This post is part of a series on our trip to Qatar in August 2012, approaching the end of Ramadan until the celebration of Eid Al Fitr. It was the height of summer, but the hot weather didn’t totally stop us from exploring Qatar as much as we can.
After our overnight swimming and camping at Dukhan Beach last night, we’re now on our Day 4 & last day in Doha.
As Buboy’s clearly sleep-deprived from all the swimming & chatting last night and practically sleep-walked to the hotel room, I let him sleep while I fixed our stuff, did web check-in for tonight’s flight back to Bahrain, printed our boarding passes, et al. At around noon, woke him up to prep for check out. We left our bags at the reception and headed out. Kaliwali the heat. :)
It’s also the second day of Eid Al Fitr, which we were anticipating for the re-opening of MIA.
The Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) is located off the Corniche, Doha, Qatar.
The museum opened its doors to the public in late 2008. Designed by world-renowned architect I. M. Pei (of Louvre’s pyramid), MIA is built on a stand-alone island on Doha Bay, surrounded by a park.
MIA reflects the essence of Islamic architecture, and has become a remarkable icon for the city of Doha.
By the way, entrance is free of charge, and photography not forbidden. Awesome lah! :)
At the atrium, ground level was an exhibit on calligraphy, which I’ve always found fascinating.
The ground floor also houses an Auditorium (there was ongoing Japan-Qatar program), and a Gift Shop.
There’s also an open cafe with lounge area for visitors. You can have your coffee with the view of Doha Bay. Amazing.
Now let’s start our Islamic Art Journey.
The Second Floor, houses the Introduction Gallery, Calligraphy, The Figure in Art, Pattern and Science in Art.
The galleries were designed by Paris-based Jean-Michael Wilmotte, indeed in an inspiring setting for a superb collection possibly unrivaled in the world in terms of importance, quality and visual impact.
Next will be a series of photos of the exhibits with my best efforts in captioning, hopefully will suffice.🙂
The Third Floor galleries – “Journey of Islamic Art though time” are laid out in a chronological series of displays from Early Islamic dynasties to the late Indian and Turkish empires.
We went up further to the Fourth Floor which houses a study gallery, a mini auditorium (where we watched a short film) and galleries for temporary exhibitions.
Featured during our visit was the Islamic Glass Exhibitions: Illuminations + Intelligence of Tradition, which runs from 1st Aug 2012 until 07th Jan 2013.
If you’re really a museum junkie, MIA will be a piece of heaven for you. You could easily spend at least four hours to go thoroughly all of its shows and exhibits.🙂
However, Buboy somehow remembered his tummy and already complained of hunger. There was a restaurant on the 5th level but when we went there, the guards told it was closed for renovation or something. I pointed to him the cafe downstairs but he said pastry & coffee won’t be enough. So, we had to go. =’ (
We went out of MIA around 2pm, so it was still really hot. The consolation is the surrounding park beautifully landscaped with palm trees, walkways, fountains et al.
We walked up to the main gate and took a cab to the Souq’s dining boulevard (remember most of the restaurants were closed the previous day and promised to come back) for our late lunch. It was a delightful Malaysian dining experience.🙂
On my initial IT list, I’ve listed a number of museums to visit, like Msheireb Enrichment Centre (near Sheraton), Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art (in Educational City area) Qatar National Museum, et al.
It’s apparent we didn’t have sufficient time to cover them all as we’re already flying back to Bahrain that night. Hence we now definitely have more reasons to go back to Doha, woot woot!🙂
Next and last of the series: Itinerary Summary – Qatar trip, August 2012.