Beaches in Saudi Arabia: A Complete Guide |

Beaches in Saudi Arabia: A Complete Guide

Discover important information about beaches in Saudi Arabia that expats can use for their leisure

Posted on

26 September 2013

Last updated on 2 August 2018
Beaches in Saudi Arabia: A Complete Guide

The beaches in Saudi Arabia are beautiful, there's no doubt about it. But being a conservative country, there are certain things you must keep in mind...

Who doesn’t love a great day out at the beach? And it needn’t be any different in Saudi Arabia! The country has a great number of public and private beaches that are really amazing to visit. Some of the beaches even have world renowned diving spots.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Beaches in Saudi Arabia to Visit

Visiting Saudi Arabia’s beaches is however a bit different to visiting a beach in other countries . There are certain dress codes that you will have to adhere to. Sunbathing in a bikini is, for instance, a taboo on all the public beaches.

Public Beaches in Saudi Arabia

There is a number of public beaches in Saudi Arabia that residents and tourists can enter free of charge. Half Moon Bay, near Khorbar City in the Eastern Region is a very popular public beach that is that is especially great for fishing and water sports !

It is best to wear conservative swimsuits at public beaches as more conservative locals will be offended if you wear something that is too revealing.

Here's a complete list of public beaches in Saudi Arabia:

  • Al Fanateer Beach
  • Half-moon beach
  • Yanbu Al-Bahr Beach
  • Uqair Beach
  • Jeddah Water Front Park
  • Thuwal Beach
  • Al-Saif Beach
  • Obhur Beach
  • Sun Beach
  • Al-Salhia
  • Jeddah North Beach
  • Silver Sands Beach

Private Beaches in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia also has numerous private beaches that residents can visit. Not all private beaches are open to Saudi nationals and most are not as strict with their dress code. Call ahead before heading to the beach to make sure what the dress code is and prepare to unwind in the sun!

Saudi Aramco Beach is a private beach owned and managed by Saudi Aramco Oil Company. The beach is located in the eastern part of Half Moon Bay near the city of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. The beach is distinguished by palm trees, picnic tables, lights and electric sources, barbecue grills, a Yacht club and showers with cooled off water to a comfortable temperature.

Here's a complete list of private beaches in Saudi Arabia:

  • Indigo Beach Resort
  • Duurat Al Arus Resort
  • Silver Sands Resort
  • OIA Resort
  • Salhia Resort
  • Bhadur Resort
  • Makarem Annakheel Hotel and Resort

Many resorts have their own private beaches, some charge a fee while others require memberships. Check ahead before turning up.

What should women wear to the beach in Saudi Arabia?

Beaches in Saudi Arabia are generally accessible by men and women although don’t expect to see women in bikini’s baking in the sun.

There isn’t a specific law that states that women are not allowed to swim in revealing swimsuits in Saudi Arabia, but as the country is a very conservative country, the same modesty is expected on beaches than in other public areas.

This means that women are expected to cover up , even at the beaches. Bikini’s, monokinis and normal one piece swimsuits are considered inappropriate for public beaches.

Burqini's, which are modest swimwear for women, cover both their hair and most of the body. These are available for women to swim in. At some beaches, this might however still attract unwanted attention from locals. If this is the case, then it is advisable for women to rather swim in their abaya and hijab.

Beaches in Saudi Arabia: A Complete Guide

We’d advise you to see what other women are wearing at the beach and to follow suit. Depending on how badly you want to swim, you can always go before dawn when the beach is still quiet but you will still have to be dressed modestly and be aware of possible sharks in the water.

The dress code to private beaches in Saudi Arabia is more flexible. A lot of private beaches are enclosed, so as not to offend anyone, and to provide privacy to their visitors. More revealing swimwear is often times allowed at these beaches and some, such as Silver Sands, outright do not allow ‘modest’ swimwear on their shores.

A lot of private beaches are however also available to locals. To avoid showing up, and being either under or overdressed, we recommend calling ahead and finding out what the specific dress code is for the beach you're visiting.

What should men wear to the beach in Saudi Arabia?

There isn’t a specific beach dress code for either men or women in Saudi Arabia, but more of a cultural, unspoken rule. This ‘unspoken’ dress code for men on beaches in Saudi Arabia is more flexible than that for women .

Men should be careful not to wear too short swimming trunks. According to Islamic beliefs, men’s shorts should cover the area from their belly button to their shins . Men do at times wear shorter shorts at the beach but be careful not to offend anyone. Just above your knees is a bit risky, but still somewhat acceptable length.

SEE ALSO: Guide to shopping malls in Saudi Arabia

Men are seen swimming without a shirt on some beaches. It is, however, best to see what other men are doing and to follow suit in order to avoid an uncomfortable situation.

Other useful information:

  • Usually Saudi’s are not allowed into private beaches
  • Bikinis are usually worn in private beaches in Jeddha, Alhobar and Dammam but you should always check first
  • Membership to private beaches usually range from SAR 80 - SAR 100
  • Single men aren't allowed in public family beaches and single women aren't allowed in single public beaches