Camping safely in the Winter Deserts of Qatar
Qatar is a hot desert located on the Gulf Peninsula. We manage to enjoy its hot and humid weather by doing lots of water sports activities and the like, but we can’t live without having air conditioning almost everywhere so thank God for that!
Now, we just welcomed November, meaning the weather in Qatar will get cooler and we can finally give our air conditioners a rest and roll down our car windows! Cooler weather means winter activities such as dune driving, BBQing, enjoying the parks and camping.
Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) now called National Tourism Council (NTC) as of Sunday, November 4th, 2018 after HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani issued the Amiri Decision No. 74 of 2018.
This winter, NTC launched Al Enna project for everyone to enjoy. Al Enna project is an initiative to experience camping in Qatar but have the utmost safety. Al Enna in Qatari dialect of Arabic means ‘camping ground’. This project is meant to improve services and assure full safety but it is also meant to protect the environment at Sealine and Inland Sea (Khor Al Adaid) areas and preserve the natural life here in Qatar.
As you know, with camping comes rules and protocols to follow in order to stay safe. We have written up a list of safety tips, the Ministry of Interior issued, to follow while you are in a wide, open-space desert.
Tent composition and positioning:
Tents should be made of material that are resistant to fire, heat and salinity. That is very important that you do not purchase or build just any kind of tent.
The distance between one tent and another should not be less than five meters. If you’re building a tent beside your friend, make sure you measure before anchoring down.
When setting up lights, they should be installed and operated to avoid fire-related incidents. For instance, don’t have any lighting equipment beside any source of water, that can cause a fire. However, in case of a fire you should be ready, which is why there should be a fire extinguisher (4kg), a first-aid kit and fire blankets on site at all times and within close reach.
We definitely want to enjoy BBQing in the cool weather and devour some of those amazing biryani and matchbous dishes as part of Qatari culture. But we also want to stay safe which is why the Ministry of Interior is looking out for its people and residents and issued another rule. They said, “The kitchen should be isolated from other tents and gas stoves should be placed away from the edges of the tent, generator and petroleum liquids.” (source: MOI)
Rugrats running around:
Oh children! What blessing and joy they bring to our lives…until they run out of our sights and we start to freak out!! Keep your lovely children around you at all times, always have someone on duty watching them!!!
A tip we advise if you’re forming a camp site from scratch, how about setting up the site so that it would be enclosed and everybody could be insight of everybody. Perhaps if you’re coming in multiple cars, you could form a wall using your cars! Whatever works for you, but as long as everyone is safe.
This is not a law nor something you have to follow, but if you’re not thinking of sleeping overnight in the desert, try to get back on the road before the sun goes down. I know we all want to enjoy that beautiful scene when the sun sets in the water, but assess if you are alert enough after a long and exhausting day at the beach, if you’re able to drive at night back to your homes.
Well, we have given you tips and advice with the help of the Ministry of Interior. On behalf of QL, we hope you enjoy the wonderful winter weather of Qatar and if you’re new to Qatar, welcome and we hope you enjoy a warmer winter than other cold places around the world such as Canada.
For desert emergencies contact the Mawater Center at either of the following numbers:
M: (+974) 7710-9999
M: (+974) 5581-6060
M: (+974) 3334-4622
Alternatively, you can call 999 and the Qatari police or coast guard will link you to the rescue team depending on your exact location in Qatar.
Do you have more tips or advice you’d like to share with everybody in Qatar? Let us know in the comments below.
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Hello Team, I would like to lead a group for couple of days for camping to some where in Qatar during this beautiful winter as I have over 10 year experience in organizing such activities or I wish to join if there is any group or team for the same.
Hassan - Doha