The 9 best Dubai beaches

Top beach days for families, surfers and couples

Dubai is perhaps best known for its luxurious hotels, extravagant food scene and world-class shopping – not to mention unrivalled experiences in the desert, like hawk flying, dune buggy riding and more. Beaches aren't always the first thing that spring to mind for a Dubai break.

  1. JBR Open Beach, Dubai Marina
  2. Umm Suqeim Beach (Sunset Beach), Umm Suqeim
  3. La Mer, Jumeirah
  4. Kite Beach, Umm Suqeim
  5. Fairmont The Palm, The Palm Jumeirah
  6. Al Mamzar Beach Park, Deira
  7. Al Sufouh Beach, Al Sufouh
  8. Nikki Beach, Pearl Jumeirah
  9. Jebel Ali Beach, Mina Jebel Ali

But the emirate's beaches are second to none: perfectly clean and curated stretches of sand backed by an epic city skyline. You'll find everything you could want, with super-soft sand, family-friendly facilities, exciting activities and a gorgeous sea. Here are the best Dubai beaches you simply must visit.

In collaboration with
Rough Guides

1. JBR Open Beach, Dubai Marina

The Beach, JBR Beach and Marina Beach are all part of the same glorious stretch in front of Dubai Marina. It's the biggest and most popular of the Dubai beaches: a wide, long and clean shore that's easily accessible. There are food and drink facilities (as well as toilets and showers) every few metres, and this soft-sand strip has lifeguards too. Some hotels have lounger space here, but large swathes of it are open to the public 24 hours a day, so you can relax in the warm water during the day and stay to watch as the city lights up at night.

Best for: Long, easy beach days

Facilities: Loungers, shade, lifeguards, toilets and changing, food

2. Umm Suqeim Beach (Sunset Beach), Umm Suqeim

Umm Suqeim Beach is a spacious public beach that's popular for night swimming. Although public beaches in Dubai are open all hours, this is the only one that allows swimming after dark, thanks to the solar and wind-powered lights keeping the shore and shallows illuminated until midnight. It's popular at sunset for its stunning view of the Burj Al Arab, an icon of the Dubai skyline. You'll find lifeguards, toilets, showers and changing rooms here, as well as a unique library where you can borrow your beach read for the afternoon. When the wind's right, it also offers one of the city's best surf breaks.

Best for: Sunsets and night swimming

Facilities: Lifeguards, toilets and changing, showers, beach library, lit at night

3. La Mer, Jumeirah

Located between Pearl Jumeirah and Jumeirah Bay, La Mer is a pristine beach backed by palms and boardwalks that wind through a curated selection of shopping and entertainment. It's an artsy and foodie neighbourhood, with plenty going on during the day (and lots of play areas for children) as well as after dark, when it's aglow with fairy lights. The sea is a perfect shade of turquoise and the custard-coloured strip of sand is kept scrupulously clean. There are lifeguards, facilities, loungers and watersports rentals on offer, and you can even rent mini beach huts with air con – a great idea for the hottest days.

Best for: Swimming, shopping, evening meals

Facilities: Lifeguards, toilets, changing, playgrounds, watersports, loungers

4. Kite Beach, Umm Suqeim

As the name suggests, Kite Beach is one of the best Dubai beaches for kitesurfing, surfing, and flying kites on the shore too. Watching the sky fill with colour is pretty fun for spectators as well! This beach is a section of Umm Suqeim that's wide and flat and catches plenty of gusts on the right day, but on calm days it's an ideal spot to rent a kayak or paddleboard. There's a running track and volleyball courts too, and especially on Fridays and Saturdays, it attracts a foodie crowd who flock to the food trucks along the back of the shore.

Best for: Kitesurfing/surfing, sports

Facilities: Skate park, running track, watersports rental, volleyball, food

5. Fairmont The Palm, The Palm Jumeirah

There are no free public beaches on The Palm, but luckily there are some fabulous resorts where you can book to stay or pay for a day pass to access some of the best beaches in Dubai. Fairmont is one of those hotels, offering its guests a raft of luxury facilities. Chief among them is access to an 800-metre private beach with white sand, aquamarine water and plenty of sports like water skiing and wakeboarding, kayaking, sailing and SUP. There are also multiple pools, perfectly positioned for a view over the stunning city skyline and the beautiful bay below.

Best for: Private beach and pool with a view

Facilities: Pools, watersports, beach and restaurant open to day visitors

6. Al Mamzar Beach Park, Deira

This gorgeous beach park is a big hit with families. It's located in the Deira area, slightly further out of town than the main beaches. There's an open beach around Al Mamzar Lake which is quiet and authentic, but it's worth paying the nominal entry fee (less than £3) to access the peninsula. You'll find playgrounds, grassy and shaded areas, swimming pools and beaches with soft sand. There are also lifeguards and facilities including showers, bathrooms and changing rooms, as well as shade, loungers and air-conditioned chalets with barbecues. Mondays and Wednesdays are for women and children only, but all other days are open to all.

Best for: Family days out

Facilities: Pools, changing, toilets, showers, shade, loungers, beach chalets

7. Al Sufouh Beach, Al Sufouh

Tucked behind The Palm Jumeirah is one of the most popular beaches in Dubai, and certainly the beach with the most names. Al Sufouh Beach – also called Secret Beach and Black Palace Beach – is a fairly wild and unfussy stretch of golden sand tumbling towards a beautiful sea, with little in the way of facilities (by Dubai standards). There's free parking and a lifeguard, and you'll have a fabulous view of The Palm Jumeirah and Burj al Arab. It's popular with local families who bring picnics, tents and umbrellas and make the most of the warm, super-shallow waters.

Best for: Swimming, peace and quiet

Facilities: Free parking, lifeguards

8. Nikki Beach, Pearl Jumeirah

Nikki Beach is one of the trendiest spots in Dubai, whether you're staying in the luxury hotel or using the private beach club for the day. The hotel isn't lying about having the ‘best view of the Arabian Gulf', as well as exquisite vistas of Downtown and the Burj Khalifa. Dip into the beach club to enjoy the beachside pool, swim-up bar, cabanas and delicious seafood. A few steps from your pool-side lounger is the sugary white sand leading into the shallow, crystal-clear sea. As you'd expect, you can book numerous watersports here, from surfing and SUP to private boats.

Best for: Glamorous beach parties, epic views

Facilities: Pools, watersports, beach and restaurant open to day visitors

9. Jebel Ali Beach, Mina Jebel Ali

For a low-key beach day away from the crowds, head to Jebel Ali, one of the lesser-known Dubai beaches. Tucked at the base of the Palm Jebel Ali, you'll find few facilities here besides the odd food truck or drinks kiosk, but you are right next to the elegant Jebel Ali Resort if you prefer a more well-catered beach day. Because it's so quiet, this wide, sandy stretch is popular for kitesurfing, kayaking and paddleboarding, although you need to bring your equipment as there are no shore-side rentals. That said, it makes for the perfect laid-back day filled with sun, sand and sea.

Best for: Escaping the crowds

Facilities: Some food and drink options, dog-friendly

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