Reimagine World’s Greatest Collections in the Museum of Islamic Art
Qatar has some of the world’s most stunning architectural beauty, be it museums or institutions. The museums and galleries of Qatar are the pulsating hearts of Doha’s cultural scene. Their enormous collection ranges from historical artifacts and traditional Islamic crafts to cutting-edge works of modern and contemporary art. The Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) is an example of such an extraordinary building design. This museum has left a rich legacy, and MIA’s collection honors that legacy and contributes to the cultures of the world.
The Museum of Islamic Art is home to one of the world’s largest collections of Islamic art, showcasing works from artists from all across the Islamic world. Metalwork, ceramics, jewelry, wood, textiles, coinage, and glass are all represented, spanning 1,400 years and three continents of Islamic art. This stunning museum on the lake has reopened with a fresh design that emphasizes visitors, allowing more people to enjoy the exhibits.
The Museum’s Islamic Art Collections
The galleries provide light on the great traditions of Islamic craftsmanship via the lens of overarching historical and cultural themes, time periods, and geographic locations. The museum has also added a new section on Islam in Southeast Asia. This new section highlights the ways in which people from the Islamic World and beyond have traded goods and ideas with one another.
In order to meet the cultural, aesthetic, and social needs of its visitors, the museum houses a collection of artifacts that entices minds. There are secular and religious texts here, culled from palace libraries and private collections as well as from the attics of ordinary folks. A wonderful tale may be gleaned from each individual item.
Ceramics, from simple kitchen wares to ornate tile panels, have traditionally played an important role in the daily lives of people around the Islamic world.
From early, delicate pieces to vibrantly colored mosque lights, goblets, and medieval vases, the museum’s collection features some of the world’s most renowned examples of Islamic glass.
Qur’ans from the 7th century and Ottoman writings from the 19th century are among the more than 800 manuscripts in the museum’s collection. The museum holds two of the only five known pages from the Timurid Baysunghur Qur’an, the largest Quran in the world, and the famed Abbasid Blue Qur’an. It is one of the finest and rarest manuscripts in the Islamic world. The manuscripts in the museum’s collection span the fields of science, literature, religion, and the Qur’an.
The collection showcases the finest metalwork produced in the Islamic world from the 7th century to the present day, including weapons, armor, scientific instruments, and everyday household items.
Some of the best examples of carpets, garments, and a wide array of materials manufactured for the elite of the Islamic world may be found in MIA’s textile collection.
Exhibits that are household names
- Text of the Shahnameh: The Book of Kings is a Persian epic poem written a thousand years ago by the poet Ferdowsi. It details the myths and historical events of the pre-Islamic Greater Persian Empire.
- Bowl in blue and white: This artifact is from Iraq, most likely from Basra. It dates back to the third century AH, during the reign of the Abbasid dynasty (9th century CE). The inscription reads, “What was done was worthwhile,” and it is underglaze on an earthenware object.
- Armor for Turkish cavalry: It dates back to the early 10th century AH, during the height of the Ottoman Empire. A leather and cloth exterior conceals an iron alloy forged and beaten into shape.
- Damascene Cavour vase from Syria: Midway through the 8th century AH, during the Mamluk era, it was created (mid-14th century CE). It is made of glass with gold and enamel accents.
- Pendant from the holy city of Varanasi in India: It dates to the 12th century AH, under the reign of the Mughals. It is made of enamel and is studded with emeralds, pearls, gold, and enamel diamonds.
- Spanish or North African folio from the so-called “Blue Qur’an ”: It is produced during the Umayyad dynasty in Al-Andalus in the third century AH. The opening of Surah al-Baqarah is pictured there (The Cow). This concludes the section of the Qur’an spanning verses 33 through 37. Early Common Era, c. The verse is written in gold ink on a sheet of parchment dyed indigo blue.
- The “Family Trail”: It was explicitly designed to pique the interest of children and their families by focusing on issues that are relevant to them. Visitors of all ages will enjoy the museum’s innovative use of technology, which includes interactive displays and multi-sensory applications.
The Recognizable Architecture
The Museum of Islamic Art’s magnificent waterfront home blends Islamic history with cutting-edge design. With a design by I.M. Pei, MIA’s main structure is five stories tall and connected to an adjacent education wing via a spacious courtyard. The main tower of the building is capped by a massive dome, creating an airy, open atrium in the structure’s heart. The exterior of the building is a creamy color of limestone that captures the varying light and shadow throughout the day.
The inside is just as impressive as the outside. The main entrance to the first level is a curved double staircase located in the middle of the atrium. The spiraling shape of the staircase is mirrored by the circular metal chandelier that floats above it.
The faceted dome of the atrium collects and reflects patterned light through an oculus at the ceiling. Expansive views of the harbor may be seen from the 45-meter-high window on the building’s northern face. The museum is decorated all around with geometric designs that are typical in the Islamic world. The museum’s impressive exhibits are displayed against a canvas of contrasting textures and materials.
The MIA Library
There are almost 21,000 books in the collection, including specialized works on Islamic art, art reference books, museum collection and exhibition catalogs and monographs, academic journals on art and allied fields, and auction house catalogs. A variety of languages are represented in their library’s book selection. The library’s books are not available for checkout or removal. Family trips to the library are always a lot of fun. It has exciting events and programs, such as bilingual storytimes, where kids can participate in reading and listening activities.
The MIA Park
Film festivals, sporting events, outdoor cafes, art workshops, pop-up markets, and more can be found at MIA Park throughout the year. With its family-friendly activities and interesting public artworks, MIA Park is the ideal destination for a sunset promenade or a leisurely afternoon picnic, and it is open 24 hours a day. Shot at MIA with Doha’s skyline as a backdrop, the artwork “7” by Richard Serra.
The MIA Gift Shop
Explore an extensive selection of one-of-a-kind items conceived in response to the Museum of Islamic Art’s world-class collection and exhibitions. Everything at the museum shop, from handmade glassware and jewelry to art books and accessories, represents the museum in some way.
Prayer rooms and ablution facilities are available for all Muslim visitors, despite MIA not being a religious institution.
Exhibition and Events
- The Learning and Outreach group belonging to the museum provides workshops and other learning opportunities for schools and families.
- As the first Arab country, Qatar will make history when it hosts the World Cup. To celebrate, the Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum (QOSM) has prepared a unique exhibition titled World of Football.
- In January 2023, the exhibition Labour of Love will introduce visitors to the intricate role that Tatreez (embroidery) plays in Palestinian culture.
- Daydream counseling with Sophia Al-Maria, INVISIBLE LABORS, September 16 2022–January 21 2023. The exhibit highlights the significance of storytelling as a means of survival, imagination, and reclaiming stories through a wide range of media, including installations, video, and commissioned soundscapes.
- The event at Safar will be conducted from October 23, 2022 to January 23, 2023. Experience the stories of Afghan refugees from the country’s rich history up till their departure in 2021 by visiting this exhibit.
Plan your visit
The Museum of Islamic Art is located Off Al Corniche St Doha, Qatar.
Take a flight to Doha to land at Hamad International Airport. The distance from the airport is approximately 15 minutes.
The nearest metro station is Qatar National Museum, Gold line.
Timings: 9 am to 7 pm except for Friday when the timing is 1:30 pm to 7 pm.
If you are fascinated to know more about the history of Qatar and the other cultures of the world, the Museum of Islamic Art will astonish you with its collections and architecture. The beauty around this museum is enormous, so you can’t miss adding this place to your holiday bucket list whenever you plan to visit Qatar. Check out for great deals on flights and hotels on Rehlat!