Qatar is mostly a plain area with no mountains. It's mostly desert and sand dunes. Many of us think and believe that for hiking, you need a rocky, hilly or mountainous area, but that's not necessarily true.
"a long walk or march for recreational activity, military training, or the like."
Based on that definition, you can hike in the desert, near the sea, too, and enjoy the scenic views around you, and Qatar has many such views and even though it's not a mountainous region, you will find elevated places along the way!
If you're new to hiking, you should know that hiking is a great low impact workout, and according to studies, it has many physical and mental benefits to your health. In fact, the American Hiking Society encourages hiking because it has many benefits and can reduce the risk of getting certain diseases like cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, colon cancer, arthritis, obesity and can lower the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
So, where can we hike in Qatar?
There are no fixed hiking trails in Qatar, unfortunately, but there are some beautiful places where you can hike here, and we're going to tell you all about them.
Note: The average speed while hiking is approximately 4.5 km, but it really depends on the individual and how fast or how slow they hike, and if they take any stops in between. Also, the hiking trails mentioned below are guidelines. Again, it's up to the individual if they want to go the whole route or just part of it. (Fahad Badar)
Hiking in Umm Bab is great for hikers who are just beginning out. The hiking trail is about 43 km long on moderate terrain. It could take any time between 4.5 - 5 hours depending on the speed you walk and the breaks you take.
Location: Longitude: 25.2075228; Latitude: 50.7971334
Hike length and time: 43 km; approximately 7 - 8 hours
Ash Shaqra is an area of Al Wakrah, and lies approximately 52 km south of Doha. It is popular for hiking. The most popular hiking spot, as per Wikiloc, in Ash Shaqra is given below. It's about 31 km long and is a moderate hiking trail that may take between 0.5 - 1 hour depending on your speed and if you stop to rest on the.
Zekreet is about 80 km from Doha and is a lovely spot to hike. The nearest settlement to Zekreet is Dukhan. Zekreet Bay is towards the west of Dukhan and is a crescent moon shaped bay and there is a cape protruding into the bay called Ras Zekreet (Wikipedia). This is probably one of the best areas in Qatar to hike. There's lots to see and you'll love the landscape.
If you hike in this western region of Qatar, you'll be pleasantly surprised to see the landscape change from time to time. There are plains and mushroom hills around this area and you can sightsee Zekreet Film City, Zekreet Fort, the mushroom or umbrella-shaped limestone hut on a hill, and Richard Serra's East-West/West-East desert sculpture made up of '7' iron plates while you hike. It's quite a sight. The hike is approximately 44 km long and could take you 3.5 - 5 hours depending on how fast you walk and how many times you stop to marvel at the sites!
If you like walking along the beach, then this hike is perfect for you. You can start your hike from Fuwairit Beach and hike along the beach to Al Ghariyah and then on to Al Mafjar. You'll get to feel the sea breeze on your face and maybe even take a dip if you want before you continue the hike. The distance between the two beaches is 11.8km and it takes approximately 2.5 - 3 hours to walk one way. Of course, you could hike all the way from Fuwairit to Al Mafjar and back to Fuwairit. It depends on you and your stamina, really.
Qurayn Abu al Bawl is Qatar's highest point at 103 metres. It's located in the southwest part of Qatar and is close to the Qatar-Saudi border (Traildino), and you'll love the hike in this area all the way from Abu Samra which is about 56.3 km and may take anywhere between .
The hiking spot below is approximately 208 km long and the average hiking time is about 8+ hours depending on how fast you walk and how many breaks you take. You'll get to see a lot of Qatar on the way, so enjoy the walk.
If you're feeling particularly adventurous, you could hike through all the forts and abandoned villages around Qatar, and marvel at these magnificent structures from the yesteryears. There is the Rayyan Castle, Al Koot Fort, Barzan Towers, Zekreet Fort, Zubarah Fort, Al Thaqab Fort and the Al Rakayat Fort. The abandoned villages include Al Jumail Fishing Village, Al Areesh and Al Khuwair, village.
Fahad Badar is a banker and mountaineer. In 2019, he became the first Arab male to reach the summits of both Mount Everest and Mount Lhotse during the same expedition. To be able to embark on his many mountaineering expeditions, Fahad needs to train hard, and if you follow his social media, you'll see he's often out hiking in different parts of Qatar to stay fit and build his stamina.
The following are some of the tips that Fahad tells all hikers to follow when hiking in Qatar
Do you like hiking? Are you an advanced hiker or a beginner? Have you been hiking in Qatar? What are your favourite spots? Do let us know in our comments section below. Like and share the article - it keeps us going!
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