Al Shamal

Al Shamal

Things to do - general
Coordinates (Madinat ash Shamal): 26.07°N 51.13°ECoordinates: 26.07°N 51.13°E
Country  Qatar
Capital Madinat ash Shamal
 • Mayor Hamad Jumaa Al Mannai
 • Total 859.8 km2 (332.0 sq mi)
Population (2015)
 • Total 8,794
 • Density 10/km2 (26/sq mi)
Time zone East Africa Time (UTC+03)
ISO 3166 code QA-MS


Country Qatar
Languages spokenArabic
Currency usedQatari Riyal
Area (km2)859.8 km2 (332.0 sq mi)

Sports & nature

Al-Shamal SC, a sports club most notable for its football team which competes in the Qatargas League, is situated in the city. Their home games are played at Al-Shamal SC Stadium in Madinat ash Shamal. Another stadium of the same name, Al-Shamal Stadium, is a proposed 45,120 capacity multi-purpose stadium currently under construction for the 2022 FIFA World

Accounting for roughly 7% of Qatar's overall landamss, Al Shamal is the northernmost municipality, its outermost point being Ras Rakan. It has around 80 km of coastline.

Abu Dhalouf and Ar Ru'ays were the largest villages on the northern coastline until the 1970s, when the Qatari government enacted a plan to establish Madinat ash Shamal between these two villages. Throughout the 1970s, a road system and a port were built to connect the three villages. Development of Madinat ash Shamal continued through the 1980s and 1990s, whereas urban developments were carried out on the adjacent settlements of Abu Dhalouf and Ar Ru'ays in the 2000s. At present, these three villages are the commercial and administrative centers of the municipality.

The majority of Al Shamal's settlements are rural, consisting mainly of small villages and farms. Most of Qatar's archaeological sites, abandoned villages and protected areas can be found in the municipality. Development is mainly oriented towards the three adjacent villages of Madinat ash Shamal, Abu Dhalouf and Ar Ru'ays, and the village of Ain Sinan, with the bulk of development occurring in Madinat ash Shamal.


Nightlife info

The Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) is in the process of developing Al Shamal's historic villages, archaeological sites and natural areas into tourist attractions. As the municipality currently has the highest annual precipitation rate in the country and a large coastline area, the QTA has prioritized the establishment of eco-reserves in certain areas. Islands such as Ras Rakan and Umm Tais have been developed as nature reserves in order to boost eco-tourism.


Culture and history info

The Al Reem Biosphere Reserve is a protected area in western Al Shamal measuring 1,189 square kilometers in area. This area encompasses the archaeological site of Zubarah and the Al Ishriq Wildlife Breeding Center. Several reintroduced species are found in this area such as sand gazelles and ostriches, in addition to native species such as dugongs, spiny-tailed lizards and red foxes.

Ar Ru'ays' coastal area is a popular destination due to its lush vegetation. In recent years, the Ministry of Municipality and Environment have embarked on campaigns to restore the mangroves that grow abundantly on its coast. Also located along the coast of Ar Ru'ays is the Al Shamal Corniche, a seafront promenade with a length of 2,570 meters.It was announced in 2017 that Qatar's largest health resort, due to cover 250,00 sq meters, will be built in Khasooma, east of Ar Ru'ays.

Abandoned villages are also being restored and converted into tourist attractions. Jumail, a fishing village abandoned in the 1970s and located 5 km away from Ar Ru'ays, is one example. After being partially reconstructed in 2009, the government announced its plans in late 2015 to convert the village into a museum. Containing no less than 60 crumbled structure, Jumail is thought to date back to the 19th century and had a close connection to Ruwayda, another ruined village situated 1 km away which accommodates the remains of what is possibly the largest fort in Qatar.

According to statistics made available by the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, the municipality was said to accommodate 5 parks in 2018.

As a result of the gradual urbanization of the various nomadic Qatari tribes in Al Shamal's past, numerous historic forts are found throughout the municipality. Many of these forts were built to protect scarce water resources, while others were to protect from invasions by neighboring tribes.Most prominent is the historic Zubarah Fort, built in 1938 and converted to a museum in 1987. This fort was built as a coast guard station and is now the center of the Zubarah archaeological site. A short distance away from Zubarah Fort is Qal'at Murair, which was built to defend Zubarah's inland wells.

Approximately 8 km northeast of Zubarah Fort is the multi-purpose Ar Rakiyat Fort. Constructed around the 19th century to protect the water supply of Ar Rakiyat and to fend off invasions, this fort was restored by Qatar Museums in 1988. An older fort is found 2 km away from Ar Rakiyat, near the abandoned village of Ath Thaqab. Like most other Qatari forts, Ath Thaqab Fort is rectangular in shape and has four main towers. It dates to somewhere between the 17th and 19th centuries.

Umm Al Maa Fort, also near Zubarah, dates to the 19th century and only its base structure has been preserved.Similarly, Yusufiya Fort is dated to the 19th century and has only retained its base structure. Artifacts dating to the 13th century have been discovered at this fort.

Archaeological sites

A cluster of Abbasid-period (750–1253) archaeological sites are found near the north-west coast and include Ar Rakiyat, Umm Al Kilab, Ghaf Makin, Mussaykah, Murwab, and Al-Haddiyah. Structures that were excavated at these sites were roughly aligned with Mecca. All of the sites are situated next to rawdas (depressions), ensuring a reliable water supply.

Unfortunately there are no accommodations at this location at the moment.

Unfortunately there are no tour offers at this location at the moment.

Unfortunately there are no cruise offers at this location at the moment.

Unfortunately there are no car rental offers at this location at the moment.

Country Representative

Representative Of Qatar
E-mail : asyayoldas (at)
Phone : +974 7789 2503