Passing by Doha? Checking this monument out is a must. Read more…

Museums have perpetually presented tourists with their first impression of any country; with the museum being the gateway through which a tourist gets introduced to the country’s civilization as well as the people’s culture. Qatar took up the task of building that bridge by establishing the first Museum of Islamic Art (MIA).

The MIA is the first of it's kind in the Gulf, and the World when it comes to the fact that it will only house Islamic Art, and Antiquities. The State of Qatar commissioned Pritzker Prize Laureate I.M. Pei, one of the World's best Architects renown for designing the glass Louvre Pyramid in Paris and the Miho Museum in Japan to visualize and design this amazing museum.

In designing the museum, Mr. Pei- who is 91 years old-was inspired, after an in-depth study of the Islamic religion and his travels to Egypt and Tunisia, by the ablution fountain in Ahmad Ibn Tulun’s mosque in Cairo. Mr. Pei did not settle on building the museum on one of Doha’s vacant quarters but instead insisted on building this museum on an artificial island on a causeway making it visible in Doha's coastline from afar; a calm artistic and visually pleasing space among Doha's Skyscrapers.

The MIA consists of five stories with a  spacious lobby and display halls that extend over 3,800 square meters. Wherever you go inside the museum, you can't help but be in awe at the beauty of the pieces housed such as the dazzling Indian Jewels, luxurious Iranian Carpets, and stunning Andulasian as well as Egyptian artifacts. some of which were acquired over a period of 20 years

The MIA houses everything from the exhibit of Islamic sciences that led the world in its entirety, to the art of mesmerizing Arabic calligraphy, all the way to a survey of Islamic Culture all the way from Egypt, northward towards Turkey and eastwards towards Iran and India. One feels like he is roaming through a virtual time machine that takes him through various centuries.

Don’t worry, if you feel tired after that intense dose of Islamic Art, you can always rest at the fashionable fountain café, or enjoy a meal at the five-star museum restaurant on the fifth floor where advance reservations are mandatory.

We now have a distinguished landmark in Doha, instead of the Sheraton Hotel, which was the differentiating mark of the city prior to the MIA; something that can compete and be compared to the many distinguished Museums in the World such as the Tate Modern in London, and the MoMA in New York.

It rivals in beauty all those museums, making me – the author of the article and a Qatari Citizen- proud of such an international as well as cultural edifice; displaying our artistic sense and heritage to the World.

Did I mentioned that entrance to the museum is free of charge?

You have to visit the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, a once yearned for beacon of light and reference center of Middle Eastern and Islamic Culture that encompasses everything from the glories and history of Cordoba to the stories of Samarqand; all ready for your discovery.

– Fahad Al Maawda. Source:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like