Last month, we swung by Doha over the weekend. Maybe one would be wondering why of all places, we chose to visit Qatar. I, for one, do not have an answer for that but, there were two things that have been calling me for the last two years– Jollibee and I.M. Pei. Still not convinced? Let me take you to the awesome Museum of Islamic Art.
Located on an island at the southern edge of the Doha Corniche, the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) was designed by I.M. Pei, an architect known for his mastery of modern architecture. Among his famous works was the glass pyramid of The Louvre in Paris, France. MIA’s architecture is clean and sleek, no wonder it instantly became one of Doha’s iconic landmarks. The building was framed by palms running on both sides of what looks like a VIP driveway, adding more elegance as you enter the museum grounds. I love how everything looks so simple and yet they stand out.
The interiors are also lovely, from the beautiful ceiling down to the huge glass window providing the museum with natural light and a nice view of the Doha skyline.
MIA has 5 floors, 4 of which are easily accessible to the public. The ground floor is dedicated to the cafe, shop and some small galleries for temporary exhibitions (usually with a fee) while the next two storeys house the treasures of MIA. On the fourth floor is a mini auditorium and some more galleries for exhibits, while the fifth level is a high-end restaurant, so special even the elevator couldn’t go up. Ok, I kid, but really, the lift won’t stop at that floor; you have to take the stairs.
I am so in love with Islamic art–I find it richer and the details are so intricately elegant. Here are some of my favorite items in MIA’s huge collection. I cannot post everything here as I love a handful of pieces, this entry won’t end. Haha!
This collection of astrolabes came from the “Science in Art” exhibit.
To my mother, if you’re reading this: Why did you not get me a pencil case as lovely as this? :P
Some tiles extracted from walls and pavements. The “pattern” section is my most favorite among all exhibits.
I blend so well, they can actually pin me to the wall. :P
The following photos won’t give justice to what they actually look like. It’s much, much gorgeous.
This armor is just awesome! I felt so small standing beside it.
See, the Museum of Islamic Art is really a gem! It was a nice visit and we learned a lot of things. Definitely a must-see. And oh yes, entrance to the museum is free! I hope to see MIA again next time, together with the new National Museum of Qatar that is being built at the moment.
Museum of Islamic Art
Doha Port, Doha, Qatar
+974 4 422 4444