Dubbed the City of Gold, Dubai is a trading hub for precious metals – but even more famous for its golden sands. With year-round sunshine and calm, warm waters, Dubai’s coastline is buzzing. Capture the atmosphere and try kitesurfing, jet skiing, banana boats and inflatable flamingos. Hotels provide access to private beaches with added perks, from frozen grapes delivered to free ice cream and sun loungers to Instagram-friendly swings planted in the water for enviable vacation photos. Then there are the ultra-luxury resorts with private beachfront villas and barefoot beach bars. These are the best beach hotels in Dubai.
The family-friendly Four Seasons Resort Dubai is home to one of the coolest rooftop bars in Dubai, if not the world, Mercury. Take a walk through the colorful gardens or enjoy the private beach when you’re not admiring the view. All of the hotel’s 237 spacious rooms have balconies overlooking either the beach directly or the city skyline – book a room on this side if you want to see the shimmering Burj Khalifa piercing the night sky.
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One&Only The Palm is one of the UAE’s most secluded and seductive resorts, making it one of the best beachfront hotels in Dubai. Three restaurants, signed by Michelin-starred French chef Yannick Alléno, offer pampering spa treatments and a gorgeous pool from the UAE’s only Guerlain Spa. With just 90 rooms and suites and four riad-like villas surrounded by lush gardens, the resort has the feel of a boutique hotel (by Dubai standards). It has a magical aura when illuminated by lanterns at night.
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This beachfront hotel has a relaxed atmosphere but is within easy reach of the city, with palm-shaded pools and views of Dubai Marina’s skyscrapers in the distance. It’s great for families and couples alike, and amenities include an amazing spa, adults-only pool, and excellent kids’ club. There are four pools and an 800-metre private beach with volleyball nets, table tennis, speedboat rides and water sports. The hotel feels elegant and luxurious, with a nautical palette that meets creamy marble and beige, tan and aquamarine sand.
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If you prefer modern neutrals to Arabian opulence, this low-rise property is for you. Its sea-facing gardens designed by renowned architect Bill Bensley are the focal point of the hotel, with its three large pools featuring an adults-only pool, giant hanging chairs and an abundance of palm trees. There is also a seawater lagoon for rescued sea turtles to rest before being released into the wild. The beach, with turquoise umbrellas and gazebos with undulating white curtains, is just meters away.
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This wonderful family-friendly resort is one of Dubai’s original beach resorts and remains as popular as ever. With an on-site water park and a wide variety of activities and restaurants, it’s easy to see why this five-star hotel is a universal winner. All rooms are designed to face the sea with a view of the sail-shaped Burj and feature modern and practical décor. There is a kilometer long private beach reserved by the adult Cove Beach bar and restaurant.
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This underwater themed resort features a crowd-pleasing water park, two pools, and nearly a mile of man-made beach. The flashy suites and fine restaurants are geared towards the luxury traveller, but Atlantis is actually a bustling family vacation destination. Hug it like this and you’ll have a ball. Kitsch, undersea decor—think shell-patterned rugs, oyster-shaped lights, and fish-like handles—may not be to everyone’s taste, but it’s definitely fun. There are more than 1,500 rooms, each with their own balcony overlooking the ocean or The Palm.
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A stylish all-suite resort located on a pristine beach with lush gardens, several pools, multiple restaurants and a host of activities. It manages to be both family-friendly and quiet enough for couples, thanks to its adults-only pool and wide beachfront lawn. With a series of low-rise buildings nestled among gardens with streams, waterfalls, and peacocks, the resort feels incredibly relaxing. Contemporary interiors with high ceilings, large windows and neutral tones add an air of comfort and luxury.
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There is plenty of wealth in this modern Arabian palace. If you’re not relaxing in your comfortable bedroom, smoking shisha under the palm trees at the Courtyards bar, fine Moroccan food at Tajine, or enjoying an Oriental bath, then perhaps you can be at Jumeirah Beach or the Mall of the Emirates. both are close. The rooms are luxurious with expensive carpets, curtains and bedspreads, large marble bathrooms, Eastern lanterns, beautiful toiletries, and balconies or patios.
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In an overly knowledgeable metropolis, the Ritz-Carlton in Dubai offers luxury with elegant restraint. Despite the abundance of rooms, suites, swimming pools, restaurants and bars, the air here is friendly and discreet; a lush, serene retreat from the hyperactive sprawl that surrounds it. Marble, Arabesque arches and dripping water set a soothing tone in the lobby and await the quiet elegance of the Lobby Lounge, complete with a cathedral-like wooden ceiling, harpist (Monday to Saturday) and evening jazz (Thursday). The hotel’s idyllic gardens open onto a private beach.
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Le Royal Meridien may be one of Dubai’s oldest beach resorts, but its huge swimming pools, squeaky white sands and world-class kids’ facilities make it one of the city’s most popular family getaways. Located at the far end of Dubai’s seemingly never-ending Jumeirah Beach, this location won’t be suitable for visitors who want to focus on the cultural and historical sights of Old Dubai, but if your main interests are water sports and working out a sunburn, eating and drinking are perfectly happy here you will be.
Contributions by Jenny Johnson, Sally Peck