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Posted On: 14 October 2018 03:53 pm
Updated On: 9 December 2019 09:32 am

Khor Al Adaid: Five reasons to visit this extraordinary 'Inland Sea'

Nabeela
Nabeela
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Khor

Khor Al Adaid, which also goes by the name ‘Inland Sea’ and is one of the top most destination’s in Qatar, for visitors and those that reside in Qatar, and yet, many who live in Qatar are still unaware of this extraordinary landscape that is both scenic and breathtakingly beautiful. For those who are familiar with the place it is a haven of tranquility, serenity and relaxation, and is nature in it’s untouched and purest form.

Those who go there once - always visit again - are spellbound and mesmerized by the pristine and clear sea water that is perfect for swimming and just splashing around, and the soft and ever-changing beauty of the golden sand dunes that you can sand-skate on or run up and down from, that add to the splendor and glory of the beach.

Khor Al Adaid is a fantastic place to spend the day with friends and family and also a great camping ground for those who are a little more adventurous and want to experience desert camping at its best and most natural.

The best time to visit Khor Al Adaid is when the weather gets cooler and winter begins. November up until April are the best months to visit this scenic Qatar landmark.

1. Location

Khor Al Adaid is located in the south-east region of Qatar; it spreads approximately 15 kilometres from the north of the country to the south and approximately 12 kilometres from the east to the west. It is 80 kilometres away from Doha and can be reached by 4x4 vehicles that manoeuvre their way through desert and sand dunes.

Inland Sea Map Qatar
Image Credit: Point & Shoot+Wanderlust

2. Unique features

Khor Al Adaid is one of just three places in the world where the sea meets the sand dunes. It has a lagoona system that is unparalleled elsewhere in the world.

This big tidal embayment is connected with the Arabian Gulf and by a deep and narrow channel which is approximately 10 kilometres long. The embayment is mutually shared between both Qatar and Saudi Arabia with shorelines in both countries.

Other features of this tourist attraction in Qatar are rocky ridges and crags, raised plateaus, coastal sabkha (a flat area that is located between sea and desert that is often distinguished by a crusty surface made up of deposits like calcium carbonate, gypsum and salt, as well as wind-blown sediments and tidal deposits) and recently discovered salt hillocks that are covered with a gypsum and salt crust, have added to the overall beauty of the area.

These prominent and incomparable features of the unique ‘Inland Sea’ are the result of the amalgamation of geo-morphical and geological formation and is inimitable anywhere else in the region.

Khor Al Adaid Shoreline
Image Credit: Nabeela Tariq

3. Recognised by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)

Khor Al Adaid is recognised by UNESCO as a natural reserve with a beautiful landscape that comes complete with its own eco-system.

4. Plant, wildlife and marine species

Plant life

The place is inhabited with plant life and vegetation that is common in the GCC region, but are not found in the same mix in any other single place;

Wildlife

Khor Al Adaid’s wildlife is made up of Arabian gazelles, Arabian oryx and camels and birds like flamingos, cormorants, seagulls, terns, ospreys and waterfowl (a birdwatcher’s heaven).

Marine life

Khor Al Adaid’s marine life is as diverse as the area itself and includes marine reptiles, crustaceans, molluscs, finless porpoises, bottlenose dolphins, humpback dolphins, Bryde’s whales, fish, turtles and the endangered dugong species. A large network of corals, macroalgae, fleshy algae and seagrass meadows (known to be one of the most productive sea meadow’s in the world and a significant feeding ground for the area’s marine life) on the soft and sometimes rocky sea bottom, along with algal mats and mussel beds are resplendent in the waters that make up the Khor Al Adaid.

5. Archaeological and heritage sites

Also, in the area, you can find some archaeological and heritage sites like small islands that were used in prehistoric times for fishing and farming, along with a rocky desert that was once inhabited by the Bedouins and their grazing animals.

How to get there

Khor Al Adaid is about an hour’s drive from Msaieed and the Sealine Beach. There is no road that leads to it and a 4X4 car is a must if you want to get there, along with an experienced driver who is used to off-roading and driving over the rolling sand dunes that are part of the landscape and drive there. The coordinates to get there are: N24 42 50 E51 24 55.

Khor Al Adaid
Image Credit: Drive on the Left

Tour Packages

Have you been to Khor Al Adaid? If you have, would you go there again? If you haven't, why don't you plan a trip to this mesmerizing Qatar landmark? Do let us know what you think in our Comments section. Like and share the article - it keeps us going!

Cover Image: World Heritage Review; p.43