Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player


 An archaeological  
site at Um Slal

rchaeological excavations indicate that Qatar was inhabited as early as the
4th century B.C. Danish (1956-1965), British (1973) and French (1976) archaeological expeditions substantiated that finding during the second half of the 20th century.

Such archaeological activities resulted in discovering more than 200 sites dating back to different prehistoric and stone age eras,  in places such

  • Umm-Bab in the east
  • Sawda Nathil in the far south
  • Umm-Tagah, south east of Dukhan, where a site of stone tool- making industry dating back to the middle Stone Age (Mizoloti) was found. Other archaeological sites were found in south eastern Messaieed.

Wakrah's old fine mercantile houses


Excavations also unearthed evidence of the Mesopotamia Ubaidi civilization which flourished in the southern Qatari Peninsula.

The first settlers

According to Herodotus (485 - 425 BC), the Greek historian, the seafaring Canaanites were the original inhabitants of Qatar. The Greco-Egyptian geographer Ptolemy (AD100 – AD170) mentioned a place called “Qatara” in the first known map of Arabia he produced in the mid-2nd century A.D.  Some believe that the word Qatara is a reference to the present day Qatari town of Al-Zubara, a prosperous trading port in the Gulf region at the time.

The Islamic era

Blue and white ware. Late Islamic 
(17th -18th century A.D )


The  inhabitants of Qatar, who converted to Islam in the mid-7th century, played a key role in spreading the message of Islam overseas. At that time the Qatari peninsula and the surrounding region were ruled by the Al Manazera tribe. Al Munzir Ibn Sawi Al Tamimi was the first king to embrace Islam.

During that era the land of Qatar, described as a region located between Oman and Bahrain, became famous for its spears, thoroughbred Arabian horses and camels, and woven gowns, "Qatariyyah".

Many historical references mentioned that  Prophet Mohmmed ( peace be upon him) wore "Qatariyyah", and that his wife Aisha, mother of the believers, wore a Qatari Sheild. Khalifah Omar bin AL Khattab is reported to have had a
Qatariyyah which had a patch of hide.

Qataris were renowned for their seafaring skills and played a significant role in the formation of the first naval fleet assembled to transport the Islamic army led by Abu Al al'a Al Hadrami as it set out from Qatar for Jihad.

Qatari bin el Fuja'a, one of the most famous early Islamic Khawarij poets, knights, and orators, is believed to have come from Qatar.

A pitted hole thought to be a gameboard and a depiction of a boat

Qatar prospered steadily during the Abbasid era (750-868 AD) and established strong ties with the successive Abbasid Caliphs in Baghdad. Many Abbasid artifacts were discovered in the Murwab fort in western Qatar. The fort is a model of the Abbasid architecture.

Ottoman era

In 1617, Qatar was conquered by the Portuguese who dominated sea trade routes in the Arabian Gulf. The ruins of many small forts they erected still bear testimony to their presence which was brought to an end by the Ottomans who replaced them in 1638.

For the next three centuries, Qatar, like other areas in the Arabian Gulf, was under Ottoman rule. However, Ottoman sovereignty was mostly a formality, and the real power stayed in the hands of local sheikhs.

Al Thani family

Sheikh Abdullah bin Qasim Al Thani  poses for a rare photograph of  the 1930s


With Qatar becoming a center for pearling in the mid-19th century, Sheikh Mohammad  bin Thani bin Mohammad, the founder of Al Thani ruling family established himself as the first ruler of the country in his own right in 1850, after moving to Doha and making it his capital.

In 1868 Sheikh Mohammed signed a milestone peace treaty with Britain. The treaty effectively marked the end of interference on mainland Qatar by the country’s neighbors, and the confirm-
ation of Sheikh Mohammad as the internationally recognized ruler of his country.

Courageous, tenacious and wise, Sheikh Qasim  bin Mohammed Al Thani, who took over in 1878, is considered the founder of the Emirate of Qatar and is referred to as such in the Ottoman archives in Istanbul.  Shrewdly, he charted an independant course between the Ottomans and the British, and thus managed to maintain his position as of the most powerful rulers in the region.

He resented Turkish interference in Qatar’s internal affairs and their increasingly oppressive demands for tributes and taxes.

1913 was an eventful year for Qatar. On 29 July of that year an Anglo-Ottoman convention stated that the peninsula of Qatar would be governed by the Al Thani family; and Sheikh Abdullah bin Qasim Al-Thani (1913-1949) assumed leadership after the death of his father, Sheikh Qasim.

Turkish troops withdrew from Qatar in 1915. Vide a treaty signed between Qatar and Britian in 1916, Qatar became a British Protectorate, thus enjoying protection against any attack by sea or land provided it remained neutral during the war.

The treaty, modified in 1935, remained valid until 1971. It gave the British  the right to oversee administrative matters and the introduction of postal services in Qatar.  

During the reign of Sheikh Abdullah bin Qasim high-quality oil was discovered in 1939 at Dukhan, but as World War 2 broke out oil production did not commence until December 1949. Large-scale oil exports did not begin until the early 1950s, thus heralding an era of prosperity.

The Independence

Qataris celebrate
Indepedence Day


In 1971 Britain withdrew from the Gulf region. Qatar became independent on 3 September of that year, adopting a provisional constitution which stated that Islam was the official religion and Arabic was the official language. That year Qatar joined the UN and the League of Arab Nations. Sheikh Ahmed bin Ali Al Thani was then the ruler of Qatar.

On 22 February 1972 Sheihk Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani became the Emir of Qatar. During his reign, the country progressed in a number of fields. In 1981 Qatar became a founder member of the Gulf Co-Operation Council (GCC).

Supported by the ruling family, the people of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa took power on 27 June 1995. Since then he has committed himself to bringing in political reform and supporting democracy.

Information Source:
« April 2018 »
Newsletter Signup
Events & Conferences
Advertising Area

Events of April 2018
  Event Organizer From To
1 First Annual Symposium on Research and Treatment of Hematology Hamad Medical Corporation 2018 / 04 / 06 2018 / 04 / 07
2 Pharmaceutical Safety Forum Hamad Medical Corporation 2018 / 04 / 07 2018 / 04 / 07
3 ** National Library Opening Ceremony ** Qatar Foundation 2018 / 04 / 15 2018 / 04 / 18
4 The Fourteenth Congress of the Gulf Heart Association Hamad Medical Corporation 2018 / 04 / 16 2018 / 04 / 16
5 4th Annual Symposium for Mental Health Service Hamad Medical Corporation 2018 / 04 / 19 2018 / 04 / 19
6 Qatar Procurement and Contracting Conference Qatar Development Bank & Ministry of Finance 2018 / 04 / 23 2018 / 04 / 25
7 2nd Gulf Multidisciplinary Meeting Hamad Medical Corporation 2018 / 04 / 25 2018 / 04 / 26
8 Seventh Research Forum and creative ideas 2018 (Ibn Abbas) in collaboration with the American College of Surgeons - Qatar Branch Hamad Medical Corporation 2018 / 04 / 26 2018 / 04 / 28
9 The 12th Al-Jazeera Forum Al Jazeera Centre for Studies 2018 / 04 / 28 2018 / 04 / 29
10 Closing ceremony "National Entrepreneurship Competition, Idea" QDB 2018 / 04 / 30 2018 / 04 / 30