Al Shahaniyah (alternatively Al Sheehaniya) is a town in central Qatar, out to the west of Doha, in the Al Rayyan municipality. The majority of activity associated with camel racing and oryx breeding in Qatar take place within the municipality.
Al Shahaniyah City is part of the much larger Al Shahaniyah Municipality which had a population of almost 190,000 people in 2015.
The Route 104 and 104A bus (timetable) towards Dukhan passes through the town. There are departures approximately every hour from the Doha Al Ghanim Bus Station, with the journey taking just under an hour. There a different timetables for Saturday-Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and that service changes and disruptions can occur. It is recommended you call Mowasalat on ☏ to confirm timetables.
Located on the Dukhan Highway (Q3), about a half-hour drive west of Doha.
To follow the camel races or to explore the area, it's best to have your own vehicle.
- 1 Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum, Dukhan Hwy (2 km before the Al Samariyah Roundabout), ☏ , email@example.com. M-Th Sa 09:00-18:00, appointment only. Finding this museum may be challenging, but it is well worth the effort. From Doha, head west and take the exit for the camel race track; make a u-turn after the WOQOD petrol station, and drive back towards Doha about 7 km until you see a palm tree plantation on the right; turn right and drive about 1 km up a tree-lined road.
The magnificent private collection was acceded to Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani by his father, Sheikh Qassim bin Faisal. The 5,000-m² building contains more than 3,000 unique pieces, including ancient Islamic manuscripts, major archaeological findings, metal objects, textiles, carpets, embroidery and antique furniture. There is also a comprehensive and fascinating collection of historic cars, including a 19th century steam vehicle. Plan on spending about 2.5-3 hours, and bring snacks and water as there is no café. Free.
- 2 Al Dosari Zoo and Game Reserve, firstname.lastname@example.org. Sa-Th 08:00-11:00, 15:00-18:00; F 07:00-18:00. A private zoo now opened to the public. Supports a number of oryx, as well as more exotic animals.
- 3 Arabian Oryx Breeding Centre (Al Maha Sanctuary). A sanctuary for breeding oryx, which were once hunted almost to extinction. Visitors are welcome at the center, but must make arrangements to visit through a Doha-based tour company.
- 1 Camel Races, ☏ . Saturdays, October - May. Races are held on a 10-km race track, and there are nearby camel stables which can also be visited. There is plenty of seating in the grandstand, although for the best view you can follow the race in your car along pavement which runs parallel to the track. Most jockeys are now radio-controlled robots, which are controlled by the owners who follow along in their SUVs. Several prestigious races are held in March and April; during these events helicopters circle overhead for live television coverage. Times of races can vary, so it's best to phone ahead. Free.
- 2 Al Samariyah Equestrian Centre, Dukhan Hwy (next to the Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum), ☏ , email@example.com. Daily 06:30-19:00. This is a centre for rehabilitated horses located on the Sheikh's working farm. Visitors can lease a horse, sign up for riding lessons, or simply wander around the grounds and mingle with the peacocks in the shade.
- 1 Diamond Shopping Center, 44206 Al Shahaniyah, ☏ . Daily 24 hr. A full-sized grocery store, good for self-catering.
There is no accommodation available in Al Shahaniyah, so it is best to visit as a day-trip from Doha.
HMC operates an emergency department at its local clinic here.