The UAE is blessed with warm temperatures and if you’re looking to take advantage of those sunny days, there is no lack of stunning beach clubs that combine some of the best aspects of being on vacation.
Lounge by the pool, get your feet sandy or just while away time with a good book (and adequate sunscreen) at these happening venues offering what may be the blissful break you need.
The best beach clubs in Dubai
Azure Beach is a popular spot thanks to its views of the water, swaying palm trees and Rixos Premium Dubai JBR's sprawling gardens. Visitors can indulge in the venue's popular Asian fusion cuisine or cool off by jumping into the picturesque grand pool. The beach club has expanded its offerings to include private plunge pools for six of its cabanas. The cabanas can accommodate six to seven people, depending on their size, and are great if you're looking for privacy or to celebrate a special occasion.
Cost: Entry is Dh300 per person, with Dh100 redeemable for food and beverages on weekdays. On Fridays and Saturdays, it's Dh400 per person with a Dh150 voucher to spend on food and beverages.
Daily, 10am-8pm; Rixos Premium Dubai JBR; 052 777 9472, www.azure-beach.com/dubai
An institution in its own right, it's impossible to leave Barasti out of any beach club listings. There's an expansive outdoor seating area, access to a beach and a swimming pool with a spectacular Dubai Marina backdrop.
The middle deck is the place to go for popular comfort food and the giant screen and, if you stick around after sunset, you'll find the place transforms into a happening party spot.
Daily, 9am-2am; Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Waterpark; 04 318 1313, www.barastibeach.com
Bla Bla Dubai
You'll need more than one visit to really enjoy everything this Insta-friendly Dubai hot spot has to offer, with its 20 bars, two restaurants and a beach club.
Located at The Beach in JBR, with great views of Ain Dubai, Bla Bla offers day-to-night experiences, from a day at the pool to a glamorous night out with friends.
Cost: Prices start at Dh200 (Dh100 redeemable for food or drinks) for a sun bed, which will also get you towels and access to showers and changing facilities.
Daily, 10am-6pm; Jumeirah Beach Residences, 058 606 3535; www.blabladubai.ae
Cove Beach Dubai
This little haven on Bluewaters Island features three swimming pools and beach access with gorgeous views of Ain Dubai. There are plenty of international food options, from burrata and burgers to maki and yakitori.
Cool off in any of the pools, try the Jacuzzi or get yourself a shaded swinging bed or cabana. One of the swimming pools also features a water installation that makes it feel like it's constantly raining.
Cost: Sunbeds are priced at Dh200 per person, fully redeemable against food and drinks on weekdays. On Friday and Saturday, Dh100 is redeemable. The swinging beds can be reserved for a minimum spend of Dh500 per person on weekdays and Dh800 per person on weekends, and can accommodate two people.
Open daily; 10am-sunset; Caesars Palace Bluewaters Island; 050 454 6920, www.covebeach.com
Drift Beach Dubai
For an afternoon spent lounging in the infinity pool, a morning wandering along the stretch of private beach or an evening enjoying the sunset, Drift is an ideal choice. Don’t expect loud music, buy-one-get-one-free deals or colourful pool floats that you might find at the emirate’s other venues, as Drift takes a more St Tropez approach to the beach club. Although there is live music at the venue, on occasion.
Located at the One&Only Royal Mirage, the turquoise and white day club is a great spot to lap up the rays and watch the Insta-squad angling for the best pictures to post on their grid.
The food is also well worth a mention, with light and fresh French-Mediterranean fare the cuisine of choice.
To make the most of the daily sunset drinks deal, make sure you’re sat at the Drift Pool Lounge, as it’s not a club-wide deal.
Cost: Entry from Dh150 on weekdays or Dh200 on weekends.
Open Sunday to Tuesday, 9am-8pm; Wednesday to Saturday, 9am-11pm; One&Only Royal Mirage, 04 315 2200; www.driftbeachdubai.com
Nikki Beach Club
With branches in Miami, Ibiza and Montenegro, Nikki Beach has already established itself as a well-known name, and the same standards can be expected from its Dubai outpost.
The property features much of the all-white and modern decor the other branches are known for, and there are plush cabanas, sun loungers in the water and plenty of Instagram-friendly spots.
The menu is largely global, with plenty of fresh salads, sushi, meat and seafood, and beats from a DJ give it a lively vibe.
Cost: Starting from Dh1,000 for sun beds for three people on weekdays, with credit towards food and drinks.
Open Tuesday to Saturday; 11am-8pm; Pearl Jumeirah Dubai; 04 376 6162, dubai.nikkibeach.com
Riva Beach Club
The venue is one of Dubai's oldest beach clubs and still one of the most popular. Pegged as a beach club for the whole family, it features a pool specially for the little ones and is also dog-friendly.
Meanwhile, grown-ups can unwind in the vast temperature-controlled pool, visit the stretch of private beach with views of the Burj Al Arab or try the Mediterranean bites from Riva Ristorante.
Cost: A day pass is Dh75 per person and Dh130 per couple on weekdays, with a 20 per cent discount on food and beverages. It's Dh115 per person and Dh210 for couples on weekends.
Open daily; 7am-7pm; Building 8, The Shoreline, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai; 04 430 9466, www.riva-beach.com
Twiggy by La Cantine
Since it opened its doors in January, Twiggy by La Cantine has been the place to be seen in Dubai. Serving up some serious Mediterranean vibes, this chic beach club has taken over the stunning lagoon at the Park Hyatt, which boasts spectacular views across Dubai Creek and the Downtown skyline.
During the day, expect laidback vibes as you soak up the sun on its comfy loungers, and when it’s time to eat, head upstairs to the open-air restaurant, which looks out over the pool below. The menu is filled with Mediterranean classics such as burrata, prawns, gnocchi and lamb, as well as lighter bites.
Cost: Dh200 on weekdays, Dh250 on weekends.
Daily, lagoon 9am-sunset, restaurant 12pm-1am; Twiggy by La Cantine, Park Hyatt, Dubai Creek Club St, Port Saeed, Dubai; 04 602 1105, www.twiggy.ae
Atlantis, The Palm's White Beach club is easily one of the most Instagrammed on Palm Jumeirah, thanks in part to its gorgeous infinity pool and sunset views.
If you’re feeling peckish, White Restaurant serves a vast Mediterranean menu, as well as poolside snacks. Lounge about on the floating beds, enjoy uninterrupted views of Palm Jumeirah, take pictures with the Atlantis backdrop or grab any of the poolside cabanas that are so close to the water you may just think you’re floating away.
Cost: Dh150 on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday, fully redeemable on food and beverages; Dh300 on Friday and public holidays, with Dh200 redeemable on food and beverages.
Open daily; 10am-7pm; Atlantis, The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai; 04 426 2626, www.atlantis.com
Old but gold, Zero Gravity offers the perfect combination of good food, entertainment, beach access and a swimming pool with gorgeous views of the Dubai skyline to boot.
The glass-fronted infinity pool is for perfect Instagram-worthy shots, while plenty of plush cabanas lining the pool make this a lazy spot to lounge about during the day.
There's a two-tier restaurant with several terraces to satiate those hunger pangs. And the venue only gets livelier as the night falls.
Cost: Prices start at Dh150, with Dh100 redeemable on food and beverages.
Open Tuesday to Sunday, 10am-9pm; Dubai Marina, near the Skydive Dubai Dropzone; 04 399 0009, www.0-gravity.ae
The best beach clubs in Abu Dhabi
Cove Beach Abu Dhabi
Located at Makers District, across Saadiyat Island, Cove Beach Abu Dhabi was one of the most anticipated launches in the capital in 2020. Much like its Dubai counterpart, the venue features plenty of themed days, live entertainment and weekend brunches.
Chill out at Two.0, the venue's expansive al fresco restaurant, or while away time by the pool, which boasts views of the Abu Dhabi skyline.
The destination is also home to a beach and there are also water sports to keep you busy.
Cost: Dh200 on weekdays, fully redeemable on food and beverages, and Dh300 on weekends, also fully redeemable on food and drinks.
Open daily, 10am-sunset; Makers District, Reem Island; 056 398 7895, www.covebeachabudhabi.com
Emirates Palace Beach Club
If you take relaxation seriously, Emirates Palace Beach Club has a day club pass providing access to its truly luxurious facilities. Visitors can stroll along the 1.3-kilometre stretch of private beach or dip into either of its two temperature-controlled swimming pools, which includes a Lazy River run, cascading waterfalls, two water flumes and a pool activities area.
Visitors also get access to two fitness suites, an extensive jogging track and complimentary use of bicycles. One visit may not be enough to cover everything, which is why Emirates Palace Beach Club also has a membership programme.
Cost: Dh320 (with Dh100 credit at Cascades restaurant) on weekdays and Dh425 on weekends; for children between the age of 4 and 17, it's Dh160 with Dh50 credit at Cascades on weekdays and Dh210 on weekends; those aged 3 and below enter for free.
Open daily, 7am-6pm; Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi West Corniche Road; 02 690 7311, www.mandarinoriental.com
Nation Riviera Beach Club
If you are an Abu Dhabi resident, an idyllic day on the beach often means a trip to Saadiyat Island. However, this lavish spot provides the same vibes in the heart of the capital.
Situated on the Corniche and across the road from The St Regis Abu Dhabi, the hotel-affiliated Nation Riviera Beach Club is a haven amid the hustle and bustle of city life.
There is a Mediterranean-style pool, complete with marble features and a large strip of beach offering perfect viewing of the sunset. The in-house Cabana Beach Bar & Grill provides a selection of healthy nibbles and salads, in addition to hearty fish and chips.
But best of all, if you go on a weekday, you get free access to any of the poolside cabanas.
Cost: Entry is Dh160 per person and Dh210 per couple on weekdays. On Fridays, Saturdays and public holidays, it's Dh230 per person and Dh345 per couple.
Daily, 8am-9pm; The St Regis Abu Dhabi, Nation Towers; 02 694 4553, www.nationrivierabeachclub.com
Saadiyat Beach Club
The venue has a reputation for having one of the best swimming pools in Abu Dhabi, and this is well-earned thanks to its vast size.
There are plenty of cabanas and sun loungers by the pool, too, as well as views of Saadiyat beach in the distance, with its pristine white sand. It's easy to feel like you're on vacation.
Cost: Weekday passes cost Dh250, or Dh350 for couples. Weekend passes are Dh375 for singles, Dh525 for couples and Dh150 for children.
Open daily, 8am-7.30pm; Saadiyat Island; 02 656 3500, www.saadiyatbeachclub.ae
Yas Beach Club
As the only private beach club on Yas Island, this is a natural choice for those living close by who want to enjoy the crystal-clear waters and shaded cabanas.
There's an infinity pool and beach cabanas to enjoy, and private chalets for those looking to get away from the crowds. There are also a number of food and beverage options within the club.
Those staying in any of Yas Island's hotels and hotel apartments get complimentary access to the beach club, so it is best to go early as it does get busy.
Cost: Free for those staying in Yas Island hotels or hotel apartments; Dh60 for weekdays, Dh120 for weekends.
Open daily; 10am-7pm; Yas Island; 02 565 1100; www.yasbeach.ae
Zaya Nurai Island
A 15-minute boat ride from Abu Dhabi, Zaya Nurai Island has been compared to the Maldives, with its crystal-clear turquoise waters and infinity pools, as well as lush green surroundings and white, soft sand.
At the beach club, guests can find two swimming pools, changing rooms, showers and towels, as well as several beaches, all included within the island's entrance fee. There are also five restaurants, ranging from Mexican to Asian, on the island to dine at.
Cost: Day passes start at Dh480, of which Dh420 can be redeemed for food and beverage, spa and activities. This also includes beach and pool access, as well as boat transfer.
Open daily; 24 hours; Zaya Nurai Island; 02 506 6222, www.zayanuraiisland.com
The best beach club in Umm Al Quwain
Kite Beach Centre
One of a handful of pet-friendly beaches in the UAE, Umm Al Quwain's Kite Beach Centre is worth the 50-minute drive from Dubai for a day spent in the sun and sea with your four-legged friends. With a Bali-inspired aesthetic, expect hammocks, swings, boats and thatched parasols. There is plenty to keep the whole family busy, from a wooden outdoor Tarzan gym, to a kids' park and water sports. You can hire kayaks from Dh75 per hour, while kite surfing and paddle boarding are also available.
Pick between pitching up on the sand, choosing a lounger or hiring a hut for the day; the beach huts are available for 12 hours at a time, for Dh250 on weekdays and Dh350 on weekends. There is a cafe on-site, to keep you fully sustained, with coffee, juices and light meals.
The only catch is it doesn't have the longest stretch of beach, so it definitely fills up on weekends and public holidays. But get down early to lay claim to a spot, and expect to see your fair share of adults, kids and dogs.
Cost: Entry from Dh25 for adults and Dh15 for kids on weekdays, Dh50 for adults and Dh25 for kids on weekends.
Open daily, 6am-10pm; Kite Beach Centre; 055 507 3060, www.kitebeachcenter.ae