Beach season is well and truly in full flow, so whether you’re looking for a cool place for a sip, a bite to eat or to entertain yet more visitors in new and creative ways for the umpteenth time, we’ve compiled some of the best beach bars this city has got to offer. Grab a sun lounger, kick back and enjoy.
Azure Beach What better way is there to cool down in the Dubai heat than with a refreshing drink, overlooking the Arabian Gulf? Azure Beach, which opened this summer at the new Rixos Premium Dubai in JBR, provides all of these things. The bar itself is set on the left of the pool (where some pumping beats play) with the beach club area boasting giant comfy sunloungers and a huge swimming pool for cooling off in. Open daily 10am-late. Rixos Premium Dubai, JBR (04 520 0000).
Barasti Of all the beach bars to feature on this list, none are quite as long-standing and famous on the Dubai nightlife scene as Barasti. It feels like the bar has been around longer than Dubai itself, and that’s because this place is always heaving at the weekends, when it will invariably be hosting some sort of party. The beach club also recently opened a brand-new pool on its lower deck. Whether you’re chilling on the beach during the day or partying into the night to one of the live bands or international DJs who frequentlytake to the stage, you’re guaranteed a good night out at Barasti. Open Sat-Wed 11am-1.30am; Thu-Fri 11am-3am. Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street (04 318 1313).
Beach Bar & Grill In the shadow of the Dubai Marina skyline sits this beachfront restaurant and bar. With the view of many a luxury yacht setting sail upon the azure waters of the Arabian Gulf, this bar at One&Only Royal Mirage is a real treat, sat alongside its better-known neighbour, Jetty Lounge. With decent seaside grub including Middle Eastern classics, seafood and grilled dishes, this is one incredible spot for sundowners any night of the week. Open daily 11.30am-11.30pm. One&Only Royal Mirage, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street (04 399 9999).
Beach Bar Dubai This bar is encased between the Arabian Gulf on one side and some tropical gardens on the other, so it really feels like it’s on its own secluded island. We’re fans of that vibe, and generally do our level best to seek it out, so this is a bar worth heading to for some picturesque vistas. Pull up a stool, order a drink and just let time drift away. Open daily 9am-1am. Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 346 1111).
Bidi Bondi Amid the Palm’s general luxuriousness, you’ll find chilled out Aussie sports bar Bidi Bondi. It’s right on the beach, it has a nifty terrace area for al fresco sundowners, and multiple screens inside showing off the latest kick off, wicket or try. There’s an impressive selection of grub on offer, too, so grab a bite, have a drink and catch the match in sandy surroundings. Open daily 10am-midnight. Shoreline Apartments between buildings 3 and 4, Palm Jumeirah (04 427 0515).
Bliss Lounge We’re big fans of this Ibiza-esque hangout lounge in JBR. Bliss Lounge has a well-earned reputation as being a non-pretentious hangout for party people, and its sundown sessions are well worth a visit as much to catch the stunning natural sunset as they are to soak up the brilliant ambiance. Open daily 12.30pm-3am. Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort, JBR (04 399 5533).
Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE If you’ve ever wondered where all the pretty people go on a Friday afternoon, the answer is this secluded beach spot at Golden Tulip Al Jazira, Ghantoot. Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE is a lively day-to-night party experience, and really kicks off after 7pm. You’ll want to put on your finest boardies for this one, because everyone here is dressed to impress. With live DJs, brunches and plenty of entertainment, it’s worth a visit if you’re after a party. Open Fri-Sat 1pm-11pm. Golden Tulip Al Jazira Hotel And Resort, Ghantoot (056 1133 400).
Captain’s Captain’s has a perfect moniker. Its nautical nature is entirely justified given its location – upon an 800m stretch of private beach. Expect sweeping views of the sea, although a westerly facing table grants much more appealing vistas than the docks to the east. Regardless, it’s a top spot that’s well worth heading to Jebel Ali for. Open daily 9am-11pm. JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort, Jebel Ali (04 814 5604).
Club Vista Mare Here you can really take your pick when it comes to drinks and a spot of dinner. This strip of beach bars and restaurants opened up in 2016 and has become a firm favourite. There are some brilliant spots on the strip, including white-washed beach-shack-themed Breeze Bar, which pumps out some great tunes on the weekends and has seating right down until the water’s edge. You’ll also come across craft hops bar The Tap House, plus top Peruvian-Japanese cuisine at Ají, which was Highly Commended in our Fine Dining Newcomer category at the 2017 Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards. Each bar or restaurant comes with some superb al fresco dining. Opening times vary depending on outlet. Palm Jumeirah (04 390 9999).
Cove Beach Given that it’s set with stunning, up-close-and-personal views of the Burj Al Arab, it’s little surprise that this beach club is always packed. The outdoor area is obviously the main attraction, with its all-white restaurant usually seeing quieter times during the winter months. While some funky tunes pump out throughout the evening, there’s a shallow pool into which you can dip your toes. Drinks are affordably priced if you go for house beverages, too. Grab your sunscreen. Open daily 9am-3am. Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Umm Suqeim (050 454 6920).
El Chiringuito Out on the Western crescent of the Palm Jumeirah, you’ll find one of Dubai’s swankiest beach clubs – El Chiringuito at Rixos The Palm Dubai. It won our Best New Nightlife Venue at the 2017 Time Out Dubai Nightlife Awards for good reason. Hailing from Ibiza, this trendy club boasts a chilled-out party vibe, huge double or even triple bed loungers, plunge pools, a temperature-controlled pool, beach access and more, for a proper escape from city life. as the sun falls the party atmosphere ramps up. Open Tue-Sat 10am-midnight; Sun 10am-6pm. Rixos The Palm Dubai, Palm Jumeirah (04 277 9180).
Jetty Lounge Funky and trendy, Jetty Lounge at the plush One&Only Royal Mirage is an overall “Dubai” experience. After the sun says goodbye to the glistening waters of the Arabian Gulf, Jetty Lounge is one of the classiest beachside spots in town. While the drinks come at something of a premium, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better spot to take your guests in the middle of visitor season. Low-slung white sofas sprawl out towards the beachfront, so groups can keep themselves to themselves and have a chilled night out, with some top views. Open daily 2pm-2am. One&Only Royal Mirage, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street (04 399 9999).
Key West In keeping with the spectacularly on-trend and premium feel of Nikki Beach Resort & Spa, it’s latest opening, Key West, is a white-washed spot at the premium end of Dubai’s beachside nightlife. It’s a sophisticated, casual venue with a distinctly Caribbean feel (echoed in the bar bites menu). Palm trees, soft white sand and unfettered sunset views make this a great new addition to Pearl Jumeira. If you’re after a more unbeat party, take a trip next door to Nikki Beach Club, known globally for its fun and glamorous poolside gatherings. Open daily 5pm-11pm. Nikki Beach Resort & Spa, Pearl Jumeira (04 376 6000).
La Cala This scaled-back al fresco spot is found a little further afield at Ghantoot Marina & Resort, neighbouring Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE. It’s all clean white with the odd splash of colour – in the cushions, wooden tables and comfy sofa casings, adding a homely touch, while being so very on-trend. The vibe is laid-back, thanks in part to its small size, but staff are always on hand even when the venue gets busy. A DJ plays cool Ibiza-esque club beats and there’s a bit of space to dance, though you’ll mostly just want to chill out and take stock. Open Mon-Wed noon-10am; Thu 11am-1am; Fri-Sat 8am-1am. Ghantoot Marina & Resort, Ghantoot (050 151 8407).
Maui Beach Bar This Palm Jumeirah-based bar offers a nifty spot of relaxation on the island’s eastern crescent. Take your pick from a selection of bar bites, pizzas, salads, sarnies and more – and if you fancy something a bit different, there’s shisha on the bar’s rooftop terrace. There’s also a decent happy hour between 4.30pm and 6.30pm, so you can gaze out to sea, reduced-price drink in hand. Open daily 11am-11.30pm. Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa, Palm Jumeirah (044 55 5656).
Nasimi Beach By day, Nasimi is a beach club. By night, local and international DJs take to the stage and the sand becomes a dancefloor. This is no doubt the reason for its enduring popularity – there’s no denying its great roster of local and international acts, who are always well worth checking out. Alongside the towering Atlantis The Palm on one side and the enduring view out across the water on the other, this is another top-notch destination when you’ve got guests in town. Open Sun-Thu 11am-midnight; Fri-Sat 9am-1am. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2626).
Palm Grill It’s not on the Palm, but it is set at the equally awe-inducingly beautiful surroundings of the Ritz-Carlton Dubai in Dubai Marina. Sea views, sand between your toes and some fresh fish – are there many better combinations? It’s also a stark reminder of how easy it is to feel as though you’re on holiday in your very own city, and a brilliant way to wind down at the weekend after plenty of nine-to-fiving. There are good sundowner deals, too, to ensure you make the most of your faux vacay. Open daily noon-11pm. The Ritz-Carlton Dubai, Dubai Marina (04 318 6150).
Plaj A coastal delight found on the Palm Jumeirah, Plaj at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray dishes up Mediterranean-inspired grub alongside stunning views of Atlantis The Palm on one side and Dubai Marina on the other. If you’re after something particularly romantic, head along for a private dining experience for two in a secluded spot on the beach. Lovely. Open daily noon-11pm. Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Palm Jumeirah (04 453 0444).
Riva Along the 70-odd kilometres of coastline along the Palm Jumeirah sits Riva, which recently re-opened its beach area, adding to the charming, white-washed interior and generously sized swimming pool. It’s a great spot found along Shoreline apartments, and has some brilliant offers ready to see you through the week, including various dining deals, ladies’ nights and more. If you’re after something chill, look no further. Open daily 7am-midnight. Shoreline Apartments Building 8, Palm Jumeirah (04 430 9466).
Sea Fu This is a place where you can grab some stylish, top-quality seafood with Asian influence. Inside this relatively small restaurant is an open kitchen, which serves up some enticing (but by no means cheap) dishes. You’ll want to take a seat outside to enjoy it, where you can expect some pretty spectacular views out to sea. It’s another one on the “feels like a holiday” list of venues. Open daily 12.30pm-4pm, 7pm-11pm. Four Seasons Dubai Resort at Jumeirah Beach, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 270 7777).
Shimmers Soak up those iconic Burj Al Arab views from this brilliant bar-meets-restaurant sitting merrily along the coastline. Shimmers sits practically in the famous hotel’s shadow, just metres from the sea, and despite its prime location and setting, the prices remain accessible. Get your hands on some beautifully grilled seafood or freshly baked thin and crispy pizzas, while drifting away to the sounds of the ocean. And relax. Open daily noon-4.30pm, 7pm-11.30pm. Mina A’Salam, Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 366 6730).
Sun& It’s little wonder this place is popular. It offers a bargainous happy hour, when drinks are available from Dhs25, a waterfront terrace and brilliant nibbles inspired by the Mediterranean. It’s a chilled, budget-friendly option if you fancy taking in the views from the Palm, from which you can see the island’s own marina and towards JBR on the mainland. It’s one of the more relaxed, chilled-out places to visit on the Palm. We’d thoroughly recommend spending an evening here. Open Sun-Thu noon-midnight; Fri-Sat 10am-2am. Palm Views West, Palm Jumeirah (04 375 9333).
The Beach House Sitting on the beachfront of the upmarket Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort is this laid-back beachside bar. Appropriately titled and suitably comfy thanks to low-slung sofas, you can catch some stunning views of the mainland’s skyline. Kick back and relax with some chilled tunes from the resident DJ, sample some shisha or nibble on some classic Mediterranean-inspired dishes, including salads, pastas and mountains of crispy calamari. The evening sees the outdoor terrace transform into a lounge, adding to the relaxed vibe and helping a few hours disappear before you’ve realised it. Open daily noon-1am. Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort, Palm Jumeirah (04 567 8888).
Wavebreaker Among the swathes of new trendy bars opening up in the area just in time for winter (hello, McGettigan’s JBR, Lock, Stock & Barrel JBR– The Walk and Azure Beach) Wavebreaker, at the established Hilton Dubai Jumeirah, is something of a mainstay on the scene. Back in the day it carried a definite beach shack vibe, but has been slightly modernised recently, and it’s now a super spot for sundowners and a beachside meal. During the day, you can grab a drink and watch the JBR camels come and go. It’s a great spot, and one that has deservedly stuck on the nightlife scene for many years. Open daily 10am-10pm. Hilton Dubai Jumeirah, The Walk, JBR (04 399 1111).
Zero Gravity How could we possibly write a feature on the best beach bars in Dubai and not include Time Out Dubai’s 2017 Beach Club of the Year? Zero Gravity is so popular that if you don’t get down early at the weekend you’ll be one of the masses in the snaking queue that practically lines the runway of neighbouring Skydive Dubai. Throw in some stunning views of the Arabian Gulf and Dubai Marina, brilliant sets from international DJs, acrobats and fire dancers, beach parties, good food served up in the restaurant and garden, a huge infinity pool, a stretch of sandy beach and a Jacuzzi, and you’ve got yourself a top day and night out right there. The brunches are also worth a visit, boasting tasty bar bites and pool access, all at decent prices. This is one venue you’ll want to keep coming back to. Open Sun-Thu 10am-2am; Fri-Sat 8am-2am. Skydive Dubai, Dubai Marina (04 399 0009).