The Middle East is home to some of the finest beaches in the world, but, due to political reasons, beach tourism is often not promoted heavily in many areas. Nevertheless, each of these beaches are truly spectacular in their own right, and are well worth considering for your next beach vacation.
Beit Yanai Beach, Israel
Considered to be one of the best beaches in Israel, Beit Yanai Beach is located about a 20-minute drive from Tel Aviv. Since the beach is run and managed by the Israel Parks and Nature Authority, it is extremely clean, relatively quiet, and has some great facilities. Since the beach is not protected from the sea, it often experiences massive waves, making it a popular spot for surfing and kitesurfing.
Khor Kalba Beach, Sharjah, UAE
The beach at Khor Kalba is extremely hidden and tucked away, but this is a large part of its charm. What it lacks in amenities, it makes up for in privacy, seclusion and incredible natural beauty. From the surrounding mangroves to the nesting turtles, Khor Kalba in itself is an important nature reserve, and the beach is a fine example of a conservation success. The waters here are calm, and if you want the utmost in serenity, it is best to pay the beach a visit during the weekdays.
Mughsayl Beach, Oman
Oman boasts about 1000 miles of coastline, many parts of which are just simply breathtaking. Hidden away in southern Oman, Mughsayl Beach offers quite a diverse experience, depending on when in the year you visit it. In the summertime, it is reminiscent of a tropical Caribbean island, with coconut groves and banana plantations lining the pristine sand, while in the winter months, giant waves crash into the cliffs, with water exploding out of blow holes dotted along the coastline. The beach is situated about 40 kilometers from Salahah, and is easy to access.
Situated in the south of Lebanon, Naqoura is a small city that boasts an expansive, and extremely clean, beach. Unlike many of the other beaches in Lebanon, this one is free of beach resorts, large crowds and noisy bars, giving you the opportunity to hear the sound of the waves crashing onto the sand, and the breeze rustling through the trees in the forest behind the beach. To access the beach, visitors need to cross a beautiful orchard, which also serves as a turtle reserve, and is home to a number of other wildlife species too. Rumour has it that developers are interested in Naqoura’s beach, so if you want to experience this untouched slice of paradise, now is the time to visit.
While the Middle East may not immediately spring to mind when planning a beach vacation, there is no denying that the beaches found in this part of the world are extremely underrated. From the sandy coconut groves of Oman to the abundant wildlife in Naqoura, these are all considered to be some of the finest beaches that the Middle East has to offer.