Killer Kitesurfing in Qatar
Listen to Sarah Lord as she describes the Gulf state's magnificent kitesurfing conditions
By Steve Collins
When you consider the world’s great kitesurfing spots, the Gulf state of Qatar probably wouldn’t be on most people’s minds. Well, Qatar’s predictable winds and wonderfully still water conditions do make for a kitesurfing paradise as professional kitesurfing coach Sarah Lord will attest.
Sarah should know as she was the technical advisor for kitesurfing at the Qatar Sailing Federation.
Qatar occupies the Qatar Peninsula on the northeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. With 563k of coastline, the fact that the country juts out into the gulf is the reason for the winds there being so predictable, thus making it ideal for kitesurfing.
Qatar’s capital, Doha, is an important aviation hub in the Middle East and the national airline, Qatar Airways, services 160 destinations around the world, so it is not a difficult destination to access.
Qatar is a wealthy country, having the world’s third largest oil and gas reserves. This ensures good facilities in Qatar and Doha is a very modern city.
Most avid kitesurfers head north of Doha to participate in their sport.
Popular spots vary throughout the year as the winds change, but reliable kitesurfing can often be found at Fuwairit, which is 90k north of Doha. Al Ruwais is on the northern tip of the peninsula at the end of Al Shamal Road, 110k from Doha. Sarah Lord told me that the region around Al Shamal is her favourite place for kitesurfing. There is a large population of the secretive dugongs here as well. Sumaisma is a small seaside town located on the eastern coast of Qatar 30 km north of Doha.
There are a growing number of kitesurfing enthusiasts heading to Qatar as word spreads about the wonderful conditions there.
If you don’t have your own equipment, it is easy to hire once you arrive at a popular kitesurfing spot.
One thing that you won’t find in Qatar is overcrowded beaches, simply because most people don’t know about them. This means you can enjoy that perfect run pretty much all by yourself.
The fact is that most people simply transit through Qatar on their way to somewhere else, given t
hat Doha is an important hub. However, it is very easy to organise a stopover so you can enjoy Qatar’s history and culture, as well as staying in some magnificent hotels.
To truly enjoy Qatar’s aquatic attractions the country also boasts good windsurfing, paddle boarding, sailing, jet skiing, kayaking, snorkelling and scuba diving.
Qatar has warm, clear waters that add to your kitesurfing experience.
As Sarah Lord told me, to be at one with the wind, skimming across still waters, is magical. When you have more experience and can get your kiteboard to fly, it is absolutely exhilarating and could be life changing.
That’s Qatar. Full of surprises. Absolute fun.
Research Qatar here visitqatar.qa/en/home
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