Bookmark and Share

1. Geography
2. Political situation
3. Economy
a. Figures
4. Health
5. Education
a. Universities
6. Demographics
7. Religions
a. Freedom
8. Peoples
9. Languages
10. History
11. Cities and Towns

Open the online Arabic language course

Open map of QatarFlag of QatarQatar /

Findings indicate that settlements in Qatar date back a couple thousand years. Evidence indicates also that the climate at this period was not as hot as currently. However, other evidence points to Qatar being almost uninhabited until as recently as the 16th century.
Around 1750: The arrival of the ath-Thani family from Najd in today's Saudi Arabia. They came as fishers and pearl divers.
1766: The al-Khalifa families move from Kuwait to Qatar.
1783: Persian invasion, driving the al-Khalifas to Bahrain, but they still hold a great influence over Qatar.
Around 1850: Qatar is becoming a centre for pearl extraction, with Zubara in the northwest as the main centre. This activity was controlled by the al-Khalifa family of Bahrain (now the ruling family). Serious tensions exist between the ath-Thani and the al-Khalifa families.
— Al-Bida (later Doha) is established as the capital of the realm of ath-Thani, when the leader of the family, Shaykh Muhammadi bni Th-Thani, claims the role of emir.
1867: Shaykh Muhammadi bni th-Thani signs a treaty with the British, in order to protect him from the Khalifas of Bahrain. Later the same year, the emir dies. He is succeeded by Qasim.
1872: Emir Qasim signs a treaty with the Turks allowing them to establish a garrison in Doha. Qasim manages to remain independent of the British and the Turks, but nominally he acts as a representative of the Ottoman sultan. Qasim rises to a high regional position, and is one of the strongest leaders of eastern Arabia.
1893: Fights between Qasim and the Turks stationed in Doha. No change in the status occurs, however.
1913: Qasim dies. Shaykh Abdullah succeeds Qasim.
1915: Turks withdraw from Doha. The Qataris demand this because of British regional dominance, Turkish weakness, and the threat from the advancing Abdul Aziz as-Saud in eastern Arabia.
1916: Treaty between Abdullah and the British. This involved British monopoly on dealing with Qatar. Qatar becomes a British protectorate.
Around 1930: Collapse of the pearl market. This has dramatic effects on the Qatari economy. Parallel to this, oil is predicted to be found in Qatar.
1935: Concessions granted to the PDQ, Petroleum Development Qatar, to search for oil.
1937: The ath-Thani family gains control over Zubara.
1939: Oil is discovered.
1949: Due to delays because of World War 2, oil production begins now. Emir Abdullah chooses to receive economic advice both from the British and from Egyptian advisors.
— Abdullah resigns, to the benefit of his son, Ali.
1952: The first school in the country opens.
1959: First complete hospital opens.
1960: Ali abdicates, in favour of his son, Ahmed. Ahmed becomes the country's first weak ruler, but he has a strong helper in Khalifa bni Hamadi th-Thani, who acts as Deputy Ruler and Prime Minister.
1971: Britain leaves the region. Qatar explores with Bahrain and the Trucial States the establishment of a federation. Qatar withdraws from the talks after Bahrain pulls out.
September 1: Independence is declared.
1972 February 22: Khalifa takes power in a palace coup, and Ahmed is exiled to Dubai. Khalifa, the strong man of Qatar for the last 12 years, controls all institutions of importance. A period of stability and economic progress begins.
1974: Qatar General Petroleum Corporation is established, bringing petroleum extraction under full national control.
1986: Conflict with Bahrain over the artificial island of Fashtu d-Dibal.
1991: Agreement with Iran on delivery of fresh water, through a tunnel that is to be constructed under the Persian Gulf.
1992: Conflict with Saudi Arabia over the border issue, leading to clashes.
1993: Agreement with Saudi Arabia over the border issue.
1995: After meetings with Bahrain, the issue of Hawar Islands remains unresolved.
June 27: Khalifa is dethroned by his son, shayKh Hamadu bni Khalifati Th-Thani, in a bloodless coup, while Khalifa is travelling abroad. Hamad is acting as defence minister at the time of the coup, and is the appointed heir. Khalifa declares that he will return to reclaim power.
July 3: Establishing of the Doha Securities Market.
2003 August 5: Shaykh Hamad has his son Yasim replaced by the one-year younger Tamim as Crown Prince and Commander-in-chief of the Armed forces.

By Tore Kjeilen