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.
From Jumeirah Beach Road, turn right at Saga World Mall and park within site of the beach.
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).
Combine the facilities of Le Méridien Mina Seyahi and The Westin Dubai and you get Club Mina, one of Dubai’s largest private beaches. Despite being right alongside the famous Barasti beach bar, this is not a clubbing-style beach, but actually a traditional beach resort with lots of watersports – waterskiing, wakeboarding, banana boating, sailing at an extra cost – loads of sun loungers and plenty of space. Seriously, loads of space. Five hundred metres of well-kept beach means you can always find a good spot.
Sun-Thu: Dhs224 (adults), Dhs125 (kids); Fri-Sat: Dhs350 (adults), Dhs225 (kids). Add a BBQ at the weekend for Dhs425 (adults); Dhs225 (kids). Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Al Sufouh Road (04 399 3333).
DoubleTree by Hilton Dubai – Jumeirah Beach
The second of two Hilton hotels in JBR is something of an undiscovered gem. Smaller and cheaper than its sibling, the DoubleTree beach club has watersports provided by Watercooled – kayaks, paddleboard yoga, doughnut and banana rides are available – while the few well-spaced-out sun loungers and cabanas are comfortable enough to spend the day on. Access to an attractive and elevated infinity pool may tip this lesser-known spot in the favour of many sandseekers.
Sun-Thu: Dhs125 (adults), Dhs75 (kids), Fri-Sat Dhs175 (adults), Dhs100 (kids). The Walk at JBR (04 453 3333).
Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Resort
Just 50 sun loungers and cabanas around the pool and private beach make this one of the more compact beach clubs in Dubai, but that is no reflection on the facilities offered. In fact, the Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Resort has been offering watersports and beach activities since long before most of Dubai was even built, never mind going to the beach. Expect the usual array of windsurfing, wakeboarding, donut rides, jet skis and paragliding. The nearby Wavebreaker bar is a flip and a flop away and recommended for lunch and a sundowner.
Sun-Wed: Dhs180 (adults), Dhs95 (kids), Thu-Sat: Dhs250(adults), Dhs95 (kids). Hilton Dubai Jumeirah, The Walk at JBR, Dubai Marina (04 399 1111).
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).
Anantara Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa
An ideal beach club for watersports enthusiasts, the club offers paddleboarding, kayaking, pedalo rental and many more activities at an extra charge. There’s even a Thai longtail boat to take you to and from the resort’s East Crescent location. All very impressive but, truth be told, we’re happy to come and just chill. One of the quieter resorts (in a good way) the Asian architecture and over-water villas are something of a rarity in Dubai and sitting out on the comfy loungers and sauntering away for a dip in one of the large lagoon pools is just fine by us.
Daily Dhs250 (adults), Dhs100 (kids). Anantara Dubai The Palm Resort, Palm Jumeirah, www.dubai-palm.anantara.com (04 567 8888).
Rixos The Palm Dubai
There is a very convincing reason why you should make the trek out to the furthest end of the Eastern Crescent of the Palm Jumeirah. The distant location means, according to the hotel, this is the only Palm Dubai club permitted to offer motorised watersports on the beach perimeter. So come here for jet ski, banana boat, wakeboarding and Seabreacher rides. Look out for yoga and aerobic sessions as well, but don’t feel obliged to be active. Rixos has some of the best cabanas in town so if you just want to chill out this is a good spot for doing so, Sun-Thu Dhs175; Fri-Sat Dhs250; Kids half price.
Palm Jumeirah (04 457 5555).
Riva Beach Club
There is something homely and welcoming about this Palm Shoreline beach club. Without the enormity of some more established spots and the pounding tunes of the more party-orientated clubs, Riva offers good facilities at actually reasonable prices. If you want the exclusivity, facilities and service of a private beach club without breaking the bank this is a sensible option.
Sun-Thu Dhs100 (adults); Dhs50 (kids); Fri-Sat Dhs175 (adults); Dhs85 (kids); Dhs50 extra for gym access. Shoreline Apartments Building 8, Palm Jumeirah (04 430 9466).
Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa
Finding a beach club that offers something unique is tough, with most falling into either Ibiza-style or activity-packed categories. This falls into the latter but does have something no other beach club can boast. The eco-golf driving range is an area where you can drive up to 100 balls of fish food into the sea beyond. Other activities include scuba diving, water-skiing, water polo, windsurfing and more of the usual aquatic activities. The service is excellent (cooling fruit slices and drinks are dished out) making the sand feel somehow softer on the 500m stretch of beach.
Sun-Thu Dhs250, Fri-Sat Dhs300. Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort, Palm Jumeirah (04 455 6677).
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).