One of the most beautiful Doha’s modern architectural accomplishments is an iconic building located on one end of the 7 km long capital’s Waterfront. This building belongs to the Museum of Islamic Art and is set within the Museum of Islamic Art Park.
Museum of Islamic Art building is designed by a famous Pritcker Price-winning architect I. M. Pei. It consists of the five-stories tall main building and an adjacent education wing attached by a large central courtyard. There is a high domed atrium within a central tower and the influence of the ancient Islamic architecture is quite notable. The building is made of cream-colored limestone which captures the changes in light and shade as the day goes.
The building interior is also stunningly intriguing. There is a curved double staircase in the center of the atrium which leads up to the first floor with a metal chandelier above it.
The 5 stories tall window (45 meters) on the north side gives a spectacular view of the bay.
The inside space is adorned by geometric patterns of the Islamic world while a variety of materials and textures, including wood and stone, is used to create the suitable environment for the museum’s astonishing collections.
Alain Ducasse’s first restaurant in the Middle East is located at the heart of the museum on the top floor and is called “Idam” (the Arabic word meaning “generosity”). Apart from amazing dishes, it offers a spectacular view of the bay and a sophisticated atmosphere. The interior of this restaurant is designed by a French designer and architect Philippe Starck. Philip Starck also designed the interior of MIA Café located in the Atrium of the Museum.
The museum is open every day of the week from 9 am to 7 pm, except for Fridays when it opens at 1:30 pm. The MIA Café has the same working hours as the Museum, while Idam is open during lunch and dinner times only on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. The MIA Park is open 24 hours a day, every day of the week.
Museum of Islamic Art is a must see place for anyone visiting Doha.