If you don’t have any knowledge, Qatar is also home to littler unsettled islands along with its coast. In all islands one of these islands lies off the coast of Doha and is a famous weekend goal of residents and citizens as a result of its proximity to Doha and The Pearl Qatar. If you haven’t seen the Al Safliya island then scroll down to get more information about it!
What Makes It Complex?
When renting a boat, you’ll typically be required to pay for the entire vessel, regardless of the size of your group. However, most companies charge between 5000 to 6000QAR to rent a dhow boat, with a minimum of 15 passengers, which may not be feasible for smaller parties visiting Safliya Island.
Alternatively, other boat rental companies charge 200QAR per hour for their services, which could be a more affordable option. However, keep in mind that the journey to the island takes 45 minutes each way, which could make for a rushed trip if you’re trying to keep costs low. Additionally, even for a party of two from the same household, the cost could still be considerable.
How Can You Visit Safliya Island Without Exceeding Your Budget?
Between October and February, several local tour companies offer a full-day package for visiting Safliya Island, which includes water sports, beach games, and a meal. Prices range from 170-290QAR per person, with discounts available for children. This makes it an affordable option for couples and families to visit the island. Below is a list of tour companies, although there may be others beyond those that I have personally inquired with:
- National Cruise Company
- Brooq Tourism
- Qatar International Tours
- 365 Adventures Qatar
To stay informed about the dates for these tours, it’s recommended to follow these companies on social media, specifically Facebook and/or Instagram, as they tend to be more active on these platforms than on their actual websites.
What You Can Expect on the Day
National Cruise Company has a designated area on the corniche where they launch their dhow boats from, which is located near the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA). We parked our vehicle in the MIA parking lot and carried our belongings a short distance to the boat. Although we shared the boat with other families, the total number of people on board was less than 20.
After a leisurely 40-minute journey, we arrived at Safliya Island. The island has some shaded areas and basic amenities like showers and toilets. However, the overall vibe is quite rustic, with opportunities to swim, sunbathe, and simply relax. As part of the package, National Cruise Company organized a thrilling banana boat ride for its guests at no extra cost.
Al Safliya island location
If you’re looking to reach Al Safliya, you have two options: take a dhow boat from either the Pearl Qatar or Doha Corniche, which will take you approximately 10 and 30 minutes, respectively.
In addition to basking in the sun, swimming in the crystal-clear waters, and enjoying the breathtaking views of the Doha skyline, there are plenty of water sports to choose from on the island, including jet skiing, banana boat rides, swimming, paddle boarding, and more.
To conclude your day, witness the sunset on the beach, where the stunning views of the Doha skyline create a magical spectacle – the perfect photo opportunity.
What to do in Al Safliya Island
On this island there are no facilities, the wooden umbrellas that offer shade from the glaring sun. There are garbage bins also. Guests need to bring their own things and food or the tour operator will give it to you.
Besides swimming, water sports are a popular activity on this island like jet ski, kayaking, stand up paddleboard, or banana boat ride to give some examples.
The “tail” of the island which is its sandbar is going towards West Bay/Corniche (facing Sheraton and Hilton Doha) that’s the reason. It’s one of the best places to view and take photos of the glorious Doha skyline, particularly during sunset.
Note: Make sure to practice Leave No Trace and dispose of your waste properly or bring it back with you.
Was It Worth Visiting Safliya Island?
One of the standout experiences of my time in Qatar has been visiting Safliya Island. If you’re a resident of Qatar, I highly recommend planning a visit during the winter months (October-April). Based on the Panda Rating Scale, this experience only received lower scores in the ease of access category due to the challenge of traveling there independently and in photo worthiness due to the high volume of visitors that can make it difficult to capture beautiful pictures.
Few places can match the picturesque view of the Doha skyline, warm waters, and fine sand combined with the escape from the hustle and bustle of city life that Safliya Island offers. For these reasons, I strongly recommend adding a visit to Safliya Island to your Qatar itinerary. While it does require some forethought and planning to ensure a smooth trip, I believe the experience is well worth it.
How to go al Safliya island
You can get in touch with one of the local boats or tour operators in Qatar. These companies generally offer a dhow boat or speed boat package for Al Safliya, which leaves from either The Pearl or Corniche. In dhow boats, Air conditioned cabins and toilets are available. On the other hand, you can even hire a dhow boat along with the Corniche close to the Pearl fountain.