Water World: The Aquatic Sports of Qatar

When weather is hot, many residents of Qatar seek refuge in the waters of the Persian Gulf. Boasting miles of sandy beaches, there is never a lack of opportunity to take a quick dip. However, some residents of Qatar have gone further to transform Qatar's seafront into an seaside playground, which offers a plethora of exciting aquatic activities

Although not known for wind, the Persian Gulf is subject to Shamal winds, which blow off the Arabian Desert during the summer months. These winds make conditions perfect for a variety of activities including parasailing, windsurfing, kite-surfing, and sailing. Locally, there are organizations which you can join whether you wish to socialize, learn the sport, or enter competitions.

If there is no wind, do not feel discouraged. Jet-skiing is enormously popular in Qatar, but can be quite expensive (US$70/hour on average); however, it is possible to bargain the price down. Most jet-ski renters are found along the Corniche, but it is best to book in advance to acquire the lowest rates.

If you wish to explore more of the Persian Gulf waters, you can also try scuba diving. The Doha Sub Aqua Club meets once a week and always welcomes new members. The club regularly organizes trips to nearby points of interest (e.g., shipwrecks, reefs, etc.) and will help you become certified to dive in Qatar. Despite being a country of deserts, the waters surrounding Qatar are bountiful with history and colourful marine life.

For those who do not wish to get wet, there is fishing. Fishing in Qatar is a heavily competitive and addictive sport, which can occupy an entire day. Although the Qatari Government carefully watches the fishing industry of Qatar, tourists are still allowed, within reason, to attempt catching one of the many exotic fish species populating the Gulf waters. If you work through a hotel or tourist company, all the preparations will be taken care of and you may even be lucky enough to be able to barbeque your fish right on the vessel.

Qatar definitely has an aquatic side. In the city of Doha, there is a great emphasis on aquatic sports and they are highly promoted. In January 2011, there was even a tennis match, which took place between tennis professionals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on a special floating court in Doha Bay! So if you are planning to go to Qatar, do not forget to pack your swimsuit.

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