Al Zubarah


Al Zubarah Archaeological Site is a partly excavated coastal town that flourished due to pearling and trade from 1760 to 1811.

It was newly built by Kuwaiti merchants just for that purpose.

The town of about 5,000 inhabitants was mostly destroyed and abandoned after an attack by the Sultan of Oman 1811. It subsequently got covered by desert sands.

The area contains remains of the town walls, port, cemeteries and fort.


Community Reviews

Philipp Peterer - January 2016

Qatar is not one of these countries that are full of highlights and in other countries Al Zubarah certainly would not count as a highlight. But in Qatar it’s the only WHS and I found the first sign on the highway 75! km from the site. It’s about an hour driving from Doha. The fort is tiny. I rather qualifies as a bigger house. It’s currently being renovated, but work is almost finished. The interior serves as visitor center with information regarding the site.

They also constructed a temporary exhibition close to the fort. I guess the plan to build a small museum there. The archeological site was closed for no reason. The only way to access it would be by car, as the territory is really big. But the pictures of the site showed me that I did not miss out on much. Despite the fort all was destroyed to the ground by the Sultan of Oman. Entrance is free.

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Site Info

Full name: Al Zubarah Archaeological Site

Site History

  • 2013 - Inscribed

    Reasons for inscription
  • 2012 - Advisory Body overruled

    ICOMOS asked for deferral, referral given
  • 2012 - Referred



The site has 1 locations.

  • Al Zubarah


The site has 16 connections.


  • Canals sea canal
  • Cemeteries Remains of 3 cemeteries
  • Cisterns Excavations have revealed a large cistern for storing water. (AB ev)




Human Activity

  • Pearling The walled coastal town of Al Zubarah in the Gulf flourished as a pearling and trading centre in the late 18th century (Unesco website)
  • Sea Ports 

Religion and Belief



World Heritage Process