Khawr al Udayd, ( also spelled Khor al Adaid and Khor al-‘Udeid) is a settlement and inlet of the Persian Gulf located in Al Wakrah Municipality in southeast Qatar, on the border with Saudi Arabia.
This area of southern Qatar is one of the most unusual yet attractive destinations imaginable. The pristine sea and ever-changing sands make visits totally memorable.
The area of Khawr al Udayd had been a point of friction between Qatar and what is now Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Khawr al Udayd had served as a refuge for pirates from the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (now part of the UAE) during the 19th century. Members of the Bani Yas tribe migrated and settled in the area on three separate occasions: 1835, 1849 and 1869. According to a historical overview of Khawr al Udayd written by the British government in India, “in 1836, Al-Kubaisat, a section of the Bani-Yas, under Sheikh Khadim-bin-Nahman, being desirous of avoiding the consequences of certain recent piracies, seceded from Abu Dhabi and established themselves at Odeid. In 1849, there was a fresh secession, followed by a second compulsory return; at length, in 1869, a party under Sheikh Buttye-bin-Khadim again settled at Odeid, and repudiated their allegiance to the parent State.”
Perhaps the most notable among the settlers in 1835 was the pirate Jasim bin Jabir, who was joined there by his crew. The residents of eastern Qatar abetted the pirates of Khawr al Udayd in their pillaging of vessels off the coast of Abu Dhabi, resulting in a British naval force being sent to the settlement in 1836 to accost the piratical acts. The British ordered the chiefs of major Qatari towns to immediately desist from sending supplies to the pirates and instructed them to seize the pirate’s boats. Additionally, the British naval force set fire to one of the pirate’s vessels. As a result, Jassim bin Jabir relocated to Doha in September 1836.
After receiving approval from the British in May 1837, the Sheikh of Abu Dhabi, wishing to punish the seceders, sent his troops to sack the settlement at Khawr al Udayd; 50 of its inhabitants were killed and its houses and fortifications were dismantled during the event. The British claim that “the leniency and moderation with which he [the Sheikh] used his victory induced the seceders to return to Abu Dhabi”.
In 1869, the Bani Yas tribe once again seceded from Abu Dhabi to resettle in Khawr al Udayd under Sheikh Buttye-bin-Khadim. According to a description offered of Khawr al Udayd sometime after this migration, the colony was inhabited by approximately 200 Bani Yas tribespeople who owned a total 30 pearling ships. The area was well protected, containing a small fort with two towers in the center of the town.