Travel Destination – Museum of Islamic Art.  Doha Qatar

By far, one of the most beautiful buildings I have seen in a long time – anywhere – is the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha.  The various layers, the stone used, and the sharp clean lines are impeccable.   What’s more is this beauty is surrounded by water making it all the more stunning.  Unfortunately, I would have to wait until a later extended visit to go inside.  In future posts, I will return to what I call the “Jewel of the Middle East,” and give a more in-depth view of this gem…

Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect I.M. Pei, the Museum is comprised of the main building with an adjacent education wing connected by a large central courtyard. The main building rises five-storeys, topped by a high domed atrium within a central tower.

The cream-coloured limestone captures the changes in light and shade during the day.

The interior is no less spectacular. The centrepiece of the atrium is a curved double staircase leading up to the first floor. Above it floats an ornate circular metal chandelier echoing the curve of the staircase.

An oculus, at the top of the atrium, captures and reflects patterned light within the faceted dome. The five-storey 45-metre tall window on the north side gives spectacular panoramic views across the bay.

The geometric patterns of the Islamic world adorn the spaces, including the ceilings of the elevators. A variety of textures and materials from wood and stone has created a unique environment for the museum’s stunning collections.

Doha is an incredible travel destination especially if you are wanting to visit the Middle East. There are numerous experiences in Doha and all are well worth the effort.  Your number one stop should be the Museum of Islamic Art.  The exhibitions and permanent displays are stunningly beautiful and fascinating.  It is safe to say you’ll leave full of the historical knowledge of Islam.

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