Qatar is known to possess an immense amount of wealth in its treasure chest. From its vast oil reserves to its rich history, culture, and tourism, Qataris can definitely boast a million things about their dear nation. But, if we are to pick one of the most majestic gems in Qatar’s treasure trove, it would be the Khor Al-Adaid.
If sand dunes were to compete in a universal stage, Qatar will most probably draw their “Khor Al-Adaid natural reserve” card. After all, it is one of the world’s (if not the best) most splendid sand dunes. Plus, it is set majestically in a supremely otherworldly spot. Khor Al-Adaid or the “Inland Sea,” as what most people would call it, is not your typical natural landscape as it sits in the Persian Gulf, a one-of-a-kind lagoon system found nowhere else in the world.
Qatar’s Khor Al-Adaid Sand Dunes
Sand Dunes in Khor Al-Adaid
You may wonder why this was nominated in UNESCO’s World Heritage sites, and why this uninhabited natural reserve is worth the visit. Here are some of the million reasons:
A Natural Marvel
The Inland Sea is often confused as a lake or a sea because it is nearly enclosed in silvery crescents of sand. It is rather a large creek or a tidal embayment.
Its beauty is more than what meets the eye because of its biodiversity. It has a diverse terrestrial flora and fauna with varied and sensitive marine life. Aside from that, its unique water quality and bottom substrates are said to be the perfect habitats for some of the worlds’ most endangered marine species.
A Cultural Wonder
Although at present it is uninhabited, the country’s history proves that it was able to witness a great civilization from the past.
Several archeological sites and heritage sites in the area suggest that the rocky desert of Al-Adaid was a fitting landscape for the Bedouins especially in grazing their stock. Since it is also a vast plain near the sea, it has been revealed that traditional farming and fishing existed in the area.
But, because of today’s modernity, these cultural and historical remnants can no longer be seen.
A Place for Adventure
Just because Al-Adaid is picturesque, it doesn’t mean it is limited inside the frames of the photographs. Qatar’s push for a flourishing tourism has put the Inland Sea under the spotlight especially now that the place offers several outdoor activities.
During daytime, the natural shape of the dunes is perfect for sand skiing, quad biking and 4WD racing. Camping under the daylight can also be enjoyed with tranquility, and without being disturbed by the racing activities since the area is big enough to accommodate every tourist’s choice of fun.
But to me, the most magical and exhilarating experience would be a camp under the moonlight because it is assured that you will be swept away by the shimmer salt flats in the gaps between the sand.