Doha: Qatar National Museum will be re-opened in 2012, the Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) said on Thursday.

"Qatar National Museum will take away peoples’ breath when we announce its opening. Though it is undergoing renovation and expansion, the whole project is up to the scale of the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA). The massive project will not only be transformative of the national museum’s identity and also the definition of museum," said Roger Mandle, QMA executive director, quoted by Qatar News Agency.

The Qatar National Museum, opened in 1975, was established in a restored palace built during the beginning of 20th century by Sahikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani who used it as residence and ruling palace.

The palace was later turned into Qatar National Museum to “provide a permanent display of Qatar’s history, heritage, and past and present activities to maintain an inseparable link between its glorious past, its prosperous present and its promising future,” the museum website says.

In 1980, the building won the Agha Khan award for restoration and rehabilitation of Islamic architecture.

The museum complex consists of the old palace, the archaeological and natural history museum building, a lagoon, a maritime museum and an aquarium.

The museum was closed from 2002 to 2006 for restoration and shut for renovation in 2007. The remodeled museum will have an annex by French architect Jean Nouvel.