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Hawar Islands


Hawar Islands
Hawar Islands

The Hawar Islands (Arabic: جزر حوار‎; transliterated: Juzur Hawar) are a group of islands situated off the west coast of Qatar in the Gulf of Bahrain of the Persian Gulf. It is also a Ramsar site.

Despite their proximity to Qatar (Suwad al Janubiyah is only 1.4 km from the Qatari mainland at the peninsula of Ras Abruq, while Rubud Al Gharbiyah, the island closest to the main island of Bahrain, lies at a distance of 19.7 km to it), the islands belong to Bahrain but were the subject of a dispute between Bahrain and Qatar. A Hawari separatist movement exists in Europe but there is little evidence of support for their movement in the Hawar Islands. The islands were formerly coincident with municipality or Mintaqat Juzur Hawar (مِنْطَقَة جُزُر حَوَار) and are now administered as part of the Southern Governorate of Bahrain. The area is 50.6 km². At the census of 2001, the population numbered 3,875.

Greater Flamingos
Greater Flamingos

In 2002, the Bahraini government applied to have the Hawar islands recognised as a World Heritage Site due to the islands' unique environment and habitat for endangered species. This site is home to many wildlife species and a very interesting place for birdwatchers and divers. The Hawar Islands used to be one of the settlements of the Bahraini branch of the Dawasir who settled there in the early 19th century and on the main island of Bahrain in 1845 in the areas of Zallaq and Budaiya.

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