Despite being surrounded by the warm water of the Arabian Gulf and scattered across some 80 small islands and inlets, the archipelago of Bahrain isn’t known for its beaches. For those living in the Kingdom, heading to the beach is a great way to while away a weekend, while visitors will no doubt be looking to enjoy the Middle Eastern sunshine from its sandy shores. Despite not being renowned for its coastline, Bahrain does have a decent handful of both public and private beaches, offering watersports, sun loungers and swimming spots. Public beaches in Bahrain are more conservative than private, so it’s important to be mindful of dressing respectively. From trendy beach clubs in five-star hotels to family-friendly spots with children’s play areas and food trucks, discover the best Bahrain beaches.
Private Bahrain beaches to visit in 2023
Four Seasons Bahrain Bay
As one of Bahrain’s most luxurious and well-known beach resorts, it’s only right Four Seasons Bahrain Bay is home to a beautiful private beach. Guests staying at the hotel can enjoy the golden sands, three beautiful swimming pools and a swim-up bar, all framed by plush sun loungers and private cabanas. The outstretching water with the city as a backdrop is also the perfect spot to enjoy watersports, with kayaking, wakeboarding and jet-skiing on offer. At the moment, the beach is available for hotel guests and members of the hotel’s spa (a fantastic option for luxe-loving residents), though they sometimes host special events open to the public with pool and beach access.
Four Seasons Bahrain Bay, Manama; annual membership from BHD1,700 per person, fourseasons.com
The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain
Another option for a five-star beach day in Bahrain is The Ritz-Carlton, located in the north of Manama and a sort of beachy country club in the Kingdom. Along with tennis courts, golf, restaurants luxury rooms and private pool villas, the hotel has a stretch of private beach and an island you can swim over to. There are all the usual luxury amenities expected of Ritz-Carlton, like a vast swimming pool, slick changing rooms and comfortable sunloungers with umbrellas. The day pool pass even includes gym access, so you can work up a sweat before retreating to the sands.
Royal Day Passes BHD25 (adults, Sun-Thu), BHD50 (adults, Fri-Sat), BHD12.5 (children, Sun-Thu), BHD25 (children, Fri-Sat). Open daily 5.30 am-10.30 pm. Seef, ritzcarlton.com
Coral Bay Hotel & Resort
Coral Bay is one of Bahrain’s liveliest beach clubs, where you can enjoy the Riviera vibe with live DJs every weekend. The beach club site includes restaurants, a bar, a spa and even a dive centre, so you can train for your PADI certification before flopping onto a lounger. Guests can make the most of the golden beach, lagoon pool and even a swim-up bar – a testament to the good-time vibes – and watersports are also on offer. Groups of up to 14 people can even rent a boat and head out across the lagoon, before returning to shore to spend the night by the sands at the Karma Lounge terrace or pool bar.
BHD8 (adults, Sun-Thu), BHD10 (adults, Fri-Sat), BHD5 (children, Sun-Thu), BHD8 (children, Fri-Sat). Daily 9 am-8 pm. Manama, coralbaybh.com
Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa
Five-star resorts are a great place to look when searching for Bahrain beaches, and Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa offers a great day pass package. Located near the Bahrain International Circuit – around a 30-minute drive from Manama – the resort sits on the island’s more peaceful southeast coast and has, a spacious beach, but also volleyball courts and an expansive lagoon-like swimming pool, which are open to beach visitors. The beach is open to both in-house and external guests, for a fee, and is the perfect spot to get away for the day in Bahrain.
BHD20 (adults, Sun-Thu), BHD30 (adults, Fri-Sat), BHD10 (children, Sun-Thu), BHD15 (children, Fri-Sat). Open daily 9 am-8 pm. Zallaq, accor.com
Bahrain Sailing Club
Those looking for a peaceful, more rustic beach experience – while still wanting to opt for a privately maintained location – should look no further than Bahrain Sailing Club. South of Mamama, the peaceful sailing club and beach has soft sandy shores, warm shallow waters for swimming and you can even rent kayaks by the hour to explore the peaceful coastline, plus entrance is just BD3. Being a sailing club, amateur sailors can also master the craft with sailing lessons aboard a laser dinghy, with lessons available at a variety of packages and price points.
Entrance BHD3. Bahrain Sailing Club, Zallaq, no website (17 836 078).
Marassi Al Bahrain
Another low-key Bahrain beach is Marassi Al Bahrain, which is very popular with locals due to its low entry prices (just BD2 for adults and BHD1 for children). Stretching for one kilometre, the well-maintained sands are part of Emaar’s new development and offer plenty of spots to pitch up your beach gear, along with space for picnics and netter waters for swimming. This is a beach for adventures, as bungee trampolines, volleyball courts, and watersports options like parasailing, wakeboarding, jet boards and doughnut boats are available. Residents with children should consider a family pass – available for BHD100 for the year. Make a weekend out of it and check into the new Vida Beach Resort Marassi Al-Bahrain, a stylish and modern new beach resort from Dubai-based Emaar Hospitality.
BHD2 (adults), BHD1 (kids 3-12). Open daily 9 am-midnight. Muharraq.
Public Bahrain Beaches
Al Jazayer beach
Al Jazayer is the biggest, and most popular, public beach in Bahrain, located close to the Bahrain International Circuit and the Al Areen Wildlife Park and Reserve. Despite the drive from the capital, it attracts quite the crows on weekends, who leave the city in search of sun, sea, sands and relaxation. The waters and clear and shallow and, while previously underdeveloped, there’s a boom of new food outlets and retail shops underway.
Al Jazayer beach, Zallaq
Abu Subh Beach
Families will love Abu Subh Beach (also known as Diraz Beach), tucked away in the northwest of Bahrain near Budaiya and Northern City. It’s a favourite with families, thanks to a decent play area and a bevy of food trucks, but is also popular with locals – so remember to dress modestly and cover-up.
Handy for a lazy weekend, Karabad Beach is conveniently located just five minutes from Seef Mall, and offers soft golden days and shallow waters perfect for a beach stroll. The beach is popular with both locals and expats, thanks to its Seef location, and is popular for evening strolls.