Travel Guide: Best Places to Visit in Dubai

It’s no secret that we love exotic destinations. So when one of our writers mentioned she was traveling to Dubai, we asked that she share some of her favorite Dubai destinations, and we’re so glad she did!

Are you ready for the ultimate Dubai beach crawl? In addition to its jaw-dropping skyline and shopportunities galore, this megalopolis of the Middle East has more than its share of ultra-luxe (and ultra-chill) seaside destinations. Here are her top five spots to visit next time you’re in the neighborhood, even if it’s just for a layover. No camels required!

Dubai’s Pearl Jumeirah Beach

The Place: Nikki Beach for a Miami-meets-Dubai experience
The original luxury beach club, Nikki Beach trades raucous South Beach for delightful Dubai’s Pearl Jumeirah, a private man-made island. This Arabian beachfront retreat is decorated in the brand’s signature all-white errrrrything, which still looks chic 20+ years on. But that doesn’t mean it’s quiet or serene. This is the place to encounter other glam travelers while taking in the party atmosphere, which is just as important here as soaking up the sunshine. Live music and in-house DJs pump out jams as the bottles pop, the drinks flow and the world-famous sushi rolls...uh, roll. Sun lounges fill up quickly so make sure to book ahead for the whole day or plan an overnight beach retreat at the accompanying resort and spa. 

What To Wear: Stay with the no-color theme and pick a white swimsuit that fits in perfectly with the decor. We love the Eve One-piece Scalloped Swimsuit for its ability to make purity look interesting: the scalloped edges and diamond-textured fabric upgrade a classic silhouette. Try it with the Vacation Open Front Cover Up, and check out more all-white options below.

The Place: Playa Nomade at Rixos Palm Jumeirah for boho glamour
Even though there’s plenty of beach clubs to choose from on the ultra-exclusive Palm Jumeirah, Playa Nomade at Rixos’ scene offers a seriously appealing gypset vibe. This spot is geared towards adults. The thatched roofs, frond-laden potted palms and rattan galore exude Tulum-esque natural luxury, while the Friday day-to-night parties are beloved by resident revelers for their roster of international DJs and potent tropical cocktails. Another plus: the often-photographed tree-shaped island (trust us when we say that you’ve definitely seen an aerial shot of it) features a circle around it that acts as a built-in wave barrier, making it the perfect place to try paddle boarding or kayaking for the first time. Why not give it a go when the water is as warm and calm as it is in Dubai? 

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What To Wear: A swirling paisley print would feel right at home here, and the Banana Bay Bikini With Ruffles puts a sophisticated spin on this beloved boho motif. The dark background sets off the cornflower and peach-hued pattern, while the ruffled trim lends a flirty finishing touch. Just FYI: this would be the time to break out those jute-soled sandals or espadrille wedges currently packed in your suitcase.

The Place: Kite Beach for sports, sun and saving money
Looking for a beach that’s not insanely clubby, super-fancy or over-serviced? Well, this is as low-key as Dubai gets. Beloved for its So-Cal atmosphere, Kite Beach keeps your wallet full— with a nicer waterfront and better amenities—than most of the other public beaches around.

Since Dubai is notoriously car-dependent, you’ll probably be ready for some physical activity. Take a jog on the 14-kilometer-long track or stroll along the boardwalk with its bevvy of cute shops. Risk-averse folks will find water sports like paddle boarding or kayaking here, but the real draw is for the daredevils. They’ll want to take advantage of the wakeboarding and kitesurfing opportunities that abound. Note: the wind picks up in the afternoon, so if you plan to kitesurf, plan your visit accordingly. After playing around on the sand, head to nearby food trucks like the O.G.-Dubai pit stop Salt, a grub-slinging convoy famous for sliders and its lotus shake. 

What To Wear: Since this beach is all things to all people, you’ll want versatile swimwear. Opt for something that can pass as a bodysuit or a top for apres-surf noshing and shopping. The Leaves And Parrots Off Shoulder One-piece Swimsuit would pair nicely with cut-offs or a sassy sarong. If you’re planning on being active, you’ll need bikini styles that stay in place, like the Sky Blue and Chevron Print High-Waist Bikini. The top is designed similarly to a sports bra, while the bottom features a high-rise cut that won’t roll down while you’re bending, stretching, or flexing those muscles. 

The Place: La Mer for a side of shopping & A/C with your suntanning
If you don’t go shopping in Dubai, did you really go to Dubai at all? Don’t make us answer that; simply head to La Mer, a new beachfront complex that combines everything this city is famous for. The outdoor mall is filled with all the stuff you need for a day by the sea: sunglasses, thermoses, coverups, etc...so no worries if you left your sun hat or SPF lotion back home by accident. If you’re with a group, considering renting one of the Day Rooms, fully air-conditioned mini suites that come complete with a fridge and a private terrace, plus the usual sun lounges and towels. As the day winds down, make your way over to the colorful mural-adorned walls. La Mer might not have the most “authentic” graffiti, but it makes for a good Instagram shot. This place is ideal for a day-to-night experience, and it’s nice to have everything in close walking range when you’re wearing flip flops.

What To Wear: Think effortlessly cool swimwear that’s going to look great in a selfie. The Not So Nude Stripe High-waisted Bikini flatters lots of different skin tones. Also, you may have noticed that every influencer on the planet has gone crazy for beiges and browns this season. Do the fashion crowd proud and take those earth tones down to the water’s edge.

The Place: Cove Beach for unobstructed views sans heavy machinery
Situated in the first Caesars Palace to open outside of Las Vegas, Cove Beach’s prime location on Bluewaters (yes, another man-made) Island is luxurious in so, so, so many ways. One, there’s no noisy, zen-busting, vibe-killing construction happening anywhere near here, something that’s rare in this town of a zillion tower cranes. Two, it’s primed for yacht-watching because of its proximity to Dubai Marina. Is that Leo and Jay-Z we see in the distance? Three, the main refueling outpost here is the Rosé Lounge, which offers an impressive range of rosé wines along with other beach-appropriate refreshments like tropical fruit and fresh salads. Take a dip in each of the three swimming pools to find out which one you like the best, or just lie back in your lounge chair to enjoy the wide-open view of the gulf while Euro-cool beats provide soothing background music. Heaven!

What To Wear: This is a somewhat fancy, expat-heavy area of Dubai and Cove Beach’s high-profile clientele dress to impress. You’ll fit right in with something like the Ruby Red Ruffled One Piece Swimsuit. The solid color keeps the focus on all the fun details: ruffles, ties and cutouts for days. This maillot is sophisticated, adorable and unique...sounds just like YOU!

 

Looking for more travel ideas? Check out The Girlfriend Getaway Guide! 

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