The Museum of Islamic Art opened in 2008 located in the Qatari capital Doha and designed by architect I. M. Pei.
The museum draws much influence from ancient Islamic architecture, yet has a unique design. It was the first of its kind in the Persian Gulf and has a very large collection of Islamic art, plus a study and a library. The museum has a total area of 45,000 m2 and lies on the edge of Doha harbour at the south end of Doha Bay.
The museum houses a collection of works gathered since the late 1980s, including manuscripts, textiles and ceramics. 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. At the age of 91, Pei had to be coaxed out of retirement to undertake this enterprise. He travelled 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.
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 64 acres (260,000 m2) on an island approximate 195 feet (59 m) off Doha’s Corniche and surrounded by a park.