Qatar National Day: Everything You Need to Know

Dawlat Qatar or the State of Qatar is an Islamic country located in Western Asia. It has the highest per capita income and one of the largest gas reserves in the world.

Do you know?

Qatar is the first Arab country that has won the right to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022.

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When is Qatar National Day?

Qatar was declared independent on September 1, 1971 and had gained Independence from the United Kingdom on September 3, 1971.

Previously the Day of Independence was also considered as the National Day but after an Emiri decree on June 21 2007, Qatar celebrates

National Day on December 18. This decree was passed by the Crown Prince of that time Sheikh Tamim.

The National Day of Qatar is at times called the Founder’s Day.

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History of this Day

The Khalifas ruled Qatar during the 19th century had crushed the rebels in 1867 by sending their naval force to Al Wakrah. This act was in violation of the Anglo-Bahraini Treaty of 1820.

For diplomatic negotiations with the British, the Qataris chose the respected clan of Muhammad Thani.

The British Protectorate Agreement lasted until 1971. But during Al Thani’s time, most of the Qatari development was made.

So the day of a succession of Jassim Thani is considered as a joyous and honorable day for the Qataris as they celebrate National Day on this day.

Why Is It Celebrated?

December 18 as the National Day commemorates the national unification of Qatar.

This day marks as the national pride and sense for the citizens of Qatar as it inculcates national identity, brotherhood, and unity among people.

This holiday also aids in improving, preserving, and showcasing the appreciation of Qatar’s heritage, history, and culture.

What Does Mark the National Day of Qatar?

Qatar National Day stamps the date of the succession of Sheikh Jassim from his father Sheikh Mohammed.

Sheikh Jassim succeeded to the throne on December 18, 1878. Due to his hard work and insight, Qatar expanded greatly in this era.

He is the founder of the State of Qatar, who reigned Qatar from 1878 to 1913.

How Does Qatar Observe the Day?

There is a public holiday on this day as all the educational and work institutions are given off.

There is a parade in the morning followed by water and light shows in the evening for amusement.

How Is It Celebrated?


The people of Qatar celebrate this day with many various engaging activities and shows held to highlight national identity and pride. Many interactive exhibits are organized at Doha, Al Wakra and Al Shamal. make sure to have your Qatar ID or Visa while visiting these celebrations.

  • Fireworks

There is a magnificent show of fireworks in the early evening which adds to the vibrancy of the festivity.
This fireworks show happens at Corniche, Doha at 8 PM.

At the Aspire Foundation, a spectacular firework show happens that could be viewed from the Aspire Park at around 8:30 PM to 9 PM.

  • Parades

Numerous parades are held on this day as members of the public, Armed Forces, Ministry of Interior and Amiri Guards take part in it.

  • Qatar Military

Members of the Armed Forces’ National Service participate in the parade and parasailing performance conducted by Internal Security Force at the Aspire Foundation as part of the National Day celebrations.

Horse parade with the Amiri Guard and army musical shows are also organized by the Ministry of Defense at the Katara Amphitheater.

  • Heritage Villages

Cultural Villages are set up at Katara as part of the nine-day festivities. This showcases the traditional arts and crafts to the heritage of the people of Qatar.

  • Cultural Bazaar

A cultural bazaar organized by the Bedaya Center which sells patriotic-themed products ranging from clothes and perfumes to traditional cuisines on this auspicious day.

  • Car Show

Mawater Center holds a car show each year where antique cars are displayed which were previously owned by government officials.

  • National Day Activities

Families head out to various amusement centers to honor this day. They take part in opera and musical shows, drone shows, stilt walkers, face painting, National Flag making, henna artist booths, parachuting and much more.

Importance of Qatar National Flag

The Flag of Qatar is in maroon color where nine small triangles serrate from one side. These triangles are in white color.

The maroon color of the flag represents the blood loss during the wars in Qatar. The white portion of the flag symbolizes the peace and harmony achieved after the wars.

Every year on National Day, people raise and erect their national flag on their homes, offices and other public places.

The citizens of Qatar wear small symbols or badges on their clothes as a token of the national flag. They mostly wear clothes in shades of maroon and white on the National Day to signify strength and unity.

Aspire Foundation holds an Al Adaam Flag Relay for people that Qatar Olympic Committee organizes. This adds to the national pride of the people.

Popular Places to Visit on Qatar National Day

Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF) organizes parades, fireworks, and flag making competitions. It is the Doha Sports Center and includes Doha’s tallest structure, the Aspire Tower, and is adjacent to Villaggio Mall.

The Doha Corniche is a must-go place if you want to see the colorful sky with a sound that your ears love to hear.

Katara is the place where you can enjoy a movie in a cinema, and have a good beach to look at the sky.

Do you know? In 2016, the Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani announced the cancellation of the National Day festivities to show solidarity to the people of Aleppo after the renewed shelling by the Syrian government.

Wrapping Up

National Day is the biggest celebration that is observed in Qatar. People love to visit different places to enjoy the day with their family and friends. On this day, the festivities include a military parade – featuring fighter jets and more specialized equipment to make the public proud of their army. If you are living in Qatar, don’t forget to go to beautiful places on this special day, also big brands always offer a discount for your favourite things.


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