Scaling The Heights At Qatar’s Best Climbing Spots
Qatar is a relatively small country; it only takes two hours to drive its length and one hour to drive its width. The ocean surrounds the land on three sides, and its interior, outside of urban areas, consists of mainly flat, rocky desert plains with sand dunes rising in the south. The highest point on the peninsula, at Qurayn Abu al-Bawl, located in the south near Saudi Arabia, is just 103 m above sea level, a mere third in size of Qatar's tallest building, The Torch. It's fair to say that Qatar is not exactly a rock climber's paradise! Nonetheless, that's not to say that climbing spots cannot be found…
Zekreet National Park
While Qatar's highest peak (in the loosest sense of the word) is more of a sandy, flat hillock and has little or no climbing potential other than to walk to its summit, there is an area in the north of Qatar with a lot more potential. Zekreet National Park, north of Dukhan and about an hour's drive from Doha, with its eroded limestone rock escarpment, is full of fascinating rock formations and, more importantly, several rock faces that provide interesting climbing routes. There are between ten and twenty-five established routes, with crags from 10 -15 m in height and ranging in technical difficulty from 4c to 6b. Over the years, Qatar's climbing community has provided top rope bolting for each route. So, really you only need your own climbing ropes, belay device, harness, and shoes to get started.
However, if you don't have your own gear, transport, time or the inclination for remote climbing, Doha has several alternatives. Whether you are an experienced climber, a beginner, or just wanting to get active or keep the kids occupied, there are a number of options:
Opened in 2018, EsQalar is Qatar's first and only outdoor climbing centre. Its 10.5 metre walls and bouldering gym offer Doha's climbing community a technical equivalent to their Zekreet hangout, with top rope, lead and free climbing all possible. Numerous walls, varying in shape and with multi-style handholds and ever-changing routes, ensure climbers are constantly challenged and never bored. Nevertheless, beginners, novices, kids and adults of all skills and abilities are also welcome at the climbing centre. The good folks at EsQalar offer trial climbing sessions, which offer newbies the chance to venture up the walls under the watchful gaze of an instructor, either for limited climbs or an hour of unlimited climbs. Gear hire is available for those without any.
To climb regularly at the wall, everyone must complete an obligatory top rope course to show their proficiency in top-rope climbing and belaying - the course is also perfect for beginners to learn and understand the basis of climbing. Once completed, membership is granted, and climbers can choose between membership levels ranging from one day to six months. An additional climbing course for lead climbers, plus private tuition, team building and corporate days, group activities, birthday parties and kids' winter camps, are all catered for too.
Trial Session: QAR 50 per two climbs with an instructor
1 Hour Trial Session: QAR 250 with unlimited climbs and an instructor
Top Rope 3-Day Climbing Course: QAR 375, including gear and instruction
Lead 5-Day Climbing Course: QAR 500, including gear and instruction
Tuesday to Thursday: 2 - 10 pm, members; 4 - 7 pm, kids; 7 - 9 pm, top rope course
EsQalar is located in Al Waab's Aspire Zone, off of Al Henaizbiah Street, behind the Grand Heritage Hotel.
Tel/What’s App: +974 5553 7177 / 3388 2179
Email: [email protected]
Social Media: @esqalarsports
Trampo Extreme is predominantly a trampoline adventure park. However, aside from an array of trampolines and trampoline activities such as basketball, dodgeball, balance beams, monkey bars, trapeze slackline and giant airbag, the park also boasts a huge clip 'n' climb zone.
While clip 'n' climb may not be a regular outing for more serious climbers, the various 8 metre high climbing walls, including vertical, overhanging, slim, twisted, chimney, ladder, net, spheres, bouldering, with multi-shaped and sized hand and footholds, plus timed-speed climbing walls, present a fun, unique challenge for adults and kids alike. Using specialised safety harnesses and a patented automatic belay system that incorporates a safety mechanism that won't let the climber fall unchecked also ensures a very safe alternative to standard rock climbing. And, the clip 'n' climb is indoors - perfect for the summer months.
The park also offers a three-storey sky trail, an elevated obstacle course of tight ropes and rope ladders, with a zip line at the end of the course. It requires safety harnesses and extreme balancing skills rather than climbing techniques, but it is a good option for those who like sky-high sports.
Contact Trampo Extreme for current prices.
Sunday to Wednesday: 1 pm - 10 pm
Thursday and Friday: 1 pm - 11 pm
Saturday: 10 am - 11 pm
Ladies Night - Wednesday: 5 pm - 10 pm
Trampo Extreme is located in Al Waab at the Aspire Zone, Lehwaila Street, behind the Hyatt Plaza.
Tel/What’s App: +974 4499 8888
Email: [email protected]
Social Media: @trampoqatar
Angry Birds @ Doha Festival City
Qatar has several theme parks, including the Angry Birds park at Doha Festival City mall. While there are no dedicated climbing areas, there are a few climbing walls and activities within the park.
Part indoors and partly outdoors, Angry Birds accommodates a vast array of adrenaline rides and adventure activities for all ages, including climbing walls. Outside, two 14 metre high climbing walls, cunningly disguised as a castle and an old western-style hotel, provide themed climbing fun. Interactive climbing walls, also outside at the Studio City zone, give all participants, regardless of age or ability, a chance to hone their skills through interactive challenges and games whilst climbing. The wall combines projected graphics and body tracking technology, responsive to climbers’ movements, to create interactive games that allow visitors to improve their climbing skills in a fun, playful way.
In addition to the climbing walls, the park also boasts numerous multi-level net parks and rope courses inside and outdoors.
One Day Pass: QAR 35
Membership cards may also be purchased and topped up for subsequent visits:
Individual Membership Pass: QAR 100
Family Membership (up to 4 people): QAR 250
Saturday to Wednesday: 10 am - 10 pm
Thursday: 10 am - 12 am
Friday: 1 pm - 12 am
Saturday to Wednesday: 5 pm - 10 pm
Thursday to Friday: 5 pm to 12 am
Angry Birds is located inside Doha Festival City mall, next to IKEA and off the Doha Expressway at Al Ebb.
Tel: +974 4042 0444
What’s App: +974 5042 0444
Email: [email protected]
Social Media: @AngryBirdsWorldQatar
Doha Quest @ Doha Oasis
Another of Qatar's theme parks and the country's first all-indoor theme park, Doha Quest offers more than thirty rides and attractions ranging from adrenalin rides (including the world's tallest indoor roller coaster and drop tower), simulators, virtual reality experiences and family-friendly attractions. They also offer a bouldering and climbing wall challenge zone, Climb Quest, and a climbing tower. Climb Quest is another interactive climbing wall, and the interactive digital displays have literally hundreds of distinct routes and games to try. Sky Cliff's four-sided climbing wall allows up to four climbers to scale the wall at once using safety harnesses and an automatic belay system.
Adult (13+) Day Pass: QAR 225
Junior (4-12) Dap Pass: QAR 150
Monday to Saturday: 2 pm - 10 pm
Doha Quest is located in the city’s new dedicated leisure and entertainment hub Doha Oasis, off Al Khaleej Street in Msheireb.
Tel/What’s App: +974 4410 3444
Email: [email protected]
Social Media: @dohaoasisquest
Xtremeland @ Mall of Qatar
Main Image: esqalarsports
Xtremeland is a multi-level entertainment venue with many attractions for all ages, including adrenaline rides, a trampoline park, six-level soft play, arcade games, virtual reality and gaming stations, 7D theatre, family-friendly activities and a four-wall clip 'n' climb area.
The clip 'n' climb uses safety harnesses and an automatic belay system that allows climbers to explore the wall's many challenges safely. And, if the four walls aren't challenging enough, a face-to-face wall offers a timed climbing race for two climbers.
There is also a highwire adventure course located in the venue's rafters!
Entry into Xtremeland is free; guests pay for rides and experiences individually via credit on a membership card, purchased on-site for a few Qatari riyals. Once in possession of a card, visitors can top up with any amount they desire on each visit.
Sunday to Thursday: 10 am – 11 pm
Friday to Saturday: 10 am – 12 am (closed from 11:30 am –1 pm on Fridays)
Xtremeland is located inside the Mall of Qatar, which can be reached off the Dukhan Highway in Ar-Rayyan.
Tel: +974 4458 2311
Social Media: @XtremelandME