About Al-Khor Island
Al-Khor Island is thought to have been a Bronze Age way station in the Arabian Gulf used by ancient traders around the late 3rd / early 2nd millennium BC.
Al-Khor Island history
Seafarers and traders of the day would weigh anchor in this protected port as an overnight safe harbour, or perhaps to repair ships, process fish, or prepare charcoal. The Island was protected by an embayment, and ships could be anchored close to shore for repairs or cargo loading.
Nearby to the west the Dilmun civilization was in full swing, and the Dilmun traders were travelling to trade and sell their goods. Many coastal sites have been found in the Arabian Gulf area with Al-Khor being sited between Bahrain and the present Northern Emirates. Early Dilmun pottery and charcoal from many stone lined pits dates the site at Al-Khor to late 3rd / early 2nd millennium BC. Dilmun pottery, a few bronze artefacts, and stone arrowheads were found at the site by Danish archaeologists.
The alternative modern name, Purple Island, comes from a purple dye which was produced from shellfish in ancient times. Four sites are known today, with the two on the east and northeast in a very poor state, but the sites at the northwest and southern end of the island remain a very good state of preservation.
Al-Khor Island today
The sites are not on the hill tops, but rather, on the very level coastal plains proximal to the sea. A few outcropping overhands were thought to be used as shelters.
The beautiful serene mangrove landscape is made even more accessible now by a raised walkway. There are also some useful information boards in English and Arabic at the start of the raised walkway on the wildlife and ecosystem.
There are no facilities at the location so take with you and, more importantly, take away everything with you. There are some amaing views across the bay to the mangrove, Al Khor and out to sea.
Getting to Al-Khor Island
Al Khor Island is located approximately 50 km north of the capital Doha. If travellin by car, go through Al Khor town, following the signs to Al Thakhira (a nearby town). At the RasGas/Industrial Area roundabout, follow the sign to Al Thakhira. Continue to Al Thakhira, go past the turning for Al Khor Hospital and go past the turning for Al Khor Community.
After roughly 2.5km from the RasGas/Industrial Area roundabout, turn right and continue for around 5km on an asphalt road. You will drive past a big water tank tower on your right, which has a Qatargas and RasGas logo on it. Pass the intersection on your left and continue for 200m. Look out for a small sign for the Flower Each Spring camp and after reaching this sign, turn onto the dirt track.
Follow the firm and obvious dirt track. As you approach the pathway leading to the island, you will see a large building on your left. After approximately 2km, you will see the start of the raised pathway on your right. If you have arrived at the Flower Each Spring camp, you’ve gone too far. The pathway is behind you on your rear-right.