Doha (Arabic: ???????, ad-Daw?a or ad-D??a, pronounced [ad?daw?a]) is the capital and most populous city of the State of Qatar. Doha has a population of 1,351,000 in a city proper with the population close to 1.5 million. The city is located on the coast of the Persian Gulf in the east of the country. It is Qatar's fastest growing city, with over 50% of the nation's population living in Doha or its surrounding suburbs, and it is also the economic centre of the country. Doha was founded in the 1820s as an offshoot of Al Bidda. It was officially declared as the country's capital in 1971, when Qatar gained independence from being a British Protectorate. As the commercial capital of Qatar and one of the emergent financial centres in the Middle East, Doha is considered a world city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. Doha accommodates Education City, an area devoted to research and education. The city was host to the first ministerial-level meeting of the Doha Development Round of World Trade Organization negotiations. It was also selected as host city of a number of sporting events, including the 2006 Asian Games, the 2011 Pan Arab Games and most of the games at the 2011 AFC Asian Cup. In December 2011, the World Petroleum Council held the 20th World Petroleum Conference in Doha. Additionally, the city hosted the 2012 UNFCCC Climate Negotiations and is set to host a large number of the venues for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. In May 2015, Doha was officially recognized as one of the New7Wonders Cities together with Vigan, La Paz, Durban, Havana, Beirut and Kuala Lumpur.
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