Qatar is a funny place. In fact, it’s a funny word that nobody truly knows how to pronounce! It may be funny, but it is one of the richest countries in the world. Oil and gas trillions have made a major global player out of the small Gulf state. In fact, the country of Qatar, approximately the size of New Jersey, will be hosting the 2022 World Cup soccer tournament! There is a massive construction effort to get ready for the tournament like I’ve never seen before all around the country. Most people never get out of Doha, the capital. So I decided to take a tour of the North of Qatar.
The North of Qatar is a strange place. It’s strange because it is so different from Doha. Doha is a massive city with an amazing skyline that has sprouted up in the last ten years more or less. It has the world-class and visually stunning Museum of Islamic Art (below), a fancy Souk and everything you could ever want. The North of Qatar does not. In fact, there isn’t much of anything. But that’s why it’s so cool to see!
If you travel around the new Gulf States like Bahrain, Dubai or even Oman you’ll see massive buildings, modern luxuries and spic and span clean cities-just like Doha. The second largest city of Qatar is a little town in the North of Qatar called Al Khor.
Al Khor is a town that houses a lot of Qatari people and migrant workers. They are cleaning it up for the World Cup and there is a lot of construction. The main attraction and really the only current attraction is the fishing harbor. This is where the fishing dhows leave from and return to with their daily catch that supplies fish to much of Qatar. It’s not the most exciting place in the world but it’s interesting to see for sure.
Next up as you head up the North of Qatar is a little sleepy beachside town called Al Thakira. It is most famous for a small Corniche and a little family beach where you can see mangrove trees. They’re very proud of these trees yet to the visitor they seem strangely out of place. That said the beach is lovely!
Finally, as you cut across the desert in the North of Qatar you will arrive at the crown jewel of the North, Al Zubarah. Al Zubarah is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and very preserved at that. The old fort looks stunning and stoic in the vast desert.
It’s a very cool place to visit as the inside is essentially a museum. Nearby is an excavation site where they are unearthing ancient ruins out to the sea. Those are always cool to see. The North of Qatar tour also included a lovely lunch next to Al Zubarah fort.
So the North of Qatar is not a blow you away destination. However, if you’ve traveled to Doha before or around much of the Gulf, it’s a nice change to see the way it used to be in the Gulf. It really lends perspective and I got a lot out of it. In fact, I got exactly what I wanted to get out of it!
Disclaimer: I have a business relationship with Azamara Club Cruises and receive financial compensation. Everything was written and experienced by me and has not been influenced in any way.