While Dubai might be in the limelight for its glittering skyscrapers, high-end shopping malls and all things exclusive, the city’s year-round sunshine and miles of beautiful coastline hugging the waters of the Arabian Gulf mean that it’s also a great destination for beach lovers.
On weekends, residents head to various stretches of sand and beach clubs around the city that are always lively with watersports, games, parties and other events. Whether you’re looking for an adventurous afternoon or a place to simply work on your tan, these Dubai hotels provide sublime settings for the ultimate beach vacation.
Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort
Surrounded by the serenity of the spectacular Palm Jumeirah archipelago, this Thai–inspired resort is an island escape from the urban bustle of the city. Here, tropical plants and birdsong transport you to a lush fishing village where the city’s only longtail boat awaits to take you on a tour of the man-made wonder.
Stroll along the Dubai resort’s expansive private beach — you’ll enjoy more than 1,300 feet of exclusive sand upon which to lounge and sip cool cocktails.
For active travelers, watersports abound here. Try wakeboarding, windsurfing, kayaking, snorkeling, fishing trips and more.
After a full day under the desert sun, retreat to your spacious over-water villa, the only accommodation of its kind in the UAE. Take in the gentle ocean breezes from a deck overlooking the resort’s beach and the city’s remarkable skyline.
Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach
If you appreciate understated luxury, this elegant Four Seasons presents a private tract of natural beach in the heart of Dubai. You’re never far from the water at this regal resort, where even the spacious guest rooms, designed with a color palette reminiscent of the sea and sand, offer sweeping views of the gulf from a large terrace.
An array of water activities ensures that active types won’t get bored during a day out. Adrenaline junkies can go parasailing, jet skiing or deep-sea fishing while less-adventurous vacationers can give kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding a try.
Of course, if you’re here to strictly kick your feet up, you won’t be disappointed, either, as beach attendants make their rounds with complimentary Evian spritzes and frozen treats.
And when you start to feel peckish, just make your way over to the resort’s oceanfront restaurant, Sea Fu, for Asian-inspired seafood specialties with a spectacular view.
Jumeirah Al Naseem
This luxe beachfront resort stands proudly among the romantic waterways of Souk Madinat Jumeirah and evokes the charm of an old-world Arabian paradise. The design of the guest rooms is a nod to the city’s heritage of desert tribes, pearl diving and fishing that draws inspiration from the elements of the desert and sparkling sea.
The resort’s private beach provides stunning peeks of the iconic Burj Al Arab. From your comfortable sunbed, you also can enjoy full food and beverage service or partake in more active pursuits like windsurfing, sailing or waterskiing.
For an underwater adventure, visit the property’s Pavilion Dive Centre, where trained instructors offer scuba diving excursions and lessons for all levels.
After all that activity, satiate your appetite at Rockfish with Mediterranean-style seafood and gulf vistas.
One&Only Royal Mirage Residence & Spa
This palatial retreat is where the opulence of Arabian fairytales meets the tranquility of a contemporary beachfront resort. Set on a private stretch of white sand, One&Only Royal Mirage sweeps you off your feet with its grand Arabian design and architecture marked by majestic arches, latticed windows, verdant palm-fringed gardens and bubbling fountains.
Four temperature-controlled pools provide a peaceful respite, but the resort’s private 3,000-plus-foot beach is the real showstopper. When you’re ready to play, choose from a variety of watersports (sailing, kayaking and windsurfing).
Between daytime excursions, relax in the Oriental Hammam and nosh on grilled seafood and bright salads at The Beach Bar & Grill.
After sundown, this waterfront eatery pulls out all the stops with flickering candles, a casual-elegant dress code and endless trays of fresh oysters.