The Middle East has a reputation for its historical sites, rich culture, and delish cuisine. But there’s more to it than the famous attractions we know and love.
Some of the world’s most beautiful beaches are hidden in the region’s sun-soaked landscapes and ancient ruins. Clear blue waters, powdery white sands, and stunning cliff views – these beach getaways will transport you to a tropical paradise.
From secluded coves in Oman to vibrant Red Sea resort towns in Egypt, there are plenty of places to soak up some sun and dip your toes in the sand.
We have rounded some of the best beaches in the Middle East for all you beach lovers.
- Best Beach Weather in the Middle East
- 10 Best Beaches in the Middle East
- More Inspirational Middle East Travel
However, before we check them out, we must understand what we are getting ourselves into – in terms of weather.
Best Beach Weather in the Middle East
The Middle East is blessed with abundant scorching sunshine throughout the year. That’s just what all of us beach-loving sun worshippers crave.
However, if you wish to experience the beautiful beaches in the Middle East without worrying about the sun getting too oppressive, you should visit them during the winter season. From October to April, temperatures are much cooler, making for perfect beach days.
If you need more information, here’s how the climate ranges from the Arabian Peninsula to the Gulf.
Beach Weather: The Arabian Peninsula
This part of the Middle East has temperatures that are usually hot throughout the year, with a few exceptions. It’s often dry and sunny during the summer, with temperatures touching 40°C (104°F). Winter months have cooler temperatures. Expect to get between 10°C (50°F) and 25°C (77°F).
Coastlines can often be rocky, rather than sandy – the most beautiful beaches are often remote, and 4WD access is needed.
Beach Weather: The Persian Gulf
Still hot and humid, the Persian Gulf heats up to 40°C (104°F) during the summer. Winters are pleasant, with temperatures averaging between 20°C (68°F) and 25°C (77°F). However, the area is more humid than the Arabian Peninsula. Rain is rare here. So, don’t forget your sunscreen!
- It’s important to note many of the Persian Gulf beaches near cities are made with imported sand – whilst, yes, there’s an abundance of sandy coastlines in the Middle East, fine sand is imported for luxury beach resort areas
Beach Weather: The Red Sea
The Red Sea is a great beach destination for those who want to enjoy pleasant temperatures all year round. The region has a subtropical desert climate. So, it’s still hot but not as blazing. The highs here hover between 35°C and 40°C (95°F to 104°F).
Beach Weather: Mediterranean Sea
If you move toward Israel, Lebanon and Turkey, you’ll be greeted by Mediterranean climates – moderate temperatures and regular rainfall. During the summer months, these countries experience temperatures of up to 35°C (95°F). It’s fairly pleasant during winter, too, with temperatures rarely dropping below 10°C (50°F).
10 Best Beaches in the Middle East
Now that you know when’s the best beach weather in the Middle East, let’s dive into the heart of this guide – a round-up of the best beaches in the region.
1. Dahab Beach – Sinai Peninsula, Egypt
Translating to “gold” in Arabic, Dahab is the diving hotspot of Egypt. It rests in the shadows of Egypt’s Sinai mountains. Before it became a developed destination for beachgoers, Dahab was a fishing village where Bedouins would come to trade. Today, it is a calm oasis of sun and saltwater that attracts tourists from around the world.
You can spend your July-October afternoons admiring the coral reefs while scuba diving on one of the best beaches in Egypt. The warm Red Sea waters are ideal for swimming and snorkelling, with an abundance of colourful fish to meet. You might even spot “Nemo” here. The Blue Hole or “The Bells” in Dahab is a one-of-a-kind diving spot for experienced divers.
- You are less than 2 hours north of Sharm El Sheikh (SSH) – in itself lined with fabulous beaches, but we simply can’t go past the laid-back tranquillity of Dahab for the perfect beach vacation on the Red Sea.
2. Mughsayl Beach – Salahah, Oman
The breathtaking coastal gem of Mughsayl Beach, west of Salalah, is one of the best beaches in Oman. This natural beauty is surrounded by majestic banana plantations and coconut palm groves. The striking turquoise waters of this beach are ideal for swimming as the waves gently lap the shore.
Mughsayl Beach is best visited during the monsoon season when the waters are teeming with a variety of vibrant marine life.
The beach is known for its picturesque blowholes, where waves crash against the cliffs, creating spectacular water sprays. The sand is so soft you can print your footsteps on the beach in seconds.
- Salalah International Airport (SLL) services the Dhofar Region of Oman; you’ll find flights are much more frequent during khareef.
3. Ölüdeniz Blue Lagoon – Turkey
Located in the country’s southwest, the Ölüdeniz Blue Lagoon is, no doubt, one of the best beaches in Turkey. The vibrant blue waters in the heart of a protected natural park are a sight to behold.
Although the season starts in April, it can be slightly cold to take a dip at that time. But come May, the Aegean Sea waters are warm enough to swim in. Sunseekers enjoy the months through June and October the most.
The beach has a whole lot of activities for all ages, such as paragliding, paddle boarding, and jet skiing – though note no boats are allowed in the lagoon.
The beach also has a vibrant nightlife with many restaurants, bars, and clubs nearby. There’s no wonder why so many tourists flock to this southern Turkish beach town for a trip of a lifetime.
- The closest airport to Ölüdeniz is Dalaman (DLM) 60km away
4. Saadiyat Beach – Abu Dhabi, UAE
You’ll find a lot of UAE beaches with sparkling water and white sand. But only a few preserve wildlife as Saadiyat Island does. Located on the northeastern tip of Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Beach, facing the Persian Gulf, is a calm and unspoiled beach that is great for swimming, kayaking, and observing wildlife.
Between November and May, you can spot some of the world’s most exotic marine life, such as hawksbill turtles and bottlenose dolphins – occasionally, parts of the beach are closed for nesting season.
Besides swimming, you can also explore the nearby Saadiyat Public Beach by walking or cycling and stop in at Mamsha Al Saadiyat for a bite to eat at some of Abu Dhbai’s top dining venues. Or simply enjoy the crashing waves from some of the world’s most exquisite luxury resorts and beach clubs that line the shores of Saadiyat Beach – no wonder it is one of the most popular spots in the United Arab Emirates for a beach holiday.
- Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH), one of the busiest Middle Easy hub airports, is just 20 minutes away, making this a super easy location.
5. Kite Beach – Dubai, UAE
Dubai, the city of the future, is home to the world’s most spectacular public beaches. One such beach that stands out for its urban vibe, cleanliness, and activities is Kite Beach. Located in Jumeirah, this popular beach stretches for 4 kilometres along the Persian Gulf.
It is a great destination for those who want to relax and enjoy water sports. Kite Beach offers many activities like kitesurfing, kayaking, and beach volleyball – or simply enjoy relaxing for free on the beach.
Are you excited to make the most of your time at one of the best beaches in Dubai? Come to Kite Beach between November and January, when the temperatures are ideal for outdoor activities. This beach is also perfect for picnics, as it offers shady spots and plenty of facilities, such as cafes and showers.
- Dubai International Airport (DXB) is the largest airport in the Middle East
6. Marsa Mubarak – Egypt
Another one of Egypt’s stunning beaches is located in Marsa Alam. Marsa Mubarak is more tranquil than crowded. Plan a day trip from Hurghada or El Gouna to visit the beach. It’s well worth it. The beach’s beauty lies in its shallow turquoise waters and white sand. It’s also quite secluded, so you can enjoy a peaceful swim away from the crowds.
If this sounds like a place you’d like to catch up on some R&R, come here between mid-October and early May.
Marsa Mubarak is at the top of the list of best beaches on the Red Sea because you can swim with dugongs and sea turtles. It’ll be an experience that’ll live with you for years.
- Marsa Alam International Airport (RMF) is the closest, though you may find more flight options into Hurghada International Airport (HRG)
7. Tel Baruch – Israel
One of Israel’s best beaches can be found on Tel Aviv’s northern shores along the Mediterranean coast. Boasting super soft sand and lovely calm turquoise waters, you’ll find water sports and beachside restaurants lining the water’s edge.
Being in a Tel Aviv neighbourhood further away from the city centre than many of the most popular beaches, families will find that Tel Baruch is a quieter beach with plenty of amenities, lifeguards and parking.
- Ben Gurion (TLV) is the major international airport of Tel Aviv
8. Qurum Beach – Muscat
Another great option for those seeking an idyllic Mid-East beach experience is Qurum Beach in Muscat, Oman. This beach is situated on a picturesque bay with crystal-clear water and plenty of palm trees providing shade. It is a great spot to enjoy water sports. There’s everything you could think of – from jet skiing to fishing and even boating.
If you’re hungry after a day in the sun, nearby restaurants offer delicious local cuisine. Don’t miss the desserts and drinks at the Hues Cafe & Sugar Bar.
You can drop by here any time of the year, though we recommend avoiding the scorching months of June, July, and August, as shade on the beach is limited.
- Muscat International Airport (MCT) is just 20 minutes from this popular Muscat beach.
9. Kalia Beach – Israel
One slightly different beach for our list of top beaches in the Middle East, not on any famous coastlines but the landlocked Dead Sea – the lowest point on earth (here, you are around 430m below sea level!)
Far more famous for the salty Dead Sea waters than its sandy beachfront, Kalia Beach sits to the far north of the popular resort areas, making this a great place for those who want to experience the Dead Sea without the crowds.
A small entrance fee applies for the upkeep of amenities, but you’ll find a clean beach with change room facilities (essential after a Red Sea dip!) You’ll find plentiful Bedouin-style beach eateries, barbequing areas, and camping areas.
If you’re looking for a unique beach experience in the Middle East, Kalia Beach is the place to seek out.
- Your closest airport to the Dead Sea is Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV) in Tel Aviv
10. Nissi Beach – Cyprus
We couldn’t wrap up our list of the best beaches in the Middle East without including Nissi Beach in Cyprus (OK, some will argue it’s Europe – but geographically, it sits within what we call the Middle East!
The pristine azure waters of this serene destination are the perfect foil to the dazzling golden sands. The calm waters make it great for swimming, snorkelling, and other water activities. But that’s not all. The nightlife in Nissi Beach is pretty spectacular – with a great selection of bars, restaurants, and clubs for you to enjoy. So if you are looking for fun in the sun, foam parties, and music, Nissi Beach is the place to be.
Not a crowd-lover? No problem. Plan a trip in the winter months. The temperature is still moderate. Plus, you get the bonus of having more space to explore.
- Larnaca International Airport (LCA) is the closest airport to this southeastern beach in Cyprus
Do you have any other favourite beaches in the Middle East? Join the conversation and share your favourites in our Facebook group Family Travel in the Middle East
More Inspirational Middle East Travel
If you are looking for more inspiration, either travelling within the Middle East or exploring places nearby within an easy flight, you may also enjoy:
- The Best Indian Ocean Islands, just a short flight away
- Enjoy the best family-friendly beach clubs in Dubai
- Or spoil yourselves at one of the sensational beach clubs in Abu Dhabi
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