Al Zubarah Archeological Site, a traditional pearl fishing town located on the north-western coast of Qatar, has joined the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is the first Qatari site to be included in the international register joining the 911 natural and cultural properties worldwide. The decision was announced yesterday at the 37th session of the World Heritage Committee conference in Cambodia. Al Zubarah is one of the largest and best preserved examples of an 18th-19th century traditional pearl fishing and merchant towns in the Gulf. A coastal town that is now abandoned, Al Zubarah is situated about 100 km north-west of Doha. Founded in the mid-18th century, the town developed into a centre for pearl fishing and international trade, and rose to become the country\'s largest and most important settlement. The town was abandoned by the mid-20th century. Al Zubarah Archaeological Site covers an area of 60 hectares with remains of houses, mosques, large fortified buildings and a market.