History of Qatar

    When the Ottomans left at the beginning of World War I in 1915, the British and Ottomans recognized Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al-Thani as the ruler. The Al Thani family had lived in Qatar for 200 years. The 1916 treaty between the United Kingdom and Sheikh Abdullah was similar to those entered into by the British with other Persian Gulf principalities. Under it, the ruler agreed not to dispose of any of his territory except to the U.K. and not to enter into relationships with any other foreign government without British consent. In return, the British promised to protect Qatar from all aggression by sea and to lend their good offices in case of a land attack. A 1934 treaty granted more extensive British protection.

   In 1935, a 75-year oil concession was granted to the Qatar Petroleum Company, a subsidiary of the Iraq Petroleum Company, which was owned by Anglo-Dutch, French, and U.S. interests. High-quality oil was discovered in 1940 at Dukhan, on the western side of the Qatari peninsula. However, the start of World War II delayed exploitation of Qatar's oil resources, and oil exports did not begin until 1949.

   During the 1950s and 1960s gradually increasing oil revenues brought prosperity, rapid immigration, substantial social progress, and the beginnings of Qatar's modern history. When the U.K. announced a policy in 1968 (reaffirmed in March 1971) of ending the treaty relationships with the Persian Gulf sheikdoms, Qatar joined the other eight states then under British protection (the seven trucial sheikdoms—the present United Arab Emirates—and Bahrain) in a plan to form a union of Arab emirates. By mid-1971, as the termination date of the British treaty relationship (end of 1971) approached, the nine still had not agreed on terms of union. Accordingly, Qatar declared independence as a separate entity and became the fully independent State of Qatar on September 3, 1971.

   In February 1972, the Heir Apparent, Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, deposed his cousin, Ahmed bin Ali Al Thani, and assumed power. Key members of the Al Thani family supported this move, which took place without violence or signs of political unrest. On June 27, 1995, the Deputy Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa, deposed his father Khalifa bin Hamad in a bloodless coup. An unsuccessful counter-coup was staged in 1996. The Emir and his father are now reconciled, though some supporters of the counter-coup remain in prison. The Emir announced his intention for Qatar to move toward democracy and has permitted a freer and more open press and municipal elections as a precursor to expected parliamentary elections. Qatari citizens approved a new constitution via public referendum in April 2003, which came into force in June 2005.

Doha Residential Areas :

   Our Doha expat experts have compiled this guide on where to live in Doha- looking at what the areas are like, what type of accommodation is available and the costs... we hope you find it really helpful when trying to decide where to live in Doha. Al Sadd is quite a busy commercial area with plenty of shops, cafes, juice bars and local businesses. It is probably more suited to single people or couples with no kids. It has very limited parking so traffic tends to often jam up especially on Al Mirqab Street. It has a few orders malls such as Centre point and Royal Plaza.

Banking in Qatar :

   The Qatar banking sector mainly operates from Doha - it consists of nine Qatari owned banks and seven foreign owned banks. Three of Qatar’s national banks are Islamic banks. Islamic banking institutions must abide by the Islamic law (Sharia) and charging interest is forbidden - as a result there are fees for services. Both Muslims and non-Muslims have access to Islamic banking products. Standard banking facilities are available and offered at most banks, which range from current and savings accounts to loans, debit and credit cards. If you are paid in US dollars you may open an account in that currency.

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