Forget Skiing—Sandboarding Is the Adventure Activity of 2021

Trade powdery snow for powdery sand in the deserts of Qatar

Sandboarder doing front side grab in the air
Klaus Vedfelt / Getty Images

Last year messed with everyone's travel plans, and for skiers and snowboarders, that likely meant many missed trips to the mountains. But never fear—2021 is providing an alternative adventure option. The Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) has partnered with tour company Q Explorer Tourism to offer major discounts on sand sports tours—including sandboarding.

The desert cousin of snowboarding, sandboarding is an adventure sport where athletes race down dunes on boards (OK, it's kind of obvious by the name). Qatar is home to one of the most intriguing sandboarding spots globally, the Khor Al Adaid "inland sea."

Given the Middle Eastern country's small size—it's only about 4,500 square miles, which is slightly smaller than the state of Connecticut—the Khor Al Adaid region is just about an hour outside of the major metropolis of Doha, but it feels like a world apart. The towering desert dunes reach some 130 feet in height, and they run straight into a large lagoon. It's a striking landscape and the perfect location for sandboarding.

To lure tourists to the region as travel resumes, QNTC and Q Explorer are slashing prices of sand sports tours, offering discounts up to 30 percent off. The deals run through September, so there's plenty of time to plan your trip. And if you're not a talented snowboarder? Don't worry—it's not as hard as it looks. Plus, you can try your hand at less physically demanding activities like sand sledding and sand ATVing.

Interested in booking? Check out all the tour options, from day trips to multi-night desert stays, right here.