The municipality of Al Shahaniya is situated in the west part of the State of Qatar. It was once a part of Al Rayyan municipality after which Al Shahaniya split off in 2014 to form its own municipality. The origins of its name is from a plant known locally as 'sheeh' which was valued for its anti-inflammatory effects (Source: Wikipedia). Al Shahaniya is the largest municipality with an area of 3308.9 sq.km and a population of 187,571 according to the Planning and Statistics Authority 2015 Population distribution and population density by municipality.
This municipality is famous for Oryx breeding and the camel races that take place here.
Al Shahaniya has several beautiful places and many sights to see and explore. Are you excited to go around the municipality through this article? The ILoveQatar.net team has put together a list of things to see and do here, to help you with your road trip! Let the epic journey begin!
How far is Al Shahaniya municipality from Doha? From the Gold Souq roundabout in Doha, you can drive to Al Shahaniya in approximately 30 minutes via the Dukhan highway.
The distance of Gold Souq to Zekreet is about 79.1 km (approximately 59 minutes drive).
A drive to Dukhan Public Beach will take you about 1 hour and 2 minutes via Dukhan highway from Gold Souq.
*Please note that due to COVID-19 restrictions, there might be some restrictions. Adhere to the rules set by the government at all times.
Located about 84 km from Doha, this art installation spans over a kilometre in length. It consists of four steel plates which rise to 14.7 meters and 16.7 meters above the ground, are level to each other. All four can be seen from either end of the sculpture. One will be left astounded by the sheer size of these structures!
According to the artist, "the art installation depicts how the social, political, and economic environment is desert-like. There is nothing in Zekreet, no society, no politics, and no economy, and just like the phrase global village, the art sculpture shows you, the viewer, how you are living in a global desert." (publicdelivery.org) Have you seen it before?
Please note that the art installation is currently undergoing restoration as part of an anti-vandalism campaign. Our public art is our country's asset and needs to be protected at all costs. Do not vandalise the property or you may be punished under Qatar's laws.
Location: East-West/West-East by Richard Serra
Close to the art installation, and about 7 km away from it are the Zekreet Rock Formations. These mushroom-like structures feel like they are straight out of a science-fiction movie! This is also a favourite place for many astrophotographers!
Location: Zekreet Rock Formations
A 51 minutes drive from Doha takes you to a natural wonder - the Musfur Sinkhole. This 16 feet deep sinkhole has an opening of about 40 feet. A great spot in Qatar to explore during the day time. It is open to visitors throughout the day, and there are no steps to descend into it. It is better to reach the destination via a 4x4. It is also important to keep in mind that there are no toilet or resting facilities here. Since it is in the middle of nowhere, it is good to carry water and snacks but be sure not to litter and pick up the waste after you.
Location: Mufsur Sinkhole
Once you are at this place, you can see scores of camels doing the rounds and all across the race tracks here. These majestic creatures take part in the races at the Shahaniya Camel Race Track. On race days, this is definitely a sight to behold and must be on your bucket list of things to do in Qatar! Have you been here before?
Location: Shahaniya Camel Race Tracks
This heritage venue is one of the world’s largest private museums. The museum has over 30,000 objects and artefacts on display and helps take a look back at history! One can find everything from carpets, coin collections to even art here! There are also a breathtaking collection of over 600 cars at the museum! How amazing is that?
Location: Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum
The Al Dosari Zoo and Game Reserve is a private zoo that belongs to the Dosari family. One can get to see many animals and birds like the Oryx, Ostriches, Emus, Camels and more here! This is a great place for families for a nice outing! The price of the ticket is QR 10 per person and the zoo is open for visitors until 7 pm.
Location: Al Dosari Zoo and Game Reserve
Zekreet Fort takes you back in time. The ruins of this structure give you a glimpse of how life would have been like back in the days. Zekreet Fort (Heritage Area 689) is close to Dukhan and was built in the 18th or early 19th century. The fort has a unique design. Initially, it was built as a simple square without towers in each corner. During the reconstruction, towers were added at the four corners of the fort. Please be aware of not damaging the site while visiting. Be responsible and do not litter while you’re there.
Location: Zekreet Fort
*Please keep in mind to be responsible, not to litter, pick up after you and dispose of waste properly while visiting the beaches.
Zekreet Beach is located about 45-50 minutes away from the city of Doha. The terrain of this beach is rockier compared to the other sandy beaches in Qatar. This empty beach is great for camping and for having barbecues with family and friends.
Location: Zekreet Beach
Umm Bab Beach, also known as "Palm Tree Beach", has small clusters of palm trees all around it. The waters are calm and clear but be careful of the sharp rocks in the shallow waters. You can also see herds of camels around this beach but please keep in mind not to disturb the animals.
Location: Umm Bab Beach
Dukhan Public Beach is one of the most famous public beaches on the western side of Qatar. It is ideal for families and people who want time away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The soft white sand and clear waters are a perfect combination for a relaxed time at the beach. This is a great barbecue spot as well!
Location: Dukhan Public Beach
There are dining options at Dukhan Souq, a shopping mall located in Dukhan. Some of the restaurants that are currently open are:
You can also find fast food places like Domino's, McDonald's and KFC too! There is also a supermarket called Food World where you can pick up snacks, water and other essentials during your road trip!
Location: Dukhan Souq
The other restaurants you can find along Dukhan highway are:
How many places from this list have you been to? Have you explored all the 8 municipalities in Qatar? Let us know in the comments! Do share this article - it keeps us going!
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