Soak up the sun at the UAE’s best beaches
With 1,300 kilometres of spectacular coastline in the UAE, there’s bound to be a spot on the sand with your name on it. Whether you’re looking to tackle the waves with some adrenaline-pumping watersports or simply relax under a palm tree with a refreshing cocktail in hand, there’s no shortage of sand and surf in the emirates. From tranquil coves that feel like your very own piece of paradise to vibrant coasts abuzz with activity, we’ve handpicked four of the country’s finest beaches that definitely call for a daycation under the winter sun.
Abu Dhabi Corniche
On the capital’s sunny shores, beautiful beaches are a dime a dozen, but the Corniche remains one of Abu Dhabi’s most popular spots. For one, the coral blue waters and golden sands fringed by swaying palm trees make you feel like you’re on a tropical island. Secondly, this spectacular beachfront boasts the highly-coveted Blue Flag status, the internationally recognised symbol for safe beaches, for carefree fun in the sun. And to add to the convenience of sunseekers, the two-kilometre coast is divided into separate zones for groups and families with children.
On a weekday, it is easy to find a quiet spot under a large umbrella, if it’s relaxation you’re after. And when you’re up for a dip, the idyllic ocean waters are warm and shallow, with a gentle surf . Don’t forget to sample the food at the various beachside haunts along the Corniche. Serving up a wide range of international cuisines, from fresh seafood to local favourites, there’s something to suit every palette and budget.
The playground of choice for adventurous types, few beaches in Dubai come close to the pristine setting of Kite Beach. A haven of sorts for surfers and paddle boarders, the spot attracts both beginners and advanced enthusiasts who live for the adrenaline.
There’s never a dull moment on Kite Beach, even if all you’re looking for is to spend a few hours admiring the views before you. Watch in amazement as professional surfers ride the waves and the horizon becomes dotted with colourful kites soaring in the distance, or join in the fun.
Completing the piercing blue panorama is Dubai’s magnificent skyline in the distance, which includes the sail-like structure of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. Quirky cafés and plenty of food trucks along the shore ensure you never leave feeling peckish.
Golden sands and turquoise blue waters aside, the sprawling beach at JBR has plenty on offer to appeal to every kind of beach lover. And it comes as no surprise that this popular stretch of sand remains a firm favourite among residents and tourists alike. While the waters are fairly calm, the shore is constantly buzzing with activity. And to truly appreciate what this spectacular spot has to offer, we recommend trying a little bit of everything.
Dip your toes in the waters of the Gulf on a sunny afternoon, idle the hours away on the shore soaking up that warm Dubai sunshine, get your thrill fix with a variety of watersports including parasailing and wakeboarding, sign up for camel rides on the sand, shop for fashionable finds at local booths or tuck into the eclectic selection of fare on offer across the many cafés and restaurants along the shore. Furthermore, the strip plays host to local artists entertaining the crowd with live painting shows, photography displays, stand-up comedy and live music.
A secluded beach is generally hard to come by in the UAE but for sun worshippers seeking a relatively uncrowded stretch of sand, Ajman’s gorgeous Corniche certainly fits the bill. Situated on the UAE’s north-western shores, the coastal attraction is defined by postcard-perfect white sand and crystal blue waters. Beachgoers can easily spend the entire day doing nothing but alternating between sunbathing and taking leisurely dips in the warm, inviting waters.
On a lazy weekend in the emirate, it’s not uncommon to find local families enjoying a picnic on the sunny shores or getting ready to fire up a barbecue for a seaside feast. But when the sun sets, this sleepy stretch becomes a hub of social activity, thanks to the many cafés and restaurants dotted along four kilometres of coast serving everything from street food to gourmet world flavours.
Beach lovers in the capital now have one more reason to rejoice. Miral, the UAE’s renowned destination management group, recently revealed plans to develop a new beachfront community in Abu Dhabi. The A’L Bahar project is set to grace the emirate’s vibrant Corniche, covering 80,000 square metres of space and offering multiple options to relax, dine and shop. Due to open before March 2018, visitors can look forward to a host of fun-filled experiences for the whole family with basketball courts, soccer pitches and an outdoor gym, as well as a play area for junior beachgoers.