Al Zubara Fort
Al Zubara Fort
4
About
On the shores of Northwest Qatar the historic fort of Al Zubarah overlooks the ruins of a once bustling pearling and trading town. Founded in the 18th century, Al Zubarah was one of several independent settlements that operated outside of the control of large empires that were jostling for influence in the region. Now buried beneath the desert sands Al Zubarah tells the story of an important page in world history that saw rise of the modern Gulf states. Al Zubarah Archaeological Site includes the ruins of a major 18th-century trading and pearling settlement, the ruins of a 19th-century settlement and the iconic 20th-century fort that still stands proud against the desert skyline. In July of 2013 the site was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in recognition for its preservation and as a unique example of a formative period. You can learn more about the site, its history, environment and the work being carried out there at the new exhibit in Al Zubarah Fort.
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  • Bozeman-Dublin
    Trim, Ireland8,868 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful Fort
    Zubarah Fort in Northern Qatar is well worth a visit. For me it was a half day excursion from Doha. The Fort is in immaculate condition, I presume restored rather than preserved? There's a small museum/exhibition but the real joy is climbing the steps to the battlements and towers. Very easy to get to as it is right by the main road. The tour includes an optional extra, a little minibus takes you a kilometer or two into the desert to see the archaeological digs in the area. Well worth doing. I just loved the Fort though, such a step back in time.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 12 November 2023
  • Sea Dweller
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates6,680 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very beautiful fort.
    Al-Zubara Fort, abbreviated as Zubara Fort, in the Madinat al-Shamal municipality. Driving to the fort from Doha takes about an hour. Al Zubara Fort is the most famous desert fort in Qatar. It takes its name from the nearby archaeological site of Al Zubara, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a ruined, walled city built in the 17th century. A city that was once a thriving pearl fishing and trading port that had its own fort called Kalat Murair. The Al Khalifa clan of the Utub tribe, the ruling family of Bahrain, ruled the city for a long time and it was the place from where they conquered Bahrain in 1783. It was destroyed in 1811. In 1938, Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani built the Al-Zubara fort on the site of Qalat Murair, which was dilapidated by that time. In recent decades, the fort has been restored to its current appearance. Currently the fort is a museum. The rooms on the ground floor have a beautiful small exhibition about the fort and surrounding area. Al Zubara Fort is accessible free of charge during the day.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 19 November 2023
  • Ruby M
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A Journey Through Time at Al Zubara Fort: History Meets Haunting Beauty in Qatar's Desert
    More Than Just a Fort: Al Zubara Fort is not just a collection of stones and mortar; it's a living testament to a forgotten chapter in Qatar's history. It's a place to contemplate the fleeting nature of prosperity, the power of ambition, and the enduring spirit of a community. Visiting Al Zubara Fort is not just a sightseeing trip; it's an immersive experience that will leave you pondering the echoes of the past and the whispers of what lies beneath the sands.
    Visited January 2024
    Travelled with friends
    Written 2 January 2024
  • Deanosaur89
    Edmonton, Canada2,146 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Perfect for a day trip
    Al Zubara Fort was perfect for a day trip and is the gateway for Al Zubarah Archeological Site. The fort itself is worth a quick stop and we got to feel the cooling effects of the ventilation holes and see some of the older construction features inside like the bamboo that holds up parts of the roof. You can climb up one of the watchtowers and get a panoramic view of the area including the sea and the nearby archeological site. There is a small gift shop, a cafe and small exhibits to explain the history of the area and pearl diving. We didn't spend much time reading the signs because the similar information and better displays are at the Qatar National Museum. There is a small parking lot and when we arrived there was a guide who invited us on a free tour of the Al Zubarah Archeological Site which can only be accessed by their bus which departs about once an hour. The tour of the site takes about 45 minutes and was very interesting because it is currently Qatar's only UNESCO world heritage site. The tour was easily the best part of going to the fort and the guide was very knowledgeable which made it all the more worthwhile. Entrance to the fort is free for residents and they did not check for residence permits when we went. It takes a little over an hour to get to the fort and we would recommend going with someone who has a car. We did an hour at the site and about 30 minutes at the fort itself. We would also recommend bringing extra water as well as some food for a picnic because there are a few things that are worth checking out nearby like an art installation in the desert and a cultural village. There is quite a bit of construction on the road to the fort as of January 2024 so the road is a little bumpy and narrow at points but still very manageable.
    Visited January 2024
    Travelled with friends
    Written 20 January 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Deanosaur89
Edmonton, Canada2,146 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Friends
Al Zubara Fort was perfect for a day trip and is the gateway for Al Zubarah Archeological Site. The fort itself is worth a quick stop and we got to feel the cooling effects of the ventilation holes and see some of the older construction features inside like the bamboo that holds up parts of the roof. You can climb up one of the watchtowers and get a panoramic view of the area including the sea and the nearby archeological site. There is a small gift shop, a cafe and small exhibits to explain the history of the area and pearl diving. We didn't spend much time reading the signs because the similar information and better displays are at the Qatar National Museum.

There is a small parking lot and when we arrived there was a guide who invited us on a free tour of the Al Zubarah Archeological Site which can only be accessed by their bus which departs about once an hour. The tour of the site takes about 45 minutes and was very interesting because it is currently Qatar's only UNESCO world heritage site. The tour was easily the best part of going to the fort and the guide was very knowledgeable which made it all the more worthwhile.

Entrance to the fort is free for residents and they did not check for residence permits when we went. It takes a little over an hour to get to the fort and we would recommend going with someone who has a car. We did an hour at the site and about 30 minutes at the fort itself. We would also recommend bringing extra water as well as some food for a picnic because there are a few things that are worth checking out nearby like an art installation in the desert and a cultural village. There is quite a bit of construction on the road to the fort as of January 2024 so the road is a little bumpy and narrow at points but still very manageable.
Written 21 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ruby M
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Friends
More Than Just a Fort: Al Zubara Fort is not just a collection of stones and mortar; it's a living testament to a forgotten chapter in Qatar's history. It's a place to contemplate the fleeting nature of prosperity, the power of ambition, and the enduring spirit of a community. Visiting Al Zubara Fort is not just a sightseeing trip; it's an immersive experience that will leave you pondering the echoes of the past and the whispers of what lies beneath the sands.

Written 2 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sea Dweller
Dubai, United Arab Emirates6,680 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Family
Al-Zubara Fort, abbreviated as Zubara Fort, in the Madinat al-Shamal municipality. Driving to the fort from Doha takes about an hour.
Al Zubara Fort is the most famous desert fort in Qatar. It takes its name from the nearby archaeological site of Al Zubara, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a ruined, walled city built in the 17th century. A city that was once a thriving pearl fishing and trading port that had its own fort called Kalat Murair. The Al Khalifa clan of the Utub tribe, the ruling family of Bahrain, ruled the city for a long time and it was the place from where they conquered Bahrain in 1783. It was destroyed in 1811.
In 1938, Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani built the Al-Zubara fort on the site of Qalat Murair, which was dilapidated by that time. In recent decades, the fort has been restored to its current appearance.
Currently the fort is a museum. The rooms on the ground floor have a beautiful small exhibition about the fort and surrounding area.
Al Zubara Fort is accessible free of charge during the day.
Written 20 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bozeman-Dublin
Trim, Ireland8,868 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Solo
Zubarah Fort in Northern Qatar is well worth a visit. For me it was a half day excursion from Doha.
The Fort is in immaculate condition, I presume restored rather than preserved?
There's a small museum/exhibition but the real joy is climbing the steps to the battlements and towers.
Very easy to get to as it is right by the main road. The tour includes an optional extra, a little minibus takes you a kilometer or two into the desert to see the archaeological digs in the area. Well worth doing.
I just loved the Fort though, such a step back in time.
Written 12 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

K S
5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Friends
It was nice area and inside the fort there are small museum. You will be able to know about the animals in desert, which area there are many pearls etc.
Written 30 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

VinnieLondon
Doha, Qatar11,798 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2021 • Friends
Around 100km north of Doha on Shamal road in Shamal Municipality. Built in late 1930’s as a Coast Guard station by Sheikh Bin Jassim in what was once a busy trading town. This is also an important archaeological site with World Heritage status and a visitor centre. Unfortunately due to Covid restrictions could not access the fort itself to see the archaeological exhibits etc but the site and view of the fort itself well worth the trip out from Doha.
Written 23 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tea_Seasea
Doha, Qatar257 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2021 • Family
A quaint place of Interest with an archaeological site nearby providing an awareness of the local history, culture and life in the area. If you are interested in finding out about the area and it’s surroundings the museum inside the fort has some interesting historical facts.
Written 15 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

May Tee
Doha, Qatar67 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2019
Nice to see but not as big as expected. Compared to the other world sites its a pretty small fort. Located a bit far from the city in the desert so there is nothing else to see around it. if you have short time in Doha, I would skip, but If you have time then why not:)
Written 7 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Climb14ers
Colorado Springs, CO1,762 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
This fort is part of the Al-Zubara archeological site. There is not much to see in the fort itself but there are great exhibits about the history of the area.
Written 23 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kerry-Lee
Doha, Qatar86 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Family
After reading other reviews about this I was conflicted whether to go or not. Contrary to what others have said it was only an hour drive. I’m confused on why people are saying it’s so far away! Also, contrary to what I read about the archeological site, there is no need for a 4x4. We took our tiny little rental car that’s pretty much like driving a tuna can.
Great opportunity to teach our kids about the pearl and trading industry in Qatar’s history as well as a geography lesson. If you are going to drive to the fort, make sure to driver over to the archeological site which is 2 min away. Here you’ll find the old pearling town that was buried under layers of sand and recently, partly excavated. Great photo opportunity and a fun thing to do as a family. It was pretty cool getting to visit an UNESCO world heritage site. If you have the time and the weather isn’t too hot, I highly recommend it.
Written 12 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Al Zubara Fort (Madinat Ash Shamal) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos) - Tripadvisor

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