Great! A beach. Nice and close, is it?
Mmm. Maybe. Certainly if you’re towards the Dubai Creek end of town, not so much if you happen to be in the Marina. Al Mamzar is on the border of Dubai and neighbouring emirate Sharjah and, unfortunately, the nearest metro station, Rashidiya, is a fairly long walk away. Persevere though – it’s totally worth it.
Oh yeah, how so?
Al Mamzar Beach Park really lives up to all aspects of its name – there isn’t just one beach, but four, and massive stretches of grass, shade-affording trees, and courts for basketball, plus pitches for football and volleyball, and a small skate park. There are also pedal karts available to hire.
READ MORE ABOUT DUBAI'S BEST PARKS
Can I bring a picnic?
Absolutely. Set yourself up on the beach, the grass, or nab a barbecue stand and make a song and dance out of it. Of course, you don’t have to bring anything if you can’t be bothered – little kiosks dotted around the park sell cold soft drinks, ice-creams and assorted treats. They also have a good stock of sunscreen and hats for the truly disorganised, plus beach games for when your beach buddies start getting whingey. Near the entrance, you’ll also find a small arcade and cafeteria serving burgers, fries, juices and the like.
When’s the best time to visit? Presumably it gets busiest around lunchtime.
You’re not far off. Mornings are fairly quiet and parking is typically stress-free. From about 1pm onwards, the car park, beach and park gets progressively busier, and getting in (or indeed out) can be fairly hectic. Head down first thing in the morning (the park opens from 8am, and stays open until 10pm Sun-Wed and 11pm Thu-Sat), when the water is calm and the sand is quiet.
Anything else worth knowing?
Mondays and Wednesdays are for women and kids only (boys aged six and under), and if you want to stay out of the sun, there are beach cabins for hire from Dhs150 for a small and Dhs200 for a large one.
Entry Dhs5 per person or Dhs30 per car. Near Century Mall, Al Mamzar (04 296 6201).
Only at Al Mamzar Beach Park
With its numerous small bays and their rocky breakwaters, Al Mamzar’s calm waters are home to an abundance of marine life. Thousands of crabs scuttle around the rocks, while fish nosey around beneath the water’s surface. If you’re lucky, you might spot a ray skimming along, minding its own business. Pack your mask and snorkel!