Al Wakrah (municipality)

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Al Wakrah Municipality

بلدية الوكرة
Map of Qatar with Al Wakrah highlighted
Map of Qatar with Al Wakrah highlighted
Coordinates (Al Wakrah): 25°10′48″N 51°36′36″E / 25.18000°N 51.61000°E / 25.18000; 51.61000Coordinates: 25°10′48″N 51°36′36″E / 25.18000°N 51.61000°E / 25.18000; 51.61000
Country Qatar
CapitalAl Wakrah city
Zones7
Government
 • DirectorMansour Ajran Al-Buainain
Area
 • Municipality2,577.7 km2 (995.3 sq mi)
Population
 (2015)[1]
 • Municipality299,037
 • Density120/km2 (300/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+03 (East Africa Time)
ISO 3166 codeQA-WA

Al Wakrah Municipality (also spelled Al Wakra Municipality; Arabic: بلدية الوكرة‎ Baladīyat al-Wakrah) is a municipality of Qatar located bordered by the municipalities of Doha and Al Rayyan. The municipal seat is Al Wakrah city.

Etymology[edit]

A mosque in the central square of Traina.

The municipality was named after the city of Al Wakrah, which derives its name from the Arabic word "wakar", which roughly translates to "bird's nest". According to the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, this name was given in reference to a nearby hill which accommodated the nests of several birds.[2]

History[edit]

On 17 July 1972, the creation of the municipalities of Ar Rayyan, Al Wakrah, Al Khawr and Thakhira, Al Shamal, and Umm Salal were issued. This law identified Al Wakrah Municipality as a legal district.[3] The municipal board has a president and four members. The current president of the Municipal board is Mansour Ajran Al-Buainain.[4]

Geography[edit]

The southern end Al Wakrah is characterized by dense sand sheets sand dunes. Unlike northern Qatar where most areas lie close to sea level, much of the southern and central portions of Al Wakrah are at elevations of 40 to 60 meters above sea level. Water is scarce in most areas as the water table is relatively low. Although there are some rawdas (depressions), they are rare when compared to northern Qatar. Furthermore, the southern groundwater is often saline. As a result, permanent settlements were far and few between, with some exceptions being found at Al Kharrara, Turayna and Al Furayah north of Khawr al Udayd.[5]

Limestone escarpments near Al Kharrara.

Many nomadic camps were created in Al Wakrah's south in past times; these sites can often be identified by the presence of small, open mosques. It is likely that Bedouins visited the region mainly during times of suitable weather, such as the rainy season. Herdsman were able to nourish their camels with the saline water, which would, in turn, yield drinkable milk.[5]

According to the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME), the municipality accommodates 192 rawdas, 13 wadis, four jeris (places where water flows), seven plains, 14 hills, four highlands, seven sabkhas, four bays, and three coral reefs. The only cape recorded here is Ras Al Maharef. Two islands are found off its shores: Sheraouh Island and Al Aszhat Island.[6] One of the most prominent of its hills is Jebel Al Wakrah, an 85-feet high rocky hill located one mile south of the city of Al Wakrah.[7] The Naqiyan Hill Range dominates the southern quarter of the municipality in Khawr al Udayd.[8]

Sand dunes at Khawr al Udayd.

Protected areas[edit]

The UNESCO-recognized Khawr al Udayd is Qatar's largest nature reserve and is located on the south-east corner of the municipality.[9] Also known by its English name Inland Sea, the area was declared a nature reserve in 2007 and occupies an area of approximately 1,833 km².[10] Historically, the area was used for camel grazing by nomads, and is still used for the same purpose to a lesser extent. Various flora and fauna are supported in its ecosystem, such as ospreys, dugongs and turtles. Most notable is the reserve's unique geographic features. The appearance and the quick formation of its sabkhas is distinct from any other system of sabkhas, as is the continuous infilling of its lagoon.[11]

Climate[edit]

The following is climate data for the city of Mesaieed, south of the capital Al Wakrah City.

Climate data for Mesaieed
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 20
(68)
22
(72)
25
(77)
30
(86)
36
(97)
38
(100)
38
(100)
37
(99)
34
(93)
32
(90)
27
(81)
20
(68)
30
(86)
Average low °C (°F) 11
(52)
12
(54)
15
(59)
18
(64)
23
(73)
25
(77)
26
(79)
27
(81)
24
(75)
21
(70)
17
(63)
11
(52)
19
(67)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 10
(0.4)
2
(0.1)
2.5
(0.10)
6
(0.2)
1
(0.0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.5
(0.02)
13.5
(0.53)
24
(0.9)
59.5
(2.25)
Average relative humidity (%) 69 66 55 51 43 41 48 62 60 64 65 70 58
Source: Qatar Statistics Authority[12]

Administration[edit]

Approximate locations of the main districts in Al Wakrah.[13]

Al Wakrah Municipality was established in 1972 and supervises the city of Al Wakrah in addition to other settlements in the municipality. The municipality has four sections: Financial and Administrative Affairs Section, Health Affairs Section, General Affairs Section and the Technical Affairs Section.[3] Al Thumama is geographically located in both Al Wakrah Municipality and Doha Municipality.[2]

The municipality is divided into 7 zones which are then divided into 1410 blocks.[14]

Administrative zones[edit]

The following administrative zones are found in Al Wakrah Municipality:[1]

Zone no. Settlements Area (km) Population (2015)
90 Al Wakrah 75.8 87,970
91 Al Thumama
Al Wukair
Al Mashaf
203.4 165,214
92 Mesaieed 133.2 37,548
93 Mesaieed Industrial Area 60.7 106
94 Shagra 497.2 4,714
95 Al Kharrara 902.4 3,478
98 Khawr al Udayd 705 7
Municipality 2577.7 299,037

Districts[edit]

Other settlements in Al Wakrah include:[15]

Education[edit]

Public schools in Al Wakrah amounted to 19 in 2016 as recorded in that year's education census – 9 were exclusively for girls and 10 were for boys. Male students (4,017) slightly outnumbered the 3,993 female students.[16]

Healthcare[edit]

Construction of new hospital in Al Wakrah.

According to the 2015 government census, there were 4 registered healthcare facilities in the municipality.[17] Primary healthcare centers are located in Al Wakrah City[18] and Al Thumama.[19] Al Wakrah Hospital was established in 2012 and serves the southern region of the country. It is based in Al Wakrah City and is the largest hospital building in Qatar.[20]

Eleven pharmacies were recorded in the municipality in 2013 by Qatar's Supreme Council of Health.[21]

Economy[edit]

Panoramic view of Mesaieed Industrial Area at night.

Mesaieed Industrial Area, an industry hub, is located in Al Wakrah Municipality.[22] Umm Al Houl, another industrial city located in the municipality which is near to Mesaieed, hosts Qatar's main seaport Hamad Port,[23] and is the site of construction for what will eventually be Qatar's largest electricity and desalination plant.[24] A third industrial area containing some of Qatar's most important power stations and desalination plants is Ras Abu Fontas.[25]

A 6.3 km² "regional logistics hub" was launched in the southern portion of the municipality in 2016. The development of this hub will take place in Birkat Al Awamer and Aba Saleel, which are in close proximity to Hamad Port and Mesaieed Industrial Area. Among the facilities in this hub will be car workshops, labor camps, and commercial offices.[26] Construction of the hub will be managed by Qatari company Manateq.[27] The Doha Marketing and Services Company established a car stockyard in Birkat Al Awamer with a capacity of 1,700 cars in September 2016.[28]

A harbor in Al Wakrah.

Maritime industries such as fishing and pearling comprised the economic foundation of Al Wakrah's coastal settlement in the past.[29] Further inland, nomadic pastoralism dominated.[30] At present, agriculture plays only a minor role in Al Wakrah's economy. Farmland in Al Wakrah only accounted for 4.6% of Qatar's total farmland in 2015. There were 71 farms spread out over 2,188 hectares, with the majority (38) being used to grow crops, 3 being used to raise livestock and the remaining 30 being split between livestock and crops.[31] The municipality had a livestock inventory of 14,946, of which 8,375 were sheep and 6,093 were goats.[32]

In terms of artisanal fishing vessels, Al Wakrah city had the second-highest amount out of the major cities surveyed in 2015 at 179 vessels. However, its fleet has been significantly reduced from earlier years, for earlier in 2010 it had accommodated the most fishing vessels out of all cities surveyed with 237 vessels. The number of sailors was 1,186 in 2015, but this figure too had been decreasing over the years.[33]

Sports[edit]

Qatar Stars League team Al-Wakrah SC, founded in 1959, is based in Al Wakrah City.[34] They club plays its home games at the 12,000 capacity Saoud bin Abdulrahman Stadium.[35]

One of the proposed twelve venues for the 2022 FIFA World Cup is projected to be built in Al Wakrah City. Called Al Wakrah Stadium, it has a planned seating capacity of 40,000 and will replace Saoud bin Abdulrahman Stadium as Al Wakrah SC's home stadium.[36]

Visitor attractions[edit]

Sealine Beach Resort in Mesaieed.

Due to the unique ecosystem and landscape of Khawr al Udayd, it serves as one of the most important ecotourism site in the country.[37]

Sealine Beach Resort, located on the coast in Mesaieed, was the first tourist resort to be established in the country.[38] The resort has 37 rooms, 1 hectare of green space, a gym, a spa and 95 square meter multi-purpose hall.[39]

According to the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, the municipality accommodates 6 parks as of 2018.[40]

Demographics[edit]

The following table is a breakdown of registered live births by nationality and sex for Al Wakrah. Places of birth are based on the home municipality of the mother at birth.[41]

 
Registered live births by nationality and sex
Year Qatari Non-Qatari Total
M F Total M F Total M F Total
1984[42] 123 112 235 151 161 312 274 273 547
1985[43] 101 105 206 183 181 364 284 286 570
1986[44] 114 101 215 198 196 394 312 297 609
1987[45] 131 97 228 215 179 394 346 276 622
1988[46] 112 111 223 243 221 464 355 332 687
1989[47] 123 114 237 236 231 467 359 345 704
1990[48] 123 113 236 191 219 410 314 332 646
1991[49] 122 109 231 165 167 332 287 276 563
1992[50] 145 118 263 173 164 337 318 282 600
1993[51] 132 142 274 192 167 359 324 309 633
1994 N/A
1995[52] 151 154 305 165 154 319 316 308 624
1996[53] 140 172 312 154 178 332 294 350 644
 
Registered live births by nationality and sex
Year Qatari Non-Qatari Total
M F Total M F Total M F Total
1997[54] 150 157 307 125 128 253 275 285 560
1998[55] 163 139 302 144 138 282 307 277 584
1999[56] 174 142 316 156 111 267 330 253 583
2000[57] 152 154 306 192 155 347 344 309 653
2001[58] 168 156 324 170 176 346 338 332 670
2002[59] 175 147 322 167 159 326 342 306 648
2003[60] 183 159 342 172 190 362 355 349 704
2004[61] 177 177 354 196 169 365 373 346 719
2005[62] 176 179 355 202 181 383 378 360 738
2006[63] 182 172 354 196 191 387 378 363 741
2007[64] 209 161 370 238 206 444 447 367 814
2008[65] 186 207 393 309 297 606 495 504 999
2009[66] 216 248 464 369 333 702 585 581 1166

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