Let a vast hose propel you up into the sky and as you fall and splash multiple times, remember that your dignity barely matters at this point. All you want is to make the best of the great outdoors and how better to do that than by flying above moderately cold waters and gazing over the horizon?
Blue Marine, Mourjan Marinas, Lusail (4427 2424).
Doha’s most popular watersport can be tried out at several designated spots including Sealine beach. You can rent a jet ski on the beach itself if you’re inside the Sealine property or from individual water sport companies like Quad Bike Jet Ski Qatar and Blue Marine or hotels like The Ritz-Carlton Doha and InterContinental Doha.
InterContinental Doha, West Bay Lagoon (4484 4852).
Al Thakira Mangroves is every kayaker’s dream. Also known as Purple Island, this is one of the greenest spots in the country and this adventure takes you through reef egrets, terns, herons and jumping fish. If you have a 4WD and your own kayak, you can head down and do so at your own leisure. If you don’t own either of those, Entalek arranges organised kayaking tours including equipment for as low as QR100.
Entalek EcoAdventures (3023 3207).
Learn the ropes in a beginner’s lesson to really get to grips with this sport at Flo Kite School, or opt for a two-month course. You can also get an IKO (International Kiteboarding Organisation) certification. Flo Kite School has loads of kiteboarding locations in Qatar from Fuwairit to Zekreet.
Flo Kite School, Gulf Gardens Compound (3315 5628).
Soar hundreds of feet above open water in Katara for the ultimate parasailing experience. You’ll be up in the air for about ten minutes and you’ll probably be too busy soaking up Doha’s beauty to have any quiet contemplative moments.
365 Adventures, Katara Cultural Village, www.katara.net.
You can learn the highest form of boating skills and undertake theory and practical testing at Regatta Sailing Academy. It is also a community hub for sailing enthusiasts around the region and organises races and competitions.
Regatta Sailing Academy, Katara Beach, www.regattasailingacademy.com (3363 2515).
There are a variety of dives off Doha’s coast with most ranging from six to 20 metres. Take a scuba diving tour and all year round you can see blue angel fish, natural corals, stingrays, barracudas, turtles, groupers, banner fish, king fish and lots of smaller fish, especially on wreck dives. Head down to Poseidon Diving Centre at Hilton Doha for dozens of different training courses ranging from taster sessions and junior bubble-maker lessons to advanced training and photography courses.
Poseidon Dive Centre, Hilton Doha, West Bay (6608 4040).
Don’t expect world-class coral reefs, but rest assured you’ll find plenty of beautiful marine life in Qatari waters. While you can snorkel at almost any beach in Qatar, the Dukhan beach is known to have some pretty underwater sights close to shore.
Dukhan Beach, Dukhan.
Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP)
It takes some serious balance, core strength and boldness to float out into the ocean atop what looks like an extra-large surfboard, but this is a skill that can be mastered, especially in the calm Qatari waters. Try the super buoyant boards in a lesson at Qatar’s first SUP school operating on the Pearl. Sessions are offered for all age groups and all levels from SUP basics and family SUP to SUP kids, SUP yoga and SUP racing.
You might look as cool as an actual surfer since there are no waves in Qatar, but Aqua Park gives you the chance to try the world’s first surfing half-pipe simulator ride. Ride up curved walls at a 90 degree angle to the direction of the water and then tell us this is not a sport. It’s as exhilarating as it is fun. You can also learn how to surf in a controlled environment at Banana Island’s splash surf pool. Professional instructors are available to supervise you and waves can be customised to suit any level of proficiency.
QR150 (30 minutes). Daily 8am-9pm. Banana Island Doha Resort by Anantara (4040 5050).