Museum of Islamic Art
The Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) is one of Qatar’s most iconic buildings and is world famous for its exotic collection of Islamic masterpieces from different Muslim countries spanning across centuries. Thousands and thousands of visitors pass through its doors every year to witness the marvel and splendour that make up the Islamic world through art pieces collected over the years and carefully conserved so visitors can understand the Islamic traditions, culture and heritage through the centuries.
MIA was built in the mid-2000s and was opened to the public on 1 December 2008. Under the patronage of the Chairperson of the Qatar Museums Authority’s Board of Trustees, Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the museum has flourished and, today, it is a source of pride for Qatar.
Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art
On the edge of Doha in Education City, Mathaf (“museum” in Arabic) will challenge any assumption you might have about Middle Eastern art. Showcasing more than 9,000 20th- and 21st-century works from across the Arab world, it is the largest array of its kind.
Housed in a former school, the permanent gallery consists of pieces from countries such as Iran, Turkey and India, as a well as a significant representation of local artists. The first-floor halls display artwork with themes such as society, family, history and horoufiyah (the use of Arabic letters and calligraphy).
East Wing gallery calls itself as ‘an international platform for photography’. Indeed, other than its activity in Doha, and a new space opening soon in Dubai, East Wing’s staff are also busy curating and commissioning projects around the world. The gallery focuses on thought-provoking contemporary photography with socially relevant themes, and represents works of many emerging to mid-career international artists. Among the best known are World Press Photo winner Philippe Dudouit, and multitalented Phillip Toledano, who put his art to test across a range of media and contexts, and always with success.
Msheireb Museums is situated in the very heart of the city, Doha’s old downtown area, and is made up of four houses where Qatar’s rich traditions and cultural heritage have been preserved to highlight Qatar’s history and how the country grew from its humble beginnings to one of the richest countries on the planet.
These four traditional courtyard houses which date back to the first decade of the 20th century, have been restored and conserved by renowned local as well as international architects and professionals to ensure the old memories of Qatar are not lost. Each of the four houses showcase Qatar’s traditional community-based lifestyle but each house has a different story to tell and each story comes to life using the latest technology and old natural resources.