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.
The Aspire Tower was commissioned by the Government of Qatar as the flame holder for the Asian Games of 2006. With a height of 318 metres, the tall beacon houses a large reception and public area, restaurants, business centres, a hotel, sports museum, health club with a cantilevered swimming pool 80 meters above the ground, and an observation deck. The facade integrates very contemporary lighting technologies with LEDs (Light Emitting Diode lamps) that have been installed within the mesh to create user-defined effects in varying colours, also offering the possibility to broadcast videos.