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Eight of the Best Spots to Swim and Relax in the Arab World

posted on: Feb 25, 2021

By: Noah Robertson/Arab America Contributing Author

The Arab world has amazing natural beauty all throughout it including some great spots for swimming. This list includes both secluded and popular spots, right along and also deep in nature.

1. Wadi Shab, Oman

The secret Wadi Shab cave and its waterfall crashing into it

Wadi Shab, located in the Al Sharqiyah region in Oman, is absolutely stunning and secretly tucked away between two cliffs. After hiking along a river, you reach a cave with a beautiful waterfall and a stunning emerald-green pool. The water is a perfect place for a quiet swim or a more exciting experience diving off the cliffs above.

2. The Dead Sea, Jordan, Palestine, and the West Bank

The beautiful water of the Dead Sea and some of the salt rocks there

The Dead Sea is an extremely well-known spot on the coastlines of Jordan, Palestine, and the West Bank. Cleopatra bathed here, King David hid here from Saul, Jesus was baptized upriver, and many others have bathed here. The water is so salty that it is quite easy to float on the surface and the mud is very rich on minerals. You can use the mud to help your skin; in some places you have to pay for the mud and in others you don’t. It is very popular to visit, but is a perfect swimming spot.

3. Shuweihat Island, United Arab Emirates

The beautiful rocks of Shuweihat Island

This is a very unique island that is right near the Saudi border and while it is not super easy to get to, it is a beautiful place to swim. It may be necessary to use a four-wheel drive to get across the causeway, but it is well-worth it once you get there.

4. Tyre Beach, Lebanon

An overhead shot of Tyre Beach and its stunning water

Tyre (or Sour, as the locals call it) is a laid-back beach town on the southern coast of Lebanon. This is a rare public beach along Lebanon’s highly privatized coastline and has some of the cleanest waters in the country. It is a perfect spot for swimming that anyone can enjoy. For the more adventurous, divers can explore the sunken ruins of Roman cities off the coast.

5. Salalah, Oman

One of the beautiful swimming spots in Salalah and its stunning greenery

During the summer months of July and August, a metamorphosis takes place over Salalah. With the khareef (monsoon) season comes precipitation to nourish the local vegetation. During these seasonal rains, the natural springs flourish, drawing visitors to spots like Wadi Darbat and Wadi Sahalnoot. These places are beautiful to swim at and when not swimming the beaches, green mountains, and waterfalls are great to explore.

6. Saadiyat Island, United Arab Emirates

The mangroves and stunning water at Saadiyat Island

Saadiyat Island is a unique place to visit in the midst of many touristy and glitzy beaches in Abu Dhabi. The island is a haven for wildlife. Its sand dunes harbor a protected nesting area for the endangered hawksbill sea turtle. Motorboats and motorsports are prohibited off the island’s coast, and development is banned within 200 feet of the dune system where turtles have their nesting grounds. Pedestrians even have to access the beach via a wooden ramp to avoid disturbing the vegetation. Turtles and dolphins are spotted frequently so it is a beautiful and peaceful place to swim and relax watching the wildlife.

7. Agadir Beach, Morocco

An overhead view of Agadir beach

Agadir is a beautiful and popular beach, but what makes it so great for swimming is the mild climate, meaning you can swim year-round. Kayaking, surfing, and windsurfing are also popular and there are many places for tourists to relax. The water has a perfect temperature and will surely lead to a great swim!

8. Kélibia Beach, Tunisia

Kélibia has been called the seventh most beautiful beach in the world. It is a beautiful place to relax on the stunning white sand beach and to pop into the water for a swim in the crystal clear water. It is a very popular beach with a lot of accommodations nearby for visitors.

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