Museum of Islamic Art, Doha

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Museum of Islamic Art
متحف الفن الإسلامي
Museum of Islamic arts SOP.jpg
Established 22 November 2008 (2008-11-22)
Location Doha, Qatar
Coordinates 25°17′43″N 51°32′21″E / 25.29528°N 51.53917°E / 25.29528; 51.53917Coordinates: 25°17′43″N 51°32′21″E / 25.29528°N 51.53917°E / 25.29528; 51.53917
Type Art Museum
Owner Qatar Museums
Ceiling with Islamic patterns

The Museum of Islamic Art (Arabic: متحف الفن الإسلامي‎, matḥaf al-fann al-islāmī) is a museum located on the Corniche in the Qatari capital Doha. The iconic building was designed by architect I. M. Pei.


The Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) represents Islamic art from three continents over 1,400 years. Set in the MIA Park on the waterfront, the Museum of Islamic Art stands out as an architectural gem. Once inside, you will see masterpieces of Islamic art, including metalwork, ceramics, jewellery, woodwork, textiles and glass, collected from three continents and dating from the 7th to the 19th century. The masterpieces come from both the secular and religious aspects of diverse worlds, all of which are connected by their profession of Islam, but many of which are non-religious in nature. The artworks are drawn from the treasure-houses of princes to the personal homes of ordinary people. Each object tells a fascinating story about itself and the world it comes from. MIA is not a religious institution however there are prayer rooms and ablution facilities inside the museum building for all Muslim visitors. Facilities also include IDAM, a high class restaurant offering a dining experience of French Mediterranean cuisine with an Arabic twist.


The museum is influenced by ancient Islamic architecture, yet has a unique design. It was the first of its kind in Arab States of the Persian Gulf and has a very large collection of Islamic art, plus a study and a library. Sabiha Al Khemir served as the founding director of the museum from 2006-2008.[1] The museum has a total area of 45,000 m2 and lies on the edge of Doha harbour at the south end of Doha Bay. Construction by Baytur Constr.Co. (Turkey) reached completion in 2006, but the museum's interior was subjected to a variety of changes thereafter.[2] The museum celebrated its VIP opening on November 22, 2008, and opened to the general public on December 8, 2008.[3][4] Declining all proposed sites for the museum, Pei suggested a stand-alone island for the structure in order to avoid the encroachment on other buildings. Thus it was built on the water, 64 acres (260,000 m2) approximately 195 feet (59 m) off the Doha Corniche and surrounded by a park.[5] Pei requested, further, that the museum spaces be designed by his collaborator on the Louvre project, Wilmotte & Associes, who then assembled a design team including Plowden & Smith (conservation consultants), Isometrix Lighting + Design (lighting consultants), SG Conseil (AV Consultants) under Turner Projacs. Along with this design team, Leslie E. Robertson Associates was the structural engineer for this project.

Collection origins[edit]

The museum houses a collection of works gathered since the late 1980s, including manuscripts, textiles and ceramics. It is one of the world’s most complete collections of Islamic artifacts, with items originating in Spain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, India, and Central Asia.[6] At the age of 91, Pei had to be coaxed out of retirement to undertake this enterprise. He travelled throughout the Muslim world on a six-month quest to learn about Muslim architecture and history and read Muslim texts to draw inspiration for his design.[5]



  1. ^ The Museum of Islamic Art homepage. Retrieved on 2014-06-23.
  2. ^ It was officially opened on the 22 November 2008 by the emir of Qatar. The museum's interior gallery spaces were designed by a team led by JM Wilmotte of Wilmotte Associates. "Qatar's Islamic Art Museum to open Nov. '08". Kuwait News Agency. January 23, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-12. 
  3. ^ "Islamic Art Museum opens". Gulf Daily News. November 23, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  4. ^ "Pei's Doha museum reflects splendor of Islamic art". International Herald Tribune. November 23, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  5. ^ a b "Doha's Islamic Arts Museum :: Qatar Visitor". Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
  6. ^ Ouroussoff, Nicolai (2008-11-24). "In Qatar, an I. M. Pei Museum of Imposing Simplicity -". Retrieved 2009-12-31. 

Media related to Doha Museum of Islamic Art at Wikimedia Commons