We check out some of the most beautiful beaches in Qatar, which offer pristine white sands, clear blue seas, and stunning natural landscapes.
Beyond the swanky hotels and towering compounds, Qatar boasts over 350 miles of stunning coastline, made all the more enjoyable by Qatar’s warm climate. Whether you fancy going snorkeling, kayaking, or simply relaxing in the sun on a date, here are the best beaches to explore in Qatar.
But before you pack your beach bag, it’s important to bear in mind that modesty is strictly adhered to in this conservative Muslim country. Therefore, women should refrain from revealing bikinis and swimsuits at public beaches in Qatar (where they are actually illegal). The rules are more relaxed, however, at resorts and hotels.
Al Khor Beach
Known as Purple Island, Al Khor Beach is home to an abundance of plants that turn the wetland a stunning purple when in bloom. One of Qatar’s more northern beaches, Al Khor is easily accessible by car and has become a popular camping spot. There is a good range of facilities on offer too, including showers and changing rooms for adults and kids. This makes it a great choice for a family day out; whether you choose to have a picnic on the grassy area, go for a bike ride, or jump in a kayak.
If you’re lucky, you might also spot some flamingos and other wild birds in their natural habitat. And, if you feel hungry, there are several barbecue grills and a small restaurant nearby serving tasty options to suit all palates.
Al Wakrah Beach
Situated just south of Qatar’s capital, Al Wakrah Beach is perfect for a fun-filled family day out at one of the country’s most spectacular beaches. Easily accessible by car and just a 30-minute ride from Doha, this is the ideal place for a day trip. The clear, shallow waters are suitable for little ones to splash around in; meanwhile, the fun playground area gives them the opportunity to let off steam – if it’s not too hot.
Magnificent mangroves dot around this pretty beach, drawing in visitors who come to take in the exotic landscape and wildlife. The picturesque beach is also famous for its little fish which gently nibble the dead skin from your feet; so you may even enjoy a free pedicure while you’re there! Whether you fancy a picnic by the shore, or a leisurely lunch at a nearby restaurant, this is a dreamy spot to visit.
One of Qatar’s more northerly beaches, Fuwairit Beach boasts pristine white sands and clear turquoise sea, which is home to the Hawksbill turtle. Beachgoers are strictly forbidden to interact with the turtles; this section of the beach is fenced off during the hatching season. There aren’t many cafes or restaurants here, however, so make sure to pack some drinks and snacks before you go.
You will also need to set off fairly early as it takes between one and two hours to reach the beach from Doha. The journey is well worth it, though, because for tanning and relaxing, it doesn’t get any better than this. The inviting, calm sea makes it a popular spot for water sports and swimming. And if you find yourself there come sundown, take a gentle stroll along the beach and feast your eyes on the various colored seashells.
If you’re looking for one of the more quiet and peaceful beaches in Qatar, then head to Simaisma Beach. This beach only recently opened to the public; therefore it provides an uncrowded place to enjoy some downtime with family. Free barbecue grills and well-placed shady areas make it a great option for eating out, too. There is also a nearby playground for kids and several food kiosks and vendors selling cooling ice-creams and treats.
The beach is in a beautiful mangrove forest in the sleepy coastal hamlet of Simaisma. It is also a popular place for fishing. Traditional methods are still in use today. Traps – known locally as hadra – are used to catch shrimp and other small fish; this is immensely popular to see for both adults and children. Although the facilities are modern, traditional mosques and shops help to keep the atmosphere here authentic.
With its crystal clear blue waters and interesting limestone formations, Zekreet Beach (Bir Zekreet or Ras Abrouq Beach) is one of Qatar’s great scenic beaches. It is also a popular place for camping among city dwellers looking to get back to nature. Many people pack up a tent and come here for the weekend; the rocky beach means it is quiet in comparison to others in the area.
Water sports enthusiasts can also be spotted windsurfing along the coast. Meanwhile, budding photographers enjoy snapping photos of the famous Richard Serra Art Piece in the nearby desert. Peaceful and unspoiled, Zekreet is the perfect place to enjoy a beachside barbecue and magnificent sunset.