It is one of the world’s most complete collections of Islamic artifacts, with items originating in Spain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, India, and Central Asia.
Other facilities include IDAM, a high class restaurant offering French Mediterranean cuisine with Arabic elements.
The museum is influenced by ancient Islamic architecture, yet has a unique design.
It was the first of its kind in the Arab States of the Persian Gulf and has a very large collection of Islamic art, plus a study and a library.
Pei requested that the museum spaces be designed by his collaborator on the Louvre project, Wilmotte & Associates, who then assembled a design team including Plowden & Smith (conservation consultants), Isometrix Lighting + Design (lighting consultants), SG Conseil (AV Consultants) under Turner Projacs. Robertson Associates was the structural engineer for the project.
The Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) represents Islamic art from three continents over 1,400 years.
Its collection includes metal work, ceramics, jewellery, wood work, textiles and glass, obtained from three continents and dating from the 7th to the 19th century.
The museum houses a collection of works gathered since the late 1980s, including manuscripts, textiles and ceramics.
Sabiha Al Khemir served as the founding director of the museum from 2006-2008., the museum is located on an artificial peninsula overlooking the south end of Doha Bay. At the age of 91, Pei had to be coaxed out of retirement to undertake this enterprise.
Construction of the building by Baytur Construction Co. The interior gallery spaces were designed by a team led by JM Wilmotte of Wilmotte Associates. He traveled throughout the Muslim world on a six-month quest to learn about Muslim architecture and history and read Muslim texts to draw inspiration for his design.
The museum was officially opened on November 22, 2008 by the emir of Qatar. Declining all proposed sites for the museum, Pei suggested a stand-alone island for the structure in order to avoid the encroachment of other buildings.
It was built on a peninsula, approximately 195 feet (59 m) off the Doha Corniche and surrounded by a park.