Al Fāw, Iraq

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Al Fāw, Iraq

Region: Basra Governorate

Geographic Coordinates: 29.975800, 48.472200
Temperature Range: 20.0°C to 45.0°C (68°F to 113°F)
Climate: Hot and dry summers, mild winters with occasional rainfall.
Population: 105080
Language: Arabic

Al Fāw is a small city located in southern Iraq, Near the Persian Gulf. It has a population of approximately 100, 000 people and covers an area of about 200 square kilometers. The city is known for its strategic location as it is situated at the entrance to the Shatt al-Arab waterway which serves as an important shipping route for oil exports. The history of Al Fāw dates back to ancient times, With archaeological evidence suggesting that it was inhabited by various civilizations including Sumerians, Babylonians, And Persians.

During the Islamic Golden Age in the 8th century AD, Al Fāw became an important center for trade and commerce due to its proximity to the Persian Gulf. In modern times, Al Fāw gained international attention during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s when it was captured by Iranian forces. However, Iraqi forces were able to recapture it after several years of intense fighting. In recent years, There have been efforts made towards developing Al Fāw’s infrastructure such as building new roads and bridges.

One of Al Fāw’s main attractions is its beautiful beaches which attract tourists from all over Iraq and neighboring countries such as Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The city also has several historical landmarks including a castle built during Ottoman rule in the late 19th century. The economy of Al Fāw relies heavily on fishing and oil exports through its port facilities which handle around one-third of Iraq’s total oil exports. Additionally, There are plans underway to develop tourism in order to diversify the city’s economy further.

Despite being relatively small compared to other Iraqi cities such as Baghdad or Basra, Al Fāw has played an important role in shaping Iraq’s history due to its strategic location near key waterways used for trade and commerce throughout history. With ongoing efforts towards development and diversification of its economy through tourism initiatives alongside oil export, Al Fāw is poised to continue playing an important role in Iraq’s future.

Important Landmarks

  1. Faw Grand Mosque
  2. Al-Faw Port
  3. The Martyrs’ Monument
  4. The Iraqi Navy Base
  5. The Marshes of Al-Faw

Note: Due to the ongoing conflicts and security concerns in Iraq, it is advisable to check the current situation before planning a trip to any part of the country.

Primary Industries

  1. The primary industries and businesses in Al Fāw, Iraq are:
    • Oil and gas production
    • Fishing
    • Agriculture
    • Tourism
  2. The city is situated on the coast of the Persian Gulf and boasts a sizeable port that manages imports and exports.
  3. Due to its coastal location, fishing is a significant industry in Al Fāw.
  4. Agriculture also plays an important role in the region with crops like:
    • Wheat
    • Barley
    • Dates
    • Citrus fruits
    • Vegetables
  5. Additionally, the city has numerous tourist attractions such as historical sites including ancient ruins like:
    • Ur
    • Ziggurat of Ur-Nammu

Noteable History

  1. Battle of Al Faw: This battle was fought during the Iran-Iraq War in 1986 between Iraq and Iran for control over the Al Faw peninsula.
  2. Saddam Hussein: The former Iraqi dictator visited Al Fāw during the Iran-Iraq War to boost morale among his troops.
  3. Kuwaiti Invasion: In 1990, Iraqi forces used Al Fāw as a launching point for their invasion of Kuwait, which led to the Gulf War.
  4. Basra Oil Refinery: The Basra Oil Refinery near Al Fāw is one of Iraq’s largest oil refineries and has been a target of several attacks by insurgents.
  5. Shaikh Jabir al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah Bridge: This cable-stayed bridge connects Kuwait City to Al Fāw across the Persian Gulf.
  6. Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani: He is an influential Shia cleric who has lived in Najaf near Al Fāw for many years and played an important role in post-Saddam Iraq politics.
  7. Marsh Arabs: These indigenous people have lived in the marshlands around Al Fāw for thousands of years but were persecuted under Saddam Hussein’s regime and forced to flee their homeland.
  8. Umm Qasr Port: It is one of Iraq’s main seaports located near Al-Faw on the Persian Gulf coast, which was heavily bombed during Operation Desert Storm in 1991.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Al-Faw Grand Mosque: This mosque is one of the most important religious sites in the city and features beautiful architecture.
  2. Al-Faw Palace: This palace was built during the reign of Saddam Hussein and is now a museum that showcases Iraqi history and culture.
  3. Basra War Cemetery: Located just outside of Al Faw, this cemetery is a memorial to soldiers who died during World War II.
  4. Basra Museum: This museum has a collection of artifacts from ancient Mesopotamia, including pottery, jewelry and sculptures.
  5. Abu al-Khaseeb Port: A popular spot for fishing enthusiasts with stunning views of the Persian Gulf.
  6. Al-Manakh Nature Reserve: A protected area home to various species of plants and animals including flamingos, turtles and migratory birds.
  7. Corniche Street: A popular place for locals to stroll along the waterfront lined with cafes and restaurants offering fresh seafood dishes.
  8. Um Qasr Port: One of Iraq’s largest ports located just south-west of Al Faw where visitors can see ships coming in from all over the world.

Note that some locations may be closed or have restricted access due to ongoing conflicts or security concerns in certain areas within Iraq so it’s always best to check travel advisories before visiting any location within Iraq especially if you’re not familiar with local customs or laws as well as safety measures when travelling around this region.

Cultural Events

  1. Eid al-Fitr – A Muslim festival that marks the end of Ramadan.
  2. Ashura – A Shia Muslim festival that commemorates the martyrdom of Imam Hussain.
  3. Newroz – A Kurdish new year celebrated on March 21st.
  4. Baghdad International Film Festival – An annual film festival held in Baghdad.
  5. Babylon International Festival – An annual music and arts festival held in Babylon.
  6. Mesopotamian Marshes Festival – An annual festival celebrating the culture and traditions of the Marsh Arabs who live near the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
  7. Basra International Book Fair – An annual book fair held in Basra showcasing local and international literature.
  8. Erbil International Marathon – Annual marathon race organized by Erbil Marathon Organization (EMO) to promote sports tourism within Kurdistan region of Iraq.


  1. Masgouf: A traditional Iraqi dish made of grilled fish marinated in spices and served with rice.
  2. Al-Tanoor Restaurant: Known for its fresh bread baked in a traditional clay oven (tandoor) and grilled meats.
  3. Al-Sultan Restaurant: Offers a variety of Iraqi dishes such as lamb kebab, chicken shawarma, and stuffed grape leaves.
  4. Abu Ali Restaurant: Famous for its seafood dishes such as shrimp curry, fried fish, and grilled prawns.
  5. Al-Mansour Mall Food Court: A popular spot for fast food chains like KFC and McDonald’s as well as local vendors selling falafel sandwiches and shawarma wraps.
  6. Al-Khaima Restaurant: Serves traditional Iraqi dishes like biryani rice with lamb or chicken, lentil soup, and stuffed eggplant.
  7. Baghdad House Restaurant: Offers a mix of Middle Eastern cuisine including hummus dips, mixed grill platters, and baklava desserts.
  8. Dar Es Salaam Restaurant: Specializes in Yemeni cuisine such as lamb haneeth (slow-cooked meat), chicken mandi (spiced rice), and Yemeni tea with ginger.

Note that due to the current security situation in Iraq it is advisable to check the latest travel advice before visiting any location within the country including Al Fāw city specifically if you are not familiar with the area or are not accompanied by someone who knows it well enough to ensure your safety during your visit there.

Parks and Recreation

  1. Al-Faw Grand Park: It is a popular public park in Al Fāw that offers various outdoor recreational activities such as picnicking, walking trails, playgrounds for kids and sports fields.
  2. Beaches: As Al Fāw is a coastal city, it has several beaches where visitors can engage in water sports like swimming, fishing or boating.
  3. Sports Complexes: There are several sports complexes in the city where people can play soccer (football), basketball or volleyball with friends and family.
  4. Fishing: People who love fishing can visit any of the nearby rivers or lakes for a relaxing day out.
  5. Cultural Sites: Visitors interested in history and culture can explore ancient sites like Basra Museum which showcases exhibits from Babylonian times to modern-day Iraq.

Note that these are just suggestions and may not be available at all times due to local conditions or restrictions imposed by authorities.


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