Dukhan is an industrial city in the western reaches of Qatar. Dukhan was founded when oil was first discovered in the region, and its purpose has not changed since. Oil infrastructure is scattered throughout the city, and nearly everyone who lives in the area works for Qatar Petroleum. The city is off-limits to non-citizens. Only the police station, mosque and a small shopping mall are outside the two security gates that prevent entry to all other areas of the town to people not living there. Photography and video are strictly prohibited in Dukhan and the surrounding region.
The four-lane Dukhan Highway (Q3) connects Dukhan with capital Doha. The journey is 82 km, which equates to just over an hour.
The Route 104 and 104A bus (timetable [dead link]) both terminate in the city. There are departures approximately every hour from the Doha Al Ghanim Bus Station, with the journey taking about 2 hours and 10 minutes. Be aware that 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 +974 4458 8888 to confirm timetables.
A car is essential, as there is no public transportation within the region. Most sights can be reached with a 2WD, although to access the film city and Ras Abruk peninsula a 4WD is strongly recommended.
The town itself is open only to Qatar Petroleum employees and their guests; the only attraction for visitors is the beach and other nearby sights.
- 1 Dukhan Beaches. Just about the only thing worth seeing in the city, popular with swimmers and surfers alike. Although the Dukhan Water Sports Club is closed to non-QP guests, the beaches directly north and south of it are open to the general public. The beaches are sandy but swimmers should beware of sharp rocks under the water. 200m off of the southern beach is a rocky reef which is good for snorkeling. Many locals also visit the beach for a picnic with their families.
- 2 Dukhan Masjid. The mosque of the city with a large minaret.
- 3 Zekrit (Zekreet) (14 km north of Dukhan). This is an ancient village with historic ties to Bahrain, set in a rugged landscape. On the small hill by the village are prehistoric graves cut from the bedrock, and on surrounding hilltops the remains of burial mounds from the Dilmun culture can be seen. Toward the beach are the excavated foundations of an 18th-century fort, as well as the remains of 'madabes', small buildings used for making 'debis', a traditional date-based food. The shallow inlet here is popular with kite surfers.
- 4 Film City, Ras Abruq Peninsula (rough dirt track 10 km north of Zekrit). A large building once used as the film set for a Qatar TV series. A small 'village' is located 1 km to the north. The entire peninsula has now been classified as a nature reserve, and you may see ostriches, gazelle, and foxes. Fossilized seaweed and shells can be found on some of the rocky outcrops. Free, but a tip for the resident caretaker is advised.
- Dolphin Reef. An 18m-deep artificial diving area known to attract dolphins. To visit, you will need your own boat or you can join a guided dive organized by a local dive group (see Doha dive center listings).
- 1 Shopping center (just before the main security gate, next to the mosque). A few fast food restaurants are located here, as well as a small supermarket.
There is no accommodation available in Dukhan itself. There are good spots for camping south of the city en route to Umm Bab, as well as near Zekrit.