Sun, sea, sand, what more do you need? Dubai is one of the best destinations in the world for beach-lovers and even away from the sand, there are plenty of opportunities to soak up the sun in a fun, idyllic setting.
Dubai's brilliant beach resorts and hotels
To bring the sea right to your doorstep, book into one of Dubai’s many beachside hotels. Often specifically designed around the beach experience, they usually feature private swathes of golden sand and plenty of pools, lounges and restaurants if not on, then in easy reach of the beach.
One of the most famous Dubai beachside resorts is the Burj Al Arab, an iconic sail-shaped ultra-luxury hotel built on its own private island. Just next door are the hotels of Madinat Jumeirah – Al Qasr, Mina A'Salam and Al Naseem – and the wave-shaped Jumeirah Beach Hotel, perfect for family beach vacations. The Madinat Jumeirah hotels are built in the traditional Arabian style and set around a series of canals, which are also integrated with Souk Madinat Jumeirah, and offer a wealth of beaches, pools and restaurants.
Other resorts of note include the Four Seasons in Jumeirah, which was named as the world’s leading luxury resort in 2019. At the other end of town, the neighbourhood of Jumeirah Beach Residences (JBR) has several hotels on or next to the beach, including the Hilton Dubai Jumeirah, the Ritz-Carlton and Caesars Palace at the nearby Bluewaters Island.
The best beach clubs in the city
Even if you’re not staying in a beach resort, Dubai offers plenty of opportunities to get a taste of the luxury beachside lifestyle. Many offer day passes, and there are plenty of dedicated beach clubs in Dubai as well, ranging from super-relaxing to party-focused.
One of the latest beach club additions is Beach by FIVE at FIVE Palm Jumeirah. It is definitely at the livelier end of the spectrum, boasting a glass-lined pool complete with a chandelier, double-sized loungers and upbeat music. Slightly more relaxed is Cove Beach at Bluewaters Dubai, where you can enjoy a private beach, a choice of three pools, and DJ sets on weekends.
RIVA Beach Dubai at Palm Jumeirah is much more family-oriented, and offers watersports on its private beach, as well as a large pool and plenty of space to relax. For a child-free experience, DRIFT at the One&Only Royal Mirage is a stunning adults-only beach club, with the option of renting a private VIP cabana, elevated above the swimming pool.
For a more active experience, Train Beach Club at La Mer comes equipped with a gym as well as a pool, and is perfect for fitness fans with various classes on offer – as well as chances to wind down afterwards. La Mer is also home to Bungalow, attached to Laguna Water Park, which is ideal for those wanting to combine the thrills of waterslides with a spot of relaxation.
Dubai's top public beaches
The city also has a number of excellent free public beaches, where visitors can sunbathe, swim and play. Some, like the beach at JBR, are right in the thick of things, with plenty of restaurants, shops and lounges nearby. Others, such as Al Mamzar, offer a more tranquil experience with a pleasantly lush park alongside five separate beaches.
Kite Beach in Jumeirah is as its name suggests: more focused on beachfront activities such as kite flying, wind surfing and more. Just along the shore are several other public beaches, including Jumeirah Open Beach, and Sunset Beach, which offers great views of the Burj Al Arab hotel.
Dine and shop on the beach
If you want to combine your beach trip with a burger, or possibly shopping at a boutique, developments such as La Mer and Jumeirah Beach Residences (JBR) are for you.
La Mer in Jumeirah is an exclusive lifestyle destination set along Dubai's seafront, offering casual and gourmet dining options right on the beach, along with fashion-focused shopping.
JBR offers a slightly more casual set of restaurants, with The Beach mall close by, along with diverse dining options at The Walk at JBR – just within a few moments’ walk from the beach. And if you’re looking for fine dining, any one of JBR’s excellent hotels has you covered.
Beach tips and etiquette
In summer, the sun in Dubai can get hot, so it's important to stay safe. Wear sunscreen with a high SPF and reapply it regularly, especially after swimming in the sea or pool. It’s also important to stay hydrated, and take regular breaks in the shade.
In terms of dress, bathing suits for men and women are acceptable at the beach or pool, but not away from it – so make sure you have clothes to change into or wear over your swimwear. Otherwise, regular Dubai etiquette applies.
Endless sun, sand and blue skies await. It's time to start planning your Dubai holiday.