Wells of Qatar

Historic landmarks

Qatar’s wells are no longer the indispensible sources they once were, but are important indicators and tools for our research. Located underground and often in now uninhabited areas, most of them have dried up and deteriorated. In the past, they played an important role as the main source of natural water, since there are no perennial rivers in Qatar.

Our archaeologists use wells in their research as indicators for the location of past settlements. We launched a project in 2004 to document and preserve Qatar’s wells as historic landmarks.

In total, 107 wells and springs have been inventoried and documented and their exact locations, construction techniques, history and traditions were collected through oral history documenting. Their condition and conservation is constantly monitored by our team.

Ain Hleetan at Al Khor

Ain Hleetan well is on the west coast of Al Khor. Cylindrical and built of gravel, clay and plaster, it led to the settlement of the Al Mahanda tribe in the city. Local traditions tell us that around 150 years ago a group of hunters found the water source accidentally when they were chasing a hare. Some old oral sources describe the exceptionally salubrious features of its water, that became known locally as cure to illnesses, to the extent that local residents would call it ‘the Doctor’.

In the past the well used to be closed to stop water flow for regular cleaning and maintenance. It would be emptied and burlap would be used to clean its inner walls. Today, this water source is maintained and monitored by our architectural conservation team.

Our Blog

15 March 2021

Qatar-USA year of Culture exhibition: Meet the curator

We meet Muna Al-Bader, the Qatari artist responsible for curating the first in a series of new exhibitions to celebrate Qatar Museums’ latest ‘Year of Culture’ partner.

Read more

21 March 2021

The Shahnameh: 30 years to create and a jewel in Qatar Museums’ crown

Earlier this week, we celebrated World Poetry Day. In honour of that, we take a look at one of MIA’s most prized masterpieces.

Read more

22 April 2021

Qatar Museums’ sustainability commitment – building a green oasis in the desert

To commemorate Earth Day on 22 April, we explore some of the green spaces Qatar has to offer – and explain how they all tie into the bigger picture 

Read more

Share this page