Dubai is a city where there are plenty of things to do and see. It often juxtaposes luxury and skyscrapers (although the traditional neighbourhoods of Deira and Bur Dubai, with their souks and places of worship, are also very interesting), but it should not be forgotten that it lies along the shores of the Persian Gulf, so it is only natural to take advantage of the palm trees, white beaches and warm UAE sunshine to spend a day in complete relaxation.
Dubai’s beaches are numerous and essentially fall into two categories: free beaches and private beaches. The former, including Al Mamzar, Jumeirah Beach and The Beach, are used by residents and tourists alike, while the latter are reserved for the often luxurious hotels that line the waterfront.
Needless to say, the latter are equipped with every comfort, from comfortable sunbeds to huge umbrellas and extra services such as butlers or beach attendants. Public beaches, on the other hand, very often have none of these, and the fact that they are open to all often means the chance to meet different cultures and interesting people from all over the world.
Those who want to go for a swim must be careful: the sea always seems very calm but there are strong currents and tides. Be careful, therefore, especially with children. There is also the possibility of encountering numerous jellyfish, especially at certain times of the year.
However, most hotels warn their guests with signs written in English, and if even then you are unsure about a particular area or beach, it is always best to ask for advice and never swim alone.
Al Mamzar Beach is a beautiful beach located in the Deira area, which has been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag. There are five man-made beaches built in a semicircle around the coastline and the area is popular with residents, although recently tourists are also discovering it.
Each beach has sheltered areas with changing rooms and showers, and there is the possibility of renting entire chalets with an attached barbecue area on a daily basis. If it is not the season for swimming in the sea, if it is rough or if there is a current, there are also two large swimming pools at Al Mamzar. Sunbeds and umbrellas can be hired and there are also a few bars and shops.
The beach is supervised, there are lifeguards and flags indicate when it is possible to swim and when not. At Al Mamzar there are two days, Monday and Wednesday, dedicated to women, with the beach for them only.
The Jumeirah Beach Park is undoubtedly one of the city’s most popular beaches for tourists. One pays a small entrance fee to enter a beautifully manicured park with lawns and trees, ending in a sandy beach adorned with palm trees.
Jumeirah Beach Park is also Blue Flag, and is very convenient to reach as it is located directly along Jumeirah Beach Road. On both sides of the beach there are bars selling drinks and snacks, there are also showers and toilets and the beach is patrolled until sunset.
In 2014, the beach was temporarily closed for renovation work and to allow the construction of the ambitious Dubai Canal.
Along Jumeirah, just before the Burj Al Arab, is the beach called Jumeira Beach. It is a very wide and long beach from where you have an incomparable view of the most luxurious hotel in the world, which is why it is constantly stormed by tourists who often just want to take a picture of the sail-shaped hotel, especially when they get off one of the double-decker tourist buses that stop right here.
That is why it is perhaps not the best place if all you want is to spend a relaxing day at the beach. But the view of the Burj Al Arab is truly incredible and definitely worth a visit. There are also some basic facilities such as showers and changing rooms.
The Beach is the most fashionable beach in Dubai. It is frequented exclusively by tourists and is the beating heart of the Dubai Marina district. It is located in front of the Jumeirah Beach residence complex and is free, although there are also some paid bathing establishments and a section reserved for hotel guests.
There is the possibility of renting sunbeds, umbrellas, deckchairs and towels, there are changing rooms, showers, a footpath, beach volleyball nets and much more. Immediately behind, a plethora of restaurants and bars open up onto the pedestrian promenade, giving the whole area a true Californian fashionable city feel, where pedestrians walk around in swimming costumes and flip-flops, often flanked by skateboards and skates.
Kite Beach is one of Dubai’s most famous beaches and the most popular with residents. It is a beach over a kilometre long located on the Jumeirah waterfront and has a beautiful view of the Burj Al Arab, the world’s most famous hotel. Kite Beach is one of the few remaining natural beaches in Dubai, with white sand and crystal-clear water and takes its name from the many kite surfers and kites flying in the sky.
Sun beds, umbrellas and towels can be hired from Sole Mio, an establishment located in the most central and quiet area of the beach. The beach is equipped with all the necessary facilities: showers, changing cabins and toilets. There are also restaurants, bars and food trucks, including the legendary Salt, a food truck that makes the best hamburgers in town. Bicycles, surfboards, kayaks, jet skis and beach volleyball courts can also be hired.
La Mer is the most popular beach in Dubai for bloggers and social media lovers. It is also located at the beginning of Jumeirah, like all the most beautiful beaches in Dubai. It is a palm-filled beach and there are plenty of photogenic spots where you can take the best shots of your holiday. There are some where you can rent sunbeds, umbrellas, towels and the famous Beach Houses, small comfortable beach houses from which you can enjoy the most beautiful view of the beach.
La Mer has more than 100 restaurants and shops, and the most beautiful promenade in Dubai. Some of the city’s most famous restaurants can be found here and there is also a water park and numerous children’s games. In the water sports section, one can rent pedal boats, jet skis, surfboards and speedboat rides. Due to its popularity, it is recommended to visit during the week.
In the following map you can see the location of the main places of interest mentioned in this article
Dubai’s private beaches are often reserved for luxury hotel guests. All hotels worthy of the name that overlook the sea, be it the city’s actual coastline, an artificial island or anything else with water, offer the chance to spend days like royalty, amidst luxurious sunbeds and butlers in white gloves.
All the beaches in Dubai offer a truly exclusive atmosphere for a dream holiday. Some hotels sometimes give the opportunity to take advantage of the high-level services of their private beaches even to those who are not staying at the hotel. Of course, in these cases, an entrance fee has to be paid, sometimes affordable, sometimes up to 100 euros or more.
Dubai is a very international city and tolerance towards non-Muslims is very high, which is more unique than rare in an Arab country. The beaches in Dubai follow this unwritten law: women can safely stay on the beach in bikinis, but topless is forbidden, although on some beaches frequented by locals it is not uncommon to see women bathing in burqinis or even clothed. In any case, the golden rule is to look around and act accordingly, perhaps changing beaches if you are embarrassed.
City Card allow you to save on public transport and / or on the entrances to the main tourist attractions.