Sheikh Abdullah Bin Jassim Al Thani is the third Ruler of the State of Qatar. He was known for his piety, righteousness and vast knowledge. During his tenure the first oil well was drilled in the country. He proved himself as a shrewd and gifted negotiator during the negotiations with oil companies. He was a far-sighted statesman.
Sheikh Abdullah Bin Jassim Al Thani was born in 1871 in Al-Bida, and in 1906 his father Sheikh Jassim appointed him as the Governor of Doha, to prepare him for ruling the country after him.
On July 17, 1913 Sheikh Abdullah became the Ruler of Qatar. On July 29, 1913 the historic Anglo-Ottoman Convention was signed between Turkey and Britain which relinquished all the Ottoman rights to Qatar. The Ottoman military presence in Qatar, which had remained for more than forty three years, came to an end on August 19, 1915.
On November 3, 1916 Britain signed the Anglo-Qatari Treaty in accordance therewith Sheikh Abdullah agreed not to enter into any relations with any other power without the prior consent of the British Government. In return ,Sir Percy Zachariah Cox, Britain’s Political Resident in the Gulf, who signed the Treaty on behalf of his Government, guaranteed the protection of Qatar from all aggression by sea, thereby Qatar had become as the last country in the Gulf to sign such treaty.
Sheikh Abdullah’s position as the most important ruler in the region was recognised by Britain in 1919, when he was awarded the order of Indian Empire Great Commander (CIE), made him the only recipient among all the Chiefs of the Trucial Coast.
On May 5, 1935 as Sheikh Abdullah renewed 1916 treaty, Britain agreed to protect Qatar from land assault in addition to the sea assault. Consequently Sheikh Abdullah’s first Oil Concession Agreement with the Anglo-Persian Oil Company was signed in Qatar on May 17, 1935.
In October 1938 the first oil well was drilled in Qatar, and oil was discovered in Dukhan in January of 1940, however the oil wells were interrupted due to the developments of the Second World War.
On June 30, 1948 Sheikh Abdullah appointed his son Sheikh Ali as Deputy Ruler, following the demise of his heir apparent and son Sheikh Hamad on May 27, 1948.
Sheikh Abdullah signed a seabed concession with the American company “Superior Oil”, and the British Mining and Investment Corporation Ltd on August 5, 1949.
Sheikh Abdullah passed away on April 25, 1957.