If you’re looking for long, empty stretches of sand, with only the quiet lapping of waves for company, you’ve definitely come to the wrong place. Dubai’s beaches are buzzing, all-action hotspots during peak season, crowded with people playing beach games, picnicking, jet-skiing, jogging, swimming in the warm Gulf waters or lying oil-slicked in the sun, determinedly topping up their tans. Many of the beaches along the Jumeirah stretch belong to hotels and are only accessible to their guests or those happy to pay a hefty day fee – definitely something to consider when booking your accommodation. There are also public beaches, some of which are free and others which charge a small entrance fee, but offer decent facilities that are kept relatively clean and patrolled by lifeguards. It’s perfectly acceptable to wear swimwear at the seaside in Dubai but some women report harassment and ogling on the free beaches, particularly on Fridays when they tend to fill up with off-duty single men. The entry fee beaches have a more family-friendly atmosphere, and some have women-and-children-only days.