The Middle East is a rich and exotic place, home to glittering cities studded with bold skyscrapers on the edge of the desert. With an opulent urban culture, it’s easy to forget this part of the region is also home to some truly stunning beaches.
Whether you’re planning on a spot of beach volleyball or just soaking up the Middle Eastern sun, we’ve got all you need to know for enjoying a beach holiday in the Middle East.
This fast-paced city is home to a number of public and private beaches. The public beaches tend to be reflective of the hustle and bustle in the city. Buzzing with people, you’ll find lots of activities from beach sports, such as volleyball, to adrenaline pumping water sports.
For a little peace and quiet away from the hubbub, it’s well worth checking out some of the private beaches, which will cost you a small fee.
The perfect beach for escaping the city, Ghantoot Beach is just a short 20-minute drive out of the city towards Abu Dhabi. Boasting impressive views of the Arabian Gulf, this private beach has long stretches of sand and tends to attract only a handful of sun-worshippers at a time – meaning there’s loads of sun loungers going spare (no need for that whole no towel, no reservation malarkey!).
While one end of the beach is all about topping up that tan, and unwinding with the sound of the gently rolling waves, the other end of the beach has plenty of activity going on if you fancy a quick game of beach volleyball.
When the sun goes down, this vibrant beach really comes to life. In fact, Ghantoot is quite the hotspot for those seeking a little night-time beach action. If you’ve ever fancied a sunset beach barbecue, or even a night time game of volleyball, then this is the place to be.
Sports enthusiasts and adrenaline junkies head off to the perfect white sandy shores of Kite Beach. Aptly named and famous for its excellent kite surfing opportunities, you’ll find that there are plenty of activities going on here, such as volleyball and beach tennis, along with large numbers of colourful kite surfers.
Kite Beach is a public beach with free entry, and its immaculate white shores are incredibly clean and well maintained. It’s the perfect spot to take the family, as there are a number of children’s play areas as well as plenty of toilets, showers and changing facilities. Alternatively, play a game of soap football, beach volleyball or tennis, or simply lay back and watch the impressive kite surfers.
Al Mamzar Beach Park
Thinking of heading off to the beach with the kids in tow? Then this massive stretch of sandy beach is the perfect place to spend the day. This vast beach park proves to be very popular, home to five beaches as well as an array of facilities such as private chalets and food kiosks in the park itself.
There’s also a swimming pool and playground, making it a great option for a beach day with all the family. You’ll find some lush grassy and landscaped areas that make the perfect spot for picnics, as well as numerous areas kitted out with tables, chairs and grills for beach barbecues.
There are lots of smaller sandy beaches that are situated away from the main beach – perfect if you’re wanting to do a little sunbathing away from the crowd.
There’s plenty on offer for water sports enthusiasts too, along with an abundance of sun loungers available for rental. On Mondays and Wednesdays, the beach is reserved for exclusive use for women and children only.
For classic relaxation on a stunning, unspoiled beach you can’t get much better than the natural coastline on Oman’s shores. If you’re looking for peace and quiet, a place to enjoy a gentle stroll along the shore, and stunning views of the natural landscapes, then here are some of the best beaches that Oman has to offer:
Looking for somewhere to stroll hand in hand with a loved one? The whopping four kilometres of sandy shore at Qurum Beach is the perfect place. It’s a stone’s throw from the hotels and shopping malls of Qurum shopping district, making it one of the more popular beaches in the area.
Beach chairs and loungers are available to rent, if you want bask in the Middle Eastern sun and simply watch the palm trees sway in the gentle breeze. It’s a great spot for families, too, with the trees providing ample shade for a relaxing picnic.
Shimmering blue waters await you on this tranquil beach. Again, if you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle and truly indulge in some much needed, sun-soaked R&R, then the beach at Bandar Jissah is just the place.
This beach is about 15 miles away from the capital city of Muscat, and is very easy to drive to, following the pretty coastal road. Aside from the alluring, warm azure waters, this beach is set against a stunning backdrop of rocky hills.
The still warm waters here are perfect for a gentle paddle or a swim. Alternatively, you can go snorkelling in the bay and see the stunning marine life just below the surface.
Marina Bandar al Rowdha
This is the number one spot for water sports enthusiasts. Plenty of boating and sailing opportunities are on offer here, and experienced divers will also find that it’s a great place for exploring the natural marine life.
Even if you’re not into water sports, the marina is a truly beautiful and peaceful spot to watch the world go by, set against a backdrop of impressive mountains and offering magnificent views of the sea.
So, if you’re looking to escape the bustling souks or you’ve already shopped ‘till you’ve dropped in Dubai’s magnificent malls, then recoup and relax on one of Dubai or Oman’s beaches.
Whether you’re looking to top up your tan, have a picnic with the family, or enjoy a touch of peace and tranquillity in a natural, unspoiled spot, you’ll find the perfect place waiting for you.