Beaches in Dubai
Dubai's beaches are becoming more user-friendly and far more pragmatic for beachgoers not to take notice. The municipality is fitting showers and umbrellas, and installing changing stations for both men and women along every stretch of sandy coast that one can spot. This seems to be a work in progress at present (as of April 2013), so we'll do our best to keep you updated on the status of this initiative.
The following is a list of accessible beach destinations that don this beautiful coastline; all the way from Al Mamzar near Dubai's border with Sharjah, to just past the old but graceful Jebel Ali Beach Hotel in Jebel Ali.
Al Mamzar Beach Park (Paid)
Al Mamzar Beach Park is a beautiful facility with great beaches and stunning water. Permanent umbrellas are fixed on the beach; however, they get snatched up pretty quickly, so you might want to get there early if you wish to secure a shaded spot. The park is great for the entire family, but it’s not only about the beach. There are also play areas for the kids and freshwater pools. You’ll also have no qualms finding the ideal spot to set up a picnic thanks to the designated BBQ areas dotting the park.
The park is open every day from 8 am to 11 pm.
Admission is AED 5 per person or AED 30 per car. You can also rent air conditioned cabins on a daily basis (9 am to 9 pm) from AED 160 for a small unit and AED 210 for a large one.
Access to the park on Wednesdays is reserved only for women and children.
You can contact the park on +971 4 296 6201.
Getting there: Take Jumeirah Beach Road northbound. You need to pass Al Hamriya Port and then continue for approximately five kilometres. You will reach the Mamzar residential district and then the beach park. Just follow the signs.
Jumeirah Open Beach
There are many ways to describe Jumeirah Open Beach. We like awesome. There is so much to do besides the obvious sun bathing, swimming and picnicking. You can cycle or jog on the designated tracks, rollerblade, take a walk along the pier, or play volleyball… you name it. There are all the facilities you need from bikes, lockers and umbrella rentals to snack bars, showers and changing rooms… There are also some fantastic coffee shops and other hangouts within walking distance from the beach.
Getting there: Head down Jumeirah Road from the port. Pass Jumeirah Mosque (on your left) then turn right onto either Street 23A (right after Palm Strip Mall) where you will find a large parking, or Street 39S where you can turn left at the end of the street and find a small, but conveniently placed parking area.
(Photo credits: travelourplanet.com, Flickr)
This is a quiet beach. It is less likely to be busy than the other more popular beaches, making it the perfect place for a quiet day by the sea to soak in a tan. The sand seems a little coarser than on the other beaches but it’s still very nice and you can find a few unique seashells here if you’re into collecting.
There are no facilities, so make sure you pack everything you might need. You can always grab a quick bite pre or post-beach at Mercato Mall which is a mere 5 minutes’ walk from the shore.
Getting there: Directly opposite Mercato Mall, turn right off Jumeirah Road after Street 71A towards the water (you will see Biker's Cafe at the turn).
Jumeirah Beach Park
Please note that Jumeirah Beach Park is now closed until the end of 2016 for work on the Dubai Canal project.
(Photo credits: travelourplanet.com, Flickr)
This beach is right next to Jumeirah Beach Park. You can enjoy the same beach as the visitors to the park, get much closer to the beach with your car and you don’t have to pay a fee. Keep in mind that there are no facilities on this beach besides changing rooms.
Getting there: Jumeirah 2, on Jumeirah Road, take a right on Street 3A, the first street after Jumeirah Beach Park. If you’re coming from Al Athar Street, take a left onto Jumeirah Road and then the first right (Street 3A). Take a right onto the sand and get as close as you can to the beach. There is a lot of room to park; however, recently, the larger part of the car park has been fenced off.
This beach is less "conventional" than the other Dubai beaches. It extends a long way and is a short walk from the scattered parking areas in case you’re packing a lot. A large area of the beach is dotted with little shrubs. It’s an expansive place for the kids to play and for adults to take a healthy stroll walking their fury, four-legged friends. If you walk down the beach in the Burj Al Arab direction, there’s a nice playground for the kids to let loose (directly behind the vacant police watch tower). You will also cross the beach strip designated for kitesurfers on your way to this play area.
Getting there: From Beach Road, turn right into the street just before Sunset Mall - across from Street 25B on th eother side. You will get to the sandy beach parking lot. This will shorten your walk to the beach. However, the playground sits after the kitesurf part of the stretch, so finding a closer parking might prove less tardy as you haul the little ones.
If Kitesurf Beach doesn’t make you want to pick up kitesurking or beach volleyball, nothing will. This beach is packed full of active people and will make you run to the gym with envy – unless you are one of those people. It’s a great place to hang out if you’re looking for a lively atmosphere or simply to watch people. It’s also great for the kids - but maybe more so for older ones. Small convenience stores pepper the surrounding area if you’ve forgotten to pack refreshments or a bite. This strip is right next to Sunset Beach.
Getting there: Off Beach Road, turn right onto Al Nessnass Street, just after Sunset Mall. The beach is at the end of this street. Get on the sand and turn left toward the large parking area.
Umm Suqeim Beach
This is undoubtedly one of the most popular beaches in Dubai, mainly because of the direct views of the alluring Burj Al Arab. Many tour buses make this stop for holidaymakers to snap photos of this Dubai landmark. It’s also an unlikely surfing spot. When the waves are boisterous, you are likely to see many surfers in the water taking the plunge. Umm Suqeim Park is also right across the street and is a great place for the kids to play while parents relax in a shady spot.
Getting there: In Umm Suqeim 3 District, off of Beach Road, turn right onto Road 325 (a continuation of Al Thanya Road). This is the street before Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Wild Wadi if you are heading in the direction of the Burj. The beach is at the end of this street (2C). There is parking on Street 2C or in the adjacent streets.
This beach is nearly deserted on weekdays but gets busy on weekends. At low tide, you can walk out pretty far into the water. It’s a great place for the kids, for kayaking and paddle boarding. There are no facilities or amenities on this beach, so a drive will be required out of the park if you forget your provisions. There is a small Union Co-op store in the residential neighbourhood just across the road.
Getting there: As its name suggests, this beach is nestled between the palaces on Al Sufouh Road, in the stretch between Madinat Jumeirah and Palm Jumeirah. From the Madinat, head towards Knowledge Village, past a few palaces. Keep an eye out for an opening about 100 metres before a large traffic intersection where Al Sufoiuh Rd meets Hessa Street. This is where you’ll have to turn in. The road to the beach is semi-paved so even smaller cars can make it without any problems.
JBR Beach (short for Jumeirah Beach Residence) is great if you love long walks. It gets very busy with residents from the nearby towers and tourists staying at neighbouring hotels. The downside is that construction of a beachside mall has commenced which reduced the parking lot to a meagre few spots and narrowed the beach down a bit making it somewhat loud at times. The beach is very long and spans the length of JBR and more. If you want to get away from the construction, stay on the side of the beach that is closest to the Habtoor Grand Hotel.
There are so many cafés and restaurants on JBR Walk to make this beach visit convenient. If you feel like indulging in the touristic spirit, you can always hire either of the two resident camels for a wander down the beach. Their names are Reyhaan and Hilal in case you were wondering.
Head to JBR Walk and access from one of the following entrances:
1) Access the beach from the street right next Le Royal Meridien – you can bring your car down close to the beach here. Watch out for soft sand if you don’t have a 4x4. A few cars have bogged down here.
2) Between the Meydan Beach Club and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.
3) To the right of the Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort.
Jebel Ali Beach
Formerly a best-kept secret of a beach destination, this vast retreat has seen its size drastically diminish in recent years owing to construction of Dubai’s second Palm Island, The Jebel Ali Palm. It is now much smaller and is often too busy. Many people, mostly locals, camp overnight or come here to spend the day. If you plan on spending the night, bear in mind that camps can be in close proximity to one another, so nothing will shield you from the constant hum of power generators that groups bring along.
Getting there: From Dubai, take Sheikh Zayed Road towards Jebel Ali/Abu Dhabi direction. Get off the highway at Exit 13 (the one that directs you to the JAFZA Gates 7, 8 and 9). Follow the road and continue straight through the intersection until you reach a roundabout at which you will need to make a left turn. Take the first right turn just after passing the Jebel Ali Shooting Club which is on your left hand side. Drive straight down until you reach another roundabout where you will make a small left turn leading to a sandy track straight onto the beach.
If you are heading down to the beach, you should remember to pack these very important items:
- Sun block with a high SPF: we recommend at least SPF 30 for the Dubai sun. Don’t worry… you will still achieve that coveted golden tan, minus the sunburn. Make sure to apply the cream before setting off to the beach and to re-apply periodically thereafter
- Plenty of drinking water
Keep in mind that temperatures can get very hot in Dubai and that heat strokes are a very serious matter. If at any point you begin feeling unwell, it’s probably time to leave the beach and get yourself to a cooler area.