If you don't know it yet, Qatar is also home to smaller uninhabited islands along its coast. One of these islands lies off the coast of Doha and is a popular weekend destination of citizens and residents because of its proximity to Doha and The Pearl Qatar. If you haven't been to Al Safliya island, scroll down to get to know more about it!
The manta ray shaped island is located south of The Pearl Qatar. As you can see in Google's satellite map, the island's northern and northeastern side is shallower and sandy which is in contrast to its southern side.
Since the water near the shores of Al Safliya is shallow, the dhow boat anchors from a distance and you can either hop on a smaller boat (depending on the arrangement with your tour provider) or swim to the shore.
Approximate travel time from Corniche to Al Safliya is around 30 to 40 minutes by dhow boat.
There are no facilities on this island save for pergolas and wooden umbrellas that offer shade from the glaring sun. There are trash bins as well but that's about it. Visitors have to bring their own things and food or the tour operator will provide it for you.
Aside from swimming, water sports are a popular activity on the island like jet ski, kayaking, stand up paddleboard, or banana boat ride to name a few.
The "tail" of the island, which is its sandbar is heading towards West Bay/Corniche (facing Sheraton and Hilton Doha) that's why it's one of the popular spots to view and take photos of the magnificent Doha skyline, especially during sunset.
Note: Make sure to practice Leave No Trace and dispose of your trash properly or bring it back with you.
You can contact one of the local boat or tour operators in Qatar. These companies usually offer a dhow boat or speed boat package for Al Safliya which departs from either The Pearl or Corniche. Air-conditioned cabins and toilets are available on these dhow boats. Alternatively, you can also hire a dhow boat along the Corniche near the Pearl fountain.
Have you been to Al Safliya island? How was your experience? Let us know in the comments!
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