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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

British Embassy Open for Business

The British embassy is now open for business again in its new location in West Bay. It’s actually the first embassy to open in the new diplomatic area, which is fitting as the British were also the first to establish an diplomatic presence in Qatar.

Surprisingly, given that Qatar was under the influence of the British government from the 19th century, and British policy effectively gave rise to the emergence of Qatar as an independent nation (see the Rise of the Qatar Ruling Family), this wasn’t until 1949, when a single political agent had to work and live in the same room.

The British Political Agency 1952

Just as the first diplomatic presence, built at the end of the pearl fishing era and shortly after the discovery of oil in Qatar (but before its production), reflected Qatar’s relative unimportance at the time, the new embassy now reflects the growing relevance this gas-rich country has.

The embassy is not only larger, but has increased facilities for businesses and conferences. Roddy Drummond, the head of Mission, has also promised that the embassy will be more involved in the community.

Flag Raising at the New Embassy
Flags are raised at the British embassy in West BayAlthough the flag has been raised and business is as normal, the official opening will not be held until the end of March. The visa section will not be included in the embassy, and will remain in Sherif Building opposite the Toyota Towers (tel: 4622159/4621544.)

Embassy Contact Details:
Tel: 496-2000
Fax: 496-2086

Getting There

To get to the embassy, head down to West Bay towards the new exhibition centre. At the roundabout just past the exhibition centre do a U-turn. You will then need to take the first left turning off the road - it's easy to miss as the road is not complete yet - you will drive over a dusty ramp. Drive straight ahead, over the first roundabout, and take the third exit off the second roundabout you come to. Drive to the end of the next road and take a left. You will see the embassy to your left, and there is parking available to your right.


The British embassy has also provided a map, which we have included below - click on it for the full-sized image.

British embassy map

The British Embassy encourages British residents in Qatar to register with them. If you haven't already done so you can enter your details on-line via the Locate service.

Also see our Full List of Embassies in Qatar

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