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National Museum of Qatar is one of the World’s Greatest Places 2019

In the Persian Gulf, a desert rose forms when sand adheres to the crystals created by the slow evaporation of salt basins. The resulting clusters look like interlocking discs and inspired Jean Nouvel’s design of the National Museum of Qatar, which sprawls along the waterfront of the capital, Doha. The destination museum opened in March and uses immersive video screens and dioramas to take visitors on a mile-long journey through the peninsula’s history, from geology to pearl diving to Bedouin life and finally back to geology—namely, to the discovery of the oil and gas that enriched the kingdom and paved the way for groundbreaking structures like this one. — Karl Vick