Doha, the most populated city in the Qatar, grew out of, and now contains the Al Bidda neighborhood in the east. Mentions of Al Bidda date back to the 17th century, but it rose to prominence in the 19th century. Doha was officially established in 1820. It became the capital city in 1971 when Qatar became independent.
It quickly became one of the main financial centers of the region. In 1996 the Al Jazeera satellite networks were established in Doha. A year later Education City was established by the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development. With an area of 14 square kilometers, the area houses educational facilities the serve students from school age through graduate school. Virginia Commonwelth University was the first of 8-10 foreign universities to establish branch campuses in Education City. It also houses a number of Qatari schools and research institutions.
Qatar’s new Science and Technology Park (QSTP) is a key initiative in the region’s drive to diversify the economy, create highly skilled jobs and to establish a knowledge economy in the Middle East. It is integrated with the facilities of the Qatar Foundation. A distinctive 'Veil' roof, reflecting traditional Islamic architecture, is the iconic symbol of the campus. It provides shade, connects buildings, swells to accentuate the heart of the site, and provides protection to the central atrium/courtyards. The 'Incubator Centre' is the heart and community focus of the campus. The design is respectful of Qatari culture and designed for desert climate.