When you consider the world’s most predictable 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 Qatar Sailing Federation.
Qatar occupies the Qatar Peninsula on the northeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. With 563 kilometres 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.
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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 that facilities in Qatar are good 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 90 kilometres north of Doha. Al Ruwais is on the northern tip of the peninsula at the end of Al Shamal Road, 110 km from Doha, Sarah Lord told me that the region around Al Shamal is her favourite place for kitesurfing. There is a large population of 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 that you can enjoy that perfect run pretty much all to yourself.
The fact it that most people simply traverse through Qatar on their way to somewhere else, given that Doha is an important hub. However, it is very easy to organise a stopover there so that you can enjoy Qatar’s history and culture, as well as stay 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.
Enjoy Qatar’s warm, clear waters and try your hand at kitesurfing.
As Sarah Lord told me, to be at one with the wind skimming across still waters is a magical experience. 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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