If there's one thing Dubai isn't short of, it's sun. The sun shines almost constantly in this desert country, and no matter what season you visit, you can expect warm temperatures. In fact, in the summer, Dubai can be almost unbearably hot, and locals and smart travelers alike retreat to the air-conditioned Dubai Mall, hotels, and museums to stay out of the sun.
However, there are other ways to cool off. Dubai's seafront location on the Persian Gulf, along with plentiful sun and sand, make this an ideal place for a beach vacation. The city is home to some splendid beaches, including natural and man-made places to swim and work on your tan. Contrary to what you may be used to from the northern hemisphere, the winter is the time to explore Dubai beaches, as the sun is too unbearably hot during the summer months to spend very long outdoors.
The UAE is, in many ways, a very conservative country, but you won't fall foul of the modesty police if you wear a bikini on the beach. However, bathing suits may only be worn on the beach. Don't try to walk down the street wearing one, or you will get in trouble. Also, alcohol is not permitted on public beaches. If you want to enjoy a drink on your beach trip, you'll have to take advantage of one of the many private beaches Dubai offers.
With these few etiquette tips in mind, you're almost ready to enjoy the best beaches in Dubai. But before you head to the water's edge, don't forget to leave your belongings behind at a Bounce storage facility in Dubai. Bounce partners with local businesses in Dubai and around the world to make sure you always have a place to leave any size of bag for as long as you need to. Perfect for looking after your things while you enjoy the beach, luggage storage facilities let you only carry what you need as you explore the best beaches in town.
Located at the northern end of Umm Sequim Beach, Kite Beach gets its name from its reliable winds that make it popular with kiteboarders and windsurfers. That makes this one of the best beaches in Dubai for those looking to enjoy outdoor activities and stay active during a beach vacation.
Travel distance from Dubai
Around 12 km from the center of Dubai, Kite Beach can be reached with a drive of around 15 minutes. Dubai's public transport system isn't all it could be, so although this beach is right outside the city, a car or taxi is probably the best way to get here.
Water sports: Kite Beach is one of the best beaches in Dubai for water sports. Kiteboarding and windsurfing are super popular here, and you'll find plenty of local outfits that will rent you the equipment you need and provide lessons so you can master the sport. Kite Beach is also a great place for kayaking and paddleboarding.
Food: Kite Beach is one of the best beaches in Dubai when it comes to food. Food trucks line the beach throughout the day and night, so you can try some of the most exciting cuisine Dubai has to offer without leaving the beach. Also, there is a great selection of restaurants along Jumeirah Beach Road, which runs behind Kite Beach itself, so if you want to combine your trip to the beach with some great food, this is the place to do it.
Kite Beach is a very popular area of the city, and so while you may not want to visit the beach itself in the height of summer, there are plenty of things to do around here where you can stay out of the heat. The OliOli Experiential Play Museum is just a few blocks away from Kite Beach, making it a great place to spend some time indoors with the kids, and there's also Alkhail Mall to scratch your retail itch.
Al Mamzar Beach Park
With four separate beach areas, all staffed by lifeguards, this is one of the best beaches in Dubai to visit with kids. There is an entry fee, but it's only a couple of dollars, and it's worth it for this well-equipped beach. Note that Mondays and Wednesdays are only for women on this beach.
Travel distance from Dubai
Located on a small peninsula just to the north of Dubai International Airport, Al Mamzar Beach Park is a little over 20 km from central Dubai, so you can get here with a drive of around half an hour.
Swimming: The shallow water and abundant sand of Al Mamzar Beach Park make this a great place to swim. With lifeguards on patrol, you don't need to worry even if you're not a particularly strong swimmer, and the waves are usually quite gentle here. Plus, there are showers, changing rooms, and you can even rent air-conditioned tents to make your time on the beach more enjoyable.
Al Mamzar Open Beach: Located close to but not within Al Mamzar Beach Park, this beach is a great place if you want to get away from the crowds. There is no entrance fee for this beach, but there are very few facilities. It's just a good place to swim, go for a walk, and enjoy the natural environment that can be hard to find in the developed city of Dubai.
Deira: Deira is the historic heart of Dubai, with origins that date back to the 1700s. Located close to Al Mamzar Beach Park, Deira is a wonderful area to explore the city's past, with some excellent museums and historic souks where you can immerse yourself in Emirati culture.
Al Sufouh Black Palace Beach
Sometimes known as Secret Beach because of its secluded nature, Al Sufouh Black Palace Beach is located between two of Dubai's top tourist attractions, the towering sail-shaped skyscraper of the Burj al Arab and the artificial islands of Palm Jumeriah. But in this built-up area, Black Palace Beach offers a way to get away from the hectic pace of the city and enjoy nature. There are almost no amenities here, but that's part of the appeal. If you just want to enjoy a day on the beach without the frills, this is a great place to do it.
Travel distance from Dubai
It's around 20 km from central Dubai to Al Sufouh Beach, so expect a drive of about 15 minutes.
Swimming: Although there are next to no amenities here, there are lifeguards on duty, making this a wonderful place to swim. Swimming in the crystal clear waters here gives you a totally different vibe than you'll get on the busy beaches in the rest of the city, making you feel like you're taking a break in nature even in the heart of the city. Black Palace Beach is a favorite haunt of royalty, surrounded by palaces on either side, and it's not uncommon to see the yachts of sheiks moored just off the coast here.
Ripe Market: This intriguing market is just a few blocks from Black Palace Beach. It's a wonderful place for street food and also features stalls by local traders, providing an ideal shopping experience if you want something a little more local and a little less commercialized than you'll find in the many malls of Dubai.
Jumeirah Beach Park
The famous artificial islands of Palm Jumeirah are a great place to look for beaches - if you don't mind paying. The legendary Jumeirah Beach Residence and Jumeirah Beach Hotel have their own beach clubs, like Riva Beach Club, that offer incredible amenities like sun lounger rentals, world-class restaurants, and tons of things to do. If you're looking for a private beach to provide a luxurious experience, these islands are a great option.
However, nearby, you'll find one of the most popular beaches in Dubai that offers a great seaside experience without the price tag that comes from locations on Palm Jumeirah. There is an entry fee to Jumeirah Beach Park, but it's only a couple of dollars, and it's well worth it considering what you get.
Travel distance from Dubai
It's about a 15-kilometer journey from central Dubai to Jumeirah Beach Park. Expect a drive of about 20 minutes or so to reach this popular beach.
Water sports: Many of the beaches in Dubai provide excellent options when it comes to water sports, and this beach is no exception. Rent a jet ski to explore the coast or take a ride on a donut over the gentle waves. There's also kayaking, snorkeling, and tons of other ways to have fun in the water on this beach, so bring your sense of adventure and enjoy all the activities on offer. You can also play beach volleyball on the sand here.
Picnics: This beach park offers barbecue facilities, making it one of the best Dubai beaches for a picnic. Grab some food from a nearby grocery store and bring it to this beautiful beach to eat outside and enjoy the freshest food available in this beautiful setting.
Burj al Arab: One of the most iconic landmarks in all of Dubai is located right next to Jumeirah Beach. The Burj al Arab may be the most luxurious hotel in the world, often classed as a seven-star due to its incredible amenities, but you don't need to stay there to enjoy some of what it offers. You can dine in the hotel's underwater restaurant or take a tour of the hotel to see some of the luxurious interiors that cater to its wealthy and famous guests.
Umm Suqeim Beach
Also known as Sunset Beach, this beach offers a more laid-back atmosphere than some of the other beaches in Dubai. In fact, this beach is all about relaxation. If you just want to stretch out on the sand, enjoy a good book, and soak up the quiet atmosphere away from the busy beach clubs of Palm Jumeirah, this secret beach is probably your best option in Dubai.
Travel distance from Dubai
Just 13 km from the center of Dubai, you can reach Umm Suqeim Beach by car in about 15 minutes from the heart of the city.
Reading: There are few activities more relaxing than enjoying a good book on the beach. And if you haven't brought your own, don't worry. Umm Suqeim Beach is the only one of all the Dubai beaches to offer a lending library with comfy beanbags where you can borrow a book and curl up for a good read.
Night swimming: Unlike most beaches in Dubai, this one is lit up at night to allow for night swimming. Given the heat Dubai experiences during the day, this is a great way to enjoy the cooler temperatures of nighttime at the beach. You can swim until midnight, and the beach itself is open 24 hours, so you can explore at any time of day and beat the heat that way.
Dubai is absolutely packed with beaches, from the private beach clubs of Palm Jumeirah to the chic Marina Beach and everything in between. The best beaches in Dubai provide a great place to cool off in the winter, even if summer is too hot to spend much time here. And in this expensive city, these beaches provide great activities for enjoying Dubai on a budget.
All of these beaches are within 20 minutes of the city itself, but if you want to explore further, Dubai and the UAE are full of beaches that make great destinations for weekend trips from Dubai. Just remember to leave your bags behind with Bounce luggage storage and only carry what you need to.