History of Qatar

The Qatar Peninsula has a long history, dating back at least 50,000 years to when it was inhabited by small groups of Stone Age people. Over the centuries, the Peninsula was influenced by several great powers and it was not until 1971 that Qatar gained full independence. While the Ottomans granted the country autonomy in 1913, in 1916 Qatar gave up its autonomy in return for Britain’s military protection and the country remained under British rule until 1971.

Ancient Qatar History

Throughout history, the Qatar peninsula has been inhabited by many different groups of people. It is believed that Mesopotamian fisherman worked off the coast of the Qatar Peninsula and occasionally visited local settlements in the region. The 3rd millennium brought about the Sumerian people who worked very close to present day Qatar. During the second and third millennium, Qatar became one of the richest places in the Persian Gulf in regards to commerce and trade. The area continued to be an important trade center into the 3rd century AD.

Qatar History – House of Thani

The Al Thani have been a ruling family in Qatar since the 1800s. The Al Thani family is part of the Tamim tribe and first settled in Qatar in the 18th century. The family is made up of thousands of members and there have been many leadership transitions throughout the years. While all of the abdications were forced it was never really a problem since the Al Thanis managed to retain power overall. The first ruler in the Al Thani family was Sheikh Thani bin Mohammed, and presently, the country is ruled by Sheikh Tamin bin Hamad Al Thani who took power in 2013 after it was turned over by his father.

Discovery of Oil in Qatar

The first oil well was drilled at Dukhan Field in 1938 and a little more than a year later, the well struck oil. This oil production was stopped due to World War II between 1942 and 1947 and caused great economic hardship for the country. It wasn’t until 1949 that payments for offshore rights and oil exports began. This marked a turning point for Qatar’s then struggling economy. Revenue from oil began to quickly transform the country and the economy became much more stable. It was also during this time that the Al Thani agreed to allow the British to have a presence in the country in return for protection. During this time, the infrastructure of Qatar began to be built up.

History of Qatar’s Public Services

During the 1950s, government buildings along with public services began to be developed. In 1953, the British helped draw up a real budget for the country and the government began to hire employees. This was also the year that the first telephone exchange opened and the following year, a desalination plant was built. In the late 1950s, Qatar’s first power plant was built. The 1950s saw a great deal of improvements to Qatar’s government and public services. Qatar continued to build up its infrastructure and economy for the next few years and in 1968, the British announced that they would be withdrawing from the country.

History of Qatar Independence

Once the British withdrew from the country, a constitution was drawn up and Qatar was declared an independent state. The country officially announced its independence in September of 1971 after appointing a prime minister along with a Council of Ministers consisting mostly of members of the Al Thani family. Since Qatar’s independence there have been several bloodless coups but they remain in the family and the Al Thanis currently still rule the country.

Present Day

Qatar is presently one of the richest countries in the world due to its oil wealth. The country is being developed at an alarming rate and while most of the wealth comes from oil, the ruling family is looking into ways to develop green buildings and policies. Free healthcare is provided to all Qatari citizens. The country is home to lavish buildings, shopping malls, and boutiques and currently attracts a large number of foreign workers. Expatriates who are moving to the country and are looking to buy or rent affordable property would be wise to contact COREO, a full service real estate and rental agency. Rental properties as well as properties for purchase can be viewed online.


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