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Beaches in Dubai: hotels, beach clubs and public beaches

by Paola Bertoni
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Dubai is a perfect destination for a beach holiday. Its long, clean beaches, warm sea and shallow waters are ideal for a day of relaxation. Whether you’re travelling with children or want to escape the routine, I recommend spending at least a day or two discovering Dubai’s best beaches.

What Dubai’s beaches look like

Dubai boasts an array of breathtaking beaches that will leave you amazed. You have the option to select from a variety of beaches that cater to different preferences, ranging from public beaches with the convenience of renting deck chairs and umbrellas, lidos that provide a luxurious and comfortable experience, exclusive beach clubs that offer an unparalleled lavishness, to brand new hotels that feature private beaches and kids clubs, providing a truly opulent beach vacation.

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When to go to Dubai to swim in the sea

In Dubai, the sea water is clear and transparent but, above all, always quite warm. The water temperature fluctuates between 20 and 30 degrees depending on the season. It could be an obstacle for those who want to live the beach life by spending a whole day sunbathing on a sunbed because the temperatures rise quite a lot.

However, Dubai’s sea temperature is perfect for those who want to take a quick swim and then enjoy the facilities around the beach, such as cafes and small shops. If you want to go to Dubai mainly to sunbathe on the beach, choose a mid-season, spring or autumn, to find it warm, but not too warm, and avoid July and August, the hottest months. By mid-June, the sand will already be scorching hot!

In any case, however, consider that all hotels and beach clubs have pools with temperature-controlled water. It means the water never rises above 20 degrees and remains pleasant for swimming and cooling off. So, if you were to book your holiday during an unexpectedly hot period, you would still have your sunbed, parasol, and bathing holiday.

Banyan Tree Dubai beach club
Banyan Tree Dubai beach club

Where to go to the beach in Dubai

There are plenty of beaches in Dubai, both natural and artificial. Only some of the fine sandy beaches you see are, in fact, the work of nature. The beaches on islands like Bluewaters and The Palm are artificially created, but no less beautiful for that. I have been to the beach at Bluewaters Island. On this artificial island, the one with the Ferris Wheel, I can assure you that it was a true paradise of fine sand.

In addition to choosing between artificial and natural beaches, in Dubai, you must consider whether to experience the sea in a quieter place, surrounded by trendy clubs or indulge in water sports. Finally, many of Dubai’s beaches are free. In contrast, others belong to the hotels and are generally only accessible to their guests or by purchasing an entrance fee for their beach clubs.

Hotels with a private beach

Hotels with a private beach are the best option if you plan a holiday dedicated to beach life, without leaving your hotel or almost. In particular, the most exclusive hotels, such as Atlantis The PalmBluewaters Beach Hotel or the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, are unique destinations with all possible and imaginable facilities. Atlantis The Palm, for instance, is famous for its aquarium and water park. Still, the Jumeirah Beach Hotel is no less entertaining.

On the other hand, the Bluewaters Beach Hotel offers kids’ clubs, teen clubs, and a huge number of restaurants, including Gordon Ramsey’s famous Hell’s Kitchen. This is why private beach hotels are perfect if you are travelling with the whole family, as they offer special services.

Beach Clubs

Spending a day at a luxury beach club is an activity you should definitely try, as it will be a memorable experience during your stay in Dubai. Beach clubs are generally attached to hotels, and daily access fees to the most exclusive ones can be very high, with prices exceeding € 100.

I tried the beach club at the Bluewaters Beach Hotel, and it was a truly luxurious experience. There was a reserved cabana, an ice bucket with water bottles available, and the possibility of calling table service via a special button. Towards the end of the morning, the caterer brought thirst-quenching frozen grape skewers to each guest, while for lunch, you could order delicious cooked dishes and salads.

However, if you don’t want to spend money to access an exclusive beach club and your hotel doesn’t have a private beach, check with the reception if there is an agreement with another hotel. Hotels in Deira or Bur Dubai often have agreements with hotels in the same chain regarding beach access.

Public Beaches

The cheapest way to spend a day at the beach in Dubai is to go to a public beach. Most of them are free, while others require payment of a small entrance fee. Families generally frequent Dubai’s public beaches. On certain days of the week, they may reserve access for women and children only.

The Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai
The Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai

Dubai Beaches: Where to Go

With all the valuable insights you now have about the vibrant beach life in Dubai, all that’s left to do is pick your favourite beach. Prepare your beach essentials, put on your favourite swimsuit, and let yourself swim in the tranquil waters of the Persian Gulf. As you bask in the warm sunshine, look behind you and marvel at the breathtaking skyline of Dubai’s iconic skyscrapers. Let the soothing sound of the waves and the refreshing sea breeze take you on a journey of pure relaxation and bliss.

La Mer

One of the latest trendy beaches in Dubai is La Mer, in front of the artificial archipelago The World. The district is divided into urban areas with shops and restaurants, as well as the beach and Laguna Waterpark. The shoreline is two and a half kilometres long. Equipped with bathing facilities such as colourful beach huts and showers, La Mer Dubai is an amazing family-friendly urban beach.

Sunset Beach (Umm Suqeim)

Sunset Beach, also called Umm Suqeim, is the beach from where you can take the iconic Burj Al Arab photo in your hands. You can visit it for this reason or just relax in the sun at one of the emirate’s quietest beaches. Compared to the other beaches in Dubai, Sunset Beach is poorly equipped, but the view is exceptional.

Al Mamzar

The Al Mamzar shoreline is located within a 100-hectare park popular with families because of the many facilities available. Al Mamzar Beach Park includes several white beaches, three swimming pools, a play area, a large, well-maintained green area, paths and bicycle routes lined with palm trees. The entrance fee is minimal, only four dirhams, about one euro.

Every beach in Al Mamzar offers areas with cabins and showers, and you can rent beach umbrellas, deckchairs, and even a bungalow with a barbecue area. There are a few cafés and food shops inside the park, but if you prefer, you can picnic in the green areas or on the beach. Being quite far from the centre, I suggest Al Mamzar Beach Park as a destination for a day trip on a family holiday after you have finished seeing all the wonders of Dubai.

Kite Beach

As its name suggests, Kite Beach is Dubai’s kite surfing paradise. This beach is located in the Jumeirah area and is considered the beach of sportspeople. The wind blows stronger here than in the rest of the city, making kite surfing possible.

If you want to try water sports, you can hire all the necessary equipment here. At Kite Beach, you can also try SUP or kayaking. As an alternative to water sports, the beach offers the possibility of practising beach volleyball, skateboarding, or jumping on a trampoline outdoors, while children can play in an area dedicated to them.

The Beach at JBR

The beach at Jumeirah Beach Residences, shortened as ‘The Beach at JBR’, is a well-equipped beach with Dubai’s most luxurious skyscrapers behind it. On one side, you will see the clear, transparent sea; on the other, the bustling city life, with restaurants and shops lining the promenade. If you get bored of sitting on the beach all day, try water sports like wakeboarding and parasailing or take a camel ride at The Beach at JBR.

Black Palace Beach (Al Sufouh Beach)

If you’re looking for a little-known, almost wild beach, you can’t miss Black Palace Beach, named after one of the royal residences in the area. Also known as Al Sufouh Beach is between Palm Jumeirah and the Burj Al Arab, not far from the hotel and shopping centre Madinat Jumeirah. Black Palace Beach is not equipped, but it is worth a visit to swim or watch the sunset opposite the artificial island of Palm Jumeirah.

Palm Jumeirah

The most exclusive beaches in Dubai are on artificial islands, like Palm Jumeirah. Each frond offers a different private beach, whether owned by a hotel, a private individual, or a residential complex. If you have booked into a luxury hotel on Palm Jumeirah Island, you can enjoy these unique beaches, sharing them only with the other hotel’s guests.

Paola Bertoni at the beach club at the Bluewaters Beach Hotel in Dubai
At the beach club at the Bluewaters Beach Hotel in Dubai

How to dress on the beach in Dubai

Once you have chosen your beach, whether a public or a hotel beach, all that remains is to select the perfect swimming outfit for your beach holiday in Dubai. Being in a Muslim country, you will probably be very hesitant about how to dress. The first thing to do is read my article on what to pack for a trip to Dubai.

Dubai is the most western of all the United Arab Emirates, so it is much more tolerant. Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Ras al Khaimah are much more traditional. Generally, in private areas such as hotel beaches and beach clubs, you can wear your favourite swimming costume, even a fairly skimpy one, and nobody will tell you anything.

In Dubai, you can wear a two-piece swimming costume even in public beaches, as long as it is not too skimpy, but you are unlikely to be picked up for the attire. Compared to my first visit to Dubai in the early 2000s, the standards have become very Westernised. However, you will still see Emirati women bathing in burkinis. I opted for a surfer-style one-piece swimming costume, with shoulders and back covered, to avoid sunburnt.

Where to stay in Dubai

Often considered a luxury destination, Dubai offers hotels and flats for all budgets and is much cheaper than you think. Below are a few value-for-money establishments that have been tried out by me personally or by friends and fellow bloggers.

For a luxury family holiday, the Bluewaters Beach Hotel, with swimming pools, restaurants to suit all tastes and children’s areas, is a great choice. To spend less but still stay in top-notch facilities, the Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City or the V Hotel Dubai are great choices, both overlooking the Dubai Water Canal with numerous in-house restaurants to choose from.

Finally, to see Dubai from a different perspective, I suggest you stay at the Al Seef Heritage Hotel Dubai, a unique property built in traditional Arabian style and located a short distance from the historic district and Al Fahidi Fort.

In conclusion, Dubai has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. From the serene waters of Jumeirah Beach to the bustling crowds of Kite Beach, there is something for everyone. Whether you are a local or a tourist, a beach day in Dubai is a must-do experience. Share your favorite beach in Dubai in the comments below and let’s connect over the beautiful beaches of this amazing city!

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