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.
Pearl Qatar is a mega project located on an artificial island built offshore the Qatari capital which will accommodate more than 40,000 residents. Linked to the mainland by an eight-lane super highway, the development is divided into several districts: The Quartiers, Costa Malaz, Porto Arabia, Viva Bahriya, La Plage Villas, Bahri Villas, and Isola Dana. It includes three luxury hotels, four marinas and retail space, with buildings ranging from high-rise towers to 4-storey buildings and villas. Considered as a conceptual spin-off from Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, the Pearl-Qatar, with a Riviera-style theme, is the country’s first large scale urban development venture.