As the UAE finally cools to a temperature that demands outdoor living, it's the perfect time to utilise Dubai's thriving beach club scene. Whether serene and stylish seaside retreats, beachside destinations that offer delicious dishes, or high-octane party scenes that warrant poolside heels, Dubai has it all. Here's our pick of the best sunbeds to book this winter.
Nestled on the pristine shorelines of one of Dubai's most renowned luxe stays, One&Only Royal Mirage, Drift Beach attracts a refined mix of tourists and locals wanting a polished beach club experience with some sass and style. White wicker sun beds topped with Mediterranean blue towels line a turquoise infinity pool and a kilometre of Dubai's iconic shoreline – this is where the well-heeled crowd indulges in classic Provençal dishes washed down with bottles of Moët Ice Imperial as they soak up the sun.
While the carefully curated mix of retro-deep house and remixed French tunes flow on after sundown, the vibe here is less about popping off poolside and more about keeping cool and stylishly collected.
One of the first luxury beach club concepts to launch in Dubai, there's a reason why Nikki Beach Dubai is the OG. Echoing the brand's other global outposts in Marbella, Ibiza and Santorini, Nikki Beach blends modern white architecture with tribal and bohemian influences for a beach club that evokes the spirit of a European summer escape with a side of sushi.
Live DJs and saxophonists set the tone for a crowd who warms up with fresh seafood platters while sipping on something fizzy and cold at the swim-up bar, meaning they're ready to party well before the sun even sets. Based on the Pearl Jumeira, with uninterrupted sea views on one side and panoramic views of Dubai's cityscape on the other, the feeling here is pure escapism.
Twiggy by La Cantine
The spot to see and be seen, Twiggy by La Cantine is a beachside spin-off of Dubai's gastronomic hot spot La Cantine du Faubourg. Evoking the spirit of the French Riviera on the shores of Dubai Creek, a manmade lagoon lined with white sand provides cool relief for a stylish set of sunbathers, while the chic club marries a Mediterranean-inspired menu with the energy of Dubai's party scene. Both Burberry and Ralph Lauren have hosted temporary pop-ups here, and the recent return of legendary DJ parties where a host of international names spin Afro-House tunes on the decks make this a spot to stay at well after dark.
Twiggy by La Cantine
Want to make the experience a family affair? Next door is the recently opened Twiggy Family, a sister beach club welcoming minis of all ages with dedicated play areas to keep the kids entertained.
Marketed as a beach destination and 'soul retreat', San Beach's peaceful magic lies in its minimalist, organic architecture and decor that evokes a spirit of tranquillity and serenity that few other beach clubs here have managed to capture. Set on Palm West Beach, cabanas lined with breezy off-white linen drapes are set apart from each other, giving a sense of privacy and exclusivity. And there are sofa-style beds and sun loungers lined along the white sandy beach and turquoise infinity pool, which host a discreet crowd indulging in an international menu of modern beachy classics (ceviches, makis, salads, and platters).
San Beach on Palm West Beach
A live band on Fridays and Sundays marries eclectic, traditional music from across cultures with contemporary beats of today, and the smooth hypnotic rhythms evoke a sense of true repose rare in the bustling city.
Throwing down some of the city's most iconic beach parties, White Beach at Atlantis The Palm translates all of the hedonistic spirit of Dubai's seminal open-air nightclub White to a beachside hangout that's become as much of an institution as the super club itself. With a roll call of international DJs flying in for sold-out dance party dates, the beach club has spectacular views of Dubai's skyline – which can be admired while soaking in a spawning infinity pool.
White Beach at Atlantis The Palm
Cabanas adorned with swaying dreamcatchers attract a beautiful crowd of pleasure-seekers soaking up the sun while easing themselves into the day with fresh Mediterranean-inspired fare and buckets of fizz. Wandering drummers and saxophonists whet the palette for what's sure to be a day and night to remember.
SAL Beach Club
The Rolls-Royce of beach clubs, SAL Beach Club sits under the sail-shaped shadow of Dubai's iconic seven-star hotel the Burj Al Arab. Private cabanas come with air conditioning, sofa seating and TVs, while sun beds surround two infinity pools and a pristine manmade beach overlooking the Arabian Gulf. Free-flowing chilled mineral water is regularly brought to guests, and seamless service accompanies world-class cuisine.
SAL Beach Club under the Burj Al Arab
Italian chef Chef Paolo Mannis (formally of the three-Michelin-star restaurant Da Vittorio) offers bites with mouth-watering flavours from the Iberian Peninsula, which can be brought poolside or – if you're too hot – inside a centrally-located restaurant with mirrored walls reflecting the blue sky back at sunbathers (great for a selfie). The vibe here is relaxed and refined and more for luxe loungers than party people.
You've got good taste. We've got the specialist knowledge. As a Quintessentially member, you have a priority seat at every Michelin-starred restaurant, speakeasy cocktail bar, and chef's table experience – anytime, anywhere. Click here to discover membership.