Great bits of Doha: Zekreet

Zekreet Abandoned forts and twisting cliffs create a surreal landscape Discuss this article

2017_Zekreet
© ITP Images

Zekreet? Doesn’t look like much to me...
Don’t jump to conclusions. We know it looks like a desert, but there’s a surprising amount to see and do around these parts. Are you a fan of camping?

I love it!
Excellent, then this might possibly be the greatest bit of Doha (even, technically, all of Qatar) for you. The unique limestone cliff formations offer unusual surroundings for a desert camping excursion, and with a bit of exploration – and a four wheel drive – you can easily discover secluded coves and beaches to set up camp. Just be wary of rising tides when choosing a spot.

You mentioned activities... Is there anything to do other than roast marshmallows round a fire?
Loads! Set off early in the morning, and make a pitstop at Film City on the way. You’ll need to pass the town of Zekreet to get to it, but this weird and wonderful abandoned film set is worth the detour. Wandering through an empty, fake desert village is a surreal experience, to say the least. Stop here for a picnic. It’s a particularly good spot for families as kids will love running around and exploring.

What other spots are there in the area to explore?
Well, head a little further than Film City and you’ll find another eerie attraction. Nestled in among the cliffs and perched on top is a series of little stone towers nicknamed ‘Mystery Village’.

Don’t you mean Zekreet Fort?
Nope. Zekreet Fort is yet another attraction which you can find much closer to the town, near the coast. It dates back to the 18th Century and is a fascinating spot to explore Qatar’s rich history. The structures discovered there are believed to have been used
to make date syrup.

I’ve never been big on history...
Well luckily for you, there’s Richard Serra’s epic art installation East-West/West-East around here, too. Erected in 2014, it has quickly become one of the country’s most talked about, must-see sights. The huge steel structures stand between two chalky plateaus and stretch all the way to the sea. Alien and other-worldly, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d stumbled on some kind of Star Wars set. Make a day of this visit on your way back to the city from camp.

To reach Zekreet, take the Dukhan Highway to the Cuban Hospital and exit right towards the town; the rest of the journey is off-road.

By Time Out Doha staff
Time Out Doha,

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