A side view of Al Zubarah Fort
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10 steps to protect Qatar’s heritage

29 November 2022

By Margaux Montserrat De Pauw

From petroglyphs to 19th-century forts, Qatar’s archaeological and heritage sites offer visitors a unique opportunity to learn about Qatar's rich culture and history. Help us protect them for future generations by following these simple steps.

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1. Keep to the marked tracks. 

It may seem safe, but wandering off the marked tracks could disturb and even seriously damage a heritage site. Creating new tracks can also confuse other visitors by taking them away from the main paths.

2. Do not climb on the archaeological structures.

Many structures are very fragile and could easily collapse. You might get hurt and the damage to the site could be irreparable, destroying both the cultural and scientific value of the heritage site forever.

3. Do not pick up any objects.

Picking up objects - even something as small as a sherd of pottery - takes them out of their historical context and diminishes their scientific value. Taking objects with you as a souvenir or to sell is against the law. Should you find an interesting object, please note its location, take a picture and contact our heritage team at infoheritage@qm.org.qa.

4. Put litter in bins or take it with you.

Keep the heritage sites clean so that everyone can enjoy them. Litter – even as small as cigarettes or chewing gum – causes pollution, which endangers Qatar’s environment, wildlife and economy. 

5. Respect animals and plants.

Heritage sites are protected areas. If you are lucky enough to spot a wild animal, keep a safe distance and enjoy the view.

Studying plants that grow on a heritage site today can give researchers information about their past use, so they should not be uprooted. Uprooting plants might also be harmful for the structures.

6. No hunting, fishing, or swimming 

Recreational activities disturb the visitor experience and are therefore not allowed on any heritage site.

7. No fires or barbecues 

A heritage site is not a campsite. To avoid damage and litter to the sites, no fires or barbecues are allowed on any heritage site.

8. No graffiti

Graffiti, engravings and vandalization of any kind are illegal. They damage heritage sites and ruin the authentic experience for other visitors.

9. No drones

While you may see a researcher flying a drone, private drones or unmanned aircraft systems are not allowed on any heritage site.

10. No digging or metal detectors

Digging or the use of metal detectors could cause damage to heritage sites and disturb other visitors.

Margaux Montserrat De Pauw is the Senior Heritage Activation Programming Coordinator at Qatar Museums.