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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Let's dedicate this thread to show pictures of Qatar in the Past century--early part to the mid-century.

Here is a map from 1578 showing Catara or Qatar labeled!

Grand Mosque in Al-Wakra in 1957, used to be the capital of Qatar in the late 19th century or early 20th.

Doha--early 1960's. In the Cornishe, I bet you can recognise this building (Ministry of economy and finance)

1956-- ADVISORY council, presently still the same, but the roundabout has been converted to a signal recently as part of Suhaim Bin Ali Road project. Its adjacent to Hamad Hospital.

These images were linked from flickr!

These images from a site islaqatold.html

1947 Arial View of Doha City

also around mid-1900's. (i dont know where this is currently, maybe
site of the current Qatar National Museum)

1950's Emiri Diwan, and its private jetty, the largest building then in
the State.

Late 1950's of the clock tower roundabout and the Emiri Diwan. Cars
were driven on the right, before changing to the left
in 1966. The jetty was used by the local marine police force near the
Emiri Diwan.

The Grand Mosque after completion in the late 50's.

Mid- 50's, Clock Tower construction along with the old Emiri Diwan on
the back.

1956-- development of Al-Rayyan Road. You can see the old Emiri Diwan,
the Grand Mosque, and behind them hidden
the clock tower.

1950's in front of Ministry of Education, in the Cornishe.

Old pic of Diwan area (50's)

Sh. Ali bin Abdulla palace (50's) CURRENTLY THE QATAR NATIONAL MUSEUM!


Al-Kout fort, currenly Al-Kout museum, built by the Turks.

Umm Slal Mohammed in 1955. Pretty much looks the same today LOOL!

Al-Khore 50's

Madinat Khalifa. It was called Gaza then, as a sign of solidarity to
Palestine (maybe late 60's)

Wakra 1956

Old Houses, look at the car! It was the latest model back then!

Souq Waqef Central Doha 40's

1956--Souq Waquef, presently this R/A is still found with the same
police stand (the police man is probably in a grave
somewhere allah yir7imah)

1960's Souq Waqef. Notice what the woman was wearing. It was very
common for women to wear short and up to date
with the latest fashion. Notice Syrian Arab Airlines which flew then to

Late 50's Bismillah Hotel, it was built by my grandfather :) It still
stands today and even the same lady in the picture is
staring at you.

50's Rumeillah Hospital, still standing today!

Getting Water from a well or beer

Hope you like them!

7,953 Posts
yes indeed it was the capital but i wish it grows becase its less than quarter the size of doha

208 Posts
its developing at a slow rate.....i was really impressed wen the harley davidson and kawasaki bike showrooms opened here.......and also wakrah has a lot of buggy centres......expect a car showroom in the future.

Que puedo decir?
2,768 Posts
Nice pics Halawala! Thanks for sharing! :D

SSC's biggest 722 fan
2,004 Posts
Wow! Really cool thread Halawala!

Looking at this pic...

Roundabouts have been there for ages. 7aram wallahy... They shouldn't remove them. They should be considered as landmarks or something! :D

208 Posts
hehe yea omar.....roundabouts for 50 they r changing all of dem to signals.......whch after 50 years wil change into flyovers.......!!!

Qatar forums
2,054 Posts
I think this is the appropriate thread for this article:

Glimpses of Qatar’s architectural styles

The Barzan Tower wearing its recent Asian Games livery

A PRESENTATION by Qatar’s leading architect, Ibrahim Jaidah, on the changing styles of Qatari architecture from the pre-oil era to the present, was enthusiastically received by a packed audience of Qatar Natural History Group (QNHG) members on Wednesday evening.
Starting with black-and-white photographs of Doha and other coastal settlements in the 1940s and 1950s, Jaidah showed how the styles have changed from simple, functional buildings constructed of natural materials such as beach rock and limestone, with roofs of mangrove poles and woven thatching, to the present day, when almost anything goes, and astonishing new structures such as the ‘zigzag’ towers in the West Bay lagoon area appear almost overnight.
Trained in environmental design at the University of Oklahoma, Ibrahim Jaidah began his career with the Ministry of Municipal affairs and Agriculture. He had long been interested in the traditional features of local architecture, but the trend at the time was for modern designs, and he received little enthusiasm for his proposals to incorporate local features into plans for the Dana Club, the first large project he had worked on.
Fortunately HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, at that time the Heir Apparent, saw the designs and gave them his enthusiastic approval. The Dana Club, with its arcades, shaded verandahs and wind towers, was built, incorporating traditional elements such as timber.
Jaidah’s photographs of the older buildings dating from before the oil era included the various forts with their round or square corner towers, the pearl divers’ houses with their airy rooftop majlises in which people slept when the weather was hot, and beautiful old mosques such as the Al Qebab mosque on Al Ahmed Street in Doha, so named for its many domes and now replaced, and the Al Asmakh mosque with its two minarets which stood on Al Musheirib.
Wealthy merchants built town houses, for example the Al Majed and the Al Manaa houses, with elegant carved gypsum mashrabiyah (screens) and fanlights of bright coloured glass.
But once oil money began to flow into the country people did not value the simple styles employed by their forefathers. Residences were required to reflect the affluence of their owners, and grand and elaborate doorways became all the rage.
The ruling families built palaces in which the walls, in delicate shades of pale yellow, pink and turquoise, contrasted with the simple white plaster of older buildings.
Jaidah referred to the changing style as ‘Arabian deco’.
In the 1960s elaborately decorated balconies with brightly coloured tiles and relief decorations of palm trees and flowers directed the eye of the passer-by to the house behind them; fortunately a few of these remarkable structures still survive. Walls of glass blocks and sheets of glazed tiles were in use everywhere. One residence even had chandeliers on the roof!
The 1980s saw the gradual emergence of a more restrained and elegant style, and the key building of this period is of course the Doha Sheraton, built in 1983. For years, said Jaidah, it remained the iconic building of Doha.
A slump in oil prices meant that little new building took place for some years, and then in the 1990s, as things picked up again, the pace of building accelerated to the breathless speed we are witnessing today.
The Qatar Foundation headquarters which Jaidah designed incorporates wind towers, colonnaded walkways, crenellated walls and coloured glass window lunettes.
The BMW showroom on the C-ring road was something of a challenge, as it had to include the glass facade essential for a car showroom. The resulting building with its gleaming white traditional features ingeniously surrounding and crowning the glass walls is an eye-catching structure.
Then there is the Barzan Tower, that gleaming tower of blue glass with its lower storeys of honey coloured walls based on the design of an old fortified tower outside Doha.
When, a few years ago, it was constructed near the Corniche it caused some raised eyebrows among the Doha populace, who had never seen anything like it before. But it has now been generally accepted and is, perhaps, one of the best-known, and certainly the best-loved, of all Jaidah’s contributions to the Doha landscape.
What of the future? Recent trends, said Jaidah, have been towards internationally famous names, with buildings on Education City by Arata Isozaki, the Museum of Islamic Arts, rapidly nearing completion, by I M Pei and the design for the proposed Photographic Museum by Santiago Calatrava. There is the vast Pearl development in the West Bay lagoon and the forest of gleaming skyscrapers expanding month by month.
With such rapid development on all sides, he said, it is often difficult to exercise vigorous planning control.
The future pattern of Doha’s architecture remains to be seen.
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