Fish, ghosts and princess towers in Northern Qatar

We’re back in Doha and have a few days left before we have to head back home to reality. While we’ll spend most of our remaining time relaxing, we still had a little more of Qatar to see. Having seen the sand dunes to the south during our first stay in Doha, this time we’re heading to the northern regions of Qatar.


Ella suggested that we travel by oryx. Unfortunately these ones were busy at the airport so we had to rely on a truck. 

Our first stop was the fishing village of Al Khor. Not the rustic village that we envisioned, like much of Qatar it has been recently updated. I was pleasantly surprised when Mohammed, our driver, took us on the boats where the fisherman where sorting their catch.

We weren’t sure how Ella would react to seeing all the dead fish, but she was totally intrigued and loved exploring the boats.

From the boats we went into the market where they were cleaning the fish. Oddly, she had no problem with this either, despite the fact that she asked if the fish piled up on ice could talk like Nemo as we entered the fish market.

From the market we headed to the beach at Al Dhakira, on the western coast, to see the mangrove forest where some local fisherman were hard at work. The mangroves are one of the few plants that can withstand Qatar’s harsh desert conditions and provide a haven for birds, fish and mammals. While it was too windy when we visited, if the conditions are right there are tour companies offering kayaking trips across the bay.

From there we headed over to the fort in Al Zubara. Like so many sites I’ve visited around the world the fort was unfortunately covered in scaffolding.


Fortunately the interweb offered pictures without the scaffolding.


The restoration seemed to be part of a larger effort to make the fort more of a museum. Like a lot of stops on our trip, we had the place to ourselves. Our guide told us that the fort was a popular tourist spot, especially on weekends. Despite this, the restoration workers seemed intrigued by our presence. Maybe it was the running kid.

Our last stop before we started to make our way back to Doha was the abandoned “ghost village” of Al Jamail. Much like the dead fish, I couldn’t tell whether Ella was excited by the prospect of ghosts or scared. Much like the fish, she enjoyed it and she finally got to go up one of the minarets (which she called her princess tower).

It was interesting, but kind of eery walking around an abandoned village.


From the village we headed back to our apartment in Doha. For the first time on this trip we’re back to what’s become our normal type of accommodation, Airbnb. For the last few days of our trip, we’ll be living the highlife (or at least watching it) in The Pearl.

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