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 Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC) is a six-storey structure with a basement measuring about 250m long and 110m wide, providing a venue of choice for regional and international conventions, exhibitions, gala events, concerts and banquets. The building features a spectacular facade resembling two intertwined Sidra trees, a much loved icon in Qatari culture, supporting the building’s exterior canopy. The Convention Center is a cutting edge facility in green-technology, using solar panels, modern systems of water conservation and promotes energy efficiency. The other resource-saving features include occupancy sensors, carbon dioxide monitors, LED lighting and sustainable air-volume systems.