Dubai has miles of beaches stretched along the Gulf coast, and although some have been gobbled up by luxe resorts and beach clubs, there's still plenty of shoreline where you can take a dip for free.
The crystal-clear turquoise waters are best enjoyed between September and May, and many of Dubai's beaches have undergone enormous infrastructure improvements in recent years and now come with changing rooms, toilets, showers, sunlounger and umbrella rentals, sports facilities, jogging tracks, playgrounds and kiosks.
Here are the best beaches in Dubai.
Editor's note: During COVID-19, please check the latest travel restrictions before planning any trip and always follow government health advice. Events may be subject to change.
Best beach for kitesurfing and outdoor activities
Kite Beach, a long and pristine stretch of white sand, is super clean and has lots of activities, such as kitesurfing, beach tennis, beach volleyball and kayaking. The beach has plenty of facilities, including showers, wi-fi, toilets and changing areas.
On Fridays and Saturdays, a seaside market of food trucks, cafes and pop-up shops is set up, luring in the crowds. If you fancy a nighttime swim, you can take a post-sunset dip along the southwestern stretch of Kite Beach, which is illuminated by 40ft-tall wind- and solar-powered floodlights and staffed with lifeguards.
Best beach for surfing and views of the Burj Al Arab
The wide, sandy public beach north of the Jumeirah Beach Hotel is perfect for snapping that envy-inducing selfie with the Burj Al Arab as a backdrop. Sunset Beach is also Dubai's only decent surfing beach, with small to medium waves that are perfect for beginners. Dubai isn't Hawaii (waves average 2 feet), but that's not stopping a growing community of surfers from hitting the waves. Prime months are from December to February, although October, March and April may also bring decent swells.
Sunset Beach has great infrastructure, including toilets, showers, changing cubicles and wi-fi via Smart Palms. There's also a short floodlit section for nighttime swimming.
Best beach for staying out all day
JBR Beach is a clean, wonderful beach area with plenty of facilities, including showers, toilets and changing rooms housed in distinctive paneled pods. Kids can keep cool in a splash zone, and there's even an outdoor gym for pumping iron. Since it's right next to the urban plazas of The Beach at JBR and The Walk at JBR, there's no shortage of restaurants and cafes. There are glorious views of the new Ain Dubai observatory wheel, which is slated to open toward the end of 2021.
Nikki Beach Dubai
Best beach to see and be seen
The fashionable Nikki Beach Dubai is a pleasure pit on the emerging Pearl Jumeirah residential peninsula. Here, the bronzed, beautiful and wealthy descend on this Dubai branch of the famous Miami beach club to frolic in the vast pool, lounge on daybeds, load up on seafood and toast the sunset with a glass of bubbly.
Al Mamzar Beach Park
Best beach for families
The landscaped Al Mamzar Beach Park consists of a long string of five lovely sandy sweeps and comes with plenty of family-friendly infrastructure, including a swimming pool, playgrounds, picnic areas with barbecues, water sports and bicycle rentals, snack bars, lawns, Smart Palms for wi-fi access and air-conditioned cabanas. Food outlets are minimal, so you might want to bring a picnic.
Best beach for seeing what's new in Dubai
With shops, restaurants, a waterpark, a beachfront with hammocks and a huge play park, La Mer is one of Dubai’s newest beachfront destinations, opened in 2018. It’s free to sunbathe or roam the complex, and kids will love the inflatable playground. You’re spoiled for choice when it comes spots for eating, with plenty of cafes and restaurants nearby.
Best beach club for little ones
Set along more than a quarter mile of private beach, Club Mina is a family favorite thanks to its five pools (including a shaded one for kids), a children's club and a water-sports center. A nice touch for grown-ups is the menu of cocktails available in the swim-up bar. Children get free admission on Tuesdays.
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