Dubai has serious beach vibes for sand lovers
Dubai's coastline is packed with beautiful beaches, but no two are the same. Each spot has its own personality and Dubai's diverse beach culture is undoubtedly one of the most unique things about this urban paradise. The vibe shifts from one area to the next, with surfing found at Sunset Beach and luxe lounging the standard at Palm Jumeirah. From the hip, action-packed scene at Kite Beach to the gentle lapping shores of family-friendly Black Palace Beach, there's a spot of sand to suit all tastes. Here, we explore our five favourites.
It's all go at this buzzing public beach in Jumeirah, where activity-loving families and Dubai's hippest crowds go to cool off. A well-kept strip with plenty of space, the beach is manned by lifeguards and there are a host of sports on offer including kite surfing, beach football, beach tennis and volleyball, plus a skatepark and kids' play facilities. This is one of those places where it's easy to lose track of time. Suitably, food truck-turned-beach-shack Salt serves up shakes and sliders to bronzed faces within an arm's reach of the sand.
Rent a surfboard or SUP from nearby Surf House Dubai and hang ten with the city's top waveriders. Home to Dubai's biggest swell in winter, this Umm Suqeim surfing beach has one of the city's most spectacular views of the Burj Al Arab, offering plenty of distraction as the sets roll in. A community of passionate boardriders has formed around this patch of sand and Surf House Dubai (owners and expats Scott Chambers and Daniel Van Dooren grew up riding the waves here) is at the centre of it all. With a relaxed set-up offering organic RAW coffee, yoga, workshops, rental boards and even SUP meditation classes, they've succeeded in creating a vibe only before found in the world's most famous sleepy beach towns.
This secret stretch of public beach on Al Sufouh Street is still relatively unknown, making it popular with young families and those who shun crowds. Nestled between Media City and the royal summer palaces, the beach faces Palm Jumeirah and its gentle shores are perfect for splashing and paddling. Those on a budget will appreciate the lack of retail temptation.
This man-made island is one of Dubai's hottest addresses and you'll have to pay to play here. The Palm, as it's known locally, is home to a bevy of luxury five-star hotels, each with their own paid-entry beaches. Whether it's seclusion, romance or beats and burgers, for those who want to live it up, the options are endless. From Atlantis, The Palm's party-prone Nasimi Beach, where there's a strict no kids policy, to the vibe at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray or the slow Med-style groove at Riva Beach Club, on the Palm, lounging is an art.
Swanky entertainment and shopping district The Beach has given new life to this Dubai Marina spot. What's easily now Dubai's most stylish public beach is a one-stop-shop for sea, sand, shopping and snacks, with world-class facilities, cafes and play areas for children. As well as beach cabanas for those who don't like to get sandy, there's plenty to entertain, including camel rides and an offshore waterpark shaped to spell – you got it - “Dubai”.
Planning the perfect beach holiday? Take a look at Dubai’s best beach clubs