Holidays in the UAE – 7 best beach resorts
Many people associate vacationing in the UAE with expensive luxury hotels and shopping, but what about the beaches? They are in every emirate, but the level of service in each of them is different. Yes, in the rich emirates there are regions where the tourist industry is only developing. Well the heart of tourism in any form is Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah. And how are the beach holidays in other emirates?
Due to their hot climate and convenient geographical location, all 7 emirates have access to the sea. Which emirate has a better beach vacation?
Each of them has its own nuances that you pay attention to when planning a trip. Someone wants an active vacation by the sea next to the noisy metropolis, and someone wants to spend time in solitude and silence on the sparse beach away from the noise of the city. All this can be found in the resorts of the UAE.
Beach holidays in the UAE
The UAE can rightly consider itself a Mecca of tourism, which attracts holidaymakers from all corners of the earth all year round. But which of the emirates to choose? What is worth paying attention to when making a tour? What is the difference between beach tourism in each of the regions – we’ll find out in the article below.
When it’s better to rest
The local climate – dry subtropics, very little rainfall. All summer from May to September in the UAE is an intolerable heat to +50 degrees in the shade, so do not recommend to go here in the summer. Because of the heat ticket prices are reduced significantly.
The best time to travel – from October to November. Then the temperature is more comfortable for a holiday of +30 degrees. But the prices for holidays increase sharply with the hype.
In winter, the cost of tours also goes down with the temperature. In winter it drops to +25. The water in the sea also cools down, but not critically. Since April, it starts warming up again.
What UAE city perfectly combines a beach holiday with sightseeing tours and shopping? Dubai, of course. A versatile place where you can find everything you need for a vacation: beaches, great service, entertainment and attractions.
If you have never been to the UAE, then the first trip is better to start with Dubai. From the city you can easily get to other emirates, and there is something to see in its surroundings:
- Take a stroll along the local beaches, each one unique and beautiful in its own way;
- Old City;
- Dubai Mall;
- Singing Fountains;
- Burj Khalifa;
What is remarkable about vacationing in the capital is that you can live here on a modest budget, as well as on a grand scale.
Shopping, as the purpose of coming to Dubai, may well be justified. Just a visit to the Dubai Mall alone can already be considered as shopping and a visit to a place of interest. Dubai Marina Mall, Outlet Mall Dubai, Deira Markets are also worth seeing.
If the main purpose of the visit to Dubai is still a beach holiday, it is recommended to settle in the Jumeirah area. Here there are long clean beaches with a developed infrastructure in the background of the hotel-paradise Burj al-Arab, in a small proximity to the hotel with a big water park Atlantis. Also luxury beach area Dubai – Marina Beach, which is called the local Manhattan with high-rise buildings made of glass, expensive yachts, looks very impressive.
Holidays with a small child, also recommend the beaches of Dubai – smooth entry into the water, the beaches and the water is clean, very developed coastline with cafes and stores. Children will love visiting the local amusement parks and water park – Wonderland and Wild Wadi.
What are the main features of Dubai before other resorts in the UAE:
- Abundance of hotels, malls, attractions, entertainment, everything your soul desires;
- developed transport links within the city and beyond;
- 2 international airports;
- There is no ban on the dress code on the street, the UAE is a Muslim country with very strict rules in some regions;
- Everyone speaks English very well, there are a lot of Russian staff in the hotels;
- high prices for everything, expensive accommodation in the beach area compared to other resorts;
- noisy city, it’s a long way to get to the beach from the hotels in town;
- multicultural city, almost 90% of visitors.
Good competition to Dubai is a beach holiday in the capital Abu Dhabi. Yes, there are all conditions for a great vacation on the clean beaches, the same well-developed infrastructure, which is not necessary – everything is close by.
The city is modern, no inferior to Dubai: with the same skyscrapers, shopping malls, where to go on excursions. Abu Dhabi is a quieter and quieter city compared to Dubai, there are fewer tourists, less traffic jams, no strict dress code prohibitions. The smooth entrance to the water on the beaches is ideal for children.
The city has a lot of attractions, which you can see all at once on a city tour:
- Abu Dhabi’s Falling Tower;
- Sheikh Zayd Mosque;
- The observation tower at the Etihad Tower;
- The most luxurious and expensive hotel on the planet, the Emirates Palace;
- Heritage Village;
- Qasr Al Hosn Palace;
- Saddiyat Island for tourists;
- Sir Bani Yas Island Reserve.
Features of Abu Dhabi in comparison with other resorts:
- Mild climate and not so hard to bear the heat.
- Lots of attractions, places to shop.
- Better beaches than Dubai.
- Has an airport.
- Less developed urban transport links, easier to rent a car or cab.
- Expensive accommodation in beach hotels.
- The long distance between the attractions, the city is big and a lot of time is spent on the road.
Sharjah is the cultural capital of the UAE, the city is very quiet, a lot of greenery, no rush and noise in the streets, a great place to stay with your children. All attractions are close to each other. Sharjah is closest to Dubai, so to shake up and diversify you can easily go to the neighboring emirates for a day trip.
Hotel prices are slightly lower than in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. There are not as many attractions as in the most popular resorts, the capital, but the tourist will find something to do and where to go:
- singing fountain;
- Mereja quarter;
- King Faisal Mosque;
- Wildlife Sanctuary;
Features of recreation in Sharjah:
- All the beaches are good, clean, equipped, everything for the comfort of visitors.
- An abundance of exhibitions and festivals, cultural events.
- Prices for shopping are lower than in Dubai.
- Cost of tours in Sharjah lower than in Dubai.
- Accommodation is cheaper.
- Strict prohibitions and restrictions on dress code, behavior in public places, dry law and ban on alcohol, smoking.
- No clubs, bars due to the ban, a bit boring for young people.
- No hostels.
- Crowded beaches.
Not the largest emirate, located on the shores of the Gulf of Oman, unlike other emirates. The resort is very different from other emirates with its mountain and sea landscape, life in the city is measured, quiet in contrast to the big cities. The beach strip has a length of 90 km. The entrance to the sea is gentle and strong waves are very rare.
Fujairah is a very green emirate, in contrast to the desert landscape of Dubai. The heat is not to be underestimated, as there is plenty of rainfall in the summer and during the winter, high mountains protect the Emirate from sandstorms and strong winds.
- Musandam Peninsula;
- Al Bifna Fort and Museum;
- Ain Al_madhab Gardens;
- The ancient mosque of Al-Bidia;
- Diving and swimming with a whale shark.
- Beach recreation is excellent: few people, beaches are wide, clean, entrance is free;
- Beautiful nature, unusual for other emirates;
- Developed active recreation: snorkeling, diving, fishing;
- can easily withstand the heat in the summer;
- no noise in the city, no traffic jams;
- a lot of hotels “all inclusive” with restrictions on alcohol;
- vacation and accommodation prices are much nicer than anywhere else in the Emirates;
- very few tourists;
- few attractions and entertainment;
- far from the airport and far from Dubai;
- little entertainment for the kids;
- almost no public transport.
Probably the most ideal holiday with children. Very quiet, peaceful, no fuss and noise of the big metropolis. The smallest emirate among others at a small distance from the cultural Sharjah (10 km) and Dubai (30 km). Ajman is considered the poorest emirate in the UAE, but the quality of beach holidays is not affected.
Ajman has 16 kilometers of beach with fine white sand, few people and very clean. The resort is focused on beach tourism and attractions are few:
- Archaeological Museum.
- The residence of Emir.
- Picturesque parks.
- Visit camel racing.
- Excursion to Masfoot exclave to mineral springs.
- Museum in the exclave of Manama.
Usually go from here to nearby Dubai or Sharjah for the sights.
Features vacation in Ajman:
- the beaches are wonderful with fine sand, the water warms up quickly and becomes like steaming milk as early as April;
- Do not apply the dry law and there are no bans, as in other emirates, alcohol can be bought in the store;
- Close to Dubai for a day trip to the sights;
- close to Dubai and Sharjah airports;
- most hotels are in the coastal area and they are inexpensive;
- no active construction in the city, constant noise and construction equipment in the background of the city;
- Diving and snorkeling are very popular;
- the region is more environmentally friendly than the big emirates;
- developed shopping and prices are cheaper than in the malls of Dubai;
- almost no entertainment and attractions;
- few skyscrapers;
- no subway, few buses, tourists mostly use cabs.
Ras Al Khaimah
The northernmost and the youngest emirate, which does not affect the quality of beach recreation of the resort. The coastline with clean beaches is 50 km long.
A beautiful mountain landscape, a lot of greenery, parks, beautiful promenade and developed infrastructure for tourists. Many decent shopping centers, hotels are available for accommodation both in the city and at the coastline.
The resort is not yet that popular with tourists, but the emirate is developing dynamically and is actively building up. It has great potential for the future. Here come mostly tourists who have been to the UAE and have seen all the major attractions.
What can be seen here, where to go:
- The picturesque hills and canyon of the Hajar Mountains;
- The old part of the city with the market and the mosque;
- Jebel Jais Peak;
- a mountain trail for the extreme;
- hot mineral springs;
- the village of Daya;
- The abandoned village of Al-Jazeera Al-Ghamra;
- local port;
- Al Hasi Fort;
- National Museum;
- camel racing;
- golf, jeep safaris, go-karting, fishing and diving.
Features of vacations in Ras Al Khaimah:
- A tranquil, dynamic city.
- A landscaped coastline with good beaches and developed infrastructure.
- There is no prohibition on the dress code and alcohol, there is even a store selling alcohol.
- A lot of newer hotels with high service, as in Dubai, but much cheaper.
- A small selection of hotels, most are all inclusive.
- There is no public transport at all, everyone takes a cab.
- Our hotel is a long way from Dubai (more than 100km).
- International airports are far away, though there is a local airport, but there are no direct flights from Russia.
- The nightlife of the city is poor.
Umm Al Qaiwain
A small emirate with underdeveloped tourism industry. A very quiet town, without big shopping malls and entertainment. But the beaches here are very good, the season lasts as long as in Dubai and other resorts.
This emirate is very attractive to fans of fishing and this industry is very developed, as well as agriculture.
What to see here:
- Umm al-Qaywain Fort;
- Al Dawr excavations;
- a walk to the old town and the old harbor;
- Center for the Study of Marine Life;
- Dreamland water park;
- Palma Bowling Club recreation club;
- Happyland children’s center;
- Al Cinnia Island.
Local recreation features:
- No bans on dress code and alcohol.
- Very quiet emirate.
- Small and clean good beaches.
- A long way to the airport in Dubai 50 km, 40 km to Sharjah.
- Scant choice of hotels, no 5 star hotels.
- No public transport, but cheap cabs.
- Few entertainments and attractions.
The bottom line is .
Active, noisy holidays on the shores of the Persian Gulf are best suited to the resorts of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. For a quieter and leisurely holiday away from the hustle and bustle of the city Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Qaiwain, Fujairah are excellent. In less popular emirates the level of service is no worse than in Dubai, but you can get a quality service at a much better price. Some of the smaller emirates are advantageous because of its geographical location. You can rest inexpensively on the sparsely populated beaches of Ajman and go on excursions, shopping centers and entertainment complexes of Dubai and Sharjah.
7 the best beach resorts in the UAE
Figuring out where best to vacation at sea in the UAE. What are the beaches at the resorts, what to do and what to see.
Check out: How to go to Dubai now (fresh tourist reviews and pandemic entry conditions).
Search for last minute tours on Level.Travel and Travelate – they’ll find the best deals among different tour operators. Want to save your money? Explore our 7 rules for buying tours online.
Beach holidays in Dubai
Where is the best place to vacation in the UAE if you want to combine a beach holiday with shopping and excursions? Dubai is a versatile city, it will suit you best, especially if you are there for the first time. It’s convenient to go on excursions to other emirates, and in the city itself there is something to see on your own – we visited the beaches, Deira and the Old City, the singing fountains and Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa and the Aquarium. You can live in Dubai on a variety of budgets, from fairly modest to luxurious. Learn about the best hotels in Dubai with a beach.
Shopping in Dubai is great, there are plenty of malls. In addition to the famous Dubai Mall (it can be seen as a separate attraction), visit Dubai Marina Mall, Mall of the Emirates, Outlet Mall Dubai, as well as markets in Deira.
For those who want to live by the sea, we recommend Jumeirah, because it has great long beaches. Jumeirah is home to the Burj Al Arab and the Atlantis Hotel and Waterpark. Another beach district in Dubai is Marina Beach, the local Manhattan. Expensive yachts, glass high-rises, very beautiful.
The answer to the question of where to vacation in the UAE with a child, the answer is the same – it’s best in Dubai. There and the beaches are good, and the entrance to the water is smooth, and infrastructure is well developed. There are water parks and amusement parks for children – Wild Wadi and Wonderland.
The beach at Dubai Marina. Dubai Mall. The famous aquarium can be seen for free, but only partially, from the outside.
Interesting video! TV host and blogger Anton Ptushkin gives a video tour of the rich life in Dubai:
Beach vacations in Abu Dhabi.
Some people think it’s better to vacation in the UAE in the capital, Abu Dhabi. It is much like Dubai: the same ultra-modern city with skyscrapers, too, there are good beaches and shopping centers, you can go on excursions.
Если хотите просто лениво возлежать на пляже, то в Абу-Даби есть все для этого. Пляжи хороши и подходят даже для маленьких детей. Отзывы туристов об Абу-Даби >>
What to do and see? A must-see is the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque, the sixth-largest mosque in the world. A marble shrine with 82 domes and 1000 columns it can hold over 40 thousand worshippers. Go to Ferrari World, Al Mushrif Children’s Garden, Hili Fun City and Waterworld – a lot of fun and excitement for the kids.
Clear water in Abu Dhabi (Photo: Michaela Loheit / flickr.com) A huge funnel on the Dawwama tornado slide at Yas Waterworld.
Beach Vacation in Sharjah
Some tourists believe that in the UAE at sea is better to rest in the emirate of Sharjah. It is the cultural center of the country and the ideal place for a relaxed family vacation. There is no noisy entertainment as in Dubai, but a lot of greenery and excellent beaches. It’s also cheaper to live in Sharjah and it takes 30 minutes to an hour by bus or cab to Dubai! It’s true that there can be traffic jams in the morning and evening, keep that in mind.
The beaches are clean and the entrance to the sea is smooth. The seabed is sandy and gentle, so you can come and go in Sharjah even with a baby – as you can almost anywhere else in the UAE.
However, Sharjah has strict sunbathing laws – you can only put on a swimsuit at the hotel beaches, which are not accessible on arrival, unless you’re staying at the hotel. Men are not allowed on public beaches on Mondays.
Alcohol is also banned, but you can drink in the hotels. For some, on the contrary, this is a plus.
What to see? It is the oldest emirate, so there are many museums – archaeological, ethnographic, historical. For children we have the green Al Majas Park, the Desert Park, a national park, the Adventureland theme park, an oceanarium and a water park.
Beach in Sharjah (Photo: sophiemachin / flickr.com) Sharjah Desert Park (Photo: unsplash.com / @chinkinthearmour)
Beach vacations in Fujairah
Here’s where it’s best to vacation in the UAE for families with kids or those who love solitude! The emirate of Fujairah is very, even too peaceful and quiet – no mass tourism or noisy entertainment has reached here yet. But in the capital of the emirate and at resorts close to him a lot of good hotels, including all-inclusive.
It is worth going to Fujairah just for the beach vacation, snorkeling and diving. The emirate has wide and clean sandy beaches, all owned by hotels. The best beaches are in the north, it’s also best to snorkel and scuba dive. Al Aqah Beach, Dibba Al Fujairah and Shark Island are the preferred beaches. The climate is milder, and you can vacation at any time of year except summer.
What to see? See the fort and the old town, the Fujairah Museum and Madhab Ethnographic Park, the mosque and the
Heritage Village. Visit the gardens, waterfalls and healing springs.
Snoopy Island, Fujairah (Photo: nate2b / flickr.com) Al Aqah Beach in Fujairah (Photo: _ _steven.kemp_ _ / flickr.com)
Beach Vacation in Ajman
Ajman is an alternative to beachside Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. Yes, there are no earth-shattering skyscrapers, grandiose mosques and amusement parks. However, if you want just a quiet and relatively inexpensive holiday in the UAE by the sea, then this emirate is for you.
The beaches are clean, with fine white sand. Private closed beaches are well cleaned, there is all the infrastructure. Many hotels, cafes and restaurants.
Another advantage is that the laws are not as strict as in Sharjah, plus you can buy alcohol in a bar, restaurant or store.
What to do? The list of things to do is sparse: visit the history museum and the old fort, see the mosques and the shipyard, go to the camel race and visit the mineral springs. If you get bored, go to Dubai or Sharjah, they are close by.
Beachfront in Ajman (Photo: tutanh_blog / flickr.com) Camel on the beach in Ajman (Photo: Shelley M Lantz-Burrell / flickr.com)
Beach Vacation in Ras Al Khaimah
This unpopular with tourists, but very colorful emirate of the UAE can be a good rest – it has the same long beaches as everywhere else on the Persian Gulf. And then there are the beautiful canyon of the Hajar Mountains, the sand dunes, the desert villages, the ancient valleys (wadis) with oases and archaeological sites, the mangroves and the picturesque hills.
There are no skyscrapers and luxury malls, but a lot of nature and cultural and historical sights. The infrastructure is well-developed – hotels, stores, cafes, all enough. You can stay in the usual hotels on the first line, and in non-standard accommodation – for example, to live in the reserve Al Wadi or in a Bedouin tent in the middle of the desert. In general, if you are bored with the other emirates and do not know where to go in the UAE to rest, come to Ras Al-Khaimah – a very authentic emirate!
The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah in Al Wadi Desert (Photo: booking.com / The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert)
Beach vacations in Umm Al Khaimah
Where else can you relax in the UAE in a diverse way? In the emirate of Umm Al Khaiwain there is not only a leisurely beach holiday. There is a lot of entertainment for almost all categories of tourists. The infrastructure is very developed, but the resort is quiet and peaceful.
What to do and see? If you are interested in historical sites, check out the excavations of the cities of Tel Abraka and Ad Dour, the old fort with the museum and the watchtowers, the mosque of the 19th century and the market. If you want an active tourist, go scuba diving, sailing, windsurfing, horseback riding or fishing. You can ride a catamaran, a boat and water skis.
We recommend going to the water park and the Dreamland entertainment complex with its green parks, sunbathing terraces, water and land rides. The kids will love it!
The beach at Umm Al Qaiwain (Photo: niketa579 / flickr.com)
When to rest in the UAE
The Emirates have a dry subtropical climate, and it almost never rains. Beginning in May it is unbearably hot and lasts until September. Despite the fact that tour prices at this time are reduced, it is better not to go to the UAE in summer – the air temperature can exceed +50 ° C in the shade.
Holidays in the UAE is best in October and November, when the thermometer drops to +30°C. Prices for holidays in these months are the highest.
In December, January, February and March the cost of travel decreases as well as the temperature – to +25 ° C. The water also cools a little, but for many it is not critical. In April the heat slowly begins to return to the Emirates.