Beachfront Bliss: 8 of the UAE’s Most Beautiful Free Beaches

5 mins

Here in the UAE, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a welcome fix of sun and sand. In fact, some of the country’s best golden beaches come with no entry fee at all

Offering the same azure waters and soft sands as the UAE’s most luxurious beach clubs and lavish beachfront hotels, the nation’s free public beaches provide brilliant days out that every member of the family will love.

Welcoming, picturesque and offering tonnes of fun activities, the below are some of the most idyllic (and free) places to soak up some nourishing vitamin D this winter.

Al Bateen Beach, Abu Dhabi 

Al Bateen Beach - Abu Dhabi

Looking out over the statuesque bridge to Hudayriyat Island, Al Bateen Beach is a favourite spot for Abu Dhabi sun-seekers and picnickers. You can hire watersports equipment and jet skis, and there’s a separate women’s only beach, too.

Corniche Beach, Abu Dhabi 

Corniche Beach - Abu Dhabi

Roughly half of the 8km-long Abu Dhabi Corniche is home to pristine golden sands that are open for all to enjoy. There’s a separate section for families, sunbeds and parasols are available for a small fee, and the calm and clear blue waters are ideal for getting in a length or two. Numerous parks, playgrounds, ice cream shops, cafes and rental bikes and scooters are found along the promenade, while live buskers on the boardwalk set the mood as sunset approaches.

Despite its popularity, the sheer size and length of the Corniche beach means that it never feels crammed, while the views of the towering downtown skyscrapers set against the vibrant coastline are simply tremendous.

Dubai Island Beach, Dubai 

Proud to be the first completely dog-friendly beach in Dubai, Dubai Island Beach lets pet owners enjoy frolicking in the waves together with their furry friends. There’s also kayaks and paddle boards for rent, beach volleyball and football courts, and plenty of room to stroll and jog along the sands. Located off the coast of Deira, the surrounding area is relatively quiet except for a few hotels, but many more restaurants and attractions are expected to open over the coming months. 

Flamingo Beach, Ras Al Khaimah   

beach with parasol

If you fancy a cooling dip after your next hiking trip to the northern emirates, look no further than Flamingo beach, Ras Al Khaimah’s most stunning and unspoiled public cove. Peaceful, wild and thoroughly enchanting, it offers all the essential amenities, plenty of parking, and safe swimming areas that those of all ages and abilities can enjoy. With a choice of places to eat nearby, it’s the perfect stop off on your drive home. 

Hudayriyat Beach , Abu Dhabi   

Hudayriyat beach

The ultimate weekend playground for kids and big kids alike, the attractions of Hudayriyat are expanding with each passing year. Away from the numerous sports pitches, obstacles courses and cycling tracks, you’ll find a wide public beach, complemented with a vibrant promenade littered with colourful street art, cool cafes and kids’ activities. Completely free to enter, it’s always busiest at sunset, when families flock to watch the warm golden shades fill the sky behind the iconic floating Hudayriyat sign.

The short nature walk provides a pleasant way to stretch your legs after a snooze on the sand, and the Arabic breakfasts at homegrown cafe DRVN are an absolute must-try. To extend your beach time, you can also book in for a staycation at Bab Al Nojoum, the island’s hippy-chic glamping site.

Kite Beach, Dubai 

Kite - Nessnass - Beach, Dubai

Set under the iconic sail of the Burj Al Arab, a day at Kite Beach has long been one of the top things to do in Dubai. Whether you are a long-term resident or a tourist passing through town, you can’t fail to fall in love with its natural beauty. Refreshingly informal, just bring some towels and plenty of snacks, and set up camp for the day on a spare patch of soft sand. As the name suggests, kite surfing is a common activity here, and there’s also volleyball courts, a soft and spongy running track, and plenty of cafes and places to grab a bite.

If you forget reading material, there’s even a beach library, while the beach hut market stalls are just waiting to tempt you with crafts and fashion items from local artisans.

Sunset Beach, Dubai 

beach at sunset with Burj al arab hotel in background

The lesser-known neighbour of Kite Beach, Sunset Beach is one of the best surfing spots in the UAE. Beginners can receive lessons from the friendly team at Surf House Dubai, and it’s also known for its illuminated night swimming areas. The perfect place for a refreshing post-work swim under the starry night sky, it also backs straight onto the lush lawns, playgrounds and BBQ areas of Umm Suqeim Park. 

The Beach, JBR, Dubai 

Sunset view of the Dubai Marina and JBR area and the famous Ferris Wheel and golden sand beaches in the Persian Gulf. Holidays and vacations in the UAE

Located just a short stroll from Dubai Marina, JBR is by far the most frequented free beach in Dubai, and it’s not hard to see why. Easy to reach via metro and tram, there are almost too many promenade restaurants to choose from, while the views over Ain Dubai are the very definition of magnificent.

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