Qatar Museums is, like Qatar itself, a young institution with great ambitions. Culture and art supports the realization of our National Vision. It nurtures the transformation of a hydrocarbon nation to onebased on diversity by supporting and establishing creative networks. Culture connects people of all walks of life; it has no passport and establishes a tolerant platform for dialogue. We welcome you all to Doha, because in Qatar we believe in partnerships and I am sure that we will forge many new networks in the coming years.
Key to our vision for arts and creativity in Qatar is the need to balance progress and heritage. In 2013, we hosted the 38th UNESCO Heritage Conference, with Qatar's first UNESCO World Heritage site named at the ancient fort of Al Zubarah in the north of our country. We are also in the process of converting our old fire station to an Artist-in-Residence facility, which will be fully operational in 2015.
We champion the work of artists from this region and we support their development through our local partnerships with Katara (Cultural Village) and the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage. We also bring art from all around the world to inspire, influence, and equip aspiring artists from the region and educate our communities about international art. I encourage you to take part in all the cultural offerings in Qatar, which are unlimited. Between the Museum of Islamic Art, Katara, public art, and our thriving art galleries, there is truly so much art and architecture to see and appreciate.