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.
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).
Sunset Mall Beach/ Nessnass Beach
There’s not much to differentiate this from several other small stretches of beach (Mercato, 4x4) on Jumeirah Beach Road. For years we’ve been happy to throw a towel down and read a book or dip toes in the water and not be bothered by the crowds that come with more facilities at more popular beaches. As more cafés and restaurants open on the road behind, it's no longer necessary to bring a picnic as you'll find something if you’re prepared to walk a little.
Free daily. Turn right just before Sunset Mall in Jumeirah 3.
Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort
At the end of Dubai Marina and JBR, this private club has close proximity to facilities, but the exclusivity of private beach access. Private cabanas are large enough for six (at a squeeze) and come with food and drink (Dhs1,200 at weekends fully redeemable on F&B or Dhs500 on weekdays with Dhs450 redeemable on F&B). Stay until the evening when the area transforms into the stylish Bliss Lounge for a club vibe right on the beach.
Sun-Thu: Dhs140 (adults), Dhs90 (kids); Fri-Sat: Dhs220 (adults), Dhs120 (kids). Sheraton Jumeirah Beach, JBR, www.sheratonjumeirahbeach.com (04 399 5533).
Access is free but there is a minimum spend on food and drinks at the Atlantis hotel’s Ibiza-style beach lounge. Balearic beats drift across the dozens of tanned and muscled beach boys and girls that hang out here all day and night most weekends. If you’ve ever wondered where all the perfectly sculpted people you see around the city’s VIP rooms hang out during the day, this is your answer. If you’re not bothered about watersports, facilities for kids or quiet reflection, this party beach is the place for you to do your paddling.
Sun-Thu Dhs150 per person minimum spend on sun loungers and sofas, Dhs800 minimum spend for three person cabanas. Fri-Sat Dhs250 per person minimum spend per person on sun loungers and sofas and Dhs1,000 minimum spend for cabanas. Atlantis, The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2626).
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).