Constructed in the 19th century and renovated in 1988, Al Rakayat Fort is a good example of the many abandoned protective defenses across the Qatari peninsula. Visit Al Rakayat Fort to see the typical design and construction that was easily achieved using local materials. The structure provided a defense against enemies as well as shelter from the sun.
The fort’s design is simple and functional. Notice the local coral, limestone and mud used to construct the lower level. Clay bricks were used for additional structural strength in the upper tower levels.
Peek inside the small rooms lining three sides of the fort and facing the open courtyard. Thick walls helped to keep these rooms cool during days of very high temperatures. The large rectangular courtyard at the center was used for daily activities. Al Rakayat Fort is a historical fort located in northwest Qatar, in the municipality of Al Shamal. It was constructed in the 19th century near the village of Ar Rakiyat to protect water sources in the area. It was used as a defensive structure for the villagers in times of conflict. It is considered to be one of the larger forts in Qatar.
One of several desert forts from the 19th century, and one of a few renovated during the 1980s, Al Rakayat Fort in the northwestern corner of Qatar was built to protect local supplies of freshwater. Remnants of a village can be found nearby. Named after the Arabic word for ‘well’, Rakayat Fort contains a 5km-deep freshwater well, from which villagers painstakingly pulled up water. The fort is unusual for its low height (only three meters). Each corner of the central courtyard features a staircase leading up to one of three rectangular and one cylindrical watchtower, with expansive views of the rocky landscape juxtaposed against the sparkling waters of the Arabian Gulf. The only opening to the fort from the outside is a gate in the wall on the southern side. In front of the opening is a small building that was used as a mosque when the structure was occupied.