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 Qatar’s evolution

A timeline of the country’s major milestones

From pearl diving to discovering and exporting liquefied natural gas and oil, Qatar has come a long way building its reputation in different sectors and industries. With a strong economy that continues to grow, the small Gulf peninsula is pioneering in various fields, including art, aviation and sports.

Doha currently houses the biggest collection of Islamic art in the world at the Museum of Islamic Art, with items originating from Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, India, Spain and Central Asia.

Also taking immense pride in its aviation services, the country’s Hamad International Airport was ranked as the Third Best Airport in the World this year, as well as the Best Airport in the Middle East for the sixth year in a row and the Best Staff Service in the Middle East for the fifth year in a row. The year prior to this, Qatar Airways took the number one spot as the World’s Best Airline.

The Gulf country is also becoming known as a major sports hub in the Middle East as it prepares to make history by hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2022, the first ever to be staged in the Middle East.

Alongside all these achievements, Qatar’s national vision 2030 is working on incorporating a sustainable development for the future.

NUMBERS


1st

The Museum of Islamic Art houses the biggest collection of Islamic art in the world

3rd

Hamad International Airport was ranked as the Third Best Airport in the World in 2020

1st

Qatar Airways took the number one spot as the World’s Best Airline in 2019


As the country continues to progress and flourish, it is interesting to take a look back at where and how it all began. Here is a highlight of some of Qatar’s most important moments in its history.

19

39

Discovering oil

Qatar found crude oil in a Dukhan field in 1939 and began exporting to Europe in 1949. By 1950 the oil revenue reached $1 million.


54

Revenue increases

The amount of revenue from oil reached $23 million. This is thanks to Qatar signing a new agreement in 1952 with the Petroleum Department of Qatar that called for a 50-50 profit share.


55

Development

Qatar opened its first school and its first hospital named Al-Remiliah. This was also when they built housing infrastructures and extended electricity across the country. The street that housed the electric plant was titled Al-Kharaba Street (electricity street).


71

Independence

Qatar gained independence on September 3, 1971 after ending protection treaties with the British.


72

The Amiri Diwan of the State of Qatar is completed

The Ottomans used the fortress as a military fort during their presence. After the Ottomans left it become the seat of rule for Qatari rulers. They eventually built another palace next to it in the 80s and added administrative activities to the building.


77

Qatar University

Qatar University officially opened. This is the only government university in the country. It currently hosts ten collages and offers courses in both English and Arabic.


79

Hamad Medical Corporation

Established by the Emiri decree in 1979. It is a not-for-profit health care provider. The corporation went on to be the only healthcare organisation outside the US to receive a Joint Commission International (JCI) re-accreditation for all its hospitals.


95

Qatar Foundation

QF was established to help with the prosperity of education, science, and society development in Qatar. Education City was later launched in 2003 where foreign universities opened branches and offered a selection of courses.


96

Al Jazeera Network

A state-owned broadcaster based in Doha, Qatar is launched. Al Jazeera Arabic was the first channel in the Arab world to deliver independent and critical news. With its comprehensive reporting it was able to shape a new kind of journalism for the region.


97

Qatar Airways

QA is a global airline that has, since its establishment, proved to be one of the best airlines in the world. It has earned many awards over the years with the most recent being the World’s Best Airline from SKYTRAX World Airline Awards 2019.

20

06

July

The Pearl-Qatar Project

Built on former pearl diving sites, this man-made island has become the largest off-shore real estate development in the country. It was made to resemble the string of pearls that represent Qatar’s ties and history of pearl diving.


DECEMBER

Asian Games

Qatar was the first Arab Middle Eastern country to host the Asian Games. This was a step towards making Qatar a sports hub in the region.


08

OCTOBER

Qatar National Vision 2030 launches

The vision aims to help Qatar overcome some of the major challenges it is facing today and expected to face in the future. The vision targets development in the following pillars: human development, social development, economic development and environmental development.


DECEMBER

Museum of Islamic Art opens

The museum opened to the public on December 8 displaying the largest collection of Islamic art in the world.


10

Qatar wins bid to host World Cup 2022

A monumental event for Qatar as it becomes the first Middle Eastern country to get the opportunity to host this global event. In preparation, the country has built a variety of new stadiums incorporating Qatari culture in the design.


11

Pan-Arab Games

The Pan-Arab games is an event for the members of the Union of Arab National Olympic Committee. It was the first time that Qatar has hosted the games and they were selected for their sports facilities and capabilities.


12

National Sports Day Launch

National Sports Day in Qatar helps to promote a healthier lifestyle for its population, hence why it became a national holiday.


13

The New Emir of Qatar

His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani became the new Emir of Qatar. He is one of the youngest reigning monarchs in the GCC and one of the youngest current world sovereigns.


14

Hamad International Airport Operates

This airport has become one of the best for its design and smooth operation. It has replaced the former airport Doha International Airport and provided a larger capacity for welcoming more visitors. It is currently ranked as the Third Best Airport in The World by the SKYTRAX Airport Awards 2020.


19

AFC Asian Cup

The Qatar National Football team won the Asian cup against Japan 3-1. It was a notable victory leading up to the 2022 World Cup.


22

The World Cup

Not only is it the first country in the Middle East to host this major event but for the first time in the history of the World Cup, the event is scheduled in the colder months due to the climate in Qatar. Everyone is awaiting the event that will showcase Qatar’s capabilities and highlight its culture.

Photos: 1 – Torsten Maiwald; 2 – Qatar Petroleum; 3 – Tassphoto/TopFoto; 4 – 1971 – Qatar National Library; 5 – 1997 – Torsten Maiwald; 6 – 2013 – Neville Hopwood/Getty Images; 7 – 2019 Francois Nel/Getty Images; 8 – 2022 – Handout/Getty Images

1947

Discovering oil

Qatar found crude oil in a Dukhan field in 1939 and began exporting to Europe in 1949. By 1950 the oil revenue reached $1 million.


1954

Revenue increases

The amount of revenue from oil reached $23 million. This is thanks to Qatar signing a new agreement in 1952 with the Petroleum Department of Qatar that called for a 50-50 profit share.


1955

Development

Qatar opened its first school and its first hospital named Al-Remiliah. This was also when they built housing infrastructures and extended electricity across the country. The street that housed the electric plant was titled Al-Kharaba Street (electricity street).


1971

Independence

Qatar gained independence on September 3, 1971 after ending protection treaties with the British.


1972

Qatar University

Qatar University officially opened. This is the only government university in the country. It currently hosts ten collages and offers courses in both English and Arabic.


1977

Qatar University

Qatar University officially opened. This is the only government university in the country. It currently hosts ten collages and offers courses in both English and Arabic.


1979

Hamad Medical Corporation

Established by the Emiri decree in 1979. It is a not-for-profit health care provider. The corporation went on to be the only healthcare organisation outside the US to receive a Joint Commission International (JCI) re-accreditation for all its hospitals.


1995

Qatar Foundation

QF was established to help with the prosperity of education, science, and society development in Qatar. Education City was later launched in 2003 where foreign universities opened branches and offered a selection of courses.


1996

Al Jazeera Network

A state-owned broadcaster based in Doha, Qatar is launched. Al Jazeera Arabic was the first channel in the Arab world to deliver independent and critical news. With its comprehensive reporting it was able to shape a new kind of journalism for the region.


1997

Qatar Airways

QA is a global airline that has, since its establishment, proved to be one of the best airlines in the world. It has earned many awards over the years with the most recent being the World’s Best Airline from SKYTRAX World Airline Awards 2019.


2006

July

The Pearl-Qatar Project

Built on former pearl diving sites, this man-made island has become the largest off-shore real estate development in the country. It was made to resemble the string of pearls that represent Qatar’s ties and history of pearl diving.


DECEMBER

Asian Games

Qatar was the first Arab Middle Eastern country to host the Asian Games. This was a step towards making Qatar a sports hub in the region.


2008

OCTOBER

Qatar National Vision 2030 launches

The vision aims to help Qatar overcome some of the major challenges it is facing today and expected to face in the future. The vision targets development in the following pillars: human development, social development, economic development and environmental development.


DECEMBER

Museum of Islamic Art opens

The museum opened to the public on December 8 displaying the largest collection of Islamic art in the world.


2010

Qatar wins bid to host World Cup 2022

A monumental event for Qatar as it becomes the first Middle Eastern country to get the opportunity to host this global event. In preparation, the country has built a variety of new stadiums incorporating Qatari culture in the design.


2011

Pan-Arab Games

The Pan-Arab games is an event for the members of the Union of Arab National Olympic Committee. It was the first time that Qatar has hosted the games and they were selected for their sports facilities and capabilities.


2012

National Sports Day Launch

National Sports Day in Qatar helps to promote a healthier lifestyle for its population, hence why it became a national holiday.


2013

The New Emir of Qatar

His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani became the new Emir of Qatar. He is one of the youngest reigning monarchs in the GCC and one of the youngest current world sovereigns.


2014

Hamad International Airport Operates

This airport has become one of the best for its design and smooth operation. It has replaced the former airport Doha International Airport and provided a larger capacity for welcoming more visitors. It is currently ranked as the Third Best Airport in The World by the SKYTRAX Airport Awards 2020.


2019

AFC Asian Cup

The Qatar National Football team won the Asian cup against Japan 3-1. It was a notable victory leading up to the 2022 World Cup.


2022

The World Cup

Not only is it the first country in the Middle East to host this major event but for the first time in the history of the World Cup, the event is scheduled in the colder months due to the climate in Qatar. Everyone is awaiting the event that will showcase Qatar’s capabilities and highlight its culture.