Desert rose finally blooms

A desert rose 18 years in the making bloomed in Qatar yesterday.

The National Museum of Qatar, which opened to the public yesterday, was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel.

It was inspired by the shape of desert roses, a sand crystal that can be found in Qatar's arid desert regions, the Guardian reported.

The sprawling 560,000 sq ft building on Doha's waterfront corniche took 18 years to build and has 11 galleries that showcase the natural history of Qatar's geology and wildlife, archaeology, cultural traditions and pearl fishing, as well as the discovery of oil and gas through films and dioramas. The family lineage of sheikhs is shown as well, with cases of their personal effects exhibited.

"This is a museum that narrates the story of the people of Qatar," Sheikha Amna Abdulaziz Jassim al-Thani, the museum's director, was quoted by The Jakarta Post as saying.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 29, 2019, with the headline 'Desert rose finally blooms'. Print Edition | Subscribe