The Qatari capital of Doha is replete with sites of cultural and historic importance. Some of the top attractions include the Pearl Qatar which is an artificial island, the Souq Waqif and the Al Koot Fort. The Souq Waqif is a well-known souq in Doha, and is an attraction that should be included on any Doha sightseeing list. Also known as the Standing Market, one should visit during the day if shopping is on the agenda. However, the souq is seen to its best advantage at night when it is lit up. There are numerous accommodation options to choose from located in the vicinity of the Souq itself, such as the Souq Waqif Boutique Hotels among many others, which makes such a night visit convenient.
While the importance of Souq Waqif is rooted in its shopping potential and architecture, the Al Koot Fort is one of historic and military importance. Also known simply as the Doha Fort, the Al Koot Fort was constructed in 1927 by Sheikh Abdullah Jassim Al Thani. Previously, it is said to have been used as a Jail, and as a Police Station.
The Fort is protected by a high wall on all sides and is complete with circular and rectangular towers which serve as lookout posts. The walls are riddle with small slits designed to allow guards to shoot any unsavoury persons attempting to breach the fortress. The Fortress is complete with a number of prison cells including one cell without windows for more dangerous criminals, a deep water well in the Southern portico and a promenade on the first floor.
Given its close proximity to the Doha Corniche and being in the middle of Souq Waqif, a visit the Al Koot Fort is a breeze. However, those who wish to visit and explore the Fort should keep in mind that it is open to the public only by appointment, so make sure that you call ahead to avoid disappointment.
Damon Starky is a well informed and experienced on a wide range of interests that would connect to the needs of any type of traveler.