Qatar Biobank (QBB), the first very large scale, long-term public biorepository in Qatar, is designed to build a powerful research infrastructure for future investigations of the lifestyle, metabolic and genetic risk factors for the most frequent medical conditions in Qatar, namely diabetes, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, obesity and cancer. Qatar Biobank's recruitment approach provides a model for public involvement in biomedical research. Through inviting the public to contribute, Qatar Biobank promotes Qatar as dedicated to raising awareness and committed to engaging the community in shaping the health of their future generations. During the pilot phase, between December 2012 and June 2013, 503 participants have completed their baseline visit at the QBB Center. 67.9% of participants are Qatari nationals, the remaining are Qatar long term residents (> 15 years). There is a balanced participation of males (51.8%) and females (48.2%). Attitudes, perceptions and feedback are captured through a structured post-appointment participant questionnaire. Analysis of the feedback shows that upon giving consent the highest area of concern for participants is providing blood samples (47%), a further (46%) demonstrate concern over the physical measurements and (39%) are uneasy with contributing urine samples. An overwhelming (96%) of participants rate their experience at Qatar Biobank as very positive. A significant proportion (72%) of participants decide to contribute to Qatar Biobank due to word of mouth recommendations from friends (41.4%) and family (30.4%) emphasizing that the majority of participants value and enjoy their experience and are empowered to actively recruit within their communities.


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