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JustHere | November 17, 2017

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Been in Qatar long enough to remember these?

Been in Qatar long enough to remember these?

When weekends meant Thursday and Friday. The decision to shift weekend to Friday and Saturday came in 2003 to bring Qatar closer to world standards.

When phone numbers only consisted of six digits.

When restaurants near Ramada intersection (especially Pizza Hut and Caravan) were the only hangouts for high-schoolers and dining-out options for most people.


When Qatar banknotes had ‘Qatar Monetary Agency’ printed on them.

When taxicabs were orange and white, and privately-owned. These were replaced by Karwa taxis in 2004 that were launched by Mowasalat, the state-owned public transport company.

When Al Meera was called Muntazah Cooperative. The Law No. 24 of 2004 stated the transformation of consumer cooperative societies into a Qatari shareholding company, and hence Al Meera Consumer Goods Company Q.S.C. was established in 2005.

When Al Ghazal Club, Falcon Club and Doha Club were the only recreational clubs in Doha.

When Doha Toy Town was the only entertainment area for children.


When Aladdin’s Kingdom and Palm Tree Island (above) were two major family excursion sites.

When Gulf Cinema and Doha Cinema were the only two cinema theatres for moviegoers.

When September 3, not December 18 was a national holiday. September 3 marks Qatar’s Independence Day, but it was celebrated as the National Day until 2007.

When QTV Channel 2 was the only English television channel available; Nick Kelly and Gina Coleman were the most prominent news anchors on the channel.

When Doha Sheraton, Gulf Sheraton (present day Marriott Doha) and Sofitel (present day Mercure Grand Hotel Doha City Centre) were the only three major hotels in the country.


When Doha Sheraton was the only structure that constituted the Doha skyline; GEMCO building (now Al Mana Tower) was the tallest building on Suhaim bin Hamad Street and the neighbouring landscape was nothing but a vacant plot of land.

When all major intersections such as the ones near the Mall and the Radisson Blu Doha, and present day Crazy signal were all roundabouts.

When Mesaieed was called Umm Said.

When the price of gas was less than 25 dirhams per gallon.

When UAE-based Khaleej Times newspaper was the preferred source of news in the country, and Young Times was the most sought after weekly magazine among teenagers and kids.

When the Centre, Salam Plaza and Sana were the only shopping ‘malls’.

When Gulf Air was the sole air carrier around the Middle East. Qatar Airways started operations in 1994.

Do you have any other memories to add to this list? Share them with us via email or tweet us @JustHereQ.


  1. Been in Qatar long enough to remember these? #justhere #qatar -…

  2. “@JustHereQ: Been in Qatar long enough to remember these? #justhere #qatar -…” Yes yes yes yes! #FeelingNostalgic

  3. Someone once told me that #Qatar used to use the Indian rupee. Anyone know if that’s true?

    • AJ

      Yes, they did. Although, from my understanding, there were differences between those used in the Gulf and India. Then came a joint currency with Dubai, then the riyal. If you go to soul waqif, in the antiques area, a lot of the shop keepers have samples.

    • chamathkj

      That fact was true. But that was like 30 or 40 years ago.

  4. » Been in Qatar long enough to remember these? – “When the price of gas was less than 25 dirhams per gallon” LOL

  5. Wow, what a trip down memory lane 🙂 Kudos for collecting this (Y)

  6. “@JustHereQ: Been in Qatar long enough to remember these? #justhere #qatar -…

  7. Nawazish Quereshi

    When Ideal Indian School & MES Indian Schools were the only two options among the Indian Schools for Asians.

    • Shubhra

      I used to study in MES 🙂 Good Old Childhood days

  8. Eliza Banas

    “When Gulf Times had 4 pages only and you can read mostly “to let” accommodation on the classified section.”

    “When Qtel hala cards had the same quality as credit card and there were no QR10 and QR50 yet.”

    “When the only Western Union was in Souq.”

  9. shaik mohammed naseeruddin

    expats meeting spots were only Bismillah hotel and National
    souq waqif was the best shopping area for the expats
    for long excurtions Khor garden was the best
    the unforgettable traffiq signalling of the police man in musheirib

  10. PITA yielding ex

    Does QTV 2 still exist after their redesign?

  11. Aisha Doyle

    When February 22nd was the first national day.
    When Aunty Lucy read the news on QTV and Stan the man hosted the Friday afternoon quiz and was the only entertainment in Doha.
    When you still consider Caravan (food place) number to be 44325100. This number isn’t displayed anymore but still works.

  12. radha

    In 2001 when i shifted from UAE to Doha ..the cost of an hour for using the internet at the cyber cafe was QR 10 whereas in UAE it was only UAE Dhs.1 later it costed less after 2004 i think…..

  13. Victor Mitri

    I remeber all these and more:

    1- When Electricity Street used to be the only option for trades, electronics, food and gold.
    2- When Center used to be the biggest mall in Qatar
    3- When doha streets was only A – Ring and B Ring roads and Shamal. before the Cornishe
    4- When Intercontinental Area used to be our hangout for swiming, it was like a trip to go there
    5- When Khoor Park was something amazing to gather on weekend
    6- When salaries was not more than Qr. 5,000 and house rent was like Qr. 1000.00 for villa
    7- when hamad hospital used to be single building
    8- When first public DJ was DJ One
    9- When first Fashion show was made in early 1990

    more more and more but thanks for refreshing our memeories 🙂

  14. Suzanne

    When “Crazy Roundabout” was a place I avoided.. when the “Pepsi Signal” was something longer in the tooth expats understood and explained and “Smelly Roundabout” required no explanation

  15. Jocelyn King

    When all the parrots/love birds lived in the palm trees on Ramada roundabout.
    When the Rugby Club used to play on reclaimed land down at West Bay, before the Sheraton was built.
    Queuing for fresh meat at Ali bin Ali’s, on a Thursday, the only place in town that sold fresh meat.
    Buying UK newspapers at the only shop that sold them – Newspaper Street – up from the Doha Palace Hotel.

  16. mohammad

    I lived from 80 to 88 in doha and the telephone numbers still consisted of 5 digits…26416. in 82 or something our number became 426416

  17. Rosie Anderson

    When Kids’ Corner was on the radio on Thursday mornings hosted by Liz Morgan then by me, Rosie Taylor Anderson a the best producer at QBS was Elias Chaloui. Very happy memories of the decrepit radio station with Al Jazeera springing up next door!

  18. John

    When there was just the Oasis, and then the Gulf Hotel opened – with a 10 pin bowling alley!
    When Shell Lodge was the only sports club in town.
    When there was just one BOAC VC10 flight a week to take the kids off to boarding school…and then came the Gulf Air TriStar.
    When we got our groceries from Ali-Bin-Ali’s and Mukajees – or from the old fish market and souk on the waterfront.

  19. Ish

    Does anyone have the pics of old Crazy roundabout and the Airport roundabout. Can you please share.

  20. Usman Amjad

    How i can post a picture?

  21. Virginia

    When they built Beverley Hills 1 and we all asked “why would you want to live so far out????” When Fridays was the day you didn’t plan a trip to Souk Waqif as every single male labourer would congregate there. When you could drive right across town in about 20 minutes!

  22. Faez

    When Mantis and Walker Texas Ranger was aired on QTV

  23. ANIT

    I remember those days when we used to go to Sofitel hotel building to buy computer games Floppies 🙂

  24. Aaqib Khan

    When the Parachute roundabout existed! No one mentioned it was my favourite roundabout 😛

  25. Tanz

    When all kids used to take a picture in front of the shell in Corniche..

  26. Jon

    When there were only two sets of traffic lights and all directions started ‘you know the traffic lights that don’t work’ or ‘you know the traffic lights that work’. The traffic lights that didn’t work down near the Palace hotel had a policeman on point duty most of the day

  27. Jab

    Thanks for the post, brought back a lot of old memories,
    I remember, the young-times used to come with a celebrity poster on its center page which was was most fought for with siblings,

    to add a few,

    -Al khor park a hot family park for weekend gatherings.
    -Appartment rents were so low- I remember living in a 3BHK for 1000Qrs/month.
    -Noboby had any idea what a traffic jam looked like back then;)
    -Tamagotchi- the virtual pet was a hot toy for sometime for school goers.

  28. Chris

    In 1966 I visited to see the brother. They used Indian banknotes for Rupees. There was still the Fort and the Trucial Scouts. The very first purpose built airport was in use and there being no terrorism the BOAC VC10 stopped you got off on steps down to the Tarmac and your brother was there to greet you at the bottom of the steps. Darweesh Electricals for cameras and film developing. The beach at the Shell Club and trips out to Umm Said etc. Camping in the desert near the beach and wild camels coming down to drink from a pool in the early morning. Trips to local oasis’s and the belly dancing and Lebanese meal put on for the 13 year old. Staying with brothers pals whilst he went to Kuwait and they had an electric can opener unheard of in 66 UK. Plugged their phone into the wall circuit and the can opener into the phone plug so the phone rang intermittently all night. Forgiven many years latter. A 13 year old brat had his eyes opened to the big world and is amazed at the progress made in 50 years as to the new airports and first class A380 travel in YouTube videos etc.

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