Doha’s Museums

Doha’s Museums include these three ‘must see’, when you stay in the city.

The design of the new National Museum of Qatar is based on the crystal structure of the Desert Rose, a small accretion of gypsum and sand. It surrounds the original National Museum which was in its turn twentieth-century palace of Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani. The new building is formed of interconnected discs and designed by the architectural firm Jean Nouvel.

Exterior National Museum - Doha's Museums
National Museum – Doha

The intention is to connect the past with the present and to offer unexpected juxtapositions while displaying Qatar’s evolution.

National Museum Doha Interior
National Museum Doha Interior

Each disk is glass fibre-reinforced concrete that absorbs the heat, while casting cooling shadows. Inside are displays of objects and multi-media offering Qatar in a microcosm.

The Museum of Islamic Arts is also the work of a renowned architect, in this case, I. M. Pei. Located on an artificial peninsular that projects into Doha’s bay the style is monumentally formed of geometric patterns of angular blocks inspired by Cairo’s Ibn Tulun Mosque.

Museum of Islamic Arts - Doha's Museums
Museum of Islamic Arts – Doha

The interior is spacious to enable superb Islamic artefacts to be displayed to experience in the best manner.

Museum of Islamic Arts display - Doha
Museum of Islamic Arts display – Doha

Unlike the National Museum and Museum of Islamic Arts, Msheireb Museums comprises four existing properties, old houses that have been sympathetically converted into a series of focused Museums. Each house is simple and spacious without overwhelming displays and encourages a complex understanding of their subject. Bin Jelmood House gives an overview of the slave trade within Qatar’s region,

Company House - Msheireb Museum - Doha
Company House – Msheireb Museum – Doha

Company House details Qatar’s oil industry from an employee’s viewpoint, Mohammed Bin Jassim House is largely a new-build based on the original house and speaks about the local of the Museum, Radwani House looks at family life in Qatar, most especially after the discovery of Oil.

Doha’s Museums help make any visit to Qatar informative and enjoyable.

Author: Tony Walsh

Book author including the current Bradt guide to Oman – edition 4