Well, with no shortage of sand, and lovely clear waters, you can only expect beautiful beaches, and that's what you get, they are amazing. Only, when I was there it was 45 degrees in the shade (i know, keep out of the shade then) and far too hot to be on the beach. I would like to go back someday, but not when it is that hot.
Whilst the city runs along the coastline of the Arabian Sea, it's not all open access beach fronts. The port or Dubai Maritime City takes up a vast section from the mouth of the Creek heading south towards Abu Dhabi.
Beaches start from the Jumeirah Mosque and the Jumeirah Open Beach (also known as City Beach) which runs south for quite a way until you start hitting the private beaches of the resorts.
They are immaculate and, importantly, unspoilt by development. Unusually, it's low-lying private homes that run along the immediate foreshore, so no vast developments to mar the beach front. And with a cycle/running track running on the beach itself, showers, lockers for valuables with calm waters, they're ideal and easy going spots. No photos are allowed on the beaches themselves to protect modesty.
And anywhere you go - you see the Burj Khalifa...
One block back from the beach is the Jumeirah Road which is the main access - taxis, buses, shops, cafes, restaurants, hotels etc.
Right beside Jumeirah Beach Park that one has to pay for to enter, there is a free public beach. It is that bit closer to Burj Al Arab, being to the south of Jumeirah Beach Park.
You will not find any lifeguards here, but there are some advantages. One can drive their vehicle right up to the beach & park there. Also, you are allowed to take photos!
I had noted people advising to avoid this beach on Fridays (as it's a day of rest, hence large crowds at the beach), but this is certainly not the case till at least midday. You can pretty much have the place to yourself from 0700-1100 even on a Friday!!
The one gripe many locals & visitors voice is that there are often local men leering at the scantily-clad swimmers, often just sitting in their cars or otherwise, with no intention to enjoy the beach & water themselves!!
In my last day I had some free time to have a walk in the beach. My target was the famous 7 stared Burj El-Arab hotel. After it was buit, the hotel turned out to be the symbol of the city. If like me, you are among the % 99,9 of the world population who can't afford a night in the hotel, there is an option to see it by paying entrance fee around 90-100 US $ and spend a day there.
Anyways, my beach walk started like 8 a.m. in the morning. Weather was very nice like 20 C (but it was february) and water was crystal clear. I regretted not to have brought a towel with me. There were people even kids who were swimming. Burj el-Arab was visible in the horizon and I walked there sometimes getting in the sea till my knees, sometimes sitting on the rocks, watching people who are running, fishing and walking with their dogs. Behind the beach luxurious neighbourhoods were located with villas jeeps parked in front of them. After about 2 hours I reached Burj al-Arab.
Beaches don't come cheap in Dubai. Several sections, especially those near to the glitzy hotels, you must pay to use THEIR beaches.
I refuse to pay. Why should I pay for sand that nature has created? The price? If you're intending to see the Burj al-Arab (you know, that self-proclaimed 7 stars hotel?) up close, you can still see it from the free sections, though probably as a mirage-like image in the horizon.
The Jumeirah Free Beach (aka The Russian Beach) is near the Dubai Marina Resort and there are a few malls, a big supermart Spinney's and a cluster of restaurants just off the beach. You know you have come to the right section when you can see a HUGE UAE flag fluttering in the wind.
The Dubai authority had gone to great pains to provide ample facilities: Enough clean changing rooms/toilets along the stretch, a children playground, a few kiosks selling drinks and separate 1.5km long walking and cycling paths. You'll probably need 40 minutes-1 hour to complete the walk without stops.
Take a look at the many grand houses along the roads, built in a variety of architectural styles. This area is popular with Western expatriates working in the emirate. Some are build in the shape of dhows (traditional boats) and some even have windtowers! And in the distance away from the beach, you will also see the ever-changing Dubai skyline, with the still under-construction Burj Dubai Tower (circa Jan 2008), towering above all.
Come to this beach on a weekday and you'll probably have the cobalt blue sky, light sandy beige beach and the emerald waters all to yourself.
I love swimming and I love the heat! While in Dubai, I went swimming at least once a week in the Persian Gulf! It was so beautiful!!! It really was like a dream! The water was fantastic - crystal clear and as warm as a bath! It was also very salty and easy to swim in. I could stay there all day -- and I did! The beaches on Jumeirah Road aren't very crowded and the sand is very clean. If you love swimming and you love the heat -- you'll love swimming in the Gulf!
This is one of the few public beaches still open to the public. The beach is beautiful but the crowd may not be appealing especially on weekends. Girls - avoid this stretch if you do not want to be gawked at by South Asian workers! But this place also gives you a beautiful view of the city skyline. From here, you can see the Emirates Tower and Burj Dubai. On a clear day, you can also see Burj al-Arab.
Dubai has beautiful beaches but my cent on this is that if you go to the city beach you won't really like it because of the many onlookers. It is better to get to the beaches out of the town where the big hotels are.
This is one of open public beach in Dubai. You can do sunbathing, swimming, bodysurfing, windsurfing, jetski, or just have a picnic at sunset time on this long sandy beach. You can watch also Burj Al Arab from distance.
There are no public facilities nor equipment rental places, so you need to carry your own including fresh water for rinsing your body after swimming. However, the open beach just before Jumeirah Beach Hotel has this facility (fresh water shower).
If you are staying in the centre of Dubai and would like to go to the beach for a few hours, than you can go to the public beach. Some hotels offer a shuttle service to the beach (the Golden Sands have one, but you have to be very quick, they are awfully crowded). The beach is certainly not as nice as the private beaches of the beach hotels, but it is very long and the water is warm and clear.
You can also see the Burj al Arab, the most expensive hotel in the world, far in the distance, it can also be visited but they charge a very high entrance fee.
There are toilets directly on the beach.
Attention: there are not may places in the shadow!
Interesting (and funny) to see the Western, bikini woman being watched by the crowds of Indian,Pakistani,... men
Wanna have fun?
You must try to do some water sports in Dubai. Just wonderfull
But try to avoid to go to the beach on June, July, August and September. Is extremely hot