In this article, I will tell you about the sea in Qatar and the one in Doha. You will learn the main information about the beaches, water temperature, and what an Inland sea is. The country has recently opened up to tourism, with package tours available and Qataris actively promoting their beach vacation, but not many people know much about it.

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Sea in Qatar: general information

Good to know:

It is useful to know that Qatar is washed by the waters of the Persian Gulf. For more interesting details from an expat’s perspective, read on below.

Starting with some general facts to form a correct understanding in your mind:

  • Qatar is located on the Arabian Peninsula on the world map. More details on this are in the article: Where is Qatar. There are maps there, more useful information, and the necessary coordinates.
sea in qatar
On this map, you can see which sea is in Qatar. All bays are labeled. Clockwise: Salwa Bay, Bahrain Bay, Persian Gulf.
  • Qatar is a small state, ranking 155th in the world in terms of area out of 195 countries. It is about three to four times smaller than other small states like Switzerland and the Netherlands.
  • The entire border of Qatar is only 540km long, of which only 60km is the land border with Saudi Arabia. Qatar has no other land borders. The remaining 480km is the sea, or rather, the Persian Gulf.

Interesting fact:

The Persian Gulf is the body of water where Qatar is located. And it would not be wrong to say that Qatar is washed by the waters of the Persian Gulf.

But in turn, this body of water is also divided into bays. The western part of Qatar is washed by the waters of Salwa Bay and Bahrain Bay (this is clearly visible on the map above). Doha and all the eastern coast are located in the Persian Gulf. This is where all the resorts and main beaches are located.

Tourists rarely venture into the western part. There is only one resort there, in Salwa Bay, but it is entirely oriented towards tourists from Saudi Arabia and is located 20km from the border. European tourists do not vacation there.

About the beaches, and is it acceptable to wear bikinis?

The situation with the beaches in Qatar is ambiguous, and here are some key points:

  • Qatar is a desert country, and all the beaches here are sandy, long, and have a gentle slope into the water. However, not all areas have beaches.
  • Most of the tourist resorts, hotel areas, and luxurious beaches are located in Doha and within a radius of 20-30 km around Doha. If you plan a tour package to Qatar, you won’t be able to find a hotel far from Doha on another coastline. Actually, this is good since Doha is a city of the future, but that information is not for this article 🙂
qatar beaches doha
A public beach in Doha at sunset.

For everything about beach holidays, beach ratings, tips, and pitfalls, check out a separate article at the link. Here, we’ll provide a brief overview. In a nutshell:

  • Almost all package hotels, especially in Pearl and Lusail (ultra-modern areas of Doha), have their own private beaches where guests can sunbathe in bikini.
  • Doha also has public city beaches called Beach Clubs. They are free, but there are not many of them since locals are not big fans of swimming and sunbathing. However, renting loungers and umbrellas can be quite expensive. On these beaches, it is forbidden to sunbathe in swimwear. Keep in mind that Qatar is a strictly Muslim country.

Interesting fact:

All tourists to Qatar and Doha fall into two categories: package tourists, who come for 1-2 weeks to a great hotel with a private beach, and transit tourists, who spend a maximum of 1-2 days in Qatar, or even just a few hours, before flying off to other countries. The former have their own private beach and do not need public ones, while the latter don’t really need a beach and just want to see the country. Therefore, there are almost no tourists on public beaches.

Interesting article: about safety in Qatar, what to wear for women not only on the beach but also in the city, and what to fear or be aware of.

Water temperature in the sea in Qatar by months

Now that we know which sea is in Qatar, let’s briefly discuss the water temperature and whether you are ready to take a dip.

Good to know:

The tourists often consider Qatar to be a very hot country where it’s summer all year round.

However, this stereotype is only partially true. In the summer months, the country swelters in the heat, with daily temperatures reaching 40-45 degrees Celsius in the shade. But during the winter months, things are different. You can read more about Qatar’s seasons and weather in a separate article, where you’ll learn why the temperature drops rapidly.

summer in qatar
During summer days, there are no people or cars on the streets.
  • In the summer months, the water in Qatar heats up above 30 degrees Celsius and doesn’t even cool down. When you enter the water, it doesn’t make you feel refreshed, as it is hot.
  • In winter, when you step outside in the morning, the air temperature is usually around 13 to 10 degrees Celsius. In January and February, the water temperature in the Persian Gulf is about 19-20 degrees Celsius, which is invigorating, even though in our latitudes, we might not feel like swimming in such water.
  • Any month of the year is suitable for sunbathing, as there is plenty of sun.
temperature in qatar
The sea water temperature in Qatar varies by month. From May to November, the water is always warmer than 28 degrees Celsius, while in January and February, it’s an invigorating 19 degrees Celsius.

The UNESCO-protected Inland sea

There is another sea in Qatar that is its signature attraction and draws many tourists – the Inland Sea. Today, it is a protected area and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are no roads here, only desert and sea. You can only reach this place as part of a prepared excursion.

qatar sea persian gulf
The Inland Sea in Qatar is located in the red square. It may seem far away, but it’s only 60km from Doha 🙂

What is the Inland Sea in Qatar:

It is a shallow bay in the south of the country, measuring 12 by 15 km, surrounded on all sides by desert and dunes. The Inland Sea is connected by a narrow channel to the Persian Gulf, so the water there is salty. It is said that there are only two places in the world where true desert, dunes, and sandhills meet the sea or ocean. One of them is in Qatar, and the other is in Namibia.

You can only reach this place by traversing the dunes on 4×4 suvs. There is no road here. You can read more about this attraction in the article: The Inland Sea in Qatar, a guide to action, instructions on how to get there, where to find an excursion, and what is included, as well as tips and tricks.

qatar inland sea
Inland sea at sunset

In conclusion, this was a general article on the topic of what kind of sea there is in Qatar and Doha. On the one hand, the question is simple, as it is the Persian Gulf. But on the other hand, there are peculiarities that are not obvious at first glance. For example, the fact that the water is cold in winter, and it is not allowed to swim in swimsuits on public beaches in the city.

Resources to help you plan your dream trip to Qatar

  • Flights at the best prices with discounts
  • Car rental: DiscoverCars
  • Hotels and apartments in Doha:
    • Hotellook – compare prices when booking around the world.
    • Agoda – the best selection of hotels in Qatar.
    • Booking – the main competitor of Agoda.
  • Tours, excursions and activities (including extreme ones):
    • GYG – more than 400 tours
    • Viator – excursions and activities throughout the country
  • Travel insurance: EKTA
  • Airport transfer: Intui
  • Internet and Calls: