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Dubai: hang out at The Beach

One of the things I really like about Dubai are the many and different neighbourhoods, or suburbs, for shopping and dining.

The newest one is one we just stumbled upon actually as it happened to be 100m from our hotel, the Amwaj Rotana at Jumeirah Beach.

The Beach Dubai is the rather unimaginative name for a very cool precinct which of course has a white sandy beach with no waves (typical of all the beaches here actually).

But as well as playgrounds for young and old on the water side it has a long, wide footpath edged in restaurants and shops. Not bars, note. And you won’t be able to get an alcoholic drink even with your meal as Dubai has very strict laws around such poisons. In fact you can only drink alcohol in hotels and hotel bars and restaurants. But that’s ok, they do some very creative mocktails and smoothies!

The Beach Dubai
The Beach Dubai of an evening

They’ve also got everything here to appease every taste bud from American chains like The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack and P.F. Changs to international offerings like Tike – Taste of Istanbul, Sushi Art, Thai, Greek and a great selection of local cuisine.

We wandered along, taking in the vibe and decided what our tastebuds would be appeased by deciding between Butcha Steakhouse where they offer pairings to red, white and sparkling… grape juice, or Pots Pans & Boards (where everything is presented in either a pot, pan or on a board). We went for the latter and enjoyed a bowl of steamed prawns in a teeny pot and shared a slow cooked short rib with a side of mac n cheese (for that touch of elegant American charm).

The Dubai Eye (the Ferris Wheel that seems to be the icon of choice for leading world cities) was under construction, and when I was last back was broken (!) Apparently its foundation has cracked. It’s a pity as it provides great views over the desert landscape of this amazing country, cleverly sculpted into islands, beaches, lagoons and the wide and busy roads snaking between skyscrapers.

There are a handful of shops down here at The Beach too, but if it’s shopping you’re really after you’ll be wanting to spend a good few hours at the Mall of the Emirates or Dubai Mall. In fact, make that days.

You can read more about my picks for the best things to do in Dubai, including two monstrous shopping malls and a bedouin dinner in the desert.

Teams were playing night time beach volleyball as we sauntered along with the locals, ex pat residents and tourists alike. A groovy outdoor lounge with purple lighting looked like the place to go if you fancied smoking the bubblegum flavoured sheesha. It’s aptly named Smoky Beach. And I was tempted to use the public loo just because the buildings looked so cool with changing rooms and yet more great lighting at night.

From Thursdays to Saturdays The Market at The Beach showcases great organic produce, hand made crafts, clothing, accessories and lots of fresh food and drink. The vendors are rotated on a monthly basis, so if you’re a Dubai local, there’s something new every month.

If you have little ones following you around, take them to Splash Pad. It’s a splash park on the beach front rather than a full immersive water park. Think squirters, tipper buckets and plenty of play equipment which is ideal even in the cooler December/January of Dubai when day time temperatures reach a balmy 27˚C.

If you’re staying in the Jumeirah area, this will be your go-to destination!

Dubai Beach loos
The men’s and women’s changing rooms are in these big brown caves. They look great at night too!
Smoky Beach Dubai
Smoky Beach where your hubbly bubbly of choice will be lit for you and brought to your chair
Splash pad Dubai
Kids will spend hours at Splash Pad in the Dubai sun!
The Market at The Beach Dubai
The Market with its fresh produce
Dubai Film Fest at the Beach
Check out their website for events as this is the Dubai Film Festival on the beach at The Beach
The Beach at dusk

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Hi, I'm Megan Singleton and I'm the word slinger of this travel blog as well as on radio in NZ every Sunday. Former Travel Editor at Yahoo NZ and current freelance writer for a few newspapers and mags from time to time, I set off on this travel writing journey 20 years ago and I've pretty much always got a suitcase half packed (or half un-packed!) I'd love you to join me on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for my newsletters if you want loads of travel tips, advice and deals!