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.
Katara Cultural Village is conceptualized to integrate global arts and cultures with the local Qatari architecture. Set out in the form of a village, with narrow shaded streets lined by small water canals, the buildings are centered around an open air amphitheatre which opens onto a large waterfront plaza lining a public beach. In addition to theatres, libraries, art galleries and museums the Cultural Village includes an amphitheater, heritage centers, art associations and other academic facilities. The surrounding buildings are used as retail outlets, coffee shops, museum facilities and market areas all designed to complement the historic theme of the site.