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Al Shahaniya camel racetrack

Al Shaqab is Qatar Foundation’s (QF) equestrian center in the Al Shagub district, Qatar. Founded in 1992 by Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Emir of Qatar, Al Shaqab joined QF in 2004. Al Shaqab is now the region’s leading equine education resource center and features the breeding of Arabian horses.

History of Shahaniya camel racetrack

Long before the rise of Qatar as a global economic powerhouse fueled by natural gas and petroleum, the country was renowned for its prized Arabian horses.

Centuries ago, when the ancestors of the Al Thani ruling family migrated from the Arabian Desert to settle in Qatar, the Arabian horse held a revered place in everyday life. These majestic creatures played a pivotal role in the foundation of Qatar itself.

The name “Al Shaqab” harks back to a significant event in Qatari history—the Battle of Al Wajbah, also known as Al Shaqab, which took place in 1893. Led by Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani, the Qataris emerged victorious over the Ottomans in this historic battle, ultimately paving the way for Qatar’s independence.

In 1992, Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani established Al Shaqab as a tribute to his forebear, Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani. Choosing the site of the Al Shaqab battle for the breeding farm, the emir laid the foundation for a legacy of excellence. In 2004, Al Shaqab became a proud member of Qatar Foundation.

Spanning a vast expanse of 980,000 square meters, the facility boasts stables with a capacity to house over 400 horses.

At the heart of Al Shaqab’s mission is its breeding program, aimed at preserving the Arabian breed while producing horses of remarkable beauty, athleticism, and temperament. These horses are not only physically robust but also possess the character and grace required to carry their riders with ease.

The breeding program encompasses three distinct categories: international Arabian horses, which blend various Arabian bloodlines; straight Egyptian Arabians, as defined by the Pyramid Society; and the traditional Qatari bloodlines of yore.

In 2008, the Al Shaqab team showcased their prowess on the global stage, securing a remarkable second place out of 24 competing countries, earning the prestigious silver medal in the competition. This achievement stands as a testament to Al Shaqab’s unwavering dedication to excellence and the enduring legacy of Qatar’s equestrian heritage.

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