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A 24-year-old jazz fan from Qatar, Hanan al-Kaabi, did not lament the closure of the Gulf state's only jazz club this summer.To raise its global standing, it imports Western art and music, and incubates the region's feature films, while also paying heed to local tradition and curbing budgets due to low oil prices.Sheikha al-Mayassa al-Thani, the emir of Qatar's sister, is one of the art world's most powerful figures.In an effort to diversify its economy, Qatar's rulers have since the mid-2000s invested its immense energy wealth in education and the arts – opening museums, galleries and film festivals and staging international exhibitions by artists including Damien Hirst and Richard Serra.In a country where modern art and Western music are still relatively unappreciated, and whose economy is under strain, some Qataris complain the ventures are costly and not to local tastes.Since the oil slump in mid-2014, cultural projects in Qatar have been axed.Despite budget cuts, the museum authority is building two new institutions to complement Qatar's existing museums of Islamic and modern art.
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