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Urbanisation in Qatar : a study of the residential and commercial land development in Doha City, 1970-1997

Al-Buainain, FAAA


FAAA Al-Buainain


K Grime


The state of Qatar provides an interesting illustration of a nation that has recently
witnessed spectacular urban development worthy of investigation. Indeed, during
the past three decades huge oil revenues have enabled the country to embark on
unprecedented national development. The main thrust of this research study is
urbanisation and urban development in Qatar and the impact this phenomenon
has had on the urban growth of its capital city, Doha. This study sets out to
examine a set of issues caused by the urbanisation process within the framework
of urban growth and land use development. The present study examines
urbanisation and its impact on the city development in the Arab Gulf states
(GCC) in general and in Qatar in particular. The main objective of the study has
been to trace the influence these changes have had on the general growth of the
city and the land uses particularly the residential and commercial land
development with particular emphasis on the political and socio-economic factors
which form the main thrust of this research. In addition, the examination of the
emerging urbanisation phenomenon has aimed to establish the necessary
background before dealing with the topic at the scale of the capital city.
Following these objectives, the study has adopted a combined approach, which
can be described as historical and empirical. The historical setting provides the
changing nature of urbanisation in the Gulf States (GCC) and Qatar by
establishing the evolution of this phenomenon until the present time. This is
clearly done through defining the evolutionary periods reflecting the urban
development stages, which included two distinctive phases: the traditional (pre-oil
period) and modern/contemporary periods. The empirical/analytical part focuses
especially on the city of Doha with respect to its recent urban development,
socio-economic characteristics and the changing land use patterns of which the
residential and commercial development represents one of the most rapidly
growing and changing land use types that took place in a relatively short period
Clearly, the empirical research begins by investigating the socio-economic and
physical features of the city. The analysis points out the enormous scale of
development that occurred in the city benefiting largely from massive urban
development plans engendered by the remarkable growth of the country's oil
economy. Subsequently, the research separately examines additional
dimensions pertinent to the residential and commercial land development. The
findings show to what extent the growth of the city has influenced the emerging
patterns of land use that were drastically changed. Also, the findings always
reveal the existence of a strong correlation between the overall economic
performance of the country and the changing residential and commercial uses.
Indeed, the economic and social transformations of Qatar have resulted in new
emerging patterns that were utterly unknown before the advent of oil.
The thesis presents this research topic in three main parts. The first consists of
two chapters, which introduce the methodology and approaches adopted by the
study and the theoretical aspects relevant to urbanisation, urban development
and urban internal structure along with definitions and concepts as well as
previous studies done for Qatar. The second part includes three chapters, whichXVI
deal with urbanisation in the GCC and Qatar. Chapter three provides an historical
perspective of urbanisation and urban development pertaining to the Arab Gulf
States. Chapter four presents an in-depth analysis of urbanisation and urban
development in Qatar. This is followed by another chapter, which exclusively
deals with the overall characteristics of population in Qatar. Part three of the
thesis is entirely concerned with the city of Doha. It is divided into five chapters.
Chapter six is concerned with the evolution and development of Doha; its
changing demographic aspects and the factors affecting the population structure
of the city are examined in chapter seven. The remaining three chapters of this
part (8, 9 & 10) deal with the city's land use development in general and with the
residential and the commercial land development in particular. For this purpose,
chapter eight investigates the overall characteristics relevant to land use in the
city. The central aim is to establish an objective understanding of the evolution of
land uses, the major factors influencing their development and the present
distribution patterns over the 1980-1997 period. The latter analytical stage
involves examining the emerging patterns of the residential land development in
an attempt to explore the changing patterns and the housing characteristics. In
the third analytical phase, the analysis proceeds to consider the changing
patterns of the commercial development within the city. A final summary of the
findings, conclusion of the study and suggestions for future research are provided
in chapter eleven.


Al-Buainain, F. Urbanisation in Qatar : a study of the residential and commercial land development in Doha City, 1970-1997. (Thesis). Salford : University of Salford

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Oct 3, 2012
Award Date Jan 1, 1999

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