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Discover Al Rakayat Fort

Get up close and personal with a majestic bit of history.

Heritage site

Al Rakayat Fort

One of several desert forts from the 19th century, and one of a few renovated during the 1980s, Rakayat Fort in the north western corner of Qatar was built to protect local supplies of freshwater. Remnants of a village can be found nearby.

Named after the Arabic word for ‘well’, Rakayat Fort contains a 5km-deep freshwater well, from which villagers painstakingly pulled up water.  The fort is unusual for its low height (only three metres). Each corner of the central courtyard features a staircase leading up to one of three rectangular and one cylindrical watchtower, with expansive views of the rocky landscape juxtaposed against the sparkling waters of the Arabian Gulf.

How to get there?

  • Take Al Shamal Road from Doha Al Ruwais. It is about 116 km - a 1 hour 20 minute drive. Al Rakayat Fort is a further 15 minutes from there.

Nestled in the northwest of Qatar lies Al Rakayat, another 19th-century fort built to protect vital water resources in the area. The fort houses a freshwater well, and the scattered remains of village life can be found nearby. One of the most well-preserved sites in Qatar, it was renovated in the 1980s and is typical of desert forts, with three rectangular towers and a cylindrical one. Three sides of the central courtyard are aligned with narrow rooms that open onto an expansive courtyard, where an ancient date press - madbasa - was discovered.  During restoration work, the site yielded an Islamic coin dating to the Abbasid period, between 749–846 AD.

Highlights of your visit

  • Scattered relics

  • 19th century design

  • Al Ruwais

More than protection for the area’s water supply, Al Rakayat Fort was used as a defensive structure against foreign invaders. Hence, the fort played a critical role in the history of Qatar and today stands as a majestic example of the country’s storied past. 

Rakayat is the Arabic word for ‘well’, which explains one of the reasons behind the fort’s construction.

Useful information

Opening times

Open 24 Hours

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