July 06, 2023

Doha's Premium Affordable Beaches

Qatar is predominantly bordered by the sea, except for a small 60 km land border shared with Saudi Arabia. So, if you are looking for beach vibes, you are guaranteed to find plenty of beach life along the county's long stretch of coast, including some fantastic new outdoor venues!

Sandy Shores

Qatar has the weather and the space along its coastline for plenty of beachside activities. Much of the shoreline is made up of unspoiled, natural beaches that the more adventurous enjoy, but there are also an array of free public beaches with the basic facilities required for a day at the seaside. But what if you want a few more of life's little comforts while you enjoy time on the coast? Until recently, you would have to opt for one of Qatar's well-resourced hotel or resort beaches - stunning but relatively costly for a day's access. However, as Qatar has ramped up its tourism offering, hoping to welcome 6 million visitors per year by 2030, it has been working hard to develop a larger portfolio of beaches, with a raft of facilities that cater for every type of beachgoer and every budget. And you don’t have to travel too far to find these new affordable beaches; four new seaside venues were opened in 2022 on the capital city’s golden-shored waterfront, including three new city centre coastal spots and a sandy locale in Ras Abu Aboud, where once thousands watched the FIFA World Cup Qatar.

So, where's new?

Doha’s Newest Public Beaches

In the heart of the city, three brand-new beaches have been sculpted along the northern shores of Doha's West Bay. As part of an ambitious inner-city coastal beautification project, these venues are stretched along 40,000 sqm of premium beachfront. The beaches are designed to provide affordable, family-friendly coastal retreats in an exclusive location, allowing everyone to enjoy the city's spectacular seaside views.

B12 Beach Club

Image: Twitter

B12 Beach Club is located on the very northern edge of West Bay and is an affordable, family-friendly, exclusive beach club open to the public. The beachfront is characterised by a host of perimeter walls brightly-painted with stylised graffiti murals, courtesy of local Qatari artists, and a raft of colourful beach loungers under tropical-style palm leaf umbrellas. Alongside a shaded beach deck, complete with funky wooden bench and booth seating, beach bar, DJ booth (playing on the weekends), table football and other games, the beach club has a definite laid-back, boho-style feel. 

It would be easy to spend a day at B12 soaking in the music and atmosphere, lounging on a colourful and comfy beanbag or relaxing in one of the private cabanas. However, there are plenty of active things to do at the beach as well. Aside from swimming, the beach offers a host of beach sports, such as beach volleyball and football, ping-pong and teqball (think table tennis using feet), water sports (including a giant floating water park), and a kids' playground. And, if you are feeling peckish, food kiosks and a restaurant offer all-day dining.

To enter B12, guests can purchase a day pass for QAR 100 for adults / QAR 35 for kids at the weekend and QAR 75 for adults / QAR 25 for kids during the week - those under 6 enter for free. VIP entry to the beach includes towels, water, a sunbed, free WIFI and access to the floating water park. Access to the VIP area is QAR 200 for adults / QAR 70 for kids on the weekends, and QAR 150 for adults / QAR 50 for kids on weekdays - those under 6 enter for free.

The beach is open from 11 am to 6 pm and is easily reached via Diplomatic Street or a ten-minute walk from the DECC Metro Station on the Red Line.

Doha Sands

Image: Twitter

Doha Sands is situated next door to the B12 Club on West Bay’s northern shore opposite the Wyndham Grand West Bay Beach Hotel. The venue is less boho-chic than B12, but with twice as many loungers, it offers a relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere across a larger stretch of sand. With more unique and colourful graffiti murals dotted along the beach fringes, the beach is distinguishable as part of the new West Bay beach brand.

Though the beach provides plenty of opportunity to swim and paddle in the ocean, visitors can also spend time walking along the lengthy pathways provided, roaming and picnicking on the green lawns, playing beach volleyball and teqball, taking up a variety of water sports, or hunting for crabs in the rocky areas built on the western edge of the beach. Doha Sands also caters for any rumbling tummies with an array of brightly coloured food and beverage kiosks located along the perimeter boardwalk. 

To access Doha Sands, visitors can buy a day pass for QAR 100 at the weekend and QAR 75 during the week - those under 18 enter for free. Entry to the beach includes a sunbed and free WIFI. 

The beach is open from 10 am to 5 pm and is easily reached via Diplomatic Street or a ten-minute walk from the DECC Metro Station on the Red Line.

West Bay Beach

Image: Twitter

The third beach in West Bay's new portfolio is West Bay Beach, sandwiched between B12 Beach Club and the fabulous 5-star Hilton Doha hotel. The beach, with its impressive cityscape behind and stunning ocean views, is a great place to relax and unwind. Umbrellas and loungers adorn the beach, dotted with palm trees and hammocks, surrounded by colourful kiosks and brightly painted murals, giving the place a year-round summer ambience.

While the beach is the more affordable stretch of sand in the beach trio, there is no less to do here and certainly no lack of facilities. Guests to the beach can head to the sports courts for volleyball, football and teqball, kids can burn off their energy in the kid's playgrounds, and the more adventurous can hop on a kayak, banana boat or jet ski for some adrenalin-filled fun. The piece-de-resistance at West Bay Beach is the food court. A host of brightly-coloured kiosks, with shaded seating, are situated on the beach's perimeter boardwalk, offering a variety of cuisine, including some from Qatar's most recognised brands, such as Paul. There are also several shopping kiosks if retail therapy is your thing. 

To enter West Bay Beach, visitors can buy a day pass for QAR 30 - those under 12 enter for free. Umbrellas and sunbeds are an extra QAR 15 for the day. 

The beach is open from 8 am to 1 am and is easily reached via Diplomatic Street or a ten-minute walk from the DECC Metro Station on the Red Line.

Ras Abu Aboud's New Beach

The coastline of Ras Abu Aboud is located on Doha's outskirts, and it has some of the best views in the city. From the shoreline, you can take in views of the Old Port, Box Park, the Corniche, West Bay and The Pearl in the far distance. In 2022, thousands descended to the area to watch the FIFA football tournament unfold in the World Cup's first fully-demountable stadium. Now that the World Cup is over, the arena will cease to exist in its current format - being dismantled and reassembled elsewhere where sports infrastructure is lacking. However, the stadium's precinct will be developed into a waterfront venue for leisure and relaxation, starting with the beautiful 974 Beach.

974 Beach

Image: Facebook

Located just a stone's throw from the old stadium, 974 Beach is a long thin stretch of golden sand - with amazing views and crystal clear waters - that wraps its way around the coastline adjacent to the stadium precinct. The beach offers over a kilometre of sand and winding pathways to traverse, rocky waterside areas to climb and explore (watch out for the many crabs and tiny lizards hiding in the crevices), grassed areas for picnics, plenty of seating and a beautiful viewpoint at the beach's headland.

The viewpoint is also the location of one of Doha's newest public artworks, the Doha Mountains. The art piece, courtesy of Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone, comprises five 'mountains', each constructed by placing five giant and brightly-coloured rocks, one on top of the other. The stones, coloured in the same colours as the Olympic rings, represent the nation's commitment to sport now and in the future.

A cafe, restaurant and several kiosk-style eateries provide refreshments, and bathrooms, showers and prayer rooms provide more practical amenities. On the beach, visitors can use loungers, a beach park with swings, a defined swimming area, sports facilities such as volleyball and football courts, and banana boats (for a fee). With views of the stadium (for now), the ocean and the cityscape beyond, and an array of facilities and activities, the beach is a stunning location to relax and watch the world go by.

The beach is open daily from 10 am - 6 pm, costing QAR 35 for adults and QAR 15 for kids (0-12 years). Tuesdays and Saturdays are ladies-only days.

To get to the beach, grab a taxi to drive to the old 974 Stadium grounds via the Ras Abu Aboud Expressway or take a Metro train to Ras Abu Aboud Metro Station on the Gold Line. During opening hours, a free shuttle bus transports visitors to and from the station to the beach.

Main image: Twitter

Published: December 05, 2022
Last updated: July 06, 2023
Related Articles