It’s undeniable – Qatar has an incredible coastline. With more than 600 kms of shores, it’s easy to figure out that this country boasts a few brilliant beaches. Whether you’re looking for a serene soak or a full-blown family fiesta with grills and thrills, you’ll find every kind of beach in Doha (ironically, some are even unsuitable for swimming). With plenty of top spots, it can be daunting to find your favourite free one. Here are the best beaches the country has to offer.
Al Ghariyah Beach
This clean, serene beach is easily accessible by a sedan. The turquoise waters are charming and there are no rocks here. It’s the best beach in Doha for swimming or just setting up camp and firing up the grill. The fenced area for families is now closed, so expect crowds all the time at every corner. You can rent dune buggies if you want to add a little adventure.
GPS: 26.073159, 51.359690.
Al Khor Beach
Al Khor Family Beach has parking, showers and toilets, playgrounds and limited areas of shade. The entire area is secured by fencing. It’s quite a drive, but there’s so much to explore in Al Khor these days, especially with the opening of the new Al Bayt Park.
GPS: 25.678206, 51.538222.
Al Wakrah Beach
Al Wakrah Family Beach is accessible by sedan. There’s a designated area for barbecuing, and the place is suitable for children as there are playgrounds, volleyball and football pitches, showers and other facilities. Children need supervision here as there are some sharp rocks at the bottom. Bringing your own supplies is recommended.
GPS: 25.130382, 51.617313.
Al Thakira Beach
This kayaking hotspot has gained a lot of popularity in recent years, thanks to the lush green surroundings. Popularly known as Purple Island, you can kayak through stunning mangroves or just head over to the beach area. There are sharp rocks, so it’s not great for swimming, but it’s definitely one of Qatar must-have outdoor adventures.
GPS: 25.742060, 51.557683.
Driving here will leave you with two choices for beaches – one more rocky and filled with families, and the other further away but more secluded and great for swimming. Fortunately, there’s a town close by and, in case you don’t want to barbecue, you can also just grab some burgers from the nearby food court. Burgers by the sea… Hmmm… Why did we never think of that before?
GPS: 25.404985, 50.755775.
The French Beach (also known as Maroona) is an awesome spot if you want to get away from all the barbecue crowds and just relax by the water. This beach is rather isolated, and there is nothing around, so make sure you take everything with you.
GPS: 26.003744, 51.399370.
Doha’s most popular beach after Sealine has the softest sand and bluest waters around. It’s almost always packed with people, but just a short drive away is Jebel Fuwairit, which is completely secluded and private. The trip here is rocky and you absolutely need a 4WD with high ground clearance. Make sure you take everything you need as there’s nothing nearby.
GPS: 26.039893, 51.366963.
This is the only public beach in Doha and we’re really thankful for it. True, you have to cover your arms and knees to have fun in the sun here, but when we think of hours of driving that we save in the bargain, we can’t really complain much. There’s lots of activities for the little ones and this is probably the best family beach in Doha.
GPS: 25.359222, 51.527657.
Khor Al Udeid
Adventure, relaxation and stunning scenes – there’s no better experience in Doha. After an hour of exhilarating driving over shapeshifting dunes, you’ll arrive to what’s popularly known as the Inland Sea in Qatar. A beautiful blue sea on one side, mountainous dunes the other, this is as spectacular as it gets. We’ve heard you can spot plankton sometimes, too.
GPS: 24.6390789, 51.2076852.
Palm Tree Beach
It’s a rare sight to see palm trees lined up near a beach in Qatar, but Umm Bab (also known as Palm Tree Beach) has a small cluster of them. There’s lots of shade and this is a great place to camp out at. You might also want to know this beach is a part of the Al Reem Natural Reserve.
GPS: 25.208863, 50.768215.
Qanat Quartier Beach
This beach is exclusively for The Pearl-Qatar residents, but it’s a really nice beach and you can enter with your friends who might be residents. The sand is perfectly soft, there are sunbeds and plenty of people just chilling. There’s a beach club nearby, too. And you have the added advantage views of pretty pastel-coloured beachfront homes.
Ras Abrouq Beach
The limestone cliffs and ridges here that you’ll pass on your way to the beach are fantastic. The beach is shallow but you’ll find kitesurfers here. The surroundings are unusual and make for a great campsite. There’s lots to do around here from checking out Richard Serra’s awe-inspiring art to climbing down a natural cave formation underground.
GPS: 25.597897, 50.827828.
Every Doha expat has been here a few dozen times because of how easy it is to access and how beautiful the beach is. It is super soft and sandy and is definitely a top swimming spot in the country. There’s lots to do around here with the recent developments that have spruced up the space. Besides a resort, you’ll find playgrounds and public sunbeds and restaurants and cafés. There’s an Al Meera supermarket nearby, so stocking up is convenient. Be prepared for massive crowds, especially on the weekends.
GPS: 24.861143, 51.516837.
This clean beach is perfect for families who don’t want to spend too much time driving (it’s only 30 kms up Shamaal) and just want a fun evening out on the sands. The beach has playgrounds and toilets along with a few other facilities. If you’re feeling a little lavish, check in to Simaisma Resort for the weekend.
GPS: 25.573903, 51.487584.
Viva Bahriya Beach
While this beach is exclusively for Viva Bahriya residents, nobody can stop you from entering with your VB friends. It’s not a typical soft sandy beach, it’s an artificial beach with steps that lead into the water. It’s ideal if you’re looking to just tan under the sun or have a barbecue on the shore. You can swim, too. The bright turquoise waters are very clean. Don’t expect endless horizons and stunning views, though.