Lighthouses of Qatar

Qatar is a nation on the south side of "The Gulf" (known in Arabia as the Arabian Gulf, and elsewhere generally as the Persian Gulf or Gulf of Iran). It occupies a peninsula projecting 160 km (100 mi) northward into the Gulf east of Bahrain. The capital, Doha, is on the east side of the peninsula. The country has a population of about 1.8 million.

The Gulf is a major center of shipping today, but that was not true until well into the 20th century. As a result, no traditional Western-style masonry lighthouses were ever built in the area. However, included on this page are various sites of possible interest to lighthouse fans. Photos of navigational aids in the Gulf are particularly scarce on the Internet, so contributions from travelers to the area would be very welcome.

Aids to navigation in Qatar are probably the responsibility of the Qatar Ports Management Company. Offshore navigational aids in the Gulf are maintained by the Middle East Navigation Aids Service (MENAS), based in Bahrain. MENAS has the important task of guiding the continuous stream of supertankers in the Gulf.

The Arabic word for a lighthouse is mnarh or manara (منارة). Ra's is the word for a cape or headland, and jazirat is an island.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume D of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 112.

General Sources
MENAS Interactive Region Map
Click on "View MENAS navaids" to display the locations of MENAS-maintained lights.
Ra's Umm Hasah Light
Ra's Umm Hasah Light, April 2011
Panoramio photo copyright Hamad Albaz; permission requested
Lighthouses
* Ra's Umm Hasah (Al Ghariya)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); three very quick white flashes every 5 s. 11 m (36 ft) round hourglass-shaped tower, probably fiberglass, mounted on a square concrete base. Lighthouse is white. Hamad Albaz has the photo at the top of this page and also a closeup, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the northeastern tip of the Qatar Peninsula, north of Al Ghariya. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty D7394.5; NGA 29794.
Ra's al Matbakh (2?)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); flash every 5 s, white or red depending on direction. 11 m (36 ft) round hourglass-shaped tower, probably fiberglass. Lighthouse is red. A photo is available, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. NGA lists a tripod tower at this location. Located on the north side of the entrance to Al Khawr, on the east coast of Qatar. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS QAT-001; Admiralty D7393; NGA 29812.
Lightship Doha
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 6 m (20 ft); one long and two short white flashes (Morse code "D") every 12 s. Racon (radiobeacon). No photo available, and the ship is not seen in Google's satellite view. Located about 15 km (9 mi) east southeast of the entrance to Doha, the capital of Qatar, marking the beginning of the dredged approach channels. Accessible only by boat. Site open, vessel closed. ARLHS QAT-002; Admiralty D7389; NGA 29892.
Halat Umm al Khayfan
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); two white flashes every 20 s. 13 m (43 ft) tower, painted with red and white stripes, mounted on a square platform supported by piles. A very distant view is available (click on the image for magnification). The lighthouse is the tower on the right in the view; we do not know the identity of the tower on the left. Located on a dangerous shoal about 50 km (30 mi) southeast of Doha. Accessible only by boat. Operator: MENAS. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS QAT-003; Admiralty D7382; NGA 29912.
Jazirat Halul
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 67 m (220 ft); flash every 12 s, white or red depending on direction. 5 m (17 ft) "black structure on a white base," according to NGA; apparently the black tower stands on a white equipment shelter. Kevin Nicholas has an aerial view of the island; the light is just visible on the hill at the center. The Qatar Design Consortium has a similar and somewhat larger view, but Google has only a fuzzy satellite view of the island. Halul is a small, isolated island about 80 km (50 mi) northeast of Doha. The island is a major port for oil shipments and is nearly covered with the necessary facilities. Located on the highest point of the island. Site status unknown. ARLHS QAT-004; Admiralty D7378; NGA 29816

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Iran | East: United Arab Emirates | West: Bahrain

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Posted April 4, 2012. Checked and revised April 21, 2014. Lighthouses: 4. Lightships: 1. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.