2 December, 2014

Qatar Insurance Company

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In 1964 the State of Qatar had a nascent oil industry and it would have taken a visionary at that time to predict the burgeoning energy industry we now have, in all its diversity, in the first decade of the second millennium.

Doha was still very much a city dependent on the sea, looking outward to the timeless horizons. The traditional coffee shops, which have endured in the Middle East for centuries would find the older generations exchanging old news and scanning the horizon, awaiting the return of the fishing and trading dhows.

However it was realized that Qatar would grow both commercially and industrially and would require various institutions. Insurance, as the guardian of the country’s assets, was an area where it was felt that Qatar should take the initiative.

Qatar Insurance was therefore conceived and founded by the Emiri Decree, on the 11th of March 1964. The currency of Qatar at that time was the Indian Rupee and QIC’s paid up capital was Indian Rupees 1,500,000, a princely sum in those days.

The early years of our operations were transacted from what was then the heart of the souq. It was in the bustling alleyways, redolent with the pungent aromas of exotic spices and noisy, but good-natured, haggling that the lively and vibrant trade was conducted that QIC set down its roots.

Following three years of hard work QIC had grown considerably and required larger premises. It was important that we remained in the souq, right at the business heart of Doha and in 1967 the company moved a short distance to a larger premises close to the Arab Bank roundabout. The roundabout remains an important pivotal thoroughfare, radiating traffic to all parts of Doha City.

To this day the QIC sign may still be seen by the passer-by as they walk to the heart of the market to shop or pass away the evening hours over a cup of sweet tea.

In the early 1980’s QIC recongnised that a bold move should be made and decided to relocate to the West Bay area. However, precious little development had taken place and it was clear that the company would need to construct its own building.

Designs we sought, contracts signed and construction work was soon started.

Before long the building was completed and occupied in early 1984, with an official inauguration taking place on the 25th February.

For many a year the QIC tower was a landmark to the Qatari and expatriate alike. It has remained a prominent image with its distinctive logo, only recently being crowded by the self assured towers that are being established throughout the West Bay and Diplomatic area.

However, old habits prevail and one can still hear directions being given to the newcomer using QIC as the direction landmark.