Dubai's beaches are beautiful and well maintained, with a greenish-blue, warm and bathing-friendly sea. Finding the right beach can be a challenge at times. We've got some tips on Dubai's best beaches.
If you visited Dubai a few years ago, you might have swum in the popular Jumeirah Beach Park or at the public Jumeirah Open Beach. Today, neither of them remain, with one small exception.
Jumeirah Beach Park was closed when construction began on the Dubai Canal and unfortunately there is no sign that the beach park will reopen. Jumeirah Open Beach has also been sacrificed for construction work, but a small stretch still remains.
Hotels in Dubai often have their own stretch of beach that is closed off to outsiders. But the emirate also has beaches open to the public and well-kept beach parks with showers and changing rooms, which charge a small entrance fee.
Public beaches in Dubai
The beach in JBR / Marina Beach
Large and nice free beach at Jumeirah Beach Residences, JBR. Perhaps the best public beach in Dubai, now that Jumeirah Open Beach is almost gone (read more below). Despite the size of the beach, it can be difficult to find a way down, a tip is to cross over the parking lot between the Mövenpick and Hilton hotels. From the beach, you're close to the good selection of cafes and restaurants along The Walk, the street that runs parallel to the beach in JBR.
Al Mamzar Beach Park
Beach park with three fine beaches, swimming pools, playgrounds and barbecue areas in a landscape of swaying palm trees and well-tended flower beds. Located a bit out of town, but worth the taxi ride. The park is open every day of the week, but on Mondays and Wednesdays it is only open to women and children. The entrance fee is 5 dirhams. More information is available here.
Jumeirah Open Beach
Most of the beach is closed and - at the time of writing in April 2017 - is unlikely to reopen. A small stretch remains, but is quite difficult to find. From Jumeirah Beach Road, which runs parallel to the beach, walk down towards the sea between Dubai Zoo and Mercato Mall. There are a few small streets through the residential area that take you out to the beach. There are lifeguards, but no restaurants or other services.
Popular beach for kitesurfers, as the name suggests, but also for those who just want to sunbathe and swim. The beach is open to everyone, there is no charge to enter, and it has good services. You can hire sun loungers, parasols and towels. If you want to be active, kayaks and paddleboards are available for hire and there is a jogging trail along the beach. Simple food and drinks are available for purchase.
Umm Suqeim Beach (European Beach)
The best place to see the Burj al Arab hotel and a nice beach for a swim in Dubai's beautiful sea water. Called "European Beach" because it's almost all tourists here. If you don't want to swim, at least go here to admire the sunset. Located just north of the Jumeirah Beach Hotel.
Black Palace Beach (Al Sufouh Beach)
Small and very quiet beach between the hotel Madinat Jumeirah and the entrance to The Palm Jumeirah. Open to the public, but lacks facilities. Can be difficult to find. Follow an unpaved road from Al Sufouh Road, the road starts near the bus stop for Dubai College.
Map of beaches in Dubai
Tips about beaches in Dubai
If you're travelling to Dubai to sunbathe and swim in the first place, then you should book a hotel right by the sea. Beach hotels have their own beaches where only hotel guests are welcome. Some accept paying day visitors, but the entrance fee is often very high. The price varies from around SEK 300 to as much as SEK 1200 per person per day.
Unfortunately, hotels with direct beach access are often very expensive, with almost only five-star hotels, and many visitors to Dubai choose to stay a little further from the sea.
Getting from an in-town hotel to the beach takes time, so you can't expect any spontaneous jumps if you're staying in Downtown, Deira or Bur Dubai, for example. However, some of the hotels have shuttle services to and from their nearest beach. Check before you book.
Keep this in mind when bathing
The sea has strong currents at times and occasionally there are the occasional jellyfish - although we have never seen one. Be careful and avoid swimming far from the shore.
Women should consider their attire. Wearing a bikini or swimsuit on the beach is fine, but going topless is not acceptable. It is also wise to avoid string bikinis.
Dress in normal clothes when you leave the beach, even if you're just crossing the street to buy an ice cream, the recommendation is to be covered from shoulders to knees in public places.
On some beaches there are areas reserved for families - clearly signposted - where you should wear normal clothes. If you wear a swimsuit or bikini, you may get a friendly warning from the guards.
(Page updated 2017-04-19.)