Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa
The tiny beach has plenty of charm in its 60 metres of sands. The cove feels almost like a secret Mediterranean discovery; it's a fine alternative to some of the gigantic offerings around the city. There are swimming pools and a compact kids’ corner, but a visit here is all about just chilling.
Sun-Thu: Dhs100 (adults), Dhs40 (kids); Fri-Sat: Dhs150 (adults), Dhs60 (kids). Jumeirah Beach Road (04 346 1111).
Jumeirah Beach Hotel
Separate to the more adult-orientated Cove Beach club in the same hotel, this family-friendly club is large enough to have two distinct areas – relaxation and pampering, and watersports – and for kids, it has the high standards you'd expect from a Jumeirah property. As an all-round beach club it's hard to beat, owing to the wide variety of attractions and watersports facilities in a single venue directly opposite the Burj Al Arab.
Sun-Thu: Dhs350 (adults), Dhs250 (kids); Fri-Sat: Dhs450 (adult), Dhs350 (kids). Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Umm Suqeim (04 406 8872).
No prizes for guessing what activity is most popular here, but there are bonus points available for knowing that this is the best spot to play beach volleyball, beach football and beach tennis. Food truck Salt is parked up and there's a strong sense of community with kitesurfers, families and sporty groups. free Daily.
From Jumeirah Beach Road, turn right at Saga World Mall and park within site of the beach.
The closest Dubai has to a Venice Beach, this constantly evolving seafront is one of the city’s standout attractions. Body builders flex muscles, bikini-clad sunseakers top up tans, children build sandcastles and diners drift on and off the sand after eating at one of the dozens of well-designed casual restaurants at The Beach. Since the sand area shrunk, it has been busy, but we still consider this to be one of the best free attractions in the city.
Free Daily. Head to JBR’s ground level and find The Beach shopping arcade.
Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort
At 250 metres long, Le Royal Méridien’s beach is big but by no means the longest in the city. It's the depth that makes the beach seem so large. From the loungers to the water, there is heaps of space, ideal for beach games and lying out on the sand. We’d prefer to have the loungers set further apart considering the room available, but the gripe is a minor one in the face of the sheer number of facilities provided. Motorised and non-motorised watersports of course feature, but there is also a large attractive garden, beach volleyball, kids' and teens' clubs and a swim-up bar for adults.
Sun-Thu: Dhs200 (adults), Dhs100 (kids); Fri-Sat: Dhs250, Dhs125 (kids). Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort & Spa (04 399 5555).
Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection
Chances are if you have ever stopped to watch watersports in the JBR area it started off here. The Habtoor beach club is home to Nautica, an independent company providing first-rate banana boat rides, kayaking, windsurfing and more. Don’t fancy that? Then hundreds of sun loungers await and swimming pools (with basic waterslides) will appeal to children. Loungers are tightly packed meaning you’ll be very close to neighbours.
Sun-Thu Dhs150 (adults), Dhs100 (kids) Fri-Sat Dhs250 (adults), Dhs125 (kids). Dubai Marina, grandjumeirah.habtoorhotels.com (04 399 5000).
Fairmont The Palm
It boasts 640 sun loungers, 450 metres of private beach, 30 lifeguards and 18 cabanas. The numbers stack up impressively in this Palm beach club’s favour. Access also means use of the pools and beach soccer and volleyball. Excellent for families, the Fairmont has well thought-out extras such as a kids’ club and yoga lessons on the sand. Views from the Palm back to the shoreline can be enjoyed by relaxing parents, safe in the knowledge children are being well entertained.
Sun-Thu: Dhs200 (adults), Dhs150 (kids), Fri-Sat: Dhs250 (adults), Dhs150 (kids). Fairmont The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 457 3388).
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).
Al Mamzar Beach Park
On a peninsula on the Dubai-Sharjah border is this enormous beach park. Several coves means there are numerous beaches as well as picnic and barbecue areas, swimming pools, playgrounds, trees and grass to sit on. You will find thatched parasols and clear water and a visit here – even though it remains on the outskirts of Dubai – really does feel like a trip away.
Dhs5. Open daily 8am-11pm. Located on a small peninsula just outside Dubai. Drive north along Jumeirah Beach Road and continue for about 5km north of Al Hamriya Port.
JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort
You don’t have to drive far out of Dubai to feel totally secluded. Great for watersports, this resort has all the usual boards and boats for hire, as well as the Wibit waterpark assault course. The facilities are excellent and the occasional Premier League football team has been known to descend for winter "training" on the shores. One of the better swimming spots in Dubai, you can even enjoy snorkelling, where if you're lucky, you'll spot small rays.
Sun-Thu: Dhs180 (adults), Dhs90 (kids); Fri-Sat: Dhs250 (adults), Dhs100 (kids), Jebel Ali. JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort (04 814 5555).
Best beaches for kids
Get details for Le Royal Meridien, Dubai Marine Resort and other beaches in Dubai.
Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa
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