With summer just around the corner, it’s almost time to start planning your beach destination. Before searching for foreign places that will help you unwind, consider your neighboring GCC nations. Home to some of the most exotic and fascinating places on earth, summer in the GCC has something to offer for everyone.

Although the weather tends to be hot and humid, spending the summer in the GCC will surprise you. Almost every place you visit will boast an indoor air-conditioned area. Furthermore, there are plenty of indoor activities you can indulge in. From beaches and indoor skiing to mega malls and fine dining. Here’s how to have a once-in-a-lifetime summer in the GCC.

Bahrain

Hot summers and waterparks go hand in hand. This is why visiting Bahrain’s stunning waterparks should be a priority for you.

Lost Paradise of Dilmun Waterpark

Lost Paradise of Dilmun Waterpark

With an area of almost 77,000 square meters, the Lost Paradise of Dilmun Waterpark is the largest of its kind in Bahrain. The park reflects the history of the Dilmun era and also features over 18 slides and attractions.

Wahooo! Waterpark

Wahooo! Waterpark

Located at City Center in Manama, Wahooo! Waterpark is the Middle East’s first indoor-outdoor waterpark. Covering an area of 15,000 square meters, the park features a sub-tropical paradise theme with 30% outdoor space and 70% indoor space.

Kuwait

If you happen to be in Kuwait or passing by, there is a lot to do to get through the summer days.

The Avenues

The Avenues

Set as the largest shopping mall in Kuwait, the Avenues offers visitors a family-friendly experience. Shopping, dining and entertainment venues such as Kidzania and Magic Planet are only a few of the options available.

Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel and Spa

Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel and Spa

Kuwait’s location on the Arabian Gulf gives it some of the most beautiful coastlines in the region. At the Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel and Spa, you will have access to pure blue waters, exquisite spa facilities, and international as well as local dining.

KSA

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is home to various indoor havens that will keep you sheltered from the summer sun.

Diplomatic Quarters

Diplomatic Quarters

Why not try something different this summer and go for some horseback riding lessons? The Diplomatic Quarters in Riyadh also includes a wave, picnic areas, and endless parks and greenery. In addition to a women’s only gym and sports areas.

King Abdul Aziz Historical Center

King Abdul Aziz Historical Center

Set in the capital city of Riyadh, the King Abdul Aziz Historical Center is a fascinating way to spend a hot summer’s day. It includes the National Museum of Saudi Arabia with an array of surrounding parks and plazas. It also features a remodeled mosque, library, art gallery, and a large internal garden.

Oman

Famous for its unmatched natural landscape, Oman is a place you have to visit if you happen to be spending your summer in the GCC.

Water Activities

Water Activities

It comes as no surprise that Oman is filled with water-related sports you can indulge in. Take a boat out in Bandar Al Khyran for an afternoon of snorkeling. Or even try out scuba diving for the chance to see a whale shark. You can also learn to kitesurf at Azaiba Beach.

Explore the desert

Explore the desert

If you happen to be into adventure, then this is for you. Afterall, Oman’s sand dunes offer an incredible journey. A desert crossing in a 4×4 will take you across the beautiful scenery. You can also spend the night at a camp underneath the clear starry sky.

Qatar

Spending the summer in Qatar is definitely an exciting idea that will leave you with too many options to choose from.

Villaggio 

Villaggio

The Venetian style Villaggio is set on 360,000 square meters of luxurious entertainment. International brands and restaurants have made a home at the mall. Moreover, Gondola Rides, Gonodolania Theme Park, and Gondolania Ice Arena will provide the entire family with hours of fun.

Khor Al Adaid

Khor Al Adaid

About 60 km from Doha lies the natural wonder known as Khor Al Adaid or “Inland Sea”. Recognized as a UNESCO natural reserve, the area boasts its own ecosystem. It is one of the few areas in the world where the sea makes its way deep into the desert. Furthermore, the Khor is inaccessible by road, which makes it all the more tranquil.

UAE

Last, but certainly not least, we come to the UAE. Spending your summer here will certainly be an unforgettable experience.

Bungee Jumping

Bungee Jumping

Gravity Zone is a place you have to visit when in Dubai. Besides being a venue for a 50-meter bungee jump, it also offers catapult and zip wire experiences. This adrenaline-filled adventure will certainly redefine your summer in the GCC.

Ski Dubai

Ski Dubai

Who ever thought that snow skiing in the middle of the desert would be possible? An indoor ski resort, Ski Dubai boasts a 22,500 square meter indoor ski area. It also features penguins, an ice cave, and sled and toboggan runs.

To learn more about what to do in the GCC during the summer see also:

Seeing Blue: 7 of the most amazing diving sites in GCC region

Looking Skyward: 5 Stargazing Sites You Must Visit in GCC

The Most Gorgeous Places To Enjoy Nature In The GCC