Dubai isn’t just a skyscraper-packed metropolis. This city is home to loads of gorgeous sandy stretches where you can enjoy some respite from all the shopping and entertainment (it’s hard work, we know).

You can take your pick from free public beaches and swanky, upscale beach clubs. Here are our top choices…

JBR BEACH

This soft, clean slither of sand is Dubai’s most popular free beach. Much more than just a sunbathing spot, it’s the hub of all the action in the Jumeirah Beach Residences area – with events, fireworks and festivals always on the agenda. There are sunbeds, daybeds and cabanas to rent if you’re after a relaxing day by the sea. And there are plenty of facilities to keep the kids busy, like splash parks and inflatables. The area around the beach offers plenty of shopping and dining options, plus a gym right on the sand. And, there’s even a rotating platform called the ‘Flying Cup’ that takes you 12-storeys into the air for panoramic views of the surrounding area.  

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Marina Tour – Blue, Stop: The Beach

AL MAMZAR BEACH PARK 

This one is perfect for families or couples after a quiet beach day. There’s a small fee per person to enter this huge park and beach (around 5 dirhams each) but once you’re in, you can easily spend the whole day here. There are landscaped playgrounds, lagoons and a sheltered beach to enjoy, plus barbeque areas to use so you can bring your own food. You can also rent a sun lounger, and there are three pools including a shallow one for kids to enjoy.

KITE BEACH 

More likely to be on a surfboard than a sun lounger? Hit Kite Beach, where there are plenty of ways to get active, rather than spending all your time sunbathing (although we wouldn’t blame you for wanting to do just that). Here you can try kayaking, kite surfing, volleyball, beach tennis, and loads more watersports. There are cafes and food trucks to grab a bite from after all that action. And, on Fridays and Saturdays, there’s a seaside market where you can pick up arts, crafts and souvenirs to take home. 

 GHANTOOT BEACH

Want to feel like you’re on an island rather than right by a city? Head to Ghantoot Beach, located in a secluded spot off the Sheikh Zayed Road, between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. On this idyllic sweep of sand the sun loungers are all spaced out, making you feel like you’re alone on the beach with just the gentle lapping of the waves. After spending the day chilling out, head to the Golden Tulip Hotel to grab a bite to eat from the café or the bar at the watersports club. If you’re feeling active, you can try your hand at waterskiing and riding a banana boat too.

NIKKI BEACH DUBAI

If you want to make your trip to the beach a more glamorous affair, head to Dubai’s very own Nikki Beach on the Pearl Jumeirah. This popular beach club is located in a secluded spot, away from the city, and offers its own private beach area, plus a pool, bar and terrace packed full of soft sun loungers and sofas. The vibe is chilled and classy here, with a soundtrack of jazz and waves crashing against the shore. And, if you stay until sunset, you’ll be treated to gorgeous evening views of the Arabian Gulf while you enjoy a sundowner. Perfect.

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Secluded sand stretches? Tick. Buzzing beachside clubs? Tick. Whether you want a lazy day on the beach with no one disturbing you, or a lively, action-packed experience, Dubai offers it all. Don’t miss the chance to hit the sand after ticking off Dubai’s top attractions and landmarks. Or why not combine the two with a bus tour?