Qatar Museums Spotlights Al Zubarah On World Heritage Day

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) Joelyn Baluyut |The Peninsula

Doha, Qatar: Qatar Museums marked World Heritage Day yesterday with an emphasis on the Al Zubarah archaeological site, Qatar's inaugural Unesco Heritage Site.

In a recent social media update, Qatar Museums affirmed the continuous progress of excavations and the active preservation endeavours, inviting visitors to witness the site's transformation firsthand.

This dedication to conservation is part of a broader initiative by Qatar Museums, which has prioritised the safeguarding of Al Zubarah's structures, artifacts, and environment over the past decade.

“Preserving and protecting cultural property is an important matter that requires intensive efforts on an international and local level and requires national efforts amongst institutions to enhance this protection.”

In September, Qatar Museums commemorated the 10th anniversary of Al Zubarah's inscription as a Unesco World Heritage Site, reaffirming its cultural significance and global recognition.

Through collaborative efforts with universities and educational institutions, Qatar Museums has enhanced public awareness and appreciation of Al Zubarah's heritage. Workshops, lectures, and seminars have provided insights into the site's historical significance, paving the way for future development and enhanced visitor experiences, it said.

Earlier this year, Qatar Museums partnered with the Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage (ARC-WH) to organise a workshop focused on the protection and preservation of world heritage sites in Qatar. The workshop featured discussions, case studies, and interactive sessions led by experts, aiming to strengthen conservation efforts in the region.

Mohammed Saad Al Rumaihi, CEO of Qatar Museums, stressed the importance of international and local collaboration in preserving cultural heritage, underscoring the need for concerted efforts to safeguard historical sites.

According to Unesco, Al Zubarah's remarkable preservation is attributed to a protective layer of desert sand, which has shielded its ancient palaces, mosques, streets, and harbour from decay. "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.” Situated approximately 100km northwest of Doha, Al Zubarah spans 2.5km from the Al Zubarah Fort to the coastline. Founded in the 18th century, it flourished as a trading hub until its destruction in 1811 due to several attacks. Today, the site showcases remnants of houses, mosques, date presses, and fortified structures.

For enthusiasts eager to explore Al Zubarah, entry to the site is free of charge and can be booked through Qatar Museums' website. Operating hours are from Saturday to Thursday, 9am to 5pm, and on Fridays from 12:30pm to 5 pm.

Additionally, the National Museum of Qatar offers a“Life on the Coast” gallery featuring artifacts and an art film that narrates the story of Al Zubarah for those unable to visit the site in person.

By the first decades of the 20th century, it was abandoned. Today, the site covers an area of 60 hectares with remains of houses, masajid (mosques), madabis (date presses), large fortified buildings, and a market.


The Peninsula

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