Saturday, May 11, 2013

# doha holiday # doha islamic museum

Doha Review: Museum of Islamic Art

We went there two days ago, after reading much good reviews regarding its cubic-like exterior and excellent artifacts. Well, if you have been to other museums in Middle East, you'd probably think twice before judging this museum as the best. We went to Bahrain National Museum and the artifacts they had were extensive; they had much much more manuscripts and artifacts as compared to the ones they have here. They also had the Hall of Graves, with bones dug from burial mounds dating 6th Century. Ok, enough about Bahrain museum, lets talk about Doha museum. They had mainly repetitive artifacts such as candlebras, lights, flasks, tankards, carpets and swords from different dynasties. What was unique here were the permanent paintings, jeweles and astronomical items they had acquired for display. Even the manuscripts they had here were limited to a few pages, bindings, scrap pieces while in Bahrain they were extensive (books) and covered an entire floor

Also, being the critic I am; while the displays were very well maintained in airtight glass cases with controlled temperature readings the lighting were poor at best. So, in order to get good shots of the items you need to adjust your camera to low light capture. This was probably the major drawback here. I don't know about you, but don't you think such great items be accompanied by brightly lit lights? Next, while they showcased items from different dynasties they failed to display items which is true to Qatari culture. Most items were from Syrian, Iran, Turkish and Indian empires.

Another plus point this museum has is its layout of the building and its cubic shape cuts, clear glass staircases and stained glass walkways. Being the romantic I am, I was very impressed with the museum's collection of Shah Jahan's jewels to his wife and concubines.

The museum closes at 8pm, and there is a security check at the entrance and a gift store (not to be missed, they have some nice memorabilia you can purchase-never mind the hefty price tags) Occasionally they also have art exhibition and you can purchase tickets at the gift shop

We then stopped at the Souq Waqif for shisha, followed by a heavy dinner, and a walk to the Gold Souq. Gold was priced at 160 riyals for 916k or 24 carat gold

Finally we walked for about 1 hour from Souq Waqif to Marriot at West Bay for a pint at Champions. Spent, we reached home at 3am

Some books from the gift shop, the pink one was for free

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