Zubara Fort, Al Shamal, Qatar 

Located on Qatar’s north-west coast and comprising the immaculately restored Al Zubarah Fort and surrounding 60-hectare archaeological works, this UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the most extensive and best preserved examples of an 18th–19th century settlement in the region.

It covers the remains of a walled coastal town that once ranked as one of the Gulf’s most important pearl diving and trading centres with links extending to the Indian Ocean. The fort houses a visitor’s centre.

According to UNESCO, Al Zubarah was one of a long line of prosperous trading towns around the coast in what is present day Qatar.

UNESCO said “Al Zubarah bears a unique testimony to the human interaction with both the sea and the harsh desert environment of the region. Pearl divers’ weights, imported ceramics, depictions of dhows, fish traps, wells and agricultural activity show how the town’s development was driven by trade and commerce, and how closely the town’s inhabitants were connected with the sea and their desert hinterland.”

Epic Qatar Culture & Adventure Route © Monika Newbound

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