Gems of Qatar - Museum of Islamic Arts


Marvel at authentic Middle-Eastern treasures dating back to the 7th century


A seamless blend of timeless traditions and modernity, Qatar combines year-round sunshine, luxury accommodation and outstanding service with a wide range of sightseeing opportunities, activities and sports, topped off with a fascinating taste of its own unique culture. In a nation so steeped in heritage, Qatar has successfully preserved its historical roots while evolving as an urban regional metropolis at the forefront of global trends. A nation filled with treasures, gems and interesting finds, we bring you the glistening Gems of Qatar series to share what shouldn't be missed while planning your trip to the charming Arabic nation.

Architecture and Inspiration
The Museum of Islamic Arts is one fine case in point. Built on a reclaimed island, the majestic structure is an iconic addition to Doha’s skyline and draws much influence from ancient Islamic architecture, notably the Ibn Tulun Mosque in Cairo. The museum is the brainchild of Pritzker Prize-winning veteran architect I.M. Pei, who came out of retirement to design the Museum of Islamic Arts. The veteran Chinese-American architect is best known for the landmark glass pyramid in the forecourt of the Louvre - still widely regarded as the world’s greatest museum. 

Treasure Trove of Art, History and Culture
Rising five-storeys high, the main building of the Museum is topped by a high domed atrium within a central tower. An adjacent education wing is connected by a large central courtyard. The Museum is a wealth of art and a treasure trove of historical resources, boasting an impressive collection of ceramics, glass, metalwork, manuscripts and textiles dating back to the seventh century. Special exhibitions cover over a thousand years of Islamic art, giving an unparalleled glimpse into Qatar’s history and culture. 

Along with the permanent and temporary galleries, there is a library and an auditorium where regular talks and interactive workshops are held. For culture buffs and history enthusiasts, this place is not to be missed. 

Learning and Fun for Everyone
Some museums may seem uninviting or high-brow, but not the Museum of Islamic Arts. Its extensive learning resources for teachers, adults, students, families and schools mean that there is something for everyone. For young adults, there are a myriad of activities to do, such as meeting with museum staff in their Behind‐The‐Scenes tours and Thursday Late Tours, creating their very own artworks, inspired by historic pieces from Islamic civilisation in a workshop, or joining the Majlis Book Club(available in Arabic & English) and discussing books linked to Islamic Art, Museums or Arabic History.

The museum is also child-friendly, with Family Tours, Children’s Weekday Workshops, and playgrounds in the MIA Park to keep children fully occupied.

Details and Directions
Opening Hours:Mon, Wed, Sun 10.30am – 5.30pm
Thu, Sat 12pm – 8pm
Fri 2pm – 8pm
Closed on Tuesdays

The Museum’s amazing collections have been digitised and can be found online on their website:http://www.mia.org.qa/en/collections/search-collections

The Museum of Islamic Arts is a 15-minute drive from Hamad International Airport. The best way to get to the museum is by car or taxi.

There are flights connecting Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong to Qatar directly via the award-winning Qatar Airways daily.

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