The best beach hotels in Dubai for a hit of sunshine and sand

One&Only Royal Mirage, Dubai one of the best beach hotels in Dubai
One&Only Royal Mirage is one of Dubai's most striking beachside resorts

Dubbed the City of Gold, Dubai is a trading hub for the precious metal – but it's even more famous for its golden sands. With year-round sunshine and calm, warm waters, the city's shoreline is buzzing. Catch the vibe and try kitesurfing, jet skiing, banana boats and inflatable flamingos. Many Dubai hotels provide access to private beaches with added perks, from complimentary ice pops and frozen grapes delivered to sun loungers to Instagram-friendly swings built in the water for enviable holiday snaps. Then there are the ultra-luxury resorts with private coastline villas and barefoot beach bars. These are the best beach hotels in Dubai. 

How we review

Every hotel in this curated list has been visited by one of our expert reviewers, who are usually hosted on a complimentary basis. They stay for a minimum of one night, test at least one meal and trial other experiences that the hotel might have to offer.

The family-friendly Four Seasons Resort Dubai is home to Mercury, one of Dubai's – if not the world's – coolest rooftop bars. When you're not admiring the views take a walk in the colourful gardens or enjoy the private beach. All of the hotel’s 237 spacious rooms have balconies which either face directly onto the beach or out over the downtown skyline – book a room on this side if you want to see the twinkling 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 beach hotels in Dubai. Offering three restaurants by Michelin-starred French chef Yannick Alléno, indulgent spa treatments from the UAE’s only Guerlain Spa, and a spectacular pool. With just 90 rooms and suites and four riad-like villas surrounded by lush gardens, the resort has a boutique hotel feel (for Dubai's standards). It has a magical feel at night when it is lit by lanterns.

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This beachfront hotel has a relaxed vibe but is still 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 facilities include a fabulous 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 watersports. The hotel feels elegant and luxurious, with creamy marble and a sand-meets-sea palette of beige, tan and aquamarine.

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If you prefer modern neutrals to Arabian opulence, this low-rise resort is for you. Its sea-facing gardens designed by acclaimed architect Bill Bensley are the focal point of the hotel, with three large pools including an adults-only pool, giant hanging chairs and plenty of palm trees. There’s also a seawater lagoon for rescued sea turtles to recuperate in before being released back into the wild. The beach, dotted with turquoise umbrellas and cabanas with billowing white drapes, is mere metres away.

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This fantastic family-friendly property is one of Dubai’s original beach resorts, and remains as popular as ever. With an on-site waterpark and a huge variety of activities and restaurants, it’s easy to see why this five-star hotel is a universal winner. It's designed so all rooms are sea-facing with views of the sail-shaped Burj, and décor is modern and practical. There's a kilometre-long stretch of private beach bookended by the adult-orientated Cove Beach bar and restaurant.

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This underwater-themed resort boasts a crowd-pleasing waterpark, two pools and nearly a mile of man-made beach. Opulent suites and fine-dining restaurants are aimed at luxury travellers, but really Atlantis is a bustling family resort. Embrace it as such and you’ll have a ball. The kitsch, under-the-sea décor – think shell-patterned carpets, clam-shaped lights and handles fashioned like fish – may not be to everyone’s taste but it certainly is 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 set on a pristine beach with lush gardens, several pools, multiple restaurants and a raft of activities. It manages to be both family-friendly and quiet enough for couples, thanks to an adults-only pool and spacious lawn by the beach. With a string of low-rise buildings set among gardens with streams, waterfalls and a pride of peacocks, the resort feels incredibly relaxing. Contemporary interiors with high ceilings, large windows and neutral shades add to the laidback luxury vibe.

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Opulence abounds at this modern Arabian palace. If you're not relaxing in your plush bedroom, smoking sheesha under palm trees at Courtyards bar, eating fine Moroccan fare at Tajine or enjoying the Oriental-style hammam, then perhaps you can be found at the Jumeirah Beach or Mall of the Emirates, both nearby. Rooms are luxurious with expensive carpets, drapes and bedspreads, big marble bathrooms, Oriental lanterns, beautiful toiletries, and balconies or terraces.

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In a metropolis well versed in excess, Dubai’s Ritz-Carlton delivers luxury with elegant restraint. Despite its bounty of rooms, suites, swimming pools, restaurants and bars, the air here is intimate and discreet; a lush, tranquil retreat from the hyperactive sprawl surrounding it. Marble, Arabesque arches and trickling water set a soothing tone in the lobby, off which awaits the hushed refinement of the Lobby Lounge, complete with cathedral-like wooden ceiling, harpist (Monday to Saturday) and evening jazz (Thursday). The hotel’s Eden-esque gardens lead to a private beach.

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Le Royal Meridien may be one of Dubai’s oldest beach resorts, but its massive swimming pools, extensive stretch of squeaky white sand and first-rate children’s facilities make it one of the city’s most popular family escapes. At the far end of Dubai’s seemingly never-ending Jumeirah Beach, the location won’t suit visitors wanting to focus on the cultural and historic sights of Old Dubai, but if your main interests are water-sports and working on that tan, punctuated by eating and drinking, you’ll be perfectly happy here.

Contributions by Jenny Johnson, Sally Peck