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Al Zubarah Archaeological Site
Site number:
Type of site: Cultural
Date: 18th-19th centuries
Date of Inscription: 2013
Location: Middle East, Qatar
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Description: The walled coastal town of Al Zubarah in the Gulf flourished as a pearling and trading centre in the late 18th century and early 19thcenturies, before it was destroyed in 1811 and abandoned in the early 1900s. Founded by merchants from Kuwait, Al Zubarah had trading links across the Indian Ocean, Arabia and Western Asia. A layer of sand blown from the desert has protected the remains of the site’s palaces, mosques, streets, courtyard houses, and fishermen’s huts; its harbour and double defensive walls, a canal, walls, and cemeteries. Excavation has only taken place over a small part of the site, which offers an outstanding testimony to an urban trading and pearl-diving tradition which sustained the region’s major coastal towns and led to the development of small independent states that flourished outside the control of the Ottoman, European, and Persian empires and eventually led to the emergence of modern day Gulf States. --WHMNet's description is from WHC Site, where additional information is available.
  Zubarah (Arabic: الزبارة‎), also called Al Zubarah or Az Zubarah, is a ruined and deserted town located on the north western coast of the Qatar peninsula in the Madinat ash Shamal municipality, about 105 km from the Qatari capital of Doha. Zubarah was once a thriving pearl fishing and trading port positioned midway between the Strait of Hormuz and the west arm of the Persian Gulf. It is one of the largest and best preserved examples of an 18th-19th century merchant town in the Gulf. The entire layout and urban fabric of a settlement dating to this formative period in the region has been preserved as no other similar place in the Persian Gulf. Zubarah provides an important insight into urban life, spatial organization, and the social and economic history of the Gulf before the discovery of oil and gas in the 20th century. Covering an area of circa 400 hectares (60 hectares inside the outer town wall), Zubarah is Qatar’s most substantial archaeological site. The site comprises the fortified town with a later inner and an earlier outer wall, a harbour, a sea canal, two screening walls, the fort of Murair, and the more recent Zubarah Fort. On June 22, 2013, UNESCO added the site to its World Heritage List. --Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
Source2: Wikipedia (
Reference: 1. UNESCO World Heritage Center ( 2. Wikipedia.
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