Qatar National Museum celebrates opening ceremony
Dignitaries are expected to attend including Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah and French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe.
The museum, designed by the award-winning French architect Jean Nouvel, will be open to the public from Thursday.
The futuristic 52,000-square metre structure, built in the shape of a desert rose, is located on Doha's waterfront corniche and will be the first notable building visitors see as they make their way from the airport to the city centre.
Even in a country which is being built, rebuilt and utterly transformed for the 2022 World Cup, the national museum could be the single most eye-catching design of all Qatar's new buildings.
The entrance includes 114 fountain sculptures in a 900-metre long lagoon and the museum's multi-curved roof, which resembles a giant jigsaw puzzle, is made up of 76,000 panels in 3,600 different shapes and sizes.
Among the exhibits is a 19th century carpet embroidered with 1.5 million Gulf pearls and the oldest Quran yet discovered in Qatar, also dating back to the 1800s.
|National Museum of Qatar has a variety of exhibitions [The New Arab]|
"This is a museum that narrates the story of the people of Qatar," Sheikha Amna bint Abdulaziz bin Jassim al-Thani, the museum's director, has stated.
The museum, which officials say celebrates Qatar's Bedouin past and energy-rich present, also reflects the country's massive wealth and ambition.
It is among a growing list of spectacular buildings in Qatar, including the recently opened national library and Museum of Islamic Art further along the corniche.
For Qatar, the museum's delayed opening - originally scheduled for 2016 - has given it a chance to reinforce its national identity from other Gulf states, say experts.
Since June 2017, Qatar has been diplomatically and economically blockaded by neighbouring former allies, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, accused among other things of supporting terrorism.
Qatar rejects all charges and says the blockade is an attack on its sovereignty.
|The museum is located on Doha's waterfront corniche [The New Arab]|
Follow us on Twitter: @The_NewArab