Doha’s transformation from a small nomadic desert peninsula into a cosmopolitan city is well-known. Take a stroll along the Corniche today and you’ll see a city that’s oozing with confidence. Amid the towering skyline that lights up the gulf, a vibrant social scene unfolds in lounges and rooftop bars of five-star hotels, while restaurants owned by celebrity chefs serve up Michelin-starred cuisine. Entwined in this shimmering metropolis is an exciting cultural movement. Venues like the Museum of Islamic Art and the National Museum of Qatar are now icons not only for their breathtaking architecture but for their fascinating exhibits.
Floating on top of the waters of the Arabian Gulf, the Museum of Islamic Art is an unmissable sight. The limestone building, whose shape seems to keep changing as the sun hits it from different angles throughout the day, was designed by Chinese-American architect IM Pei and has become a cultural icon since it opened in 2008. The venue’s collection of Islamic art spans three continents and 13 centuries and includes early Qurans, manuscripts, ceramics and precious stones.