One of the most widely recognized attractions in Doha is the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA), located on the Corniche. The museum was design by I.M. Pei, the man who designed the pyramid outside the Louvre. One lesser-known fact about Pei is that he helped design the infrastructure of downtown Oklahoma City (the city where I live) in the 1960s and 1970s through what is called the “Pei Plan.” The Myriad Botanical Gardens were part of his urban development plan.
Going back to the MIA, it is one of my favorite buildings. Before I came to Doha, I remember thinking that the museum seemed rather small. False. In person, the museum is massive. The walkway leading to the entrance and the lobby inside are all much bigger than I originally thought. The museum is five stories tall, but it seemed much small in person. One of the best parts of the tour was being able to step out and see the skyline of Doha from across the bay.
The museum has a massive collection of Islamic artifacts. From tapestries to jewelry to mosque lanterns, the MIA has everything imaginable. Coins, paintings, carved wood doors. Even a jewel-encrusted hookah. Our guide was very knowledgable about history and all the artifacts. If you are ever in Doha, don’t miss out on this wonderful museum.