a delegate abroad (p6) - Museum of Islamic Art

admiring the art 

the conde' nast vibe

perhaps to hail Doha as a conde' nast destination is overrated, when comparing to vibe of monte' carlo or swiss alps or even turk and caicos. the place is still (fast) developing towards the title, with the luxury hotels built along the west bay and the beach etc. , but not yet on the hospitality. for a budget traveller like me, Doha stands as it is, relatively compared to my favourite footprints etc. friends even comparing the place with Dubai etc. and thought of it is relatively affordable to be a tourist in Dubai.

back in 2009, i was too eager to go for the desert safari tour - 4WD tour crossing the sand dunes, then overnight etc., but it was too expensive and no tour operator in Doha would entertain a single traveler like me. a minimum of 2 person per pax was put on the brochure. friends that joined me last time, was in dogmatic, listening to the horror stories of the 4WD accident etc. and opted to back off. and i had to settle with visiting the souq, again and again...and the shopping malls (eh?).

and this time, i was looking forward to put the desert safari thing in my to do list. i did all the research by the time my trip was confirmed, and yet...all the pre-requisite for joining the tour maintained the same, but with a price hike. i had a long sigh. and since my trip was a last minute arrangement, i didn't have clear idea on who else would be joining etc., and even those that i knew goin, didn't have the interest on such tour.

so budget was and is really a thing here, for a budget traveller like me (though it was business trip). even the hop-on-hop-off bus cost usd40. so i had to search for the free/cheap options, and Doha Museum of Islamic Art was an option. i didn't have the chance to visit the place last time, because i went there on Tuesday, and it was closed every Tuesday.

the Museum of Islamic Art, Doha

friend was interested to join me to visit the museum.

it was the last day of the conference, and as we both had our sessions done, we decided to leave the place after having the lunch and skipped the closing ceremony. we took taxi from the QNCC and since it was still early, we didn't have to deal with the traffic that much. we had another friendly driver this time, and he was a Somali. He's been working in Doha for the past 11 years, driving the taxi and apparently, compared to the other two drivers that i encountered earlier days, he happened to love his job. na ah..love is overrated, he was ok with his job.

despite he had to leave his children in Somali, and staying in a studio apartment with his wife, which cost 2000 qatar riyal per month, he seemed happy. perhaps, it was because he had a good employer that took care of him and didn't cut his salary randomly etc. 

he knew about Malaysia and praising the country. he said, a lot of our country consumer products being exported to Somalia, and it was affordable. he even praised PROTON and told us that they made a good car. but again, in Middle East, who cares about small cc car and budget car like proton. everybody going for the 4WD etc.

we arrived at the museum entrance, and it was in the mid-day and scorching hot, despite it was still 'winter' in Doha. a short walk from the gate took us to the entrance, where we had to scan our bags and body, and then left our bags at the counter. and camera was allowed to be taken in. i was quite surprise when the counter staff, which i believe was a local, greeted me in a friendly manners, and asking where do i am from.

#entrance is FREE
#non-flash photography is allowed
#free shuttle bus to Arab Museum of Modern Art (Mathaf), vice versa

inside the museum

the mini-Qur'an

the tea-leaves filter

the golden bird

the souvenir shop
 in general, the place is impressive.

1st - the museum itself is a well note architecture piece, and an icon of Doha. it was design by the I.M.Pei, one of the famous architect. the location of the building, at the corniche, and facing the west bay etc., ..well placed. and i loved wandering at night here, seeing the light from the museum and west bay buildings, painting the night landscape of the corniche.

2nd - the collection of art work from early days of Islam and presented in each gallery, are abundant and impressively presented. for a museum/gallery goer like me, i can appreciate it very much.

we went down and had a coffee break at cafe inside the museum. another impressive feat of the museum, as the cafe was facing the west bay, and friend told us that it is open at night, and i bet, with the lights from the buildings at the west bay, it must be an interesting view.

menu - guna ipad tuuu...huhu

after had a break, and then wandering a while for photos around the museum, friend took the taxi back to his hotel. he had to leave earlier as he was taking the flight, later at night.

leaving the museum ...

i decided to walk to Arumaila as it was just nearby. probably, it was a weekday, hence i didn't see much people wandering around the corniche.

walking along the corniche
along the chroniche - the museum and the west bay of Doha

i finally arrived Arumaila, and was in time for my jama' pray. i rest for a while and waiting for maghrib, and then went out again, meeting friends for dinner at Souq Waqif.



  1. This museum is also one of my favourites, I even had 2 blog entries written on it. One on its architecture, and another on its exhibits. There being no entrance fee & the fact that photography is allowed are added bonus! :-)

    1. RaW. agree with you. in fact, i discovered that there is a free shuttle bus that connecting this museum with another art museum - Arab Museum of Modern Art (Mathaf). too bad. i only discovered it on my last day there, and didn't have the chance to visit. :(


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