If Audrey Hepburn were to work on her suntan it would be at a club like the Jumeirah Beach Hotel’s Cove. Set aside from the family-focused, activities-packed alternative in the same hotel, this is a venue for adults – particularly chic adults, at that – where the emphasis is on relaxation, conversation and enjoying a stylish South of France-style vibe.
Sun-Thu: Beach mattress: Dhs100; single sunbed: Dhs150; double sunbed: Dhs350; Fri-Sat: Beach mattress: Dhs200; single sunbed: Dhs300; double sunbed: Dhs700; Sun-Thu: half-price. Cove Beach, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Jumeirah Beach Road (800 2683).
Al Qasr and Mina A’Salam stand clear as being among the finest luxury hotels in Dubai. Combined, they have a stunning 2km private beach, which looks directly onto the Burj Al Arab and award-winning restaurant Pier Chic. The service and facilities are second-to-none and you’re going to pay for the privilege of lounging on the cabanas and sunbeds here. The princely sum includes food and drink discounts from the excellent beachside restaurants and there are cooling freebies such as fruit slices, lollies, wet towels and drinks to keep you refreshed. There's no DJ or soundtrack, but watersports are offered if you can drag yourself away from relaxing.
Sun-Thu: Dhs450 (adults, including Dhs150 food and drink voucher), Dhs295 (kids, including Dhs100 food and drink voucher), Fri-Sat: Dhs595 (adults, including Dhs150 food and drink voucher), Dhs395 (kids, including Dhs100 food and drink voucher). Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 366 6821).
One&Only Royal Mirage
The hotel has more than a kilometre of private beach and more than 250,000 square metres of lush green lawns. For us, it remains one of the more attractive hotels in Dubai, despite being one of the city's older properties. Watersports such as waterskiing, windsurfing and sailing are offered and we’ve found it to be one of the most quiet beach clubs in town.
Daily. Dhs300 (adults), Dhs225 (kids). One&Only Royal Mirage, Al Sufouh Road, www.oneandonlyresorts.com (04 315 2105).
The Ritz-Carlton Dubai
With free beaches just minutes away, the steep price you’ll pay here is justified only by the wonderful Ritz-Carlton service. So as you sit in the luxurious loungers and cabanas expect a regular supply of ice lollies, fruit slices and drinks to come your way. The beach is large enough to have areas dedicated to families and an opposite end of the beach more attuned to couples and groups. As well as the beach, which is elevated above the public area alongside, access is granted to the excellent hotel swim-up bars and pretty gardens. For an extra Dhs200 on a Friday, stuff your face silly at the Rotisserie Brunch.
Daily Dhs500 (adults), Dhs750 (couples), Dhs300 (kids). Ritz-Carlton Dubai, The Walk, JBR, www.ritzcarlton.com (04 399 4000).
Jumeirah Zabeel Saray
The opulence and romance of this Palm Jumeirah property is well-known and it should come as no surprise that the luxury extends to the sand. Our tip is to take a lounger on the beach, they’re more spaced out than the pool area and look out towards the still and waveless Palm waters. Don’t leave, however, without dipping in the stunning 59-metre infinity pool. Don’t trivialise the vibe with watersports or club beats – just be still and be happy.
Daily. Dhs250 (adults) Dhs150 (kids). Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Palm Jumeirah (04 453 0000).
One&Only The Palm
We consider the beach club at the Palm Jumeirah’s Western Crescent’s outermost tip to be one of the most romantic locations in Dubai. We’ve seen enough Dubai hotels not to be easily wowed but slip into the enormous 850 square metre pool surrounded by palm trees and it is hard not to be ever so slightly blown away. Choosing between this and the still waters is going to be your hardest decision if you allow yourself the luxury of visiting here. For total seclusion and to pretend you are on a honeymoon, this is the beach club of choice. Especially if you arrive by water taxi from the facing One&Only Royal Mirage.
Sun-Thu: Dhs350 (adults), Dhs250 (kids); Fri-Sat: Dhs500 (adults); Dhs350 (kids). One&Only The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 440 1010).
Waldorf Astoria The Palm
Fans of the legendary New York hotel should forget what they know about the Waldorf name. Yes, it has the amazing service but the vibe here is all about sedentary sun tanning rather than inner city hustle and bustle. We love that the sun loungers are so spaced out and give a genuine sense of privacy lacking in more compact beach clubs. With 200m of sands there is space enough, and we get a vague sense of a Bahamas resort here. We're also and are confident parents will appreciate the on-site kids club and basic watersports provisions as well as the chance to just relax in the properly stylish setting.
Daily Dhs300 (adults). Dhs100 (children). Waldorf Astoria The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 818 2222).