Doha, 18 December 2021 (TDI): Today is Qatar’s National Day, and people across the peninsula certainly know it. This is because the state of Qatar prepares a diverse holiday schedule to celebrate its national day in a big way.

Unification Day Activities

That is why Qatar celebrates its Unification Day with different activities such as the Qatar National Parade, Fireworks on the Corniche, Classic Car Shows, among others. On top of that, the Qatari government had updated their Metrolink services to avoid interference with National Day requirements.

Furthermore, as it is tradition, Qatar National Day Celebrations Organizing Committee has developed a new slogan for Qatar’s unification day. The “Ancestral meadows; a matter of trust” is the unique and representative slogan that the committee shared through social media.

In addition to that, the Security Committee for National Day Celebrations hosted a press conference on Wednesday to talk about safety measures during the parade. The explained a National Security Plan for Qatar’s unification day activities and organizational procedures.

Moreover, according to the security plan, the invitations will have a barcode to make the review easier. In this way, two spaces have been designated for the invited public, of which their total capacity is 10 thousand people. On the other hand, it is fundamental to note that the Amiri Diwan has announced that Sunday 19th will also be an official holiday.

Unification Day significance

Qatar Unification Day is about Sheikh Jassem bin Mohamed bin Thani succeeding his father in 1878. Mohammed bin Thani, also known as the Founder, unified all local tribes and ruled a more consolidated Qatar peninsula. 

Therefore, Founder Day celebrates the rise of Sheikh Mohamed bin Thani as the father of the State of Qatar. This is because he combated British troops and gave tribes autonomy within the new state. 

Therefore, Qataris, on the occasion of their unification day, honor their identity and those who continually work to make Qatar a great nation. They also respect their heritage and their importance in the region around the world.


Qatar is a 160 km independent emirate located in Western Asia. It occupies the northeastern coast of the larger Arabian Peninsula. Also, the State of Qatar shares a sole land border with Saudi Arabia. The Persian Gulf surrounds the rest of its territory.

Besides that, and due to its proximity with Bahrain, 5 miles northwest of Qatar to be exact, they entered into a territorial dispute. As a result, the International Court of Justice gave sovereignty over the Ḥawār Islands to Bahrain and Janān Island and the ruined fortress-town of Al-Zubārah to Qatar. 


Along these lines, in terms of its geographical location, Qatar has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Because the region became the center of Islam, first with the Islamic caliphate and later ruled by local tribes and dynasties, Qatar is the subject of different international relations.

In this way, Qatar was the central place of famous horse and camel breeding during the Umayyad caliphate. Then, during the Abbasid era, Qatar’s strategic ports became fundamental for Chinese, Indian, and former Iraq trade of goods.

Also, years later, during the rule of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia over Qatar, it became a sheikhdom due to the agreement of British general Colonel Lewis in 1868. This is because Bahrain violated the Perpetual Truce of Peace and Friendship with the United Kingdom.

In addition, General Lewis, acknowledged Mohammed bin Thani, leader of the Thani dynasty, to rule the country. Nonetheless, with the occupation of the Ottoman Empire in 1871, the Thani dynasty sought British patronage against competing for tribal groups and the empire. That is how Qatar officially became part of the British protectorate.

Subsequently, on November 3, 1916, the Sheikh of Qatar began negotiations and signed friendship treaties with the United Kingdom. However, they were rescinded and updated for more coherent agreements under international law and the rights of a sovereign government.

In consequence, Qatar gained its independence on December 3rd in 1917. Hence, the State of Qatar continued with the monarchy as its political system. Also, it enforced its ties with Western countries as its central interest concerning its foreign policy.


In addition, Qatar is an absolute monarchy, and the Al Thani family rules it in a hereditary process. According to its Constitution, in line with the male descendants, the rule shall be inherited by the son from the Hamad Bin Khalifa Bin Hamad Bin Abdullah apparent.

On top of that, the Al Thani family constitutes the majority of the top ministerial positions. They are all appointed by the Emir. However, as the family is considerably fragmented, large, and homogeneous, it contributes to the political stability of Qatar.

Al Thani family constitutes the stone of Unification
Al Thani family constitutes the stone of the Qatar society, which reflects the Unification of the Emirate.

On the other hand, it is essential to point out that since Islam is the official religion, Islamic law is the main source of Qatari legislation. However, its legal system has many other sources, such as Ottoman law and common law. The latter influence criminal law, but Shari’a law governs the law of the individuals.


Moreover, Qatar’s current population is 2,951,824 people. However, due to its dependence on migrant labor, the population in Qatar fluctuates constantly. For that reason, the Qatari population is growing steadily despite the low birth rate. 

Qatar’s net migration is the highest considering its Persian Gulf peers. This situation is completely beneficial for Qatar as the large population is part of the workforce. Therefore, more than 70% of the population is between 15 and 29 years old and between 33 and 40 years old.

On the other hand, in terms of ethnicity, there are fewer nationals in the country than foreigners. That is why foreign workers come from Pakistan, India, and Iran. In addition to that, it is relevant to note that few Qataris follow a nomadic lifestyle like their ancestors, the Bedouin nomads.


Other than that, Arabic is the official language. Along these lines, the people of Qatar speak the Gulf Arabic dialect, which is mainly spoken in the countries around it. However, schools teach Arabic and Standard English as second languages.

In addition to that, English is widely used in commerce and within the medical community. It is used as a lingua franca for the large ex-pat community in Qatar and the training of medical personnel.


The Qatari population, as descendants of Bedouin nomads, are hospitable people. Also, their culture is significantly influenced by Islam, so they are mostly conservative and respectful of traditions.

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Likewise, for Qatar society, the sense of national identity reflects a pillar for their state unity. So, they celebrate their unification day vigorously.

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That is why the government prepares and hosts many activities, especially artistic ones, to commemorate Qatar’s cultural patrimony. 

In the same line, Qatar’s artistic expressions focus on traditional Bedouin arts, poetry, music genre Naamah musicals, among others. The National Council for Culture, Arts, and Heritage of Qatar carefully direct them. 

Artistic expressions represents Qatar Unification day
Takahashi Murakami in Versailles was exhibited in 2010 by the Qatar Museums Authority.

In addition to that, the Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) leads the Museum of Islamic Art. It is one of the best museums in the region.

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Besides that, the QMA has hosted international cultural exhibitions. Take, for example, Takahashi Murakami in Versailles (2010) and Damien Hirst in London (2012).


On the contrary, the State of Qatar reflects its oil wealth. Due to its environmental and climatic conditions, its onshore oil deposits are at Jebel Dukhan. However, its national gas fields are offshore to the northwest of the peninsula.

Therefore, Qatar’s prosperity comes from its petroleum and gas industries. It has grown 4% in its GDP Annual Growth Rate. For that reason, Qatar has obtained 11,485 points in the Securities market index and 661.2 billion in market cap.

In short, when Qatar authorities discovered the oil, its economy transformed drastically. Qatar’s popular activities used to be fishing, pearling, and some trading. Nowadays, Qatar is the leading market economy to export liquefied natural gas. 

Thus, Qatar, recognized as the highest income country in the globe, keeps in its power the title of one of the countries with high living standards. Although Qatar relies on its oil and natural gas sector, it is working on diversifying its exportable offer.

That is why the Qatari government is focusing on non-oil projects such as manufacturing, construction, and financial services. This is due to the continuous fluctuations in oil prices and its need to open new trade routes apart from its regional neighbors.


In contrast, the State of Qatar will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The worldwide competition starts from 21 November to 18 December 2022. Nonetheless, despite the controversies related to Qatar as a host option, the local organization is already building 9 new stadiums and expanding 3 others.

The FIFA World Cup represents a memorable event in history for the Arab World. That is why counterparts of the region welcomed Qatar winning in 2010 to host such a massive tournament.

Besides that, it is relevant to note that Qatar hosts notable auto racing events. For example, the Losail International Circuit, located on the outskirts of the city of Losali, is one of the best racing venues in Doha, Qatar. In this place, the competition known as the Formula 1 race of the Qatar Grand Prix took place for the first time.

Qatar Grand Prix at Unification Day
Qatar Grand Prix 2021, first time hosted by the State of Qatar

Apart from that, the FIFA Arab Cup ends today, so the people of Qatar will enjoy the fireworks twice. This is because the fireworks on the Doha Corniche and in the stadium will start at the same time.


Equally important, Qatar owns the expanding media network, Al Jazeera. The latter is an international public media group ruled by Hamad bin Khalifa Al Than. This channel launched and sponsored by the Qatari government in 1996 is now impressively recognized in the Middle East.

This is because, regarding press freedom, Al Jazeera develops talk shows, educational programs, as well as uncensored news that are unique for the region. Even though press media has undergone expansion in recent years, Qatar is still on the top of the World Economic Forum’s Network Readiness Index (NRI) regarding telecommunications infrastructure. 

Qatar’s unification day marks an important part of its history. From legacy to unity, December 18th is a must day to celebrate for Qataris.