The Middle Eastern emirate of Dubai, part of the United Arab Emirates, is known internationally as a luxury travel destination. It's also an awesome beach resort destination, as the emirate has not only miles of natural coastline but also four giant artificial archipelagos.
These massive developments, sometimes called the eighth wonder of the world, each have their own beach and coastal areas. These clusters of man-made islands make up The World Islands development and the three Palm Island developments (Palm Jumeirah, Palm Deira, and Palm Jebel Ali).
Dubai has miles of coastline along the Persian Gulf (referred to locally as the Arabic Gulf) but many beach resorts are grouped in three main areas. Many luxury hotels are located on the outer perimeter reef area of the iconic Palm Jumeirah development. Another area with a nice array of mid-range options is the neighborhood known as JBR (Jumeirah Beach Residence). Many mid-range, and a few luxury beach resorts can be found in the Jumeirah Beach area, (which is not the same as JBR).
Visitors should remember or be happy to learn that Dubai is one of the safest destinations in the world for tourists.
Note: Some businesses may be temporarily closed due to recent global health and safety issues.
1. Burj Al Arab Jumeirah
Seven Star Luxury hotel
Burj Al Arab is considered the best hotel in the world and the only one ranked seven stars (two more than five-star). Known also for its beautiful sail-inspired design, the luxury resort sits off the shore on its own little peninsula, near the Jumeirah Beach area.
The huge building, which has the world's tallest atrium at its core, has only 201 duplex apartment suites. Each of those ornately decorated suites comes with its own butler, Hermes bath amenities, its own Jacuzzi, and the option to choose from nine different pillow types. Your butler will unpack your luggage on arrival, arrange for dinners or excursions, and even draw your bath.
The Burj Al Arab Terrace is a man-made beach right next to the sea, leading into a wide infinity pool. It's like you're swimming in the ocean, but you have the comfort and security of swimming in a pool.
You have your choice of nine different restaurants and dining experiences of all types. Everything is run by the hotel's Michelin-starred culinary team.
When you're ready to leave the property, the hotel has a fleet of exotic supercars (Aston Martin, Ferrari, Rolls-Royce, and Lamborghini) you can drive or be driven in. Or maybe book an afternoon outing on the Burj's private yacht.
The hotel is next to Wild Wadi Waterpark (guests get free, VIP access) and also has its own golf course. Burj guests can even help care for marine turtles, as the hotel sponsors a local turtle rehab and rescue group.
2. Atlantis, The Palm
Ultra Beach Resort
Perhaps the world's ultra beach resort, the massive Atlantis, The Palm occupies the top outer edge of the Palm Jumeirah development, facing out to the Persian Gulf with its signature middle open section. It's a like a giant tan palace serving as a gateway to Dubai.
The accommodations here are truly spectacular, with options including Signature Suites, which include "underwater" suites with walls of glass looking into one of the resort's aquariums. The area above the hotel's giant open section is occupied by their iconic Royal Bridge Suite, one of the best and most expensive in Dubai.
More than just a beach resort, with destinations on-property like the Aquaventure Waterpark, The Lost Chambers Aquarium, Dolphin Bay, and Sea Lion Point, it's also an amusement park, a water park, and an aquarium. You can even get into the water and swim (scuba, snorkel, or dive with an Aquatrek helmet) in one of the aquariums, the Ambassador Lagoon.
3. Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai
Private Beach for Luxury lifetyle
Located on Pearl Jumeirah, Nikki Beach Resort & Spa is set on its own private beach about 15 minutes' drive from the airport.
The luxury lifestyle resort offers a range of rooms and suites, many with ocean views from balconies. The hotel is kid friendly and offers family room options, as well as babysitting. The design throughout the property is very modern, with lots of white stucco, glass, and blue accents. There are also 15 opulent villas that come with private pools.
Amenities are also plentiful. There are four dining options on-site, including a beach and pool lounge area with DJ music entertainment. If you need a little pampering, check out the luxe spa offering a full range of treatments, from massages to facials. Breakfast is included in the rate and there is also free parking. If you've come to Dubai to shop, Nikki Beach offers easy access to the city's over-the-top shopping malls.