Dubai named best coastal city break destination in the world

Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim, La Mer and Kite beaches have helped the city to score the top spot in a new study

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Dubai has been named the world’s best coastal city in a study by Compare the Market.

The skyscraper emirate is the “ultimate combination of city and beach”, according to findings from the price comparison website.

Home to swanky resorts, luxury shopping, upscale restaurants and some pristine shoreline, the city scored 8.13 out of a maximum 10 in the study.

The emirate ranked first for average annual temperatures, which hover around a balmy 27 degrees, although researchers did note that “at the very peak of summer, it may even be too hot”.

Kitesurfers take to the water off Kite Beach in Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National

A super-low average annual rainfall of less than 160 millimetres also means travellers visiting Dubai are unlikely to get caught in a downpour.

And the city has plenty to do with more than 3,315 activities and more than 12,000 restaurants.

Second place for the world’s best coastal city was a tie between Croatia’s Dubrovnik and Spain’s Valencia.

The Adriatic city — which was the setting for Kings Landing in the hit TV show Game of Thrones — topped the study for having the most things to see and do and highest number of restaurants per 100,000 people.

Spain’s third-largest city scored highly across the board with top results for being a safe place to visit and low annual average rainfall.

The top 10 coastal cities in the world

Holidays Activity:
Port of Dubrovnik
  1. Dubai
  2. Dubrovnik and Valencia (tied)
  3. Alicante
  4. Palma De Mallorca
  5. Hong Kong
  6. Honolulu
  7. Barcelona
  8. Funchal
  9. Limassol

Valencia wasn’t the only Spanish city on the list, with four of the top 10 belonging to the Mediterranean haven, as Alicante, Palma De Mallorca and Barcelona also made the cut.

Neighbouring Portugal also appears, with Madeira's Funchal ranking ninth. Hong Kong, Honolulu and Cyprus’ Limassol rounded out the list.

Researchers at Compare the Market analysed 35 coastal cities around the world using TripAdvisor ratings, Instagram hashtags, weather reports and safety rankings from crowdsourced data platform Numbeo.

Dubai has also been celebrating travel news courtesy of Google this week. The city’s Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, was named the most-watched building on Google Street View by the tech company, followed by India's Taj Mahal and Paris' Eiffel Tower.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the UAE ranked highest in the Middle East and North Africa in a new global tourism report from the World Economic Forum.

With an overall score of 4.5 out of 7, the Emirates was also the highest ranked in the world for top-notch airports and air transport. The UAE scored highly for its smart services and reputation as a safe place to for tourists to visit.

As well as leading the Mena rankings, the UAE ranked No 25 globally, an upwards move of one spot when compared with the equivalent study in 2019.

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Updated: May 26, 2022, 11:22 AM