At the two beautiful sea basins near Khor Al Adaid in the south of Qatar, crescent-shaped sand dunes rise up directly on the coast and attract not only dune buggy fans to their dreamlike landscape.
Khor Al Adaid, also known as the Inland Sea, is one of Qatar's greatest scenic treasures and is one of our top 10 places to visit in Qatar. Here, the Persian Gulf has cut into Qatar's southern landmass, separating Qatar from Saudi Arabia. After the 10-kilometre-long inlet, two fantastically beautiful tidal basins open up, with crescent-shaped, dazzling white sand dunes reaching for the sky along their shores.
The wide, calm expanse of water far from any civilisation is a true paradise for numerous birds. Flamingos, cormorants, wading birds, terns and gulls and even storks nest on some islands. Besides the birds, other animals also live at the Inland Sea, such as turtles, or the highly endangered manatees. In the hinterland of the wonderful bay, the endangered oryx antelopes are to be reintroduced.
Remains of ancient civilisations have also been found around the Khor Al Adaid, settled around the two dreamlike pools of water.
Since 2008, Khor Al Adaid has been on the UNESCO World Heritage waiting list as the only lagoon landscape of its kind in the world. Khor al Adaid is also under discussion for designation as a nature reserve.
On the road in Khor Al Adaid
The wonderful dunes of Khor Al Adaid (also Khawr al Udayd or Chaur al-Udaid) are located in the very south of the country about 60km from Doha and can only be reached by off-road vehicles with four-wheel drive due to partly deep sand.
Tip: Trips through the desert to Khor Al Adaid should never be undertaken alone, but always in a convoy of at least three cars, so that help can be provided quickly in the event of breakdowns or getting stuck in the sand. In addition, at least one experienced desert expert should be with you!
Local providers organise tours and overnight stays amidst the fantastically beautiful landscape. In addition to picnics, drives through the dunes and folklore performances, you can experience one of Qatar's wildest adventures here - the so-called "Dune Bashing".
Dune Bashing in Khor Al Adaid
Dune bashing is not for the faint-hearted and is apparently the most fun on earth, especially for the locals. Especially at weekends, the buggies and off-road vehicles race in large groups up the dunes, which can be up to 60 metres high, jump over their crests and land in an ochre-yellow cloud of thousands of grains of sand.
Just watching the overwhelming spectacle is an experience you won't soon forget!
Besides dune bashing, camel rides, sand boarding or sand skiing are popular activities on the beautiful dunes of Khor Al Adaid. And those who surrender to silence can hear the dunes "singing" as the wind rubs millions of grains of sand together.