Treat yourself to a day of sunbathing and waiter service at the beach
Time Out Dubai staff
Treat yourself to a day of sunbathing and waiter service at one of the city’s beautiful private beaches
Anantara Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa How much? Dhs250 per person. This striking Asian-inspired resort features a long stretch of private beach, punctuated by rows of chalets jutting out over the water, as well as a busy central pool and three lagoon pools spanning a combined 10,000 sqm. Outside guests can do watersports for an extra charge or, starting this month, dine in one of the restaurants and you can take a ride on the hotel’s longtail boat for a tour around the Palm Jumeirah (Dhs50) or a one-way trip to Dubai Marina (Dhs20). Can’t be bothered with all that? Grab a lounger overlooking the magnificent villas of the Palm’s fronds and soak up some rays, ice-cold mango frappe in hand.
Pro tip: Grab a lounger on the beach – it’s far less crowded. Also keep an eye out for jellyfish, spotted on the Palm recently. Palm Jumeirah, www.dubai-palm.anantara.com (04 567 8888).
Club Mina How much? Sun-Thu Dhs225 (adults), Dhs125 (Kids ages 4-12years); Fri-Sat Dhs350, Dhs175 (Kids ages 4-12years). Add a BBQ at the weekend for Dhs425 (adults); Dhs225 (kids).
Set on the sands of Dubai’s shoreline, Club Mina combines facilities of the Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort. It has 500m of private beach, five pools and a water sports centre offering waterskiing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, paddle boarding, banana boating as well as sailing lessons. All water activities are at an additional cost ranging from Dhs30 for members kayaking for 30 minutes and Dhs40 for day guests. Motorised sports range from Dhs180 for 20 minutes for members and Dhs230 for day guests. The family-friendly resort features children’s pools with a waterslide with lifeguards dotted around the pool. Adults can take advantage of the adults-only area at the swim-up bar, and enjoy a selection of drinks. With an abundance of sunloungers available, it is usually easy to secure a spot poolside or on the beach front. Food, beverages and activities are charged at an additional cost. The poolside menu offers sandwiches, wraps and salads.
Pro tip: Service can be slow at times, so we recommend tipping your waiter to get his attention at the start. Club Mina, Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Al Sufouh Road, www.westinminaseyahi.com (04 399 4141).
Ja Jebel Ali Golf Resort How much? Sun-Thu Dhs280 (adults), Dhs190 (kids under 12); Fri-Sat Dhs350, Dhs210 (kids under 12). Add brunch at the weekend for Dhs475 (adults); Dhs260 (kids).
A great family feel permeates this desert oasis, without taking away from a sense of luxury for the grown-ups. Before enjoying a sunset beverage at the idyllic Captain’s Bar, with the resident peacocks pecking around your feet, the whole family can make the most of three freshwater pools with swim-up bars and two – shaded, importantly, unlike many others in the city – kids pools, as well as a host of sporting activities. It’s a little out of the way of course, which is just how you’ll like it when you get there.
Pro tip: Underwater visibility is great here, so pack your mask and flippers. You might even spot a ray. JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort, Jebel Ali, www.jaresortshotels.com (04 814 5800).
Fairmont The Palm How much? Sun-Thu Dhs200 (adults), Dhs150 (kids); Fri-Sat Dhs250, Dhs150 (kids).
Deservedly scooping Best Family Beach Club at last week’s Time Out Kids Awards, Fairmont The Palm is paradise for families in need of a little calm (i.e. all of them). Kids can explore a club with a climbing wall, fun water splash park and the friendliest staff you’ll encounter in the city, all located just close enough and far away from the beach club’s two pools and stunning sandscapes, where parents can lounge about on comfy, circular sofa-things. It’s a package put together by people who understand family.
Pro tip: Factor in the Breakslow Brunch, in which a succession of dishes are brought to your table. Palm Jumeirah, www.fairmont.com (04 4573388).
Jumeirah Beach Hotel How much? Dhs400 for adult UAE residents and Dhs550 for visitors (with Dhs150 food voucher). Dhs250 for child residents and Dhs350 (with Dhs75 food voucher).
An excellent all-rounder which has been catering to holidaymakers for more than a decade in Dubai. It scores highly for sports (kayaks, paddleboards, windsurfing, wakeboarding and PADI diving instruction are all offered at extra cost), family (a separate kids pool and the excellent Sinbad club are on site) as well as dining (Ocean Blue, Beachcombers and La Veranda serve five star food a flip and a flop from the sand’s edge). However it is the sheer scale of the beach area with 700 sunloungers and a 900m stretch of beach that makes it stand out. Comfortable loungers, separate areas depending on your style, excellent service including touches such as free ice lollies make this the standard against which other clubs are judged.
Pro tip: Enjoy the privacy of the smaller beach near the Marina and Talise Spa when you are first learning to paddleboard or kayak. Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Beach Road, Umm Suqeim, www.jumeirah.com (04 348 0000).
Jumeirah Zabeel Saray How much? Dhs250 per day, Dhs350 peak/busy seasons, subject to availability.
Typically busy and likely to become even more popular in the wake of Lady Gaga’s recent stay in one of the hotel’s swish villas, the beach and gardens are home to a large pool, Mediterranean-style outdoor restaurant Plaj and now a huge splash area for kids, complete with water slides, music and an indoor play room. Nab a cabana on the beach or make like the masses and plump for a comfy sunlounger by the pool where, despite being positioned reasonably close together, there’s a pervading sense of privacy. Hotel guests and beachgoers are both treated to free cold water and ice lollies – perfect as the midday sun strikes. The only downside are the tiny beach changing facilities, offering little room to get showered and dressed without the risk of an embarrassing encounter with one of the cleaning staff (don’t ask).
Pro tip: Your beach access rate also includes use of the spa facilities – so make use of those changing rooms inside the hotel. Palm Jumeirah, www.jumeirah.com (04 453 0000).
Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa How much? Sun-Thu Dhs250 (adults), Dhs125 (kids aged 4-12 years); Fri-Sat Dhs350, Dhs175 (kids aged 4-12 years).
Stunning and spacious, the beach club at Le Royal Meridien is perhaps the victim of its own success – so popular that sunbeds are both tightly packed and hard to come by. Drinks service can be hit-and-miss, which makes the swim-up pool bar as much a necessity as a luxury, but the brunch is top quality and wide-ranging, the setting immaculate and the kids’ club boasts a huge climbing area, Xboxes and much more. Depending on your point of view, its location might be perfect, but for us it’s too far away from the beach front for mum and dad to truly relax.
Pro tip: Get there for the brand-new Mas Mas Maya package. Renovated over summer, this modern Mexican sharing brunch also boasts a DJ, a 20 percent discount on beverages during happy hour from 5-7pm and, from Dhs350, includes beach club access included in the price. Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa, leroyalmeridien-dubai.com (04 399 5555).
Meydan Beach How much? Sun-Thu Dhs250 (adults) including Dhs100 F&B voucher, or Dhs150 entrance only, Dhs75 (kids) entrance only; Fri-Sat Dhs495 includingDhs250 F&B voucher, or Dhs250 entrance only, Dhs125 (kids); free for children below four years.
Located at a popular spot within Dubai’s Marina district, this elegant beachside venue offers members and day guests access to deep blue infinity pools and a private beach, poolside dining, members’ gym, spa treatments and salon. The club is family-friendly and offers a play area for kids and paddling pool area, however, the setting and atmosphere is more suited to adults only. While chic white sun loungers located in the infinity pool are perfect for topping up your tan and listening to the lively club beats on offer. Expect a glamorous crowd clad in designer swimwear. The only downside is there is no swim-up bar and although you can get poolside service, you can’t enjoy drinks in the water.
Pro tip: Pay Dhs500 (during the week) or Dhs750 (Friday and Saturday) for a cabana for extra space. The price includes a fruit platter and bottles of water for two people. Meydan Beach, The Walk, JBR, www.meydanbeach.com (04 433 3777).
Nasimi Beach How much? Sun-Thu minimum spend Dhs800 minimum spend for a cabana, Dhs500 day-bed, Dhs150 sun lounger. Fri-Sat minimum spend Dhs1,000 cabana; Dhs700 day-bed; Dhs250 sun-lounger.
If it’s a scene you’re after, this intimate beach club is the place to go for chilled, adult fun (sorry, no kids!) in a selfie-worthy setting. Double day-beds line the shore closest to the sea, with sun-loungers and cabanas ascending up the beach. A beach volleyball pitch invites the less sloth-like to burn some energy and those soaking up the sun just need to get embrace the slower pace of things here, which even applies to the service.
Pro tip: Go between 5pm and 7pm on a weekday and get 50 percent off house beverages. If it’s a party you’re after, arrive in the afternoon when the tunes pick up. Atlantis the Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2626).
One&Only The Palm How much? Dhs350 per person Sun-Thu; Fri-Sat Dhs500per person. Pool Cabana Dhs1750 Sun-Thu, Fri-Sat, Dhs2,500.
The hotel’s location on the far west side of the Palm gives the guests here a feeling of seclusion. A beach day is strictly for the grown-ups – while there is a kids club for little ones, the focus is on quiet relaxation. There aren’t countless watersports, but you can rest your weary bones while chilled-out music plays. The pool never feels crowded even when the hotel is at capacity and the private cabanas around the outside can be hired for groups. Food isn’t served around the pool or on the beach, but they will bring you fruit skewers, and complimentary water.
Pro tip: Book ahead, as priority goes to hotel guests. Palm Jumeirah, www.oneandonlyresorts.com (04 440 1010).
Riva Beach Club How much? Sun-Thu Dhs100 (adults), Dhs50 (kids, aged five and up); Fri-Sat Dhs175 (adults), Dhs85 (kids, aged five and up).
Situated on the Palm shoreline, Riva Beach Club is a popular spot for families and holidaymakers due to its cheap and cheerful setting, large stretch of beach and pocket-friendly prices. A day pass entitles guests to one fluffy towel, a sun lounger and unlimited access to the pool, beach and changing rooms, however, water sports (kayaking and stand-up paddle-boarding) will set you back an extra Dhs85 per person.
Pro tip: Visit before 10am or after 3pm at weekends to avoid the crowds, as this is the busiest time and if you’re visiting with little kids, stick to the pool as the sea is quite stony. Building 8, The Shoreline Palm Jumeirah Dubai, www.riva-beach.com (04 430 9466).
Waldorf Astoria The Palm How much? Dhs300 (adults). Dhs100 (children).
Located on the Palm Jumeirah, inside the sleek and semi-Art Deco-styled Waldorf Astoria hotel, this beach club is an attractive place to while away an afternoon. The area offers two large pools, each with a separate Jacuzzi pool adjacent. There are plenty of comfy, cushioned sunloungers, as well as cabana-style areas where seats are cordoned off with flowing white drapes. The effect looks stylish, a more glamorous pool-side venue. The area is fairly busy, although not crowded, or uncomfortably so. It appears to be particularly popular with in-house guests, including a handful with small children in tow. The real attraction, however, is the strip of private beach, which looks on to Dubai Marina’s skyline to your left, and Atlantis The Palm to the right, yet still has a fairly secluded and exclusive feel to it.
Pro tip: Opt for the Dhs350 day pass, and you’ll get lunch at buffet venue Mezzerie thrown in to your excursion too. Palm Jumeirah, www.waldorfastoria3.hilton.com (04 818 2222).
Zero Gravity How much? Sun-Thu Dhs150 (single, Dhs50 redeemable against F&B), Dhs250 (couple, Dhs75 redeemable against F&B), Dhs100 (child, Dhs25 redeemable against F&B). Fri-Sat and public holidays Dhs250 (single, Dhs100 redeemable), Dhs450 (couple Dhs150 redeemable), Dhs175 (child, Dhs50 redeemable).
One of the city’s newest beach clubs, Zero Gravity places an emphasis firmly on fun, with DJs, regular international sets and a general leaning in the direction of Blue Marlin – but vastly more accessible. Grab a lounger looking out over the sea and watch as skydivers leap out of planes and descend above you (the club is at the site of SkyDive Dubai), or grab a table on the lawn and enjoy a few drinks and snacks with friends. The club opens from 8am (the beach from 10am), making it perfect for a bite of breakfast and an early-morning bathe.
Pro tip: Sunbathe until sunset and then enjoy a night of music from one of the regular international acts. SkyDive Dubai, Dubai Marina, www.0-gravity.ae (04 399 0009).