Would you believe that the tiny country of Qatar owns 560 kilometres of coastline? What’s even more surprising is that Qatar’s attractive coastal belt is not only a hotspot for sea life, but it is also very suitable for kayaking. This Insider guide was compiled by Arabier’s Qatar team and its purpose is to inform you about the best places to Kayak in Qatar, which tours to book for an exciting experience and so many other details you are better off knowing about Qatar Kayaking in 2021.
These are the top locations to enjoy kayaking in Qatar. We have described and listed all details about each location.
We all know that we should not judge a book by its cover. Or in this case, never judge an island by its name. If the purple island is not purple, why the name? As stated by the Qatar Museum, the island was home to a rare species of snail and was used to make a very special purple-hued dye. The island is lush with greenery although you might see occasional bouts of purple, thanks to the purple-flowered endemic plant that grows here. This natural hotbed is thriving with sea life. The kayaking trip will expose you to the breathtaking beauty of the surrounding mangroves and relax your mind with the calming views. This kayaking trip is suitable for adults and kids making this a favourite activity among families. Novice kayakers, including kids, will be taught the ropes and made familiar with the movements. You will be able to spot a variety of fish, crabs of varying sizes and other sea creatures in the water. On land, you will be able to observe the unique plants, the wildlife, the seashells and fossils that are scattered about. The island is not flat, rather it has a staggering terrain with limestone cliffs, some desert sand and a gorgeous beach. A kayaking experience in Purple Island will be a good breather for those who crave a swap of sceneries from concrete wonders to natural ones.
Situated approximately 50 kilometres north of Doha, the island is an hour-long journey from the capital Doha. Vehicles of all sizes can enter it, including sedans. Get there by driving on the Shamal Highway which takes you to Al Khor. Turn right before Al Meera Dhakira and head straight until you reach an unpaved road. From there, take a right turn to arrive at the parking area for Purple Island. You will know you have reached the place because of the large open space at the end of the road.
A perfect getaway for everyone, nature-lover or not, to stroll and explore the natural environment. Shallow lagoons embraced by the lush mangrove forest is one of the major spots to stop while on the island. Additionally, you will be able to spot numerous species of birds, different fish, crabs and more. The wooden bridge that begins from within the mangroves leads to the Purple Island beach and is a good place to spot the beauty of the water below it. You will get a whole new feeling as you manoeuvre your kayak beneath the walkway. Since there are many crab holes and limestone cliffs, don’t walk without any footwear.
A kayaking expedition to Purple Island will first expose you to Qatar’s stunning north-eastern coast on your way there. Upon reaching, you will be surrounded by the stunning Mangrove forests that belong to Al Thakira Mangrove reserves. Be prepared for unbelievable beautiful views with guest appearances from a variety of fauna that inhabit the mangrove environment.
Qatar is one of the very few lucky countries that can pack a punch with landscapes of desert sands and beach sand. The desert might be good for adventurous safaris, but the beach is an ideal location for a day away with family or friends. Nestled amidst the famed Katara Cultural Village, the Katara beach is a private beach boasting beautiful views that has the potential to adorn your Insta feed. Take in the bejewelled Doha skyline, enjoy a game of volleyball with the pals, try your hand at the variety of watersports on offer or sunbathe on a lounge chair, the choice is yours and there is quite a lot of options to choose from in Qatar’s Katara beach.
Situated at Katara Village’s southern corner, the Katara beach will be on your right as your enter through the main entrance. The beach’s entrance is situated opposite the La Gelateria Fina Ice Cream Parlour.
Katara beach is the perfect spot for numerous adventurous activities like jet skiing, kayaking, boating, knee boarding and more. There are numerous other activities that guests at Katara beach can enjoy. Listed below are some of the activities you can enjoy in Katara beach.
Kayaking in Katara beach is a whole new experience as you drink in the stunning views of the Doha skyline and the Pearl district. Paddle closer to the shore and enjoy stunning vistas of the West bay skyline, discover beautiful little beaches or go to Katara by crossing the bay. You will have to paddle for roughly 3 to 5 kilometres so it's a good option for anyone planning to improve their health without compromising on entertainment. The views aren't the only things you will enjoy on this kayaking trip. You will get to see colorful fish jumping about, crabs and so many other sea life in action. Those who are in Doha for a longtime can even join the weekly kayaking excursions for a healthy and entertaining activity to look forward to.
Qatar owns numerous uninhabited islands off its coast. One of which is situated off Doha's coast and is a famous weekend escape for its locals and expats due to its proximity to the Pearl Qatar and Doha. Shaped like a manta ray( check Google maps for an overhead view) and situated south of the Pearl Qatar, the island is named Salfiyah and a drive from Doha Corniche takes roughly 30 to 40 minutes. The water approaching the shoreline of Salfiyah is shallow so dhow boats drop anchor a bit far. Depending on how your tour operator arranged it, you can either travel by smaller boat or swim up to its shore. The southern side of the island is not as shallow as it's Northern and north-eastern side.
Local tour companies offer speed boat or show boat packages to Salfiyah island that depart either from Doha Corniche or The Pearl. Contact one of these operators to get yourself into Salfiyah island. These dhow boats contain AC cabins and toilet facilities too. If you want to be more fancy you can hire a show boat from the corniche area near pearl fountain.
The island is famous for popular water activities like swimming, jet skiing, kayaking, Stand Up Paddle boarding and banana boat rides to name a few. The island's sandbar faces the Doha Hilton and Sheraton. Due to this it is one of the most famed spots for spectacular photos of the Doha skyline during sunset.
The only facilities available on the island are wooden umbrellas to shade you from the glaring sun, pergolas and trash cans. If visiting alone, you will have to bring your own food, refreshment and other things. If visiting through a tour operator, the operator will arrange all these for you. While in the island, make sure to dispose your trash responsibly or bring it back with you.
The landscape is still untouched by man as there are almost no facilities making it a perfect spot for nature lovers who prefer a quiet environment. The island's southern coast has many wooden umbrellas planted about, allowing visitors to take in the sun. You can choose to swim in the cool water, admire Doha's superb skyline or take part in the different water sports on offer. Choose from banana boat rides, paddle boarding, kayaking, jet skiing and so much more. There are no toilet or other facilities so bring necessities like food and water with you( unless you have booked a tour with an operator). The perfect end to a day spent in Salfiyah island would be living in the moment of a spectacular sunset with Doha's skyline in the horizon. You are free to take photos, but live the moment too!
One of the most common questions we get asked is, " what is the best month to go kayaking in Qatar?". The best time for kayaking is always between November and March. Although it might be hot during daytime, the weather cools a bit at night especially in the northern region of Qatar.
There is no specific start and end date for Qatar's kayaking season. This is mainly because the weather changes according to the climate in Qatar. Frequent kayakers prefer starting when the weather conditions suit their comfort level and preference.
End of November to the beginning of March is considered the most suitable time to go kayaking in Qatar by most who have experienced it. During these months the weather is perfect for outdoor activities, not too cold or too hot. As Qatar's winter months are also ideal for outdoor excursions, kayakers can also enjoy camping and hiking in Qatar too.
We have a relatively high tide range in Maine, so tides do play a big role in planning your kayaking. Some areas are completely inaccessible during lower tide stages. Basically we have 2 high and 2 low tides every day. Low tide is about 6 hours before and after high tide. They change every day, so the best way to figure out when they are is by looking at a tide chart. This will show tide times and heights, though in most cases the height is not important. Generally tides are an hour later each day, and repeat themselves every 2 weeks, though that is only an approximation.
If you are residing in Qatar and wish to own a kayak boat and kayaak paddle,check out either of these stores.
Checkout the available boat and paddles
Checkout the available boat and paddles
Travellers always question if Qatar is safe for water activities? Or is kayaking in Qatar safe? Qatar has low crime rates and is regarded as a safe country. The country has an active police force which is what keeps the crime rate in check, creating a safe environment for tourists and locals. All watersport excursions like kayaking are conducted by professional operators so there is nothing to worry about. Just like Qatar aims to maintain a safe environment, there are certain local laws you need to be aware of so that you don’t break any rules, unknowingly commit a crime or offend the locals.
Crime in QatarThe majority of Qatar’s population consists of wealthy locals and foreigners hired under high-paying contracts. Another portion of the population is made up of blue-collar workers on short term contracts in various fields. Although Qatar is culturally diverse, the society is stable. Doha has minute rates of petty crime like theft and pickpocketing. However, you have nothing to worry about if you keep your belongings safe. Credit card and ATM theft do take place so make sure the ATM you are using has no card scanners. Also, make sure to keep your cash and other valuables out of sight. Safety tips for women travellers in Qatar If you are a woman travelling alone, you might be the recipient of a stare or two, but there is nothing much to worry about in Doha. Women should not wear tight clothes and are expected to dress in a modest way. In Qatar, harassing women is illegal. This includes everything from talking to a woman and staring at them. Female expats and travellers have stated that they have felt safe in Qatar. However, make sure to respect local customs and stay away from unnecessary attention by dressing appropriately.
Now that we have covered all of Qatar’s kayaking spots and which tours you shouldn’t miss out on. Let’s delve into the other activities you should try when in Qatar. Check out our top 10 things to do in Qatar.
Housed in a refurbished building that was home to the fire engines in 1982, this museum was created to promote budding artists and a place where artists can learn from other artists. As it was anciently where the fire brigade was held, the building sports a minimalist theme with industrial style accents. The 700 metre square garage has been transformed into an exhibition area that showcases International art work. If you wish to take a break to fuel yourself, the cafe serves some good stuff. There is also a cinema, an art shop and more. Some of the international artwork that were displayed were the pieces by Picasso,Russian avant-garde artist Kazimir Malevich and Ai Weiwei. Always call and check out the schedule before planning a trip there.
This grand mosque that is capable of accommodating 30,000 worshippers in one go is more commonly known as Imam Muhammad Ibn And Al-Wahhab Mosque. The architectural style is Qatari with occasional touches of traditional elements. The 90 or so domes of the mosque look magnificent with not only the night sky as a backdrop but also the light blue morning sky. The exterior is made of sandstone and has a magical aura to it. To enter into the mosque bookings need to be made in advance via a tour agency.
Once a school building, the premises has now been converted to the Arab Museum of Modern Art that exhibits a variety of historical and modern art. Situated in the Education city, in a building redesigned by a French architect, the museum aims to be the bridge that connects Arab art with the international art arena and serves as a place for guests to know more about the Arab culture. The museum's full-time collection includes 9,000 pieces that were collected in a span of 25 years from countries in the Middle East and other continents.There are also temporary exhibits from featured artists.