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There is no shortage of sun, sea and sand in Dubai – although finding a free beach can be a challenge. The lion’s share of beaches are owned by the large resorts, so those who are not guests of the Four Seasons, Hilton or Madinat Jumeirah may have a hard time finding a place to spread their towel. But don’t worry, it may take a bit of effort but even in hyper-expensive Dubai there are free beaches.
There are actually a dozen free beaches to be exact: from the long and wide Jumeirah Open Beach with chaises, kiosks and water sports activities to the well-hidden and quiet Palace Beach. Although the water of the Persian Gulf is lukewarm and appears calm, the currents can be treacherously strong. A quick dip is fine, but swimming is recommended only when a lifeguard is present. Here follows a list of the 3 best public beaches in Dubai.
The longest public beach in Dubai is Jumeirah Open Beach. It runs from the Dubai Marine Beach Resort to the Four Seasons. A bustling boulevard packed with skaters, joggers and cyclists runs along the strand. This beach offers showers and toilets, and chaises and parasols are available for rent. Beach kiosks sell drinks, snacks and ice creams.
Jumeirah Open Beach, Jumeirah 1, Dubai
The attraction of this quiet secluded beach can be found in its nickname: Sunset Beach is the best spot in Dubai to watch the pale pink sun sink behind the billowing ‘sail’ of the landmark Burj Al Arab Hotel. In terms of facilities, the contrast between the world's only ‘7-star hotel’ and the public beach next to it are enormous: apart from a volleyball net and a surf school, the beach offers no facilities. So in addition to bringing a book and a towel, don’t forget to pack a parasol and a picnic.
Sunset Beach, Umm Suqeim, Dubai
The coastline between the Burj Al Arab Hotel and The Palm Jumeirah is reserved for a string of 5-star hotels, with one exception: Al Sufouh ('Black Palace') Beach. The white beach with a view of the palm islands is usually quiet because it is very hard to find. An unpaved trail runs from Al Sufouh Road, near the Dubai College bus stop, to the beach. You may park on the sand. The beach offers no facilities whatsoever.
Black Palace Beach, Al Sufouh, Dubai