If you are heading to Doha and wondering what the best Qatar beaches are you need to be aware that there are two types of beaches in Qatar; there are resort beaches and Qatar public beaches. It is important to make this distinction as the Qatar dress code at each of these is very different and the activities you can do at each of them. In this guide we will break down the best public beaches in Qatar, compare them to the beach resorts and give you top tips for visiting
What you need to know about Qatar Beaches
As I mentioned above there are two types of beaches in Qatar – public beaches and beach resort hotels. As the rules and activities in each are so different we will break down the best that each category has to offer and the do’s and don’ts of Qatar beaches.
Does Qatar have good beaches?
In answer to does Qatar have good beaches I would say they do providing you know what to expect and you are at the right beach for what you want to do.
If you want to be able to sun bathe, swim and wear what you want then you will not think the Qatar public beaches are good. However the beach resorts at hotels are great for doing all of the above. However there are not mile long stretches as you would find during the Maldives or other locations.
Having said that the beaches in Qatar are not overly crowded like you would find at other beach resorts and there is more than enough especially at the beach resort hotels to keep you occupied for a whole day.
And while the public beaches are not great for swimming or wearing bikinis they are natural history wonders with great rock formations and a chance to see some amazing wildlife.
Can you swim in Qatar beaches?
Yes you can swim at pretty much all of the Qatar beaches providing that the waters are calm.
However the question you should be asking what can I wear to swim in at the beaches in Qatar. The answer is that it really depends whether or not you are at a public or private beach.
If you are at a public beach then you must follow all the usual regular Doha dress code rules i.e. no shorts, no midriffs and no shoulders on display. This will mean that women can’t wear bikinis but must wear burkinis instead and men will not be able to wear speedos but must have trunks and a rash vest.
Whereas at the beach resort you will be able to wear what you want on the beach and to swim at the Qatar beach. However I would always advise wearing a more conservative bikini rather than a thong one to be more respectful of your host country.
Can you sunbathe in Qatar?
Similarly to the swimming question, you can sunbath In Qatar depending where you are. On Public beaches you can not sunbathe in Qatar on public beaches however you are able to sunbathe at a beach resort in Qatar.
Are Doha beaches nice?
Yes in my opinion Doha beaches are nice. I have been to many of them both public and private at resort hotels. Many of the resort hotels have man made beaches that have stretches of sandy beaches and beautiful oceans.
And while some of the beaches further out may be rockier than sandy they have a beauty and some really amazing geological features.
How far is Doha from the beach?
Doha as a city has beaches within it’s city limits. It has both public and private beaches in the city. The private beaches are all hotel beach resorts and we have a dedicated post to them but there are also public beaches the most famous of which is the Katara Beach at the Katara cultural centre – a must for any Qatar itinerary whether you have one day in Doha or seven.
Dress code for visiting public beaches in Qatar
The Qatar public beaches tend to be the free beaches in Doha and don’t require admission tickets. Whereas beaches at hotels are reserved for use of guests only or for those who purchase a hotel day pass which would give you access to the beach and pol at the hotel (prices of day pass varies but it is worth speaking to your chosen hotel early and booking your admission especially during very busy periods).
As the public beaches in Qatar are open to everyone there are a few rules that must be adhered to, most of them concern the dress code.
I would say the most important thing when visiting Doha but especially when you are at the public beaches in Doha is remembering to be respectful in your attire. If you want to know more about respecting the local culture then why not check out our ultimate guide on what to wear in Doha.
Qatar Beaches Bikini Rules
As a Westerner, and in particular a Western women I personally prefer to go to the beach at 5* hotel resorts when I want to Doha beaches to sunbath or swim so not to offend and because I personally do not want to wear a Burkini.
You absolutely can not wear a bikini at a public beach in Qatar and you can not wear a one piece either as it reveals too much flesh. Men also have to be careful in their swim attire as they would also need to cover their knees and wear a rash vest.
Therefore I never swim or sunbath at a public beach however I do go to Qatar public beaches for other reason.
However I still like going to public beaches and while I won’t wear a bikini or sunbath there, I like to go to the public beaches to birdwatch, dune bash or see another side to life in Qatar.
The best public beaches in Qatar
Fuwairit Public Beach Qatar – the best family beach in Qatar
Fuwairit Beach Doha is one of the most visited of the public beaches in Qatar as it is one of the best family beaches in Qatar that is public.
How to get there: An hour and a half to two hours drive and you will get from Doha to Fuwairit.
Why we love Fuwairit Beach Qatar : the white sandy beach makes it perhaps my favorite out of all the public beaches. The beautiful sand, clear water and abundance of seashells makes it the best family beach in Qatar. However my favourite thing about this beach is that between April and July the beach is a breeding site for the beautiful Hawksbill sea turtles but the beach may close during this period to protect the species.
What you need to know before visiting Fuwairit Beach in Qatar: There are no public restrooms or eating facilities so please be prepared. This is the beach in Qatar for wildlife but needs to be undisturbed to protect the native species. Please check for turtle breeding season before going and respect the restrictions put in place.
This beach is accessible without a 4 x 4 and is about an hour away from the city depending on which part you are coming from.
Thakhira Public Beach Qatar
This beach is about 7km North of Al Khor, the second city of Qatar.
Why we love Thakhira Beach: We love the mangroves and the birdwatching here. It is a great place to go Kayaking and there a companies that offer great paddle boarding experiences at this beach.
What you need to know: There are no restrooms and this beach isn’t ideal for swimming.
Katara Public Beach Doha – the best public beach IN Doha
Why we love Katara Beach: This Doha public beach is actually the only public beach in Doha city. All of the other beaches in Doha city belong to hotels and require passes for admittance. Therefore this is also the best free beach to visit in Doha.
What you need to know before visiting Katara Public Beach: The Katara Beach dress code is strictly enforced. Elbows and knees must be covered to use the beach facilities. However Katara is a great place to go around for more than just the beach
There are plenty of facilities adjacent to Katara beach with restrooms and plenty of restaurants.
Sealine Public Beach Qatar
Why we love it: This is one of the best beaches in Qatar for the adventure lover. The Inland sea area also known as Khor al Add by the locals offers the perfect mix of outdoor activities from beach stuff to the more desert based activities such as dune bashing. From the Sealine Beach it takes around 30 minutes to get to the Inland Sea itself which is one of the most beautiful places in Doha in my opinion.
What you need to know: This area can get very busy especially with people doing dune bugging and dune bashing so you might want to avoid at weekends.
Whenever we visited this area we went with a private company due to the business and difficulty of driving on dunes. Please note if you hire a car in Doha and go dune bashing this can invalidate your insurance.
Simaisma Public Beach Qatar
Why we love Simaisma Beach Qatar: Another beautiful mangrove beach and close proximity to the Simaisma Resort for those who want more of a hotel vibe. This beach is probably one of the best public beaches in Qatar for families as it has lots of amenities and beautiful soft sand.
What you need to know: At Simaisma family beach there are no shortage of food and beverage outlets in this area.
Al Wakrah Beach Qatar
Why we love Al Wakrah Beach: One of the best beaches near Doha and a great beach for children and families.
What you need to know: There is no shortage of food and beverage outlets in the area.
Zekreet Beach Qatar
Why we love Zekreet: This beach offers privacy and you can find you own spot of solitude. Zekreet also has other desert attractions such as the Richard Serra East Meets West Sculpture, the Zekreet Fort and the film village to keep you entertained. It also has some great geological formations.
What you need to know: it is advisable to take a 4×4 and is located near Dukhan and the Cuban Hospital! Visiting this beach is a day trip.
If you are looking for where to swim in Doha or Qatar at a public beach then this is not the beach for you! The water is shallow for quite awhile here!
Umm Bab Beach
Umm Bab Beach is also known as the Palm Tree Beach beaches of the amount of palm trees on this beach. This is in the West of Qatar and is a popular camping location amongst Doha expats and nationals.
FAQs about the best Qatar beaches?
What are there best free beaches in Qatar?
All of the public beaches in Qatar do not charge an admission fee.
Are there facilities at the public beaches in Qatar?
Out of all the public beaches in Qatar the one with the most amenities is KAtara as it is located in the Katara Cultural Village. Simaisma beach and the inland sea as there are hotels there do have some amenities but generally speaking with recommending packing everything you need for a day at the beach before you go especially food and drink and sunscreen and other beach items like parasols and wind breaks as there usually isn’t anywhere to hire these on the public beaches.
What ones have we missed? What is your favorite public beach in Qatar?
Further Reading on Qatar:
What to do with Kids in Qatar
Qatar’s Most Beautiful Places
Hidden Gems in Qatar Public Beaches in Qatar