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The Museum of Islamic Art


“Probably the most boring country in the world” is how Lonely Planet described Qatar a few years back. Today the small Emirate is doing everything it can to change its reputation as a dull destination. Enter the Museum of Islamic Art, one of the most stunning cultural buildings in the world.

The museum was designed by star architect I. M. Pei, who embarked on an in-depth study of the Muslim world to grasp Islamic culture and architecture for the benefit of the museum’s design.

MIA (not the singer), is home to one of the grandest collections of Islamic art, courtesy of the ruling Al Thani family, known to have accumulated a vast art collection over the years. Built just off the corniche of Doha, the museum is a festival of exquisite Islamic patterns and details, composed of a five-storey building, a two-level education centre, a soaring atrium and an imposing staircase inside.

Images: cover & 1: [Iwaan Baan],, 2: iwillbehomesoon via photopin cc, 3: [Iwaan Baan],, 4: Aih. via photopin cc 5: SpecialKRB via photopin cc