Canal of Zubaida

By the Editors of the Madain Project

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The Canal of Zubaida, known in Arabic as 'Ain Zubaida (عين زبيدة), is an early Abbasid era aquaduct (Qanat), constructed by Zubaidah bint Ja'far, and was completed in the year 801 CE. The aquaduct of Zubaida was constructed to provide the city of Mecca with water, and in part it is built as a qanat (underground water channel) style, typical of Middle East and in part as an above ground aquaduct.


The 'Ain Zubaida (also spelled as Ayn Zubaydah) has remained a source of supplying water to Makkah and nearby holy sites for the last 1,200 years.

The Zubaida Canal was significantly restored during the reign of King Abdul Aziz, around 1928 CE. During the renovation

Originally the Ain Zubaida aquaduct was a complex of aboveground and underground water channels, water reservoirs, today not much survives of what was once an engineering marvel. Although, some sections of the ancient qanat have been extensively restored, most of it survives in bits and pieces.

The 35 kilometers long Nehr-e Zubaida is a remarkabe feat of engineering and construction, that has served the people for more than a thousand years.

Notable Sections

circa 800 CE

Sadd al-Khasirah
The Sadd al-Khasirah (سدّ الخاصرة), literally meaning the al-Khasirah Dam, is one of the most notable sections of the Zubaida Canal. It was a major stop for travelers and pilgrims passing through the area. The dam is constructed out of smaller local rocks and mortar. It is constructed at the start of a narrow valley between the

circa 800 CE


See Also


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