The best Dubai beach club memberships and day packages
As the weather heats up, so does competition between Dubai’s stunning array of five-star shoreline hangouts. We’ve gone out and compared them all, to help you select your next sandy spot.
Holiday season has hit in Dubai, bringing with it scores of tourists to the city’s shores. But why should we let them have all the fun? Having year-round access to kilometres and kilometres of white sandy beaches is one of the best things about living in the city – and undoubtedly one of the reasons that brought many of us here. While hitting a free beach (or almost-free beach park) is of course an appealing notion, everyone deserves a little treat every now and then, and to our mind, beach butler service, secluded cabanas and free ice lollies make all the difference on warmer days. With that in mind, we’ve gone out to investigate all that Dubai’s beach clubs have to offer, sending our army of seasoned beach-goers to the city’s top 17 spots (ordered alphabetically) to scope out the scene. We’ve also grilled each club’s management for their vital stats, finding out everything from exactly how cool their pools are to the number of available sunloungers – not forgetting the free extras: did you know some clubs even have a service to wipe your sunglasses clean for you? It doesn’t get much more Dubai than that. Thanks to the scale of our research, we can reveal the best rates, the location of the city’s largest pool (did someone say ‘cannonball’?), the club with the most watersports, the city’s longest private hotel beach and much more.
Barasti, Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina Best Value Arrive early to the small beach at this popular bar, and after a couple of bag checks you might manage to secure yourself a square sunbed large enough for two. From around 2pm onwards on weekends the beach starts to fill, and the chill-out music gets cranked up. The atmosphere is very much geared towards having fun and unwinding, and there’s not much room for taking a dip in the sea, but this doesn’t seem to bother the crowd, who seem mainly to be in their 20s and 30s (under 21s are not allowed entry). The downside for hopeful beach sunbathers is the heavy presence of cigarette butts and litter in the sand. Free day entry, no annual membership. Dubai Marina (04 318 1313).
Number of pools: One, but guests are not allowed to use this. Average pool temp.: N/A Number of sun-loungers: 30 (each fits two) and 25 day beds Private, enclosed beach: Yes Watersports offered: None Additional facilities: Bar and restaurant. Extras: None Size and number of beaches: One beach, 100m long. Good for kids: Barasti beach guests must be aged over 21. Total size beach club: Not provided
Club Jumana @ JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort Best Watersports This sprawling beach club caters to a huge crowd that includes the hotel’s guests and UAE residents who come for a weekend break. It’s extremely family-friendly, and won Middle East Leading Family Resort at the 2012 World Travel Awards. The private beach looks out to crystal clear waters and the Palm Jebel Ali development. It’s a hive of activity and the pace feels frenetic. A buffet barbecue lunch is also available at La Fontana. Sun-Thu Dhs180 (adults), Dhs90 (kids), Fri-Sat Dhs220 (adults) Dhs110 (kids); including buffet barbecue Dhs335 (adults), Dhs160 (kids). Annual membership Dhs6,000 (single), Dhs10,000 (couple), Dhs16,000 (family), Dhs18,000 (beach and golf). Jebel Ali (04 814 5555).
Number of pools: Three Average pool temp.: 28-30°C Number of sun-loungers: 1,253 Private, enclosed beach: Yes Watersports offered: Waterskiing, wakeboarding, catamarans, kayaking, laser sailboards, sailing, windsurfing, kitesurfing and powerboating, operated by Watercooled. Additional facilities: Mini golf (additional charge) and swim-up bars in all pools. There’s also tennis, squash, billiards, table tennis and badminton, plus access to all included as part of the family membership. Extras: None Size and number of beaches: One 800m-long beach. Good for kids: Great for families, as there is CoolZone Kid’s Club and ChillZone’s Teen’s Club Total size beach club: 121,400 sq m
Club Mina, Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina Combining the pools, swim-up bars and private beach areas of both Le Méridien and Westin Mina Seyahi hotels, Club Mina is by no means small, but its well-tended gardens and grassy areas offer a relaxing environment. Guests can pick a lounger next to Le Méridien’s larger infinity pool, the Westin’s narrower yet longer meandering pool (there’s also a lap pool) or right on the beach. Club Mina is family-friendly, so if you’re after some kids-free time, head to the northern end of the Westin, where it’s adults only. Sun-Thu Dhs200 (adults), Dhs125 (kids); Fri-Sat Dhs300 (adults), Dhs175 (kids). Annual membership Dhs25,000 (single) Dhs35,000 (couple), Dhs40,000 (family), Dubai Marina (04 399 3333).
Number of pools: Five Average pool temp.: 28˚C Number of sun-loungers: 1,300 Private, enclosed beach: Yes Watersports offered: Motorised and non-motorised activities including jet skiing, waterskiing, wake boarding, banana boating, kayaking and windsurfing. Additional facilities: Table tennis, swim-up bars, basketball for kids, kids’ club facility, beach volleyball court. Extras: Cold towels and bottle sprays. Size and number of beaches: One 500m beach with Blue Flag status for water quality, environment management and facilities. Good for kids: Yes, very kid-friendly, with a kids’ play area and shallow pools Total size beach club: 50,000 sq m
Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa The beach itself is a tiny private patch, but guests come to lounge in the spacious garden areas at this relaxed club that caters to a more adult crowd. It doesn’t seem to get particularly busy (we visited on a Friday) which means staff are always on hand to help. The club is surrounded by the resort’s numerous restaurants if you want to take a break from lounging, and the buffet lunch at Taverna, served from 12.30pm-3.30pm, is included with your day pass. Sun-Thu Dhs100 (adults), Dhs60 (kids), Fri-Sat Dhs175 (adults), Dhs85 (kids). Annual membership Dhs11,800 (single), Dhs14,800 (couple), Dhs17,000 (family). Discounts available until June 30. Jumeirah Beach Road (04 346 1111).
Number of pools: Four – two adult and two kids’ pools. Average pool temp.: 27°C Number of sun-loungers: 300 Private, enclosed beach: Yes Watersports offered: None Additional facilities: Tennis, table tennis and a kids corner. Extras: A buffet lunch is included with your day pass. Size and number of beaches: One very small beach, 60m wide. Good for kids: Yes, although it has more of an adult vibe. Total size beach club: Not provided
Fairmont The Palm The Fairmont’s pleasant beach has expansive sea views, plus a family and kid-friendly pool and an adult-only pool. The latter has a superior infinity pool, poolside bar and exceptionally comfortable two-person cabanas with foldaway sunshades. Thanks to the beach’s south-facing location, it has expansive views and stays sunny all the way until sunset. Day passes must be booked in advance. Dhs195 (adults), free for under fives until August 31. Dhs495 (adults, with a massage). Dhs265 (adults, with Dhs100 food vouchers), Dhs130 (kids). No annual membership, summer offer on three-month membership Dhs3,730 (single), Dhs6,000 (couple) and Dhs7,500 (family), until August 31. Palm Jumeirah (04 457 3330).
Number of pools: Four Average pool temp.: 29-30˚C Number of sun-loungers: 520 Private, enclosed beach: No fencing to keep the public out Watersports offered: Coming soon Additional facilities: Adult-only pool, poolside bar and resident DJ. Throughout the summer months, the adult pool will operate extended opening hours on Friday nights until 10pm. Extras: Chilled water, cold towels, fruit kebabs and ice lollies as well as a sunglass cleaning service. Size and number of beaches: One 450m beach. Good for kids: Yes, there’s a dedicated kids’ play area and shallow pool with lifeguards Total size beach club: 10,000 sq m beach, 8,000 sq m pool area
The Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa Positioned at the far end of the free JBR beach, this club is vast. There’s a main pool, surrounded by sunloungers and with its own swim-up bar, as well as a kids’ play area with mini water flumes. Follow the path towards the beach, past quiet grassy areas, and you will find a small, tightly-packed array of sunloungers on the sand, shaded by palm parasols. Mainly populated by European and Russian hotel guests, modesty can be a little lax, and the noise levels by the pools can get a little high during busy afternoons. Sun-Thu Dhs150, Fri-Sat Dhs250. Annual membership from Dhs15,000 (single women), Dhs19,500 (couples), Dhs22,500 (families with one child). Dubai Marina (04 399 5000).
Number of pools: Three, including an ‘infinity’ pool at Horizon Lounge on the third floor. Average pool temp.: 29°C Number of sun-loungers: More than 600 Private, enclosed beach: No Watersports offered: Deep sea fishing, cruising, parasailing, windsurfing, kayaking, wakeboarding, waterskiing, kneeboarding, banana boating, doughnut ride and a number of other inflatable rides, operated by Nautica 1992. Additional facilities: Tennis courts, squash courts and beach volleyball pitch. Extras: None Size and number of beaches: One beach, size undisclosed. Good for kids: Yes, though they aren’t allowed to use the Horizon pool. Total size beach club: Not provided
Meydan Beach Best Pampering Meydan is by far the city’s most style-conscious beach club: the Mediterranean-inspired decor and design is stunning. It tends to get busier after 3pm, with beach clubbers scattered between the larger infinity pool, medium-sized Jacuzzi pool and little kids’ pool. The vibe is very relaxed, assisted by the spa’s 15-minute ‘suntan lotion and aftersun application’ available (for Dhs100 during summer) on the way in and out. Sun-Thu Dhs250 with Dhs100 food and drink credit; Fri-Sat Dhs495 with Dhs250 credit. Fri-Sat after 4pm Dhs250 with Dhs100 credit. Annual membership Dhs21,000 (single), Dhs28,500 (couple), Dhs7,500 (child) until August 31. Dhs28,000 (single), Dhs38,000 (couple) after. The Walk, JBR (04 433 3777).
Number of pools: Three Average pool temp.: 30-31˚C Number of sun-loungers: 200 Private, enclosed beach: Yes Watersports offered: None at the moment. Additional facilities: Café Del Mar opens at 4pm each day, table tennis and volleyball nets. Extras: Cold towels, ice lollies and sorbets. Size and number of beaches: One beach, 100m by 50m. Good for kids: Yes Total size beach club: 15,000 sq m
Nasimi Beach club If you’re not a huge fan of kids, this club offers a sophisticated day out for adults only. The beautiful crowd head here on the weekends for some frolicking and sunbathing set to the tune of chilled beats pouring out of the speakers, or live music, and there are beach volleyball nets to split the day up with. As well as standard sun-loungers the venue has double sun-beds and royal cabanas with adjustable blind shades (for a slightly higher fee). If you’ve worked up an appetite, the sushi is fresh and the burgers are tasty. The only downside is that the service can be a little slow during busier afternoons. Free access with minimum spend, Sun-Thu Dhs150, Fri-Sat Dhs200. Annual membership not available. Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2626).
Number of pools: Nasimi Beach visitors have access to the Zero Entry Pool at Atlantis during the summer months from mid-June to mid-September, with the exception of Ramadan when Nasimi Beach is closed. Average pool temp.: 29°C Number of sun-loungers: 90 sun loungers, eight royal beds, 20 double beds Private, enclosed beach: Yes Watersports offered: Not currently, but there are plans to start offering watersports after Ramadan. We’ve spotted hotel guests using motorized pedalos in the past. Additional facilities: Volleyball pitch and Pétanque (a French boules game). Extras: Cold face towels, ice lollies, mint spray and sunglass cleaning. Size and number of beaches: One beach, approximately 30m long. Good for kids: Nasimi Beach is an adult-only venue. Total size beach club: Approx. 450 sqm
One&Only Royal Mirage This hotel’s exclusive, softly Arabian inspired ambience, extends to the luxurious pool and beach area. The inviting swimming pool resembles an interconnected maze, while there is also an adult-only pool tucked away in the grounds. The beach is fringed by palm trees and the wide expanse of shore offers views of the Burj Al Arab. Beyond the shore, however, it is a busy spot, with noise from nearby boat parties and several yachts. Service is friendly and helpful; on our visit, the staff were happy to arrange a shady spot for us. Without reservation Dhs375 (adults), Dhs325 (kids), with reservation Dhs275 (adults), Dhs200 (kids). Annual membership not available. Umm Suqeim (04 399 9999).
Number of pools: Two Average pool temp.: 24-28°C Total size of the beach club: 7,000 sq m Private, enclosed beach: Yes Watersports offered: Waterskiing, knee boarding, wake boarding, banana ride, doughnut ride, boat ride, speed boat ride, kayaking, hobie cat sailing, windsurfing. Additional facilities: None Extras: Cold face towels, free fruit, sunglasses cleaning service and free mineral water. Size and number of beaches: A 1km single stretch of beach. Good for kids: Children are allowed, but the place has a more adult feel. Number of sun-loungers: 1,260
One&Only The Palm The hotel’s poolside cabanas are a great way to enjoy the private facilities during the summer. They’re large and air-conditioned with a flat screen TV as well as an all-inclusive soft drinks mini-bar with snacks, and separate shower and washroom facilities. The small crowd is mostly adults in couples or groups of friends, and it feels incredibly exclusive (apparently footballer Didier Drogba happened to be a guest on the same day as us). The refreshing pool tends to get busy as a place to cool off, but if you fancy a break, the long stretch of sand is much quieter by comparison. Sun-Thu Dhs350, Fri-Sat Dhs500; pool cabanas for up to four people Sun-Thu Dhs1,740, Fri-Sat Dhs2,500. Palm Jumeirah (04 440 1010).
Number of pools: Two Average pool temp.: 28.5°C Total size of the beach club: 4,500 sq m Private, enclosed beach: There is no fencing, however there are guards at the beach. Watersports offered: Kayaking Additional facilities: None Extras: Complimentary water, cold towels, sunglass-cleaning service as well as twice-a-day complimentary fruit skewers. Size and number of beaches: One beach, 450m long. Good for kids: Kids permitted, but this spot is aimed a mature visitors. Number of sun-loungers: Varies depending on the number of occupants at the hotel.
RIVA Beach club The Shoreline’s Mediterranean-inspired spot is where all the cool kids are hanging out. The crowd is young and the sun-loungers are in high demand, so you’ll need to get down there early to nab a spot on either the double sun-beds or the single-seaters. The beach is peaceful with very little activity besides floating and splashing about. RIVA has carved a niche for itself along the Shoreline in that the service is top-notch and the food at the restaurant is highly impressive, particularly the calamari and pizza, while the day rate is very affordable. The only downside is perhaps the lack of any extra novelties, such as cold towels. Sun-Thu Dhs100, Fri-Sat Dhs150. Annual membership Dhs5,500. Palm Jumeirah (04 430 9466).
Number of pools: One main pool with connected kids’ pool area. Average pool temp.: 29°C in winter and 26°C in summer. Total size of the beach club:: 2,043 sq m Private, enclosed beach: No, but it is a part of Shoreline beaches so semi-private. Watersports offered: SUP and kayaking, as well as scuba-diving lessons. Additional facilities: Outdoor licensed gazebo bar, main restaurant and al fresco terrace, beach food and beverage service. Extras: None Size and number of beaches: One beach, approximately 600m long. Good for kids: Great for kids. Number of sun-loungers: 300
Rixos The Palm Best for families A popular destination for Russian tourists at the end of the Palm’s East Crescent, the Rixos beach has a mixture of sun loungers and romantic cabanas. A hangout for moneyed professionals, it’s also a kid-friendly spot, with a special club for young ones. The views on the beach are let down a little by the small runway that sits opposite, but with Dubai Marina and the Burj Al Arab in the background, it’s still pretty special. The pool is the real highlight here: chic, the perfect temperature and a great spot to enjoy a drink at the swim-up bar served by attentive and efficient staff. Day pass: Dhs250 (Thu-Sat), Dhs175 (Sun-Wed), Dhs300 (Public Holiday). Palm Jumeirah (04 457 5555).
Number of pools: Two Average pool temp.: 29˚C Total size of the beach club: 8,000 sq m Private, enclosed beach: Yes Watersports offered: Body boards, waterskiing, doughnut and inflatable rides, sea bicycle, sailing, parasailing, diving, fishing and wakeboarding. Additional facilities: Table tennis, pool bar, water polo tournaments, volleyball tournaments. Extras: Free watermelon by the pool, and massages available at an extra cost. Size and number of beaches: Two beaches, main beach is 300m and White X Beach is 150m (the latter costs extra to access). Good for kids: Perfect for children; Rixy Club welcomes all children between the ages of 4 to 12 for activities during the day. Number of sun-loungers: 230
Sheraton Jumeirah Health & Beach Club This may not be the newest hotel in JBR, but its beach club is a gem. A peaceful oasis that’s set aside from the development along The Walk, the club’s green and inviting palm-filled gardens are an ideal escape. The staff are also excellent, never far from hand if you need drinks or something to eat. While the private beach is narrow, its unspoilt views out to the Arabian Sea mean it doesn’t feel claustrophobic and the pool, while not as swanky as some of Dubai’s newer offerings, boasts a swim-up bar and all-day sun. Sun-Thu Dhs140 (adults), Dhs90 (kids). Fri-Sat Dhs220 (adults), Dhs120 (kids). Annual membership Dhs14,500 (single), Dhs17,500 (couple), Dhs20,500 (family). The Walk, JBR (04 315 3854). Number of pools: Two (one adult, one kids) Average pool temp.: 28˚C Total size of the beach club: 1,180 sq m Private, enclosed beach: No, public from the neighbouring JBR beach can stroll past Watersports offered: Windsurfing, body boarding, sailing, kayaking, parasailing, water skiing, banana rides, wakeboarding, doughnut rides, cruises and fishing. Additional facilities: Table tennis, a swim-up bar, Bliss Lounge beach bar and beach volleyball Extras: None Size and number of beaches: One beach, 200m-long Good for kids: Yes, Pirates Kids’ Club available. Number of sun-loungers: 530
Talise, Jumeirah Beach Hotel There are two beaches here, and both feel fairly enclosed, one by a myriad of yachts moored in front of the shore line, the other offering only a miniscule stretch of sea. However, the beach is set directly under the Burj Al Arab, and the chance to swim in the shadow of this Dubai icon is the beach club’s primary charm. The complex has a bright, holiday ambience, very much in keeping with a hotel resort. There is a noticeable number of families and the club is certainly family-friendly, offering a kids’ club, a giant chess set to play with and facilities to entertain teenagers. Sun-Thu Dhs250 (adults), Dhs150 (kids), Fri-Sat Dhs350 (adults), Dhs250 (kids). Annual membership rates available on request. Umm Suqeim (04 406 8800).
Number of pools: Five Average pool temp.: 29-31°C Total size of the beach club: 18,000 sq m Private, enclosed beach: Yes Watersports offered: Inflatable rides, boat trips, Craig Cat crafts, boogie boards, kayaks, aqua bikes, SUP, sailing, windsurfing, waterskiing, kneeboarding and wakeboarding. Additional facilities: Seven tennis courts, two squash courts, a basketball court, beach volleyball, football, climbing wall, more than 5km of running trails, a dive centre, spa and marina yacht club. Extras: Cool towels and ice lollies. Size and number of beaches: Two beaches, 900m long combined. Good for kids: Yes, there are activities for children of all ages, including a teen chill-out area (The Hub), and Sinbad’s Kids Club. Number of sun-loungers: 1,800
Talise Fitness, Madinat Jumeirah Largest pool Expect 3km of exclusive golden sand, stretching from Al Qasr opposite the Burj Al Arab to Jumeirah Beach Hotel. Formerly known as The Quay, but now part of Talise Fitness, it is the picture perfect idyll Dubai holidaymakers dream of. The clientele is a mix of those holidaymakers – and the residents lucky enough to be able to live like they’re on holiday all the time. Service is warm, welcoming, and visitors are left wanting nothing – there’s even giant Scrabble on offer. Daily Dhs495 (adult, including Dhs150 food and beverage voucher); Dhs295 (kids, plus Dhs100 voucher). Summer offer Dhs250 (adult), Dhs150 (kids) without vouchers, until September 30. Umm Suqeim (04 366 6821).
Number of pools: Two (including the largest leisure pool in Dubai). Average pool temp.: 30°C Total size of the beach club: 47,500 sq m Private, enclosed beach: Yes Watersports offered: Boat trips, waterskiing, wakeboarding, knee boarding, triple tube, banana ride, sailing, windsurfing, surfing, SUP, boogie boards and kayaks. Additional facilities: Beach football, beach tennis, beach volleyball, giant scrabble and pétanque (French boules). Extras: Fresh orange wedges, ice lollies, cucumber slices for the eyes and cold face towels. Size and number of beaches: One beach, 3km long. Good for kids: Yes Number of sun-loungers: 1,900, plus 48 cabanas
Talise Membership, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray Best Dubai Escape This beach club never feels crowded thanks to the enormous amount of space and landscaped layout. Sunloungers sit around the infinity pool, lawns and beach, while book far enough in advance and you might even be able to nab a luxurious beach cabana for added privacy, at no extra cost. There’s a butler service for food and drink, and while the crowd appears to be mainly hotel guests, it’s also ideal for Dubaians who want to feel like they’ve escaped the city. Pre-booking is essential. Dhs250 per person, subject to availability. Annual membership Dhs30,000 (single), Dhs50,000 (couple), Dhs55,000 (family with one child), Dhs57,500 (with two children). Palm Jumeirah (04 453 0000).
Number of pools: Two; the main infinity pool and the kids’ pool. Average pool temp.: 28-30˚C Total size of the beach club: 11,250 sq m Private, enclosed beach: As neighbouring hotels are yet to open, the beach is semi-private for now. Watersports offered: Sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, SUP and powered pedalos with sunshades – all non-motorised sports are free. Additional facilities: A giant chess board Extras: Free water and ice lollies. Size and number of beaches: One beach, 1km long. Good for kids: Yes Number of sun-loungers: Approx. 500