The beach season in the Arabian gulf is unlike the other parts of the world. We have two short windows of opportunity during the year, wedged in between the scorching summer and the chilling winter. But with 560 km of coastline, there are plenty of beaches in Qatar to meet 200 percent of your weekly recommended allowance of Vitamin Sea!
From dune bashing near Sealine beach, kayaking at the Thakhira Mangroves, wading through marshes and climbing rocks at Purple Island to Off-roading to Khor Al Udaid, there is plenty of adventurous activities for the whole family.
But with young children, we often head to the less adventurous ones. Think play areas for children, comfortable cabanas, barbecue pits, etc. and most importantly easily accessible. These public beaches are built and maintained by the Baladiya and free for the public. So you don’t need to head to an expensive resort for clean facilities and some fun in the sun, sand and surf!
Here is a round up of the most family-friendly beaches in Qatar.
This is one of the closest to Doha on the North side, just 20 minutes once you leave Doha through the expressway. You need to take exit number 29 on the North road. It’s also fairly newly developed – so its quite shiny and not so crowded at downtimes.
It’s one of the best to go with families as there are plenty of facilities as it’s just at the end of the small town of Simaisma. There are numerous mosques and shops nearby. The car park is huge and toilets are just near the entrances. With shades, not one but three play areas, and a beautiful park just behind it, it’s my top choice for family beach.
Bonus: There are ruined old buildings inside the beach area. History lessons!
Bonus 2: A small cluster of mangroves in the middle. Botany!
Downside: The water is very shallow and not suitable for swimming.
It’s perfect for a walk about the beach, collecting seashells, jumping in the sticky sand (best one!), watching and trying to catch the small fishes in the shallow waters, studying the mangroves and building sand castles (though the sand is not the best type for this)
Need more ideas? Check out fun beach activities perfect for young kids.
This one is near the city of Al-Khor. As you enter the city gates, you can follow the sign for it on the second round-about.
Al Wakrah Beach
This is another family favorite with all the facilities, lots of play area and suitable for swimming too. and its probably closest on the south of Doha. Near this beach is the charming souq wakrah.
Al Thakhira Beach
Near the Al Thakhira mangroves, just in front of the residential area is this beach, a small corniche you could say. The paved area along the beach is perfect for jogging or even cycling. We saw a couple of kids learning their balancing acts here early in the morning. There is one small play area on one side and a lot of benches lined along the sand.
The beach is not suitable for swimming / playing in the water as it’s either too marshy in places or very stony. At best kids can play with the sand near the beach.
But the best part here is the view. The water has a greenish hue and the mangroves in the distance make a pretty picture.
Al Ghariya Beach
This one with white sands and azure waters is for the swimmers. The sand is very soft and the water is very clear. It can be quite deep on a high tide.
Located a few km off the Exit on the North Road.
Head there with all the swimming gear and floats for the kiddos. And pack in all your supplies. there are no play areas here. Its best for a swim. Have fun and stay safe!
Fuwairit and Maroona Beach
These two beaches are also located off exit no on North road. Easily accessible and long shoreline great for swimming.
Just few meters into the sea here is also Qatar’s only living coral reef which is popular with snorkellers.
The Fuwairit beach is famous for it’s turtle hatching season once a year around June-July. This year it was closed off during the entire season to protect the endangered species. But during the past years it was open for visitor on the hatching day and a lot of expats would gather to watch those beautiful hatchlings scuttle into the sea. Hopefully will get a chance to do so again. The kids just love it!