The Do's and Don'ts of Sunbathing in Dubai

Dubai | © sabineseitz77/Pixabay
Thais Kelly

It’s time to rejoice – Dubai beach season is here! This is the best time of the year for Dubai residents and visitors, because although it’s winter, it’s the only time the weather is bearable enough to be in the sun. However, before bringing out the bathing suits, it’s important to know a bit of beach etiquette in order not to offend anyon–or even get in trouble with the law.


Pick the right beach

This is crucial. Dubai has no shortage of beaches that come in so many different styles, so look for the one that best suits you. Sure, public beaches here are beautiful and full of fun activities, but if you want to consume alcohol, head to a private hotel beach. This also applies if you want to do water sports or hand out at a beach with sun beds. Every beach here offers something different, and it’s best to do some research before heading out.

Jumeirah Beach Hotel

Wear sunscreen

This is a must! Not only because all people should be wearing sunscreen all the time anyways, but also because this is the desert. This is a place that sees an average of five rainy days per year and has virtually no clouds, so the sun’s rays are extremely strong. This especially applies for those who are brave enough to try to tan during summer.

Drinks lots of water

Again, this one should be obvious but a lot of people forget to stay hydrated when they hit the beach. If you’re trying to get a tan outside of the winter months, temperatures range between 30ºC and 50ºC, making it very easy to become dehydrated. This can be dangerous, so it’s crucial to stay hydrated throughout the day when sunbathing.

Man Drinking


Don’t forget your camera

Dubai has awesome beaches! This is the perfect opportunity to take photos, including the traditional touristy ones next to the Burj Al Arab. Whether people choose to go to Sunset Beach where the 7-star hotel is visible, or The Beach in JBR to get some pictures of the Dubai Eye Ferris Wheel that’s under construction, this is a great time to get some awesome shots.

Don’t sunbathe topless

In reality, Dubai is actually pretty relaxed when it comes to bathing suits. It’s common for visitors to be reluctant to put on a bikini, specially at public beaches, but that is actually completely acceptable. However, it’s important to remember that this is still a very religious country and there are some boundaries. Sunbathing topless is one of them, so women should make sure to keep their tops on at all times. Additionally, get fully dressed before leaving the the beach, as walking down the street in a bathing suit is not allowed.

Burj Al Arab

Don’t take pictures of other people

Although hitting the beach in Dubai is a great opportunity to take great sunset pictures and such, it’s important to not take pictures of anyone without their permission. This specially applies to local women. Taking pictures of others in Dubai is generally something you should never do, as it can lead to a 500,000 AED fine in addition to six months in prison. The action is especially problematic when people are at the beach and when women are in their bathing suits.

Don’t bring pets

Although you might want to take your furry friend out for a day at the beach, almost all beaches in Dubai do not allow animals. However, only a few hours drive away, many of the beaches in Fujairah are dog friendly. So if you want to take your pup out sunbathing with you, a fun day trip to Fujairah is a good idea.

Dog Playing

Don’t bring alcohol

This can really land you in a whole lot of trouble. In many countries it’s common to bring beers to public beaches and sunbathe while enjoying a cold one. This is not the case in Dubai. Under no circumstance should alcohol be consumed in a public setting – this can wind up getting you jailed or deported. If you wish to drink while tanning, there are several beach clubs around the city that serve alcohol.

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