Umm Bab (Arabic: أم باب) is a settlement in Qatar, located in the municipality of Al-Shahaniya. It used to be part of the Al Rayyan municipality and before that was administered by Al Jemailiya municipality before the latter was incorporated into Al Rayyan. Umm Bab is well known locally for Al Khraij Beach, which is also known as 'Palm Tree Beach' owing to a small cluster of palm trees situated off the shoreline.
|• Total||131.1 km2 (50.6 sq mi)|
Aside from accommodating Qatar's first major non-oil related industry in the form of a cement processing facility which began operation in 1969, there also exists minor oil and gas separation facilities within the settlement.
The settlement derived its name from local geographical features. Umm Bab translates to 'mother of gateway'. The 'gateway' portion of the name refers to a narrow path or opening in the area surrounded by two small hills which resemble a gateway.
In 1948, shortly after the commencement of oil drilling operations in Dukhan, a housing village was built to the immediate south of Umm Bab to accommodate both Qatar Petroleum workers and locals of Umm Bab. A road was built the same year to connect Umm Bab and Dukhan. In 1961, the government inaugurated a boys school in the village. The housing village had approximately 50 houses by 1990, most of which belonged to members of the Al Murrah tribe who were employed by Qatar Petroleum.
The Umm Bab Coastal Center was opened in May 2017 by The Ministry of Interior's General Directorate of Coasts and Borders Security. Included within this center is a seaport, administrative buildings, and a boat maintenance shop. It is intended to serve as the primary coastguard station for the directorate's Western District.
Umm Bab is one of only two sites in Qatar from which large quantities of limestone and clay can be easily excavated, the other site being Umm Salal. Furthermore, north of Umm Bab is massive quantities of silica sand, which is used in the blending of cement and in construction. In 1965, the government capitalized on Umm Bab's rich natural resources by headquartering the Qatar National Cement Company in the area. This decision also served as an impetus to develop Qatar's western region.
The archaeological site of Asaila is near Umm Bab. It was discovered by a French archaeological team that surveyed and excavated several sites in Qatar between 1976 and 1982. By 1981, the team had excavated Asaila. This site was revisited by a joint German-Qatari archaeological team which was formed in 2012. The artifacts recovered at the site indicate a human presence during the early Neolithic period, c. 8,000 years ago. Several other archaeological sites have been discovered near Umm Bab.
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