For many people in Jeddah, the beach is the absolute go-to destination to escape the city’s busy life and recharge. While there is no shortage of public coastline in Western Saudi Arabia, it’s Jeddah’s private beaches that stand out from the crowd. Here’s our pick of the best of them.
Duurat Al Arus is the oldest private beach in Jeddah and the one that started the trend to gravitate towards private beaches amongst Jeddah residents. Its non-membership based and is known for its wholesome community feel. And it’s huge. It hosts a 1000 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 all the things the resort has to offer, it is extremely popular amongst locals and families. It gets booked really quickly for Eid and other long weekends so it’s best to plan a trip in advance!
If you’re an active traveller looking for aquatic sports, 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 and entry costs SAR150 per person (£30). If you are a regular visitor, there are also a number of membership programmes to choose from. It’s important to note that 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 of the beach experiences in Jeddah, and offers annual memberships that are only available by invitation. The resort is modelled to look as if it is straight out of Bali. It is located in Obhur, Jeddah’s go-to destination for everything Red Sea. Members can choose from studio apartments and four-bedroom villas on the beach and enjoy infinity pools, waterfalls, spas, arcades and boat trips.
OIA takes its inspiration from Greek beaches: it’s all about white-stone houses, artisanal cafés and a lot of aqua activities. There is 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, that serves all sorts of beachside favourites, from salads to sandwiches to burgers to 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. It is particularly popular among families: expect a friendly crowd with people playing volleyball, sipping lemonade on their sun beds, listening to music or playing chess 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, cafés and a lot of sun beds. 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.
Both a five-star hotel and a resort, Makarem Annakheel doesn’t just have a great (albeit small) beach area, but also some of the best service in its hotel and restaurants. There is a variety of water sports 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), it has recently started attracting a lot of Jeddah locals for weekend getaways.