Open to Visitors
Free admission, no tickets required
The Barzan Towers are located about 20 km north of Doha in the village of Umm Salal Mohammed, which was developed in 1910 by Sheikh Mohammed bin Jassim Al Thani. Earlier towers may have existed at the site throughout the nineteenth century.
The western tower on the site, called the Barzan (or high) Tower, was built by Sheikh Mohammed between 1910 and 1916 as part of an extensive wall that surrounded the village and its gardens. The wall still exists in part inside a park, close to a small mosque. The Eastern Tower was added after 1958, with a design based on the western tower and of an equal height of 14 metres.
The western Barzan Tower consists of three levels and has a distinctive ‘T’ shape that is considered unique in style in the Gulf region. The Eastern Tower, Al Burj Al Sharqi, exhibits the typical rectangular shape of Qatari towers.
Local folktales suggest that the Barzan Tower was used to observe incoming pearling ships, but this is unlikely, since the shore is more than 10 km away. It is more probable that the Barzan Tower was used as a lookout to monitor the surrounding area with its wells and arable land. Both towers were restored in 2014, together with a madrasa (religious school) and a masjid (mosque) and are now situated in a garden with indigenous plants.