Here are the 10 best public beaches in Dubai where you can soak up the sun, bring out your adventurous side with water sports and skateboarding and tuck into some great food while you’re at it.
There are plenty of public beaches in Dubai to choose from, no matter your location. Some of the coastline city’s best beaches enable sun-seekers to take in unobstructed views of the Arabian Gulf without spending a penny, and stretch throughout many of the emirate’s neighbourhoods. Check out where to find the best public sand in this desert city.
Jumeirah Open Beach is your typical family-friendly offering, providing volleyball courts and a jogging track for those who like to keep up their fitness routine. There’s even a library on the beach, and you can return literature to any kiosk point across the long stretch of sand, so you’ll never be short of reading material when enjoying your downtime in the sun. Beanie bags and tables are provided so you can read in comfort. Jumeirah Open Beach is known for being especially clean and is located next to Mercato shopping mall, with residential villas nearby. Lifeguards are present and shower and changing facilities are available.
The Beach is an enormous area offering a host of outdoor activities, fitness facilities, retail stores and restaurants, and there are even camels wandering on the sand available for that photo opportunity (at a price). It’s one of the more social public beaches in Dubai, so there’s a play area for kids and a train that takes families up and down the beach for AED10 (£2) per passenger for one stop, AED15 (£3) per passenger for two stops and AED25 (£5) for a round trip. With 41 restaurants and 25 retail outlets, it’s a great place to enjoy a bite to eat and go shopping. The Beach is also a great location for seeing the biggest observation wheel in the world, Ain Dubai. If flying high is your thing, check out the The Flying Cup, a viewing platform that takes seated passengers up 40 metres (131 feet) to have a drink in the sky and take in the 360-degree views of the area. It’s home to the biggest inflatable water park on the planet, and complimentary Wi-Fi is provided.
Al Mamzar Beach Park contains five sections of beach across 106 hectares (262 acres), all monitored by lifeguards. There’s loads for families to do, including picnicking on the grass and burning some energy in the children’s play areas. There are also swimming pools, lagoons, beach coves for those needing shelter from the sun and plenty of places to eat. This public beach in Dubai even has its own amphitheatre. Uniquely, only women and children are allowed here on Mondays and Wednesdays, in respect of female modesty.
Spread over three areas – La Mer South, La Mer North and Laguna – La Mer is located between Pearl Jumeira and Jumeira Bay. There are over 85 shops, cafés, restaurants and beach activities to while away the time across this long stretch of relaxing, sandy beach. It has played host to the annual Dubai Canvas and over 15 art installations remain at the destination, making it a go-to place for art lovers. One of the highlights is Hawa Hawa, the first inflatable playground outside of East Asia, which features two dune-shaped domes with seven peaks of various shapes and heights for children and adults to enjoy.
Between the Palm Jumeirah and the stunning Madinat Jumeirah is the lesser known Al Sufouh Beach, which lines King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Road (formerly Al Sufouh Road). Also referred to as the Secret Beach or Black Palace Beach, this is more of a minimalistic beach that sticks to pure sand rather than offering restaurants, entertainment and shopping. It can be found by taking the pathway between two palaces on the road and is loved by families because it has shallow waters for kids to splash around in.
This beach pays homage with its architecture to the time when Dubai was known for its fishermen and pearl-divers. Located in the Al Fahidi historical neighbourhood of the city, it merges old with new by providing plenty of shopping, dining and accommodation options as well as a full calendar of activities. It’s about a 15-minute car ride from Dubai International Airport, but if you’re feeling flash you can pull right into Al Seef’s very own marina on a yacht. More modest water modes of transportation are the water taxi and the abra, a type of wooden boat that was regularly used by locals in the past but is now is more of a novelty, and is incredibly cheap to ride.
Jumeirah Public Beach introduced night swimming in 2017. Thanks to high-visibility smart poles, lifeguards are able to perform their duty until midnight in the Umm Suqeim neighbourhood next to the Burj Al Arab. Swimmers are allowed to venture 30 metres (100 feet) deep into the water and across 125 metres (410 feet) of land under supervision. It’s one the perfect public beaches in Dubai over the summer months, when it’s too hot enjoy the water during daylight hours. Jumeirah Public Beach also boasts connectivity via its smart bathrooms and smart trees, the latter of which beams out free Wi-FI.
The enormous Kite Beach is so named because it offers ideal conditions for kitesurfing, sea kayaking and many other water sports. A less touristy place than some of the other public beaches in Dubai, Kite Beach is a favourite with fitness enthusiasts, who use the running track between many of the great dining outlets and the beach itself. Visitors also come to take part in community art fairs, markets, sports tournaments and live-entertainment events. Get dropped off at the volleyball courts before making your way down to the famous food trucks and stalls to enjoy the perfect day out.
To avoid the private-access beaches of the iconic Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Sunset Beach is your best option as far as public beaches in Dubai. It’s located within walking distance of the tourist attractions and visitors can see the Burj Khalifa. This place is a favourite with surfers, thanks to its great waves in the morning, and is the ideal spot to engage in some water sports during the Dubai winter months, when temperatures are often still hot but are more comparable to a European summer.
Forgo the fee at Jebel Ali Beach Resort and hit the sand on one of the best hidden public beaches in Dubai instead. It’s known for kite flying, and generally being quieter than many of the other tourist hotspots in Dubai. There are a few places to eat and drink but this beach is more about enjoying a fuss-free time and taking it back to basics. You’ll find it near the base of Palm Jebel Ali.