For many people in Jeddah, the beach is a go-to destination to escape the busy city life and recharge. While there is no shortage of public coastline in Western Saudi Arabia, it’s the private beaches and villas in Jeddah that stand out from the crowd. Here’s our pick of the best of them.
Durrat Al Arus
Durrat Al Arus is the oldest private beach in Jeddah, and the one that started the trend among the city’s residents of gravitating towards private beaches. Non-membership based and known for its wholesome community feel, this place is huge with more than 1,000 beach villas, a diving school, a golf course and even its own theme park. Entry and renting a villa is extremely flexible – daily rental is available – and with everything the resort has to offer, it’s extremely popular amongst locals and families. It gets booked really quickly for Eid and other long weekends, so best to plan a trip in advance.
If you’re an active traveller looking to enjoy some watersports, this may just be the beach for you. Think stretches of sandy beaches, open-water swimming, windsurfing, snorkelling and a small island that’s just a couple of minutes’ swim away. Reservations are required in advance – if you are a regular visitor, there are also a number of membership programmes. It’s important to note the beach does not allow abayas (cloaks) or “modest clothing”, so it’s not for everyone.
Indigo just might be the most exclusive and extravagant beach experience in Jeddah. The coveted annual memberships here are only available by invitation, while the resort is modelled to look as if it’s straight out of Bali. Located in Obhur, Jeddah’s go-to destination for everything Red Sea, it has studio apartments and four-bedroom villas on the beach – plus infinity pools, waterfalls, spas, arcades and boat trips.
OIA takes its inspiration from Greek beaches: it’s all about white-stone houses, artisanal cafes and lots of aqua activities – there’s sailing, kayaking and even a floating water park. This new boutique beach club has quickly become a favourite among the younger crowd because of its relaxed yet sleek atmosphere. The star of the resort – besides the sea and the sand – is its main restaurant, Pareya, which serves all sorts of beachside favourites from salads and sandwiches to burgers and milkshakes.
This membership-only beach club has something for everyone, which is why you will find people of all ages and backgrounds on its shores. Particularly popular among families, you can expect a friendly crowd with people playing volleyball, sipping lemonade on their sunbeds and listening to music, or playing chess down on the sand.
This small resort is perfect for those looking to avoid major crowds and enjoy a peaceful day – or more – at the beach. The resort and its hotel are a perfect place to get a little pampered – they have great spa services, restaurants, cafes and a lot of sunbeds. For those looking for something more active, there is also a diving school, a waterpark and a number of arcade and game rooms. The hotel has a great view from its sea-facing rooms and an outdoor swimming pool.
Makarem Annakheel Hotel and Resort
Both a five-star hotel and a resort, Makarem Annakheel doesn’t just have a great – albeit small – beach area, but also impeccable service across both its hotel and restaurant areas. There are a variety of watersports activities available on the beach, including a private yacht jetty and a playground for children. The hotel has an outdoor lap pool, a hot tub, a tennis court and two restaurants. While it’s most popular with tourists and visitors – usually on short business trips – this spot has recently started attracting a lot of Jeddah locals for weekend getaways.
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