Qatar’s capital truly has risen from its modest beginnings as a pearl fishing village; hard to believe now, but just a few decades ago not a single skyscraper graced the city's skyline. These days, Doha's buildings are amongst the tallest and most architecturally innovative in the world, with more impressive structures under construction all the time.
Museum of Islamic Art
Built on its own island, the Museum of Islamic Art is one of Doha’s most treasured landmarks. I M Pei, famous for the iconic glass pyramid of the Louvre museum in Paris, was persuaded out of retirement to design the museum, which first opened in 2008. Its structure was inspired by classical Islamic architecture and the museum's collection of Islamic Art is now the largest in the world. The views from its windows across the bay are spectacular, and the building's location at the Eastern end of the Corniche makes it the perfect place to start a tour of Doha's most dazzling skyscrapers.
Al Bidda Tower
Heading out of the Museum of Islamic Art will bring you to the start of the Corniche. This palm tree-lined promenade stretches for four miles along the waterfront and is the best place to view Doha's distinctive skyline. Most skyscrapers are centred around the West Bay area and are within easy walking distance of each other. One of the first of these is the 43 storey Al Bidda Tower, completed in 2009 and designated as office space. The unusual twisted glass structure is said to represent the constantly moving world of business and the ever-changing economy.
Towards the west, a five minute walk away, is the 238 metre Doha Tower or Burj Qatar building. Designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, it was inaugurated in 2012. Its cylindrical form was inspired by Barcelona's Torre Agbar, while the facade's intricate outer screen - designed to provide shade from the sun - was influenced by the mashrabiya screens of traditional Islamic architecture.
Next in line are the twin Palm Towers, built in 2012. Rising to an impressive 245 metres, the steel sheets of the building's exterior are intended to represent the form of a palm tree's trunk - a tree of great national importance due to its resilience and ability to survive the harsh desert conditions.
Completed in 2008, the award-winning Tornado Tower is one of Doha's most striking landmarks and an unmistakable figure on its nighttime skyline. Its flared shape represents a whirlwind, an effect that is enhanced by an animated lighting system which allows for complex illumination of its aluminium and glass latticed facade.
Doha's current tallest building is the 300 metre high Aspire Tower, affectionately known as 'The Torch'. It was built for the 2006 Asian Games in Doha and was designed and built in an incredible 21 months. Shaped like a torch, it originally housed the flame during the Games, but this has since been replaced with a laser beam. Located in Doha's Sports City complex, the Aspire Tower is easily reached from our Radisson Blu Hotel Doha, a convenient 20 minute drive away.