14. Khor Al Adaid – Inland Sea (Experience the Qatar Desert – where Desert meets the Sea):
Is located 60 kms. southeast from Doha. An enormous pool of shallow, salty water lies within a great expanse of sun-kissed sand dunes that was once a safe haven for 19th century pirates. The area presents a remarkable landscape formed by a globally unique combination of geological and geomorphological features which have created a diverse scenery of exceptional natural beauty.
Highlights of Inland Sea:
- It is recognized by UNESCO as Qatar’s largest natural reserve.
- Inland sea is a se inlet of the Persian Gulf where the sea together with the large tidal embayment spills into the desert. Due to low rainfall and high temperatures, the water is saltier than the nearby Gulf and the encroachment of hypersaline waters into the desert gave birth to a unique ecosystem both above and below water.
- The reserve is home to wildlife, marine life and vegetation alike. Visitors can enjoy spotting sea turtles, flamingos, desert foxes, Arabian oryx, camels, dugongs, ospreys, fossils of gastropods, sea worms and more.
- For a truly authentic desert experience visitors can avail thrilling half day, full day and overnight camping safari trips with activities like camel rides on soft sand, dune bashing in in 4x4, sand boarding, photo ops of a magical desert sunset and sunrise and quad bike rides in the desert.
15. Al Khor– Purple Island:
also known as ‘Jazirat bin Ghanim’ is an island located in ‘Shaqiq bay’,50 kms. northeast of Qatar in the municipality of ‘Al Khor’.
Highlights of Purple Island:
- It has an archaeological site dating to 2nd millennium B.C. Over the centuries it was used as a trading port, fishing and pearl-diving spot.
- There are two theories as to how this island got its name – excavations have revealed a shell heap containing over two million individual crushed shells of the sea snail ‘thois savignyi’ along with large ceramic vats which were used to produce a purple dye about three thousand years ago. Second theory is that it got its name owing to the purple hued flowers that grow there.
- Al Thakhira Mangrove: located next to the Purple Island is known to be the largest forest of mangrove trees in Qatar. Mangroves is a unique ecosystem both above and below water and attracts migratory birds, numerous types of fish and crustaceans.
- Visitors can enjoy the spectacular natural beauty of the island, do bird watching, spot a variety of marine animals, see low limestone cliffs and experience serenity kayaking through the natural channels of the forest and experience a sunset or sunrise if camping overnight.