We explore some of the best beaches in the UAE, which offer crystal-clear waters, excellent family facilities, and beautiful wildlife.
Contrary to popular belief, there’s far more to the UAE than towering skyscrapers and air-conditioned shopping malls. The country boasts a stunning coastline with picturesque beaches that stretch for 1,318 km along the Arabian Gulf. With almost 365 days of sunlight a year, these crystal-clear waters provide the perfect spot for expats to cool down. So if you want to take a dip, here are some of the best beaches in the UAE.
Corniche Beach, Abu Dhabi
One of the key tourist destinations in Abu Dhabi, Corniche Beach proudly carries the Blue Flag Certification, thanks to its immaculate waters, picturesque views, and attractive nature and facilities. The beach is divided into five sections, of which four are free to enter; the Family Beach Section, West Plaza Area, East Plaza Beach, and Western Extension Beach. Al Sahil beach, on the other hand, is a paid beach that welcomes all guests; except for unaccompanied men.
With a plethora of free activities on offer, including a children’s playground, basketball courts, and library, there’s plenty to do. The beach also has showers and changing rooms facilities, as well as several restaurants and cafés. This makes it a popular spot for dining after a swim. Adventurous visitors can also rent a speedboat and enjoy spectacular views of the Abu Dhabi skyline; or better still, go snorkeling and discover local marine life.
Khor Fakkan Beach, Sharjah
Located on the east coast of the UAE, facing the Gulf of Oman, this 3km-long crescent bay boasts beautiful sandy beaches and thriving coral reefs that attract many divers. The name Khor Fakkan, which translates to ‘Creek of Two Jaws’, comes from its geographical setting as a bay nestled between two rocky headlands.
As a result, city dwellers regard the beach as a peaceful getaway in which to relax. Whether you want to stroll along the shore, enjoy a picnic in the park, or scuba dive off nearby Shark Island, there’s plenty to do. This naturally beautiful beach is a must-visit if you live in Sharjah.
Al Mamzar Beach Park, Dubai
Located in the Deira district, close to Dubai International Airport, Al Mamzar Beach Park is somewhat of a hidden gem in Dubai. The park covers an impressive 106 hectares, and is adjacent to the Mamzar beach area; there are five beaches here. Popular among residents and visitors alike, the area offers a variety of family-friendly facilities and entertainment. This includes dozens of public barbecues, scenic picnic areas, changing rooms, and kid-friendly swimming areas monitored by lifeguards. There is also a designated spot for night swimming.
Everyone is welcome at the beach, however, Mondays and Wednesdays are strictly for women and children only (boys younger than 4 years old are permitted). Guests can relax by the lagoon, dine at the many snack bars and restaurants, or hop aboard the Park Train and explore the whole area. They might even catch a performance at the musical amphitheater.
Saadiyat Beach, Abu Dhabi
Boasting 400m of Blue Flag protected natural shoreline, Saadiyat Beach is the perfect spot for nature lovers. As the law strictly forbids jet skis and speed boats along the beach, it is hugely popular for swimming. The local authorities are also dedicated to preserving the natural environment. As a result, the area is home to an abundance of wildlife; including schools of dolphins and Hawksbill Turtles which breed and nest there.
The latter species is protected by strict environmental measures, and although the tranquil beach has a backdrop of five-star beach hotels, development is forbidden within 60m of the shoreline. Nevertheless, guests can enjoy a variety of activities, ranging from beach yoga classes to eco-friendly water sports such as windsurfing and sailing.
Jumeirah Public Beach, Dubai
With its beautiful golden sand, shady palm trees, and backdrop of iconic buildings, this Blue Flag beach is ideal for relaxing. Jumeirah is Dubai’s last surfing beach, with smaller waves that are perfect for beginners. Meanwhile, nearby Umm Suqeim Park is popular among swimmers, cyclists, and joggers.
There is also a children’s playground, barbecue areas, cafes, and sports facilities on offer; making this an attractive spot for families. Jumeirah Beach is also a top destination for visitors to Dubai, as it offers fantastic views of the famous sail-shaped Burj Al Arab Hotel. There are several places to enjoy food and drinks too if hunger strikes.