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I have come across no other photographs of structures in that area of anything approaching this height.
As to what purpose the building had, I am unsure, but there is a suggestion in the two photographs which follow it – and are of the same building, but six years later on, taken in 1966 – that it is the remains of the house of a pearl merchant.
This next photograph is also of ruins at Zubara and is said to have been taken in 1960.
I am not sure if it is the same building as that shown in the colour photograph above but feel it might be as it was the only building of that height at the time I took the photograph in 1975, and there are certainly similarities in the detailing of the arch on the right.
Whatever its function, the outside of the building illustrates a relatively defensive attitude in the small apertures some distance from the ground, though there do appear to be semi-circular openings at ground level – either doors or, more probably, windows – and located within an arched wall construction as can be seen in the upper photograph which illustrates its interior.
The walls and arches are of masonry construction and, unusually are dressed in order to provide a degree of accuracy and structural coherence not attainable with the regular construction of most of the traditional buildings in the peninsula.
Note that the wall appears to show springing suggesting that there might have been a domed construction, or at least arches – it was difficult to see from the original photograph if the springers were developed laterally to support domes.
There are also photographs from the web site of the Diwan al-Amiri in Qatar.To its east there is a circular watch tower set back from the sea and, to its east, the housing of al-Doha around another square fort, this time having only two circular towers and one square tower.To its east there is another circular watch tower and, to the west of the fort there is a large building which appears to be a mosque.It may be significant that there are more boats pulled up on the foreshore at al-Doha than there are at al-Bida.These first three aerial photographs – the first photograph above and these two below – are here because they are the earliest I have seen of any part of Qatar.
These two pages illustrate something of the older buildings and associated development in Qatar.