|City and Municipality|
Al Wakra Municipality Logo
Map of Qatar with Al Wakrah highlighted
|Coordinates (Al Wakrah): Coordinates:|
|Time zone||East Africa Time (UTC+03)|
|ISO 3166 code||QA-WA|
Al-Wakrah (also spelled Al Wakra) (Arabic: الوكرة) is a city and municipality of Qatar located halfway between Ad Dawhah and Mesaieed municipalities. Al Wakrah's eastern edge is the shores of the Persian Gulf. Ruled by the Al Khater family and the Al-Buainain tribe, it was originally a small fishing and pearling village. Over the years, it evolved into a small town with a population of more than 30,000 and it is considered to be one of the major cities in Qatar.
- 1 History
- 2 Climate
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Administration
- 5 Future developments
- 6 Sports
- 7 Transportation
- 8 International relations
- 9 References
Pre-independence of Qatar
The city of Al Wakrah was founded by the Al Khater family; an offshot of the Al Buainain tribe of Banu Tamim. The city was historically used as a pearling center during years of which Qatar's economy was almost entirely dependent on the bustling pearling industry. In 1898, there were around 200 boats in the vicinity between Al Wakrah and Al Bidaa. According to the United States Hydrographic Office, by 1920, there were approximately 300 ships situated in the town. However, a British study carried out in 1925 states that there was 250 boats. Al Wakrah was thought to encompass the so-called 'Pirate Coast' in correspondence with a report written in 1898.
Al Khalifa rule (1783–1868)
According to records contained in the British India Library Office, the city numbered 250 houses and had a population of roughly 1000 in 1845. The city was 10 miles away from one of Qatar's then-primary pearling villages, Al Bidaa. The records state that the inhabitants of Al Wakra were Boo Ejman emigrants from Al Bidaa. Al Wakrah was described as "independent of Bidaa and other towns; and as thriving and more cheerful in appearance than Bidaa, to which it was equal in size".
In 1863, Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa of Bahrain sent his cousin, Mohammed bin Ahmed, to act as deputy emir of Qatar. He was soon compelled by the Qataris to return to Bahrain after arresting and deporting the ruler of Al Wakrah. In 1867, Bahrain launched a war against Qatar after the Naim tribe defeated the Bahraini army situated in the Peninsula. They succeeded in gaining support from Abu Dhabi, as Doha and Al Wakrah have long been harbors of refuge for Omani seceders. As a result, Al Wakrah was sacked by the combined Bahraini and Abu Dhabi forces. A British record later stated "that the towns of Dohah and Wakrah were, at the end of 1867 temporarily blotted out of existence, the houses being dismantled and the inhabitants deported".
Ottoman rule (1871–1916)
In 1885, a group of 100 Al Wakra natives from the Al-Buanain and Al-Jehran tribes left the town and settled at Al Ghariyah due to a dispute with Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani. A coalition, led by Mohammed bin Abdul Wahab, was formed to resist Sheikh Jassim. A meeting was summoned between Sheikh Jassim and Mohammed bin Abdul Wahab and the discussion was mediated by an Ottoman commander of an Al Bidaa-situated gun boat. The Ottoman commander's proposal that the coalition be left alone infuriated Sheikh Jassim. This incited tribesmen loyal to Sheikh Jassim to attack Al Ghariyah, but they were defeated, with the Bani Hajr tribe suffering a few casualties.
At the end of 1902, the Ottomans instilled Ottoman administrative officials in Al Wakrah and Zubarah in an attempt to assert their authority. This was in addition to the already existing Ottoman administrative officials in Doha. An Ottoman, Yusuf Bey, was appointed as Mudir of Al Wakrah in the spring of 1903. Due to British discontent, Yusuf Bey's appointment was short lived, and he was later called to act as the assistant Kaymakam of Qatar and did not return to Al Wakrah. Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani was appointed as Mudir by the Ottomans in place of Yusuf Bey the same year. This elicited fresh protests by the British government, who refused the Ottoman's rights to appoint any administrative official in Qatar.
From December 1907, there were a series of disputes between the governor, Sheikh Abdulrahman, and the Al-Buanain tribe. The Al-Buanain tribe had objected to paying the annual boat tax, and in reprisal, the sheikh fined the tribe 10,000 Qatari riyals and expelled 6 of the tribe's leaders. As retribution, one of the tribe leader's sons attempted to shoot Sheikh Abdulrahman. His attempt was foiled, and he was imprisoned; however he was later procured forgiveness and released in return for the payment of the tax. The Al Buanains sent an envoy, Ahmed bin Khater, to the Ottomans in Basra to request that a military garrison be erected in Al Wakra. The envoy returned with two letters from the Ottomans addressed to the sheikh of Qatar, Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani. A fortnight later, the Al-Buanain tribe appealed to a Mutasarrıf of Al-Hasa, Mahir Pasha. This reinvigorated tensions between the British and the Ottomans, owing to the British belief that this had provided latitude for the Ottomans to exercise more authority over the Qatar Peninsula.
British protectorate (1916–1971)
A British survey carried out in 1925 recounts Al Wakrah in exhaustive detail. Concerning the infrastructure and borders, it asserts that most houses in Al Wakrah were made of mud and stone, as no other building materials were available. The town originally formed a compact block, but in the preceding years a detached quarter known as Rumailah sprung up about 800 yards northward. There were 8,000 inhabitants at the time of the census, with 2,000 individuals belonging to the Al-Buainain tribe, 1,500 to the Al-Huwala tribe, 850 to the Al-Khulaifat tribe, 1,000 black Africans, and 2,000 black African slaves. Other ethnic groups and tribes comprised the remaining 650 inhabitants. The Al-Khulaifat and Al-Maadeed tribes were described as being the sole inhabitants of the Rumailah quarter. The report also described the inhabitants of Al Wakrah as primarily being pearl divers, sailors and fishermen. It further reported Al Wakrah as being a market place with 75 shops.
Post declaration of independence
On 17 July 1972, the creation of the municipalities of Ar Rayyan, Al-Wakrah, Al Khawr and Dhekra, Madinat ash Shamal, and Umm Salal were issued. This law identified Al-Wakrah Municipality as a legal district. The municipal board has a president and four members. The current president of the Municipal board is Hamdan bin Khalifa Busherbal al-Mansouri. The municipality has four sections and they are: Financial and Administrative Affairs Section, Health Affairs Section, General Affairs Section and the Technical Affairs Section.
An urban development plan was enacted in Al Wakrah in 2008. The most prominent features of this plan were the development of Al Wakra beach, a development of the city center and the expansion of the southern portion of the city. The plan's main purpose was to improve the infrastructure in order to accommodate more than 600,000 residents.
The plans of the new stadium which is set to be constructed for the 2022 FIFA World Cup have caused considerable internet interest after being released in mid November 2013 because of the beautiful shape and colouring, which are said to resemble a vagina.
Historic architecture can be seen almost everywhere in Al Wakrah and especially in its old areas and it is captured in mosques, old homes and harbour. One of the main and old mosques in Al Wakrah, is Al Wakrah Grand Mosque. There is also Al Wakra castle or fort which was built above the ruins of an older castle that had also belonged to the Abdulghani house. It has two round towers and was used in the past as a police office. It dates back to the 20th century. In addition, the house of Sheikh Ghanim Bin Abdulrahman Al-Abdulghani is considered to be a significant architectural landmark on the beach. This building consists of two floors and windows are decorated in special shapes. It was restored in 2004 by the direction of Restoration Departments of Qatar Museums Authority (QMA).
As in all the cities in Qatar, Al Wakra have a mild average temperature in the months January, February, March, November and December. The summer season is in April, May, June, July, August, September, October and November. Al Wakrah has dry periods in January, February, March, April, May, June, July and August. On average, the warmest month is July and the coolest month is January. The below table shows the records and averages of Al Wakrah temperature.
|Month||Avg. High||MAvg. Low||Avg. Precip|
|January||22.0 °C||13.0 °C||1.27 cm|
|February||23.0 °C||14.0 °C||1.78 cm|
|March||27.0 °C||17.0 °C||1.52 cm|
|April||32.0 °C||21.0 °C||0.76 cm|
|May||38.0 °C||25.0 °C||0.25 cm|
|June||41.0 °C||28.0 °C||0.00 cm|
|July||42.0 °C||29.0 °C||0.00 cm|
|August||41.0 °C||29.0 °C||0.00 cm|
|September||39.0 °C||27.0 °C||0.00 cm|
|October||35.0 °C||23.0 °C||0.00 cm|
|November||30.0 °C||20.0 °C||0.25 cm|
|December||24.0 °C||15.0 °C||1.27 cm|
|Registered live births by nationality and sex|
Al Wakrah Municipality was established in 1972 and supervises the city of Al Wakrah in addition to other settlements in the municipality. The following administrative zones are found in Al Wakrah Municipality:
|Zone||Area (km)||Population (2010)|
|Mesaieed Industrial Area||60.9||123|
|Khawr al Udayd||686.3||42|
The recreation area is currently being redeveloped. Plans for the area in the future include a wild life park and a country club. There is also going to be a "continuous public waterfront" offering activities for the public, two hotels and a golf course. A railway station will be located near the mosque, and there will also be a climate controlled underground pedestrian area.
Al Wakrah Hospital
Al wakra Hospital is in the process of opening. It is a General Hospital donated for by Abdulghani which will initially have over 300 beds. With its associated buildings it covers an area of about 70,000m2. The hospital will provide state of the art Medical and Surgical facilities to the southern area, including Al Wakra and Mesaeed. The facilities will contain Medical, Surgical, Obstetrics, Gynecology and Children’s wards, as well as a specialist Neonatal Unit and day ward in a seven story central block.
Al Wakrah Corniche
A big quota of public parks and entertainment projects has been allocated for Al Wakra. One of the projects is the corniche in north area of al Wakra. It will be for families only and will provide all necessary amenities and services for both adults and children, so that they can spend quality time with their families.
Wakrah's new downtown
Wakrah's New Downtown regional center has been divided into seven segments. They include Wakrah Gateway, Wakrah South Square, Wakrah Festival Bay, Wakrah Sands, Wakrah Residence, Wakrah College and Wakrah Trade Center.
- The Wakrah Gateway is an exclusive zone for major government and public offices.
- South Square will witness a mix of office complexes, residential apartments and middle and lower level retail outlets.
- The Festival Bay will be an exciting area marked by at least two resort hotels, business investment hotels, maritime museum at water front, marina, arts and cultural centre.
- Wakrah Sands will be dotted with family parks, recreation precincts, commercial and cultural complexes.
- Wakrah Residence is an area reserved for construction of multi-facility residential complexes.
- Wakrah College is an exclusive zone reserved for educational institutions.
- Wakrah Trade Center is meant for developing malls and retail outlets.
The master plan envisages Wakrah to be developed as a preferred waterfront destinations and a vibrant city where people would be really want to visit and stay over.Considering the city's heritage history, a separate area will be developed as a heritage zone. Re-establishing Al Wakrah city's historic core with distinctive sense of place and traditional architecture is another proposal.
Construction of quality villas, regional parks, waterfront public spaces are among other projects planned as part of the model township in Al Wakrah.
Al Wakrah has a multi-sports club called Al-Wakrah Sports Club, whose football team competes in the top tier of Qatari football, the Qatar Stars League. The club’s home ground is Al-Wakrah Stadium, a multi-purpose stadium. Stadium has a capacity of 20,000 people and has plans of expanding to 43,500 for 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Karwa Transportation company (Mowasalat) has conntected Al Wakrah to the rest of the cities in Qatar using its bus route. Currently, there are several buses operating there. In the future, Al Wakrah is going to be part of the Qatar railway network.
Twin towns and sister cities
Al Wakrah is twinned with:
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|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Al Wakrah.|