In case you missed it, September 3 marks the 45th anniversary of the end of the British protectorate, and Qatar’s independence.
It was 45 years ago that Sheikh Ahmad bin Ali declared the end of the British mandate over the country, and announced Qatar’s independence. The year 1971 marked the end of a 55-year long British rule over Qatar.
The holiday used to be celebrated annually as Qatar’s Independence Day, until 2007 when then Crown Prince and current Ameer Sheik Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani establish Qatar’s National Day on December 18. The date commemorates Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani’s succession to the throne, and his unification of Qatar and its tribes in 1878.
The country’s 45 years have shown exponential growth throughout the country, transforming it from a small desert nation, to a developed modern oasis.
Directly after Qatar’s independence, came the discovery of the world’s largest natural gas field, and serious development began. In 1973 the country opened their first University, and similar initiatives proceeded to upgrade the country’s infrastructure, transportation portals, education and healthcare sectors, as well as huge social reform.
Today Qatar is known as the world’s richest country, for having the highest GDP per capita and the third-highest density of millionaires. According to studies, in 2015 the country had 116 millionaires per 1,000 households, and has over 12 billionaires, a large number compared to its small population.
The country is one of the most developed in the Middle East and the Arab World, and a leader in civic rights in the region. It has also become an international powerhouse, with companies like Qatar Airlines being the world’s leading aviation company. The country is so well off, that they are spending $250 billion preparing to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022.
Achieving as much as Qatar has within such a small time frame is proof that dedication and hard work pays off.