Just 12 km south of Doha, Al Wakra has grown from a tiny fishing and pearling village into a small residential town with a colourful and bustling fishing and dhow harbour – a great place to spend a few hours on a winter’s afternoon as there is plenty to watch. The jetty attracts fishermen with handlines, always ready to show their catch, and the dhows provide an excellent photo opportunity. At the end of the jetty is a small cafeteria where you can enjoy a cup of tea (chai) or a cool drink.
Away from the harbour, there are numerous mosques and buildings that give some insight into how Wakra might have looked back in the early 20th century, when it was administratively independent from Doha. These abandoned buildings offer some characteristic architectural features, such as the use of mangrove poles to form the roof, the use of gypsum for decoration, small windows to keep out the heat, and the lewan or covered verandas. There is also a small but lively fish market near Al Wakra Municipality building, a large sandy beach and a park with a children’s play area.
To the south of Wakra, mangrove plantations are developing, making it an excellent venue for birdwatching and spotting wildlife. Access to the mangrove plantation is restricted to those in 4WD vehicles. (Beware of soft sand near the shoreline.)