Saturday, April 26, 2014

Fort Zubara

Took the opportunity to go up to Fort Zubara with a friend of mine, he had never seen it before. It'd been I think four years since I had last been up to the Fort.

Thanks to the recent rains the northern part of Qatar had areas where it was almost prairie-like with lots of grasses. The first picture is from September 2006, the next one during my recent trip.

So how much has the Fort changed?

Before (7 years ago)


Not too much of a difference on the outside, though there is a nice parking lot and small rope fence. There was a new monument just the left of the Fort.

It notes that the Fort and the surrounding archaeological dig are now a UNESCO site (I didn’t know it had been awarded that, I wonder when that happened?)

So we went inside.



Looks like they've done some renovation as some of the inside buildings look new, and they put some displays out. There was even a gift shop, which definitely wasn't there before. It made for a handy place to get drinks if it was too hot, before you would have to go about 10-15km to the town of Al-Shammal to get supplies.

There is a lot of change when you went inside the rooms.

Before (random things haphazardly displayed with no text explaining what it was)


What a difference! Informative displays, even a small room with short films describing the Fort restoration and the Zubara archaeological dig. I remember before many of the rooms didn't even have anything in them.

The displays have improved a lot. No, really:

Before (help yourself to a vase)

After (under glass with accompanying descriptions)

So the Fort really has improved over the last few years. A lot of the displays even discuss the archaeological dig, which was never (and still isn't) accessible by tourists. The city of Zubara is a lot bigger than I imagined, probably holding a few thousand people at its peak. The Fort had a pictures and displays of the site and the history of the city.

So if you saw the Fort years ago so figured you didn't need to bother seeing it again give it a try on some lazy weekend day.


Anonymous said...

We visited the Fort in 2011 and there was nothing inside apart from a map showing an archaeological dig further down the road!! It felt like a set from Beau Geste.

Glad to see it has been restored and will take your advice to visit it the next time I am in Qatar.

Glen McKay said...

Yep the fort is updated. Still not WOW but if you have nothing better to do it's a good excuse for a little road trip up north. The fort also has a small building next to the parking lot with more artifacts (and air conditioning!)

Unfortunately the old man who'd simply hand you the keys to the fort wasn't there, instead there were three security guards. I liked that old man, I hope he's retired comfortably back home.