Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani will host a star-studded opening ceremony on Wednesday and the doors will open to the public on Thursday.

The National Museum of Qatar is set to open this week.

The museum – which took nearly ten years to complete at a cost of US$434 million – is built in the shape of a desert rose and is a stunning addition to Doha’s skyline.

Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani will host a star-studded opening ceremony on Wednesday, which will be attended by Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe. The doors will open to the public on Thursday.

The National Museum of Qatar stands on the site of the former palace of Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim al-Thani – son of the founder of modern Qatar – which has also been restored as part of the project.

The futuristic 52,000 sq m structure takes centre stage on Doha’s famous corniche and will be the first notable building visitors see when making their way from the airport into the heart of the city.

Architecture to give a voice to heritage whilst celebrating (the) future, said the museum’s renowned French architect Jean Nouvel on Twitter. Nouvel is also responsible for the Louvre in Abu Dhabi.

Visitors to the museum will be greeted by 114 fountain sculptures in a 900m long lagoon and the multi-curved roof is made up of 76,000 panels in 3,600 different shapes and sizes. Inside, there is more than 1,500m of gallery space.

A 19th century carpet embroidered with 1.5 million Gulf pearls and the oldest Koran yet discovered in Qatar, dating back to the 1800s, are displayed inside. Other important artefacts are also on show.

This is a museum that narrates the story of the people of Qatar,” said Sheikha Amna bint Abdulaziz bin Jassim al-Thani, the museum’s director.

The museum is among a growing list of spectacular buildings popping up in Qatar, including the recently opened national library and Museum of Islamic Art.

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Ahmed Naser is a UK-based journalist with a deep understanding of the Middle East. Ahmed is a contributor to a wide range of regional publications in the Middle East. He works across print and digital media as a freelance editor and writer.

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