After the third round voting, Qatar's candidate, former Culture Minister Hamad Bin Abdulaziz Al-Kawari, was tied with France's candidate Audrey Azoulay at 18 votes each.
Thirty votes are needed to clinch the nomination to head the Paris-based UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. The winner will replace outgoing UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova.
The body’s 58 board members have been gathered in the French capital since Friday selecting a candidate.
Outside the UNESCO headquarters, the protesters urged the UN agency not to accept Qatar to head the organization, accusing Doha of sponsoring global terrorism.
They stressed that Qatar was doing its best to buy votes.