Prior to the 20th century, Qatari society did not place any specific emphasis on formal education. This was common in traditional Bedouin culture. Rather, Quranic education was highly valued in urban society, and to a lesser extent, rural society. Most children living in urban settlements were taught how to memorize, understand and read the Quran. This type of education was typically completed by the age of 10, whereupon the child's family would celebrate al khatma, or the end of memorizing the Quran. By the 18th century, Zubarah, the most important town in the peninsula, had developed into a center of Islamic education.
The first all-girls school was opened in the 1930’s by a Qatari women. The education mostly centered around learning the Quran.
In 1957, girls' schools were integrated into the national educational programme. That year, two girls' schools accommodating 451 students and 14 female teachers were formed. Girls' education grew at a rapid rate over the following years, until 1975–76 when the number of girls' schools equaled the number of boys' schools at 65 each.