Guide to Dukhan, Qatar
Drive across Qatar towards the West Coast the journey from Doha only takes about an hour and you will reach Dukhan, home of strange limestone formations, Qatar's highest peak (321 feet), and the largest gas field in the world.
Getting to Dukhan
Drive out of Doha on the Al Rayyan road, and keep on straight until you get to Shahhinaya. Take the second exit, then follow the road as it twists to the right. Then just keep on straight until you get to Dukhan. It currently takes a bit longer than an hour to get to Dukhan. Road works will slow you down: the road is currently being widened to four lanes, with camel underpasses being put in. When the work is finished the journey should be much more pleasant.
IndustryOil was first discovered in Dukhan in 1938. Development was delayed because of the second world war, and it was not until 1948 that the oil finally started to flow. The oil field measures 80 km by 8 km and consists of three oil reservoirs and one huge natural gas reservoir, which is shared with Iran. Today around 335,000 barrels of crude oil are produced per day.
The Town of Dukhan
The "town" of Dukhan essentially features a compound with a few thousand residents. Non-residents are not allowed to enter without a gate pass. The town has not really developed a hugely vibrant social life: with Doha a scant eighty four kilometers away, there's no real motivation to do so. There is a golf club, complete with 20 hole golf course. It's not quite up to the standard of Doha golf club the course is made from oil and sand, and players bring their own plastic grass matt around with them. Some of the holes are located outside the compound: special gates have been installed so players can exit the compound to continue their game. There's also a recreation centre, a cinema, several restaurants, and shops. QP is eager to develop the town into a more thriving community, and with 193 projects under way the character of the compound is likely to change dramatically over the next few years.
Dukhan English School
Established in 1954, this is the oldest British curriculum school in Qatar. While its teachers are all British trained, its students are drawn from all over the world with 26 nationalities represented. The school itself is divided into three: nursery school, primary school and secondary school taking the children up to GCSE level. The QP owned and managed school has small classes (a maximum of 20 children per class), after school clubs and an active sports scene which include competing with other schools from across Qatar.
Tel: +974 44716147
Close to Dukham is the fascinating Zekreet peninsula. In this wildlife reserve you can see strange limestone rock formations, an oasis, a mock village and fort built for a tv programme and a natural oasis. You can also see the remains of an 18th century fort. There are a number of beaches around Zekreet but watch out for sharp rocks under the surface of the water. Shahinaya with its camels and camel racing is also in easy reach of Dukhan.