Best beaches for a barbecue

Shereen D’Souza loves a good grill and she’s sharing 15 top beaches to lug a barbecue and fire up the meats Discuss this article

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Every now and then, even the hardened Doha-ites need reminding of the country’s great outdoors. So ditch the luxury, five-star dinners and escape the city chaos in an off-the-grid hideout or indulge in some glamping (which is completely possible now that you can rent out tents with water and electricity in Sealine), we’ve selected the best spots in Qatar for you. Plus, it’s November aka the best time of the year weather-wise. You most likely will witness early warning signs of FOMO if you’re spending your weekends in town. All you need to do is get your four-wheel-drive out, load up your barbecue meats and turn up the volume on that road trip play list.

Al Farkeeh Coast
Al Farkeeh Coast in the Al Khor municipality is rather dry and on first look you’re immediately going to think there’s nothing you can do here. There is, however, a cafeteria and some lighting. There’s a family section and a play zone, but not much else. If you’re looking for a bit of adventure, drive further on to find a strip of land that’s almost always isolated. We don’t recommend swimming here. This place is great for shallow net fishing and then barbecuing your catch. We’ve done it a bunch of times and we’re proud to reveal we’re experts now at making tandoori crabs.
GPS: 25.680179, 51.538308

Al Ghariyah Beach
Al Ghariyah has been gaining popularity in the last two to three years and what was once an isolated spot of clear waters and clean sands is now more like a parking lot with dozens of cars lined up by the shore. We’re not complaining that much because it is still an incredible beach and easy to access even without a 4WD. Try something different – take an aluminum tagine and cook some authentic Moroccan food over the coal. Dune buggies can be rented, however, the experience here pales in comparison to the one in Sealine, where there are actual dunes and mounds. There’s a fenced area (which is very cool) with small huts for shade and bathrooms with showers. Only families are allowed here, though. If the crowds bother you, there’s the Al Ghariyah Resort just a few kilometres away.
GPS: 26.073159, 51.359690

Al Jassasiyah Beach
The main reason we love this beach so much is because it’s still relatively undiscovered. It’s easily one of the few beaches in Doha where you won’t find droves of cars and tents. Beautiful turquoise waters, warm and soft sand and absolutely nothing else around you makes for a perfect spot to set up camp and lug a barbecue. You’ll almost feel like you’re not in Qatar anymore but don’t get too carried away. The water is pretty shallow and not suitable for swimming. It is, however, perfect for walking. The Jebel Jassasiyah petroglyphs are in the vicinity for culture buffs.
GPS: 25.980718, 51.400568

Al Khor Family Beach
A worthy long drive away is a super-popular spot for families and barbecues. There are showers and toilets, playgrounds, parking and limited areas of shade. The entire area is secured by fencing. The water is not ideal for swimming, but don’t be afraid to try a
little splish-splashing.
GPS: 25.678206, 51.538222

Al Mafjar
Take your 4WD and discover this little hamlet that has a lot to its credit. Al Mafjar is now an abandoned village, easily recognisable by the fences around it. There are mangroves nearby and yes, an undiscovered, unspoiled beach that some people know as Umm Tays. The water is clear (and deep) and if you’re going alone or have small children, this beach isn’t advisable unless you stay in the shallow channel. You can snorkel or kitesurf here when the weather permits. It’s rather isolated, so bring everything with you.
GPS: 26.134741, 51.303599

Al Shamaal
This is Qatar’s northernmost tip, so don’t forget to open your GPS and take a screenshot. We love driving along the coast here (and also, it’s one of the only places in Qatar to go on an actual coastal drive). Stop anywhere and set up your barbecue. There are two parks nearby, too, with toilets, showers, benches and playgrounds. Perfect for setting some sausages on fire. If you’re into photography, the Galactic Core Bay is nearby where you can get some incredible photos of the Milky Way
GPS: 26.125920, 51.180480

Al Thakira/Dhakira
This beach isn’t exactly great for swimming but there is a play area for children. The nearest public toilet is located at the Al Dhakira Marina. You’ll find lots of speedboats stationed there and parking for up to 30 cars. Just bring your own food. This is also a popular fishing spot among the locals, so your gear will be put to good use. The mangroves are just around the corner, where you can go kayaking through beautiful, lush green landscape. If the time of the year is right, you’ll find a bunch of flamingos, too.
GPS: 25.742060, 51.557683

Al Wakra Beach
There are two beaches to barbecue at in Al Wakra – one is great for families with shaded areas, playgrounds and barbecue pits. Shallow swimming is possible, too. The other isn’t really ideal for getting into the water because of the rocky shore being at a higher elevation. But both are top options for grilling your favourite meats, sitting around the campfire and singing along to your favourite acoustic songs.
GPS: 25.131389, 51.617222

Dukhan Beach
Dukhan beach has two areas – one for the families, mostly barbecuing because the rocky shores are not very suitable for swimming (bring appropriate footwear if you still want to) with a playground and other family-oriented activities. And the other one is more of a large open space, which is good for camping and swimming because there are no rocks here. The town area has a food court with rest rooms. So yes, taking hot pizza to the beach is a real possibility. It’s easily accessible by car, about an hour’s drive from Doha city.
GPS: 25.404985, 50.755775

Fuwairit Beach
This is one of Doha’s best and most popular beaches, so expect a lot of crowds. Plus, clear blue waters and soft sand that you can sink your feet into. The weekends are quite busy so expect screaming kids, noisy families and burnt barbecue odours. But as long as you find a nice spot, possibly a little further away, you’re good. This is one of the best swimming beaches in the country and during the day time, you’ll find kitesurfers, too. If you drive up a little bit you’ll reach Jebel Fuwairit which is rockier but less crowded. The view from atop the rocks is spectacular, and you might even spot dolphins in the early morning or night. The beach however, has sharp rocks, and getting here requires caution. You have to drive over large rocks and risk damaging your vehicle. If you do want to go here, ensure your 4WD has very good ground clearance so you don’t accidentally bump your petrol tank from below. This spot is a favourite among local rock-climbers.
GPS: 26.039893, 51.366963

Inland Sea
Qatar has some of the world’s most incredible dunes. We assure you, you can create mutton kebab history at the most scenic spot in Qatar. Tour operators offer frequent trips including overnight packages, but if you have a 4WD and some mad dune-bashing skills, you should definitely head here with a bunch of friends. It’s always advisable to go in groups (more than two SUVs) in case you get stuck in sand. Listen to the sand dune’s song. These ethereal whistles and haunting moans can only be heard in a few places around the world, so this is an experience you cannot miss. The humming sounds and ghostly whispers occur when the sand is completely dry. Keep a sandboard in your car for some adventure. Dune-bashing for around one hour will bring you to one of the most beautiful places in Qatar – the Inland Sea, or Khor-Al-Udeid. This inlet creates a scenic camping spot and the waters are great for swimming, too. Don’t be surprised if you see huge numbers of 4WDs pulling off road for some dune-bashing on the trip to the water’s edge. The sand dunes touch the water and turtles can be seen. We’ve also heard that dugongs are visible from this area, along with some migratory birds. If you’re going without an organised tour, don’t go too far out – there are scorpions in the sand! What’s more exciting is the recent announcement of the Al Enna Project which seeks to transform Inland Sea and create better and more enhanced camping experiences. Besides new roads and safety and security measures, there will be special zones for ATV sports and areas with access to water and electricity, which can be rented out.
GPS: 24.6390789, 51.2076852

Maroona Beach
You’ve probably heard of the French Beach, which is otherwise known as Maroona. It’s a super spot to catch some late afternoon sun, swim, barbecue and then even camp out. This beach is located just before Fuwairit and you will love how soft the sand is – perfect for sandcastle-building time with the family. There’s absolutely nothing around though, so bringing your own food, a large umbrella, beach mats and lots of water is highly recommended.
GPS: 26.003744, 51.399370

Ras Abrouq Beach
Located further down from Zekreet, you’ll find a beautiful beach, great for barbecuing or camping. Doha-ites camp out here to catch the incredible sunrise views. Zekreet itself is pretty fascinating, limestone formations are scattered all around to create Qatar’s very own version of the Grand Canyon. While this might be a slight exaggeration, words can’t do justice to what you can expect here – a treasure trove of cliffs and ridges. These unique limestone cliffs offer unusual surroundings and make this the most perfect area to camp out at.
GPS: 25.597897, 50.827828

Sealine Beach
Sealine is always packed with expats from all areas of the city and can you blame them? It is super-soft and sandy and is definitely a top option for beach swimming. There’s lots to do round here. Rent a dune buggy or go dune-bashing on the beautiful dunes, which you can’t miss seeing. The big news is that Al Enna Project for enhancement of desert and camping experiences will be transforming Sealine Beach into a more safe, accessible and lively location. As part of this project, Sealine Beach will see major developments over an area that can accommodate up to 15,000 people. This includes creating shaded areas, opening cafés and restaurants as well as designating a special area for families and another for children. In addition, fitness machines will be installed as well as equipment provided for water and beach sports, such as football and volleyball. A special entertainment zone, which will include a theatre, will also be made to host cultural activities and events. If we’re being honest, this is the biggest and most exciting news of this season. We never thought we’d one day say, “See you at a café in Sealine.”
GPS: 24.861143, 51.516837

Simaisma
If you want a small, clean beach that’s not really too far from the city, look no further. This small seaside town has the first beach you will find when you hit the Shamaal highway from Doha. It’s not open all night, but if you want to a catch a nice late afternoon swim (in shallow water), and fire up the grill in the evening, this should work. This beach is for families. There’s a football pitch and a playground. There’s a Woqod on your way, too.
GPS: 25.573903, 51.487584

By Shereen D’Souza
Time Out Doha,

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