Qatar’s Al Zubarah Archaeological Site, which has outstanding universal value as the Gulf’s most complete and well-preserved pearl trading and diving town of the 18th-19th centuries, is likely to be inscribed in the Unesco World Heritage List.
“The nomination process will be completed this month,” Qatar Museums Authority’s chief archaeology officer Prof Thomas Leisten said yesterday.
Qatar’s largest and most impressive archaeological site, the abandoned coastal town of Al Zubarah, with 60 hectares of ruins within its former walls, is situated about 100km to the northwest of Doha in the district of Al Shamal.
The settlement was founded around 1760 by the Banu Utba tribe from Kuwait, seeking to create a safe trading haven in the Gulf, as other long-established ports were destroyed, occupied, or ridden with plague.
Over a very short period of time, Al Zubarah, quickly rose to become the foremost centre for pearl-based trade and commerce in the region, and Qatar’s largest and most important town.
Its location in central Gulf was instrumental in making Al Zubarah the premier pearling and trading town in the region after the decline of Basra in Iraq.