Dash in for an off-road trip; feel the cool breeze of Musfur Sinkhole

22 Jun 2022

Article Musfur Sinkhole
Dash in for an off-road trip; feel the cool breeze of Musfur Sinkhole


Wondering where to saunter to in this hot climate?! Then Musfur Sinkhole could be worthwhile visit for a nature lover. It is a massive ancient cavern and believed to be the deepest accessible sinkhole to have been discovered in Qatar. The spectator would be in awe of sighting a large crevasse that opens wide from the rocky desert, plummeting some 100 meters down into the earth right in the middle of the Qatari peninsula.


"Sinkholes are a magical creation of mother nature taking years and years for its formation. The gradual weathering of rock due to the permeating water results in the formation of cavities. These openings get filled with sand and oil with time. When they become hefty and the arch opening collapses, a sinkhole is formed."


The Musfur Sinkhole was formed an estimated 325,000 to 500,000 years ago during the mid-Pleistocene Era. The opening formed is about 40 feet wide and plunges over 300 feet down into the earth, making it the largest sinkhole in Qatar. Sinkholes are a typical feature of karst topography, where the rock below the land surface is limestone, carbonate rock, salt beds, or rocks that can naturally be dissolved by groundwater circulating through them. As the rock dissolves, spaces and caverns develop underground.



To get to Musfur from Doha involves a drive south on Salwa Road until the exit at Mekaines, making it an ideal destination for a quick and easy outing for anyone up for some underground exploration. From there, it's off-road so it is recommended to use a map app and an all-terrain vehicle, as the ride on the potholed road is bumpy. A headlamp and water are essential. 

The entrance to Musfur is enclosed by a fence for protection of visitors but is accessible via a small gate any time of day. Reaching the sandy depths of the sinkhole is relatively easy, but visitors should be vigilant as they scramble down the steep and rugged passage. Hiking boots are a must but be extra careful not to step on the insects crawling through the rocks.