Despite the name, the Museum of Islamic Art is not a religious institution.
You do not have to be a Muslim to enjoy this museum! It’s full of great artifacts from three different continents over a period of 1,400 years, and some of the countries represented here include Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Spain, and Turkey.
I spent a few days in Qatar last September and was able to go on a half-day city tour in Doha, with this museum included as one of the stops. Admission to the museum is completely free. I spent about 30 minutes here because of time constraints, but easily could have stayed longer.
The building itself looks bizarre on the outside and inside, mimicking geometric patterns and also taking some influences from ancient Islamic architecture. It was designed by the award winning Chinese-American architect I. M. Pei.
The museum has 5 floors full of artifacts and it’s mostly things like pots, jewels, swords, daggers, and even a full set of armor. The top museum item for me was one of the daggers (pictured below) with an incredible design and detail, covered with gems and whatnot.
The presentation and facilities in the museum are great, although I wish the lighting was a bit brighter. Photos are allowed, but it can be kind of dark for this at times.
After you get done touring the museum, there’s a library, gift shop and restaurant on the first floor. The cafe food was overpriced ($10 USD for a small cup of refrigerated fruit), but hey, in Qatar that’s pretty typical.
How To Get To The Museum Of Islamic Art
The museum is located in the city center of Doha. I got there with a city tour, but you can also go there with Uber, Careem, etc. There is a parking lot with a taxi rank.
The hours of admission for the museum are 9AM-7PM every day of the week except Friday, which is 1:30 PM to 7:00 PM. Entrance is free.