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Best Beaches in Saudi Arabia

Discover paradise with Saudi Arabia's beaches

Book Flights to the Best Beaches in Saudi Arabia

Sun-drenched sands, crystal-clear waters and a chance to explore a unique landscape await. Discover Saudi Arabia's stunning coastline, offering a paradise for beach lovers. If you crave relaxation on pristine shores or adventures beneath the waves, Saudi Arabia has it all.

An inflatable ring floating in the clear waters of Umluj, Saudi Arabia

Umluj Beach

Nicknamed the "Saudi Maldives" for a reason, Umluj Beach, situated in Umluj, offers a slice of paradise if you're seeking relaxation. This beach lets you unwind on a shore painted with pearl-white sand and cooled with gentle breezes. The turquoise waters are famous for their exceptional clarity, making them ideal for snorkelling and swimming alongside the colourful fish beneath the water's surface.

Umluj Beach is a peaceful coastline. You can lose yourself in a good book with the sound of waves lapping in the background, or simply soak up the sunshine. If you want to reconnect with nature, Umluj Beach offers a chance to explore its unique ecosystem. Nearby islands are home to diverse marine life, making it a great spot for seeing dolphins and dugongs.

How to get to Umluj Beach:
The best way to reach Umluj in Saudi Arabia is by flying and driving. The most practical airports to fly to are Al Wajh Airport (WJH) and Jeddah Airport (JED). Once you land at either of these airports, you can drive from Jeddah for about 7-8 hours, or drive from Al Wajh for about 5-6 hours.

Major airlines flying to Al Wajh and Jeddah:
Saudia, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines

Beach in Saudi Arabia

Half Moon Beach

Half Moon Beach, situated in Dhahran in Saudi Arabia, is a scenic crescent-shaped coastline offering a delightful escape for travellers who seek relaxation or adventure. Half Moon Beach has turquoise waters that gently roll up on the shore. It's ideal for families who want to build sandcastles, couples who want to take a romantic stroll, or friends who just want to unwind under the warm Saudi Arabian sun.

Previously known as Doha Dhalum, the bay served as a crucial stop for Arab traders in the early 1900s. Here, they would seek refuge from the harsh weather, replenish freshwater supplies and collect salt for trade. If you're seeking adventure beyond swimming and sunbathing, Half Moon Beach is ideal for scuba diving, snorkelling and exploring marine life through its artificial reefs. Other activities include horseback and quad-bike riding.

How to get to Half Moon Beach:
The closest airport to Dhahran is King Fahd International Airport (DMM), located about 37.5 kilometres away. King Fahd International Airport serves the Dammam metropolitan area including Dhahran - it's the busiest airport in Eastern Saudi Arabia. Once you land at this airport, you can reach Half Moon Beach by taxi, taking approximately 45 minutes.

Major airlines flying to Dhahran:
Saudia, Flynas and Flyadeal

A beach in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Silver Sands Beach

Silver Sands Beach, located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is a paradise for sunseekers and water enthusiasts. The beach itself stretches out along the Red Sea, carpeted in soft, white sand that feels cool and gentle between your toes. Crystal-clear waters invite you to take a refreshing dip or go for a swim. You can also hear the palm trees swaying gently in the breeze, providing much-needed pockets of shade so you can relax after a refreshing plunge.

If you want to do more than swimming at Silver Sands Beach, you can try paddleboarding, kayaking, jet skiing and parasailing. Beach volleyball courts are also set up along the beach for fun games with friends or family.

How to get to Silver Sands Beach:
To get to Silver Sands Beach, the closest airport you can fly to is King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED), located 19 kilometres away from Jeddah city centre. Taxis are the most convenient way to get to Silver Sands Beach and nearby resorts, especially if you have luggage. The ride will take approximately 45 minutes to an hour depending on traffic.

Major airlines flying to Jeddah:
Saudia, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines, Flynas and Egyptair

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When is the best time of year to visit Saudi Arabia's beaches?

The best time to visit Saudi Arabia's beaches depends on what you want to do on your trip.

If you're looking for pleasant weather and comfortable swimming, the best time to go to the beaches in Saudi Arabia is between November and March. The temperatures hover comfortably around 20-32 degrees Celsius (68-90 degrees Fahrenheit), making it enjoyable to spend extended time outdoors. The water in the Red Sea stays warm all year but the cooler months might feel more refreshing.

To enjoy water activities (such as diving and snorkelling), you should consider visiting in the shoulder seasons of April-May and September-October. The weather is still warm and the water remains clear, however, there are more tourists around compared to the winter months.

If you're travelling to Saudi Arabia on a budget and don't mind the heat, consider visiting Saudi Arabia's beaches from June to August. The temperatures can be extreme during these months though, making the beach less comfortable.

What are some of Saudi Arabia's best beaches?

Saudi Arabia has a stunning coastline along the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf. There are many beaches to visit for every kind of traveller - here are some of the best:

  • Half Moon Bay Beach - located near Dhahran
  • Umluj Beach - located in Umluj
  • Al Fanateer Beach - located just outside of Dammam
  • Farasan Al Kabir Beach - located in the Farasan Islands
  • Silver Sands Beach - located near Jeddah
What is the dress code on beaches in Saudi Arabia?

There isn't a legally mandated dress code on beaches in Saudi Arabia, however, there are cultural expectations of modesty, especially for women.

Bikinis, monokinis and regular one-piece swimsuits are generally not recommended on public beaches. Instead, wear modest swimwear that covers more of the body, like burqinis.

While more relaxed than women's expectations, men should avoid overly brief swimwear. Shorts that cover from the belly button to the shins are ideal. Shirtlessness is sometimes seen however modesty is always appreciated.

Some other things to consider:

  • Public beaches tend to be more conservative
  • Private beaches may allow more revealing swimwear
  • Always prioritise cultural sensitivity and respect local customs
  • Look for beaches with designated family sections where the dress code might be slightly more relaxed.
Are there any public beaches in Saudi Arabia?

Yes, there are public beaches in Saudi Arabia. Public beaches are more conservative regarding dress codes compared to private beaches.

Some examples of public beaches in Saudi Arabia include:

  • Jeddah Beaches - located along its corniche, including Al Corniche Beach, Al Shati Beach and others.
  • Jubail Public Beaches - this includes Fanateer Beach
  • Rabegh Public Beach
What are some things to consider when choosing a beach in Saudi Arabia?

Before you choose a beach to visit in Saudi Arabia, consider the following:

  • Activities - If you want to do lots of water sports activities like jet skiing and parasailing, consider visiting Silver Sands Beach near Jeddah
  • Facilities - Some beaches in Saudi Arabia have all the amenities you could want (such as showers, changing rooms and restaurants). Consider visiting a resort beach like Durray Al Arus.
  • Location - Beaches on the Red Sea are more popular with tourists as they have clearer water and better snorkelling/diving opportunities. However, there are also some pleasant beaches on the Arabian Gulf, such as Half Moon Bay Beach in Dammam.
  • Culture - Saudi Arabia is a conservative country. Some beaches are segregated by gender, while others are not. You must dress modestly and appropriately, especially if you're visiting a beach that isn't segregated.
  • Time of year - Saudi Arabia's weather is hot and sunny all year round, however, it can get extremely hot in the summer months. Consider visiting during spring or fall if you want a more comfortable visit.
What is Muslim swimwear?

Muslim swimwear is clothing designed for women who want to adhere to Islamic principles of modesty while swimming or taking part in water activities. Muslim swimsuits cover the entire body except for the face, hands and feet, such as a burkini or a tankini.

Burkinis are the most common type of Muslim swimwear. It's basically a tunic top, leggings and a swim cap. Some burkinis also include a hijab.

The Muslim tankini is similar to a regular tankini, but the top and bottoms will be made from a material that is appropriate for swimming and will cover more skin.