Inland Sea, Al Uakra, Qatar 

Some 60 km from Doha in the south-eastern corner of the country lies one of Qatar’s most impressive natural wonders, the ‘Inland Sea’ or Khor Al Adaid. A UNESCO recognized natural reserve with its own ecosystem, this is one of the few places in the world where the sea encroaches deep into the heart of the desert. Inaccessible by road, this tranquil expanse of water can only be reached by across the rolling dunes.

According to UNESCO, Khor Al Adaid represents “a remarkable landscape” offering “world class scenic beauty”. The area is home to a unique set of fauna, including several species which are internationally rare and/or threatened, such as turtles.

Khor Al Adaid is also home to populations of certain species of birds which are of national and regional importance – long-distance migrant waterfowl winter. Visitors may also see ospreys nesting on islets and Arabian gazelles.

Said UNESCO, “This intrinsic attractiveness, of a largely uninhabited area, is added to by the presence of a diverse native terrestrial flora and fauna alongside a varied and sensitive marine ecosystem. The flora present in the area is typical of those habitats represented and supports species and communities mostly widespread on the Arabian Peninsula, yet not occurring in the same combination in any other single locality”.

Epic Qatar Culture & Adventure Route © Monika Newbound

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