Dubai’s scenic beaches offer unique sunny getaways
Dubai’s extensive coastline is packed with picturesque beaches that have been developed over the last few decades into some of the emirate’s most compelling outdoor attractions.
The emirate’s wide diversity of beaches, each with its own unique scenic charm, provide people the opportunity to soak up the sun, enjoy breathtaking views and discover their adventurous side with water sports activities.
With clear blue water, golden sands, year-round sunshine, a vibrant seaside dining scene and diverse beach activities, the emirate’s beaches are key attractions highlighted by the #DubaiDestinations initiative launched by the Dubai Media Council to showcase the exceptional activities and experiences offered by the emirate.
Sun, sea, sand and more
One of the most popular beaches in Dubai is the Jumeirah Public Beach. Apart from being a spot for sun, sand and sea lovers, the beach has a range of family-friendly attractions and sporting facilities, including volleyball courts and a jogging track for those who like to keep up their fitness routine.
Runners, rollerbladers, cyclists and water sports enthusiasts will find the beach an exciting option to engage in physical activities. The beach has a lot of benches to enjoy the view and a big, modern playground for kids. There’s also a library on the beach with beanie bags and tables for people to read in comfort.
For a beach spot that features outdoor activities and retail and dining attractions, The Beach at Jumeirah Beach Residence, offers the ideal place. Located right at the heart of Dubai’s biggest lifestyle destination, with a promenade featuring a wide range of restaurants and retail outlets, The Beach is a great place to enjoy a bite to eat and go shopping.
Further shopping, entertainment and adventure opportunities are offered by retail outlets at The Beach Mall, an outdoor cinema, water sports, banana boating, camel rides, and an enormous inflatable water park named Dubai Aqua Park, anchored just offshore, featuring trampolines, slides, climbing frames, swings and various obstacles. The Beach is also a great location for seeing the biggest observation wheel in the world, Ain Dubai.
Set against the backdrop of the iconic Burj Al Arab is another beach that has been a favourite among both residents and visitors for decades – The Sunset Beach in Umm Suqeim. Offering breathtaking views of the world’s most luxurious hotel, which provides a perfect backdrop for selfies, the beach is one of the most picturesque stretches of sand in the emirate.
Beachgoers can enjoy stand-up paddle boarding or kayaking around the landmark hotel’s island and even surf in the waters. Known as one of Dubai’s best surfing beaches, the beach offers a vantage point to view beautiful sunsets.
Another beach that is popular among both the general public and adventure lovers is the Kite Beach. Named after the many kite surfers and kite flyers that have made this stretch of sand their own, you can play beach volleyball or test your skills in stand-up paddle-boarding and kayaking.
You can rent sun beds, umbrellas, and towels and spend the day on the white sand with a view of the Burj Al Arab. The beach hosts plenty of non-aqua activities too, including a skatepark, an outdoor trampoline and a toddler-friendly area. Kite Beach is a popular haunt for foodies with many food trucks that assemble here both during the day and the evening.
Among public beaches in the city, the Black Palace Beach is a truly hidden gem. Running from the Dubai Marine Beach Resort to the Four Seasons, the pristine stretch of golden beach is a brilliant spot for sun seekers and attracts runners, rollerbladers, cyclists, water sports enthusiasts and more.
The beach gets its name from its location next to a string of royal palaces located alongside an untouched shoreline, with views of Palm Jumeirah and Burj Al Arab in the distance.
Another beach destination that offers countless fun activities, especially for families, is the Al Mamzar Park. Home to five separate beaches set amidst lush barbecue areas, landscaped playgrounds, lagoons, swimming pools, manicured lawns and bicycle paths, the area provides many great picnic spots for families.
This public beach even has its own amphitheatre. Uniquely, only women and children are allowed here on Mondays and Wednesdays. For an extra cost, you can rent a sun lounger, or even book a private, air-conditioned beach bungalow for a more exclusive experience. It’s also a great spot for jet skiing.
Luxurious private beaches
Many of Dubai’s beaches are attached to resorts, allowing guests to enjoy the sun and sand along Dubai’s shoreline while lazing on hotel sun loungers and taking advantage of world-class hospitality. Even if you’re not staying at a beach hotel, treating yourself to a day’s beach pass is always a great option.
The Bulgari Resort & Residences’ palatial beachfront property can be found on Dubai’s new ‘treasure island’ – Jumeirah Bay, with stunning views of the Dubai cityscape.
Luxury knows no bounds at The Madinat Jumeirah private beach, which offers fantastic views of turquoise waters and the iconic Burj Al Arab. This private beach is accessible from both Jumeirah Al Qasr and Mina A’Salam. Larger than other private beaches, this gorgeous sandy strip stretches out for an impressive two kilometres. Also in the Jumeirah area is the One and Only Royal Mirage private beach, a kilometre of pristine sands and serene waters that offer extraordinary views of Palm Jumeirah.
More recent additions to Dubai’s beach resort scene also include Caesars Palace Bluewaters Island with access to the most pristine beachfront enclave on the city’s newest island destination; W Dubai – The Palm, directly facing a fabulous beach with views of the glistening water and city skyline; the Mandarin Oriental Jumeirah Dubai, Jumeirah Beach, allowing direct access to the Arabian Gulf; and Emerald Palace Kempinski, The Palm, located on the West Crescent of the Palm Jumeirah that provides access to a private white sand beach.
Several of these resorts also house water sport centres within their grounds. ‘Watercooled’ at JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort, Bulgari Hotel, Banan Beach Resort and W Dubai – The Palm offers a plethora of activities including surfing, sailing, kayaking and high-adrenaline rides on its Zapcats.
For those seeking new marine thrills, head to Rixos The Palm Dubai and Kempinski The Palm house to enjoy the Seabreacher, a mini submarine in the shape of a shark with a powerful engine. Fairmont The Palm is also home to thrilling water sports in their dedicated centre for speed boat riding, kayaking, paddle boarding, catamaran and sailing.
Other picturesque private beaches that are open to the public for a fee on The Palm Jumeirah include the White Beach, an upscale beach club at the Atlantis resort and the Riva Beach Club that sells daily passes.
The Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah located at the top of The Palm offers a wonderful, luxury experience at its beach. Their property’s large beach offers various kinds of water sports that you can enjoy along with beautiful views of the Dubai.
Redefining the urban beach Dubai has also redefined the urban beach with chic precincts such as La Mer, the city’s must-visit beachfront destination. Made up of distinct zones, including the beach and a leisure and entertainment hub, it is home to countless restaurants, cafes, ice cream parlours, unique boutique and luxury retail shops, and the Laguna Waterpark.
With twinkling lights and some of the city’s best street art along the beachfront promenade, La Mer is teeming with unique, Instagrammable backdrops. You can also check out a number of visiting exhibitions and an outdoor trampoline park for little ones, or try your hand at an array of water sports, including wakeboarding, flyboarding and kayaking.
For sea-lovers who want to go on an expedition in the water, chartering a yacht is an easy option. You can also take a catamaran cruise around the islands of The World or try your hand at some deep-sea fishing.
The warm and shallow waters off Dubai are teeming with fish including barracuda, snapper, kingfish, grouper, long tail tuna, giant mackerel, trevally and so much more.
When it comes to fun in the water, Dubai truly knows how to make a splash.