 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum was officially launched under the patronage of His Highness the Amir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, on 30 March 2022.
The museum is located at Khalifa International Stadium, part of Qatar’s Aspire Zone Foundation. The Stadium, originally built in 1976, is one of the sites hosting the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. The Aspire Zone, also known as Doha Sports City, is a 250-hectare (2.5 km) sporting complex located in the Baaya district of Doha, which also includes the Aspire Academy for Qatar’s youth, Hamad Aquatic Centre, Aspire Tower and Aspire Park.
Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayasa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums stated: “The 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum comes after Qatar’s outstanding performance at the Tokyo Olympics, and just before we host the World Cup in November 2022. Culture and sports are two sides of the same coin, and there is no better time to celebrate our nation’s investments in both Culture and Sports. Two pillars that also support Qatar’s investments in Education and Health.”
The World of Football exhibition celebrates this historic occasion. And like a football match itself, it is displayed over two halves. The first half—Football for All, All for Football—examines the universal and global appeal of football; the beautiful game that is played, watched, and enjoyed by millions regardless of age, gender, nationality or socioeconomic status. The second half—The Road to Doha—follows the long journey to Qatar 2022, from the first FIFA World Cup matches in Uruguay in 1930, to the final at the Lusail Stadium on 18 December 2022.
The 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum seeks to demonstrate to the world that sports and Qatar are intrinsically linked. It is packed full of interactive exhibits, inspiring objects and unique activity areas that generate a spirit of participation. As well as promoting the positive value of sports, it showcases the origins, development and significance of sports culture within Qatar and beyond. The museum also seeks to improve and integrate planning for community and elite sports facilities.
The museum’s exhibits present the role of sports as one of the most significant cultural developments, the history and contemporary significance of the Olympic Games, the stories of sporting heroes around the world, and the inspiring story of the development of sports in Qatar and explores the massive impact of mega events hosted by Qatar in recent decades. The interactive experiences in 3-2-1’s “Activation Zone” promote sports across Qatar and encourage the adoption of healthy and active lifestyles.
3-2-1 comprises seven gallery spaces housing objects from around the globe, from the origins of sports to the present day.
- “World of Emotion,” the first gallery space visitors will encounter, serves as the Museum’s reception area and lobby. It provides an overview of the Museum’s themes and the central role of sports in Qatar.
- “A Global History of Sport” is a journey through the history of sports across the globe from ancient to modern times. The gallery includes nearly 100 objects and reproductions, ranging from the 8th century BCE to the early 20th century, accompanied by graphics, audio-visual and interactive digital elements. The gallery is organised into geographic and thematic sections, focusing on different historical periods in Europe, Asia and Oceania, the Americas, Africa, and the Middle East.
- “Olympics” takes visitors from the ancient Olympic Games through to the birth of the modern Olympics and their growth and significance today. The gallery features a display of every torch from the Summer and Winter Olympic Games from 1936 onwards. Within the gallery’s Olympic Theatre is an immersive video that tells the story of the birth of the modern Olympics and introduces the geopolitical, social, and technological factors that enabled individuals, most notably Pierre de Coubertin, to revive the Olympic Games.
- “The Hall of Athletes” is a celebration of sporting heroes from around the world. Here visitors can meet heroes, old and new, and be inspired and amazed by their journeys and achievements. Across three floors, this gallery will profile 90 athletes from across the world and the 20th and 21st centuries, representing a wide range of international sports. Included will be a series of eye-catching displays, each focusing on a different athlete and will include informative text as well as intriguing or awe-inspiring objects (both historic and replicas).
- “Qatar – Hosting Nation” explores how the mega sports events hosted by Qatar in recent decades have become a matter of global fascination and national pride . The gallery invites visitors to explore Qatar’s outstanding reputation as a host for international sporting events starting with the Asian Games Doha 2006 and to revisit the most memorable moments of world-class events that the nation has held, including those at Khalifa Stadium since its opening in 1976.
- “Qatar Sports” presents the inspiring story of the development of sports in Qatar, from traditional games through to the arrival of international sport and the development of international competitions. The gallery explores how sports has been and continues to be essential to the development of Qatar, looking ahead to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™. The gallery also brings to life Qatar’s long-established sports activities such as falconry, pearl diving and camel racing, exploring how these sports are reflected in Qatar’s oral traditions and illustrating how they are connected to Qatar’s heritage and landscape.
- The “Activation Zone” promotes physical activity across Qatar and encourages the adoption of healthy and active lifestyles. Visitors are invited to walk through six spaces that evoke the landscape of Qatar. As they discover the park, the market and desert, the beach, city, and finally the arena, visitors will participate in a variety of fun challenges.
The museum has collaborated with the International Physical Literacy Association to develop a National Physical Literacy Journey, aimed at encouraging the community to adopt a healthy lifestyle and engage in physical activities.