A Look At The History Of Doha, Qatar

If you want a chance to read some fascinating material the history of Doha is definitely worth your perusal. Doha, which is in Qatar in the Middle East, has had many trials and tribulations to endure, and has come out all the better for it. It has been inhabited by people for more than 100,000 years, as has been proven by the discovery of various tools that were unearthed in the location. 

Qatar is highly regarded as one of the richest countries in the world nowadays, but that wasn’t always the case. Up until the 20th century it was one of the Middle East’s poorest nations. Many of the citizens were only able to support their families by taking on the task of fishing, whether it be for pearls or fish. Back then those were really the only two ways to make enough money to get by.

One thing that is important to note is that Doha wasn’t always Doha. It was once known as Al Bidda in a place that was called “Guttur” according to a map by a German explorer, Carsten Niebuhr. Al Bidda was a settlement and happened to be one of the only ports in the peninsula where you could reliably buy, sell, and trade. This helped to allow folks to be able to barter with each other without having to worry about a deal going awry.

There were pirates and outlaws that caused trouble throughout the region and when the chief of one of the largest tribes (the Al-Buainain tribe) was accused of murdering a native of Bahrain in the 1820s, he was imprisoned by Al Khalifa Sheikh, which left no ruler for the tribe. This allowed for those troublemakers to wreak havoc on the little establishments. Long story short, one of these outlaws was wanted by the British, and even though the chief at the time agreed and captured him, the Brits still issued a fine to the chief, which he (rightly) refused to pay. This started a feud between Al Bidda and the British, which continued for a while, even after a new ruler, Bin Tarif, took over. He eventually died during a battle with Bahrain.

After Bin Tarif died, Al Thani stepped up and became a leader for both cities. This is the time where the Qatari-Bahraini War was raging. This feud took many Qatari lives and destroyed much of the city. There was eventually a settlement proposed by Colonel Lewis Pelly, even though there were other battles, like the Battle of Al Wajbah that had to be dealt with. Jassim Al Thani finally came out on top and that is when Al Bidda and Doha were joined to make Qatar.

Even though they discovered the oil in the 30s it wasn’t until the late 40s when they could capitalize on it. This is due to World War II. In 1949 Qatar was finally able to begin gas and oil production. This would end up becoming one of the most pivotal movements in all of Qatari history. This is what boosted Qatar to becoming one of the wealthiest countries in the whole world and ultimately changed the lives of many Qatari citizens who now had more money at their disposal than they knew what to do with. You can liken it to a real-life fairytale.

Fast-forward to September 3rd, 1971 and Qatar not only declares its independence, but it also takes this opportunity to name Doha its capital. This is where the real hard work starts. For anyone that’s ever been to Doha, it may be difficult to imagine the city without huge skyscrapers and well-maintained roads, but it took a lot of backbreaking work to get it to where it is today. Modernization is not an easy task, especially for a country as a whole, but Doha has proven that when you put full focus on one aspect (and a lot of money) you can achieve anything.

Throughout the decades, from the 1950s and on, Qatar has focused on building an empire. They have some of the tallest buildings in the world, amazing restaurants, modern homes, and much more. In the mid-90s there was another transfer of power, but this time it was a semi-peaceful one. It occurred when Sheikh Khalifa was enjoying a vacation in Switzerland and his son, Hamad, decided he wanted to take over. Ultimately this helped to lead Qatar to become a more democratic society. This helped to boost the status of women and encouraged fairness all around. While no society is perfect, Qatar is well on its way to becoming an enviable nation.

Two important landmarks that were built in the city include the University of Qatar, which was opened in 1973 and the National Museum of Qatar coming just two years later. These two establishments are an integral part of Qatar. They brought culture and education into the city and helped to further the advancement of the country in numerous ways. Soon to follow would come the creation of the Corniche and Doha Bay, which is an excellent leisure spot.

The population of Qatar, primarily Doha, keeps growing year after year and this proves that Qatar is one of the world’s fastest-developing countries. It’s also a popular spot for expatriates to move to. Expats actually outnumber Qatari citizens. This shows that, even though Doha is a hot desert Middle Eastern country it still has many great aspects that keep bringing more and more people here.

Just like the population, the tourism continues to grow every year. There are numerous attractions including shops, amusement parks, and desert safaris that appeal to adventurous travelers. There’s literally something in Doha for every type of traveler. Whether you’re moving here, or just visiting, Doha has truly become a prized travel destination.

If the history of Doha is something that truly interests you, and you’re planning a trip to visit the humble city, I would definitely have to recommend that you schedule a visit to the Msheireb Museums. This attraction consists of 4 different houses that each goes into various aspects of Doha history including the use of slaves to build up the country, domestic life, the change from humble beginnings to the post-oil boom, and more. It’s an awesome way to spend the day, plus it’s free!