Wine and oysters on the beach

A day at the beach in Dubai doesn’t have to cost a thing, but it is a lot more fun to relax on a comfortable chaise in the shade with a glass of chilled white wine and a dozen oysters. While there are dozens of classy beach clubs to choose from, most clubs are part of the best 5-star hotels and range from comfortable and pricy to luxurious and outrageously expensive.

The elegant One&Only Royal Mirage

The elegant One&Only Royal Mirage

Royal mirage: One & Only

Not everybody can afford a room at the Royal Mirage, but a day at their beach club is a lot more accessible. The resort consists of 3 hotels built in the style of an Arab fort and decorated with an Arabian Nights theme. The swimming pool and 1 km private beach are free for hotel guests. Spontaneous drop-ins are not permitted, but for 250 dirham (50 euros) you may book a day pass. Please note: day guests are not entitled to use the shower facilities or changing rooms.

The World Islands off the coast of Dubai

The World Islands off the coast of Dubai

Alone in the world in 'Lebanon'

The economic crisis also had an impact on Dubai. Mega project The World, the artificial archipelago of islands in the shape of all the continents, was supposed to be ready in 2008. However, in 2013 only 2 of the 263 islands had been completed – ‘Greenland’ now has a show villa and ‘Lebanon’ features the Royal Island Beach Club. This tropical-themed beach restaurant, complete with swimming pool, has a bright white sandy beach with luxurious beach cabins and chaises on the shore of a blue lagoon. Prices include ferry transfer and a sunset dinner.

The RIVA Beach Club on top of The Palm

The RIVA Beach Club on top of The Palm

Glamorous: Riva Beach Club

In Dubai, only hotel bars and restaurants are usually entitled to a liquor license, but Sheikh Mohammed was willing to make an exception for the Riva. The most glamorous beach club in this desert state is located on the ‘trunk’ of the Palm Jumeirah: lazy sofas, a swimming pool and hundreds of comfortable chaises with a view of the Dubai skyline. The relatively affordable restaurant serves antipasto, salads, pizzas and pasta.

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