Got an idea for a holiday? Send it to us

Submit Now

Qatar National Day – December 18, 2024

Qatar National Day is also known as Founder’s Day and is celebrated on December 18 each year. It celebrates the rise of Sheikh Jassem as the father and founder of Qatar. It is a day for the people of Qatar to celebrate the rebirth of their country. Qatar is a wealthy nation and is widely recognized as a place for commercial activities in the new world. Qatar National Day celebrates such history and those who have worked hard towards making it what it is now. The country has kept its traditions and history alive over time, thus it is worth celebrating.

History of Qatar National Day

Qatar National Day was established by Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (then crown prince and heir apparent) on June 21, 2007, to commemorate Qatar’s 1878 unification by Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani, who created a manageable level of autonomy for the peninsular tribes and abated intruders such as the British. The holiday is also called Founder’s Day. It holds a high significance for the Qatar people and reminds them of their unity and core values: loyalty, solidarity, and pride.

Initially, this holiday was celebrated on September 3, which coincides with Qatar gaining independence in 1971, but it was later moved to be celebrated on December 18. The unification being commemorated entails many battles for survival and independence. Qatar was formerly dependent on the Bahraini Al Khalifas on the eastern seaboard of the Qatari peninsula, but hatred brewed and rebels rose against the Khalifas, who sent their naval forces to destroy the rebels in Al Wakrah in 1867, contravening the General Maritime Treaty of 1820. The British then responded diplomatically by reprimanding Bahrain and negotiating with Qatar, ruled by Sheik Muhammed bin Thani, whose dynasty continues till today.

In 1916, Qatar became a British protectorate and was only able to become independent after the British disengaged politically from the Persian Gulf; this was officially announced in 1968 as a result of the strain from the Second World War.

Qatar National Day timeline

The House of Thani

Sheikh Mohammed bin Thani is the first leader.

The Unification of Qatar

The annual celebration of Qatar is done to commemorate the country’s unification on December 18.

Qatar Becomes a British protectorate

Qatar officially falls under British rule until after World War II.

Oil Exports Begin

This becomes the country’s main source of income.


Following the clamor for independence from Arab countries, Qatar declares itself an independent state on September 3.

Qatar National Day

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani declares December 18 Qatar National Day.

Qatar is Isolated

The neighboring countries cut off ties because of Qatar’s alleged relations with extremists.

The FIFA World Cup

Qatar becomes first country in the Middle East to host the FIFA world cup.

Qatar National Day FAQs

When is Qatar National Day celebrated?

Qatar National Day is celebrated on December 18th every year.

What happens on Qatar National Day?

Various things happen, from fireworks to the display of cars, to parades by ministries.

What is the significance of Qatar National Day?

The day is celebrated to reawaken the spirit of patriotism amongst the local people.

How did Qatar become rich?

Oil exports started in 1949, and oil reserves quickly became the country’s primary source of income. These revenues were used to fund the expansion and modernization of Qatar’s infrastructure.

What language is spoken in Qatar?

Arabic and English are spoken in Qatar.

What are citizens of Qatar called?

Citizens of Qatar are known as Qataris.

How to Observe Qatar National Day

  1. Get ready to participate in the Darb Al Saai

    The Darb Al Saai is a memorable way to make this a national event. Participating in the event is a great way to make friends and create new memories.

  2. Visit Qatar

    With its ultra-modern infrastructure and age-old cultural traditions, Qatar is a unique tourist destination. Celebrate Qatar Independence Day by booking a holiday to visit the country.

  3. Make plans to go out with friends and family

    Spending a day with family and friends will make for an exciting way to celebrate the event. You can visit the Lagoons Mall with your loved ones.

5 Facts About Qatar National Day You Never Knew

  1. Fireworks show

    During the Qatar National Day celebration, there are marvelous fireworks displays at different locations all over Qatar, by now an integral part of the celebration

  2. Parades by different ministries

    During the day, several ministries are featured in a parade in their beautiful outfits.

  3. 2016 Cancellation

    In 2016, Qatar canceled all of its National Day celebrations to show support for the people of Aleppo during the ongoing shelling by Syrian government forces.

  4. Air show in Qatar

    Air shows are always on display for the public to view, especially during the early hours of the day.

  5. Display of classic cars

    Old cars formerly owned by the government are displayed to the public.

Why Qatar National Day is Important

  1. The perfect confluence of traditional and modern

    Qatar is often held as the perfect confluence of the traditional and modern. Qatar Independence Day is a celebration of this delicate balance where both the past and future are embraced.

  2. It honors great leadership

    This special day also honors the exceptional leadership demonstrated by Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani, the founder of Qatar. Great leaders deserve recognition.

  3. It strengthens national consciousness

    The day strengthens the spirit of nationalism among the public. Celebrating Qatar National Day is a great way to remind Qataris of the important values that they hold dear.

Qatar National Day dates

2024December 18Wednesday
2025December 18Thursday
2026December 18Friday
2027December 18Saturday
2028December 18Monday

Holidays Straight to Your Inbox

Every day is a holiday!
Receive fresh holidays directly to your inbox.