The historical Al Rekayat Fort, located in the northeast of the Qatar peninsula, will soon join the list of tourist itineraries related to the heritage of Qatar in terms of defensive architecture, after the completion of its restoration.
Director of Qatar Museums Cultural Heritage Conservation Adel al-Moslamani told Qatar News Agency (QNA) during a tour that the fort is ready to receive visitors and to be linked to the tourist movement in the northern areas, stressing that its interior design allows the organisation of cultural and tourist events under specific conditions that prevent any damage to the structure.
Al-Moslamani explained that the history of the fort dates back to the period between the 17th and 19th centuries, noting the unique local architectural style of Al Rekayat Fort (means "well" in Arabic) makes it one of the oldest and most important desert forts in Qatar.
He added that it is believed that the fort, which is 110 km from Doha and 8 km to the northwest of Al Zubarah, was built to protect the vital sources of water in this place, as there is a freshwater well in the fort itself.
The fort is surrounded by scattered remains of a village, and has three rectangular towers and a round one, he said, pointing out that aligned around the three sides (North, East and West) of the large central courtyard are narrow rooms without windows, but with doors that open to the courtyard. The main entrance to the fort is located within the southern wall.
He said the restoration work of the fort began in October 2020 and continued until September 2021, with renewable and eco-friendly solar energy adopted for outdoor lighting.
Al-Moslamani stressed that the restoration was done so that the fort resembles the original structure, respecting the restoration that took place in 1988, with the construction of a mobile service building outside the fort, and on an adjacent site to meet the requirements of visitors.
Traditional and authentic building materials were used in the current restoration, with some improvements and modern techniques, especially with regard to insulation.
He underlined that the ceilings were restored according to the local Qatari building style, using the same traditional components.
Al Rekayat Fort joined other Qatari archaeological sites on the ISESCO Islamic World Heritage List, which are Barzan Towers and Al Khulaifi Heritage House, during the 9th meeting of the Heritage Committee of ISESCO in June 2021.