Guide to Jumeirah, Dubai

Jumeirah: beachside bliss and plenty of bang for your buck

Big and bold in so many ways, Jumeirah is a coastal triple threat, as rich in coastal appeal as it is fine food and fabulous tourist draw cards that connect the old and the new.

Melinda HealyJournalist and travel writer
14 October 2022

Jumeirah is perhaps best described as the Malibu of the Middle East. Not only does its 5.1-mile-long coastal pathway draw crowds of dedicated walkers, joggers and cyclists to its shores every day, the neighborhood is an affluent one. This is a haven of well-to-do locals who live it up beachside in their elaborately furnished and beautifully positioned low-rise residential villas. This exclusive neighborhood is just a mile to the south of Dubai Creek and connects the northern suburbs with those south of the city. Jumeirah Beach Road is the main thoroughfare that connects Jumeirah 1, up near La Mer Beach, to Jumeirah 3 - Kite Beach territory. It’s a district that has plenty of tourist appeal thanks to its seriously cool calling cards. The iconic Burj Al Arab hotel may be visible right across the city, but as spectacular as it is any which way you look at it, this Grand Dame of the Dubai beachfront demands up-close-and-personal attention. Throw in Wild Wadi Water Park, Safa Park, Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Jumeirah Mosque, beaches, boutique malls, designer cafes and restaurants aplenty, and the five-star flavor of its hotel offerings and there is no doubting this hub is a must to explore, no maybes about it.

Getting to Jumeirah

Unlike many of the city’s other districts, Jumeirah is not serviced by the metro. There are a number of public buses that do, but it is best to check with your hotel as to the routes that best suit your travels to and from the hotel.

It is possible to catch a bus from the airport but with luggage in tow, that can be a slog, especially after a long-haul flight. My suggestion would be a cab from the airport, which will cost you about AED 70 and take about 25 minutes (rideshare is not available from the airport).

You may be able to catch the Canal ferry service from other parts of the city to the Jumeira Marine Transport Station within Jumeirah 2, but you’ll need to check out the RTA website.

Wild Wadi Waterpark

Nestled between the Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Beach hotel, Wild Wadi guarantees a fun day for all. Based around Arabian folklore character Juha, this aqua adventure park is a great way to beat the heat and entertain the kids, big or small.


While there is no dress code as such, wearing transparent bikinis, heavy jewelry, or clothing with metal buttons is forbidden.

Give all 30 of the rides a go, or choose your favorites and slide to your heart’s content. If you get peckish in between wave pools and tube rides from great heights, there are hot dogs, burgers, salads and refreshing drinks to keep your energy levels up. If by chance you forget your togs or want to buy a towel, the retail outlets will have you covered.

Upon entry you’ll be given a magnetic wristband, it operates your locker and acts as a cashcard for purchasing food and drinks throughout the day. Entry costs from AED 260 and the park is operational from 10am to 6pm Wednesday to Monday (closed Tuesdays). If you’re staying at one of the neighboring hotels, it’s likely you’ll get a discount to the park, ask the concierge.

Majlis Ghorfat Umm Al Sheif

In a Dubai that is today known for its leading architecture and sprawling bigger than Ben Hur attractions, this landmark is a timely reminder of how much the emirate has grown. Established in 1955 as the summer house Sheik Rashid bin Saeed would call home, this quaint residence is one of Jumeirah’s most precious historical monuments.

Tourists and locals are invited to visit Majlis Ghorfat Umm Al Sheif Monday to Friday between 7.30am and 3.30pm (closed on Saturdays and Sundays). This is a place where the future of the city was often a topic of conversation.

When you’re in its confines as a visitor this many years on, you can’t help but admire the solid structure and old-fashioned Arabian garden enclosure.

Burj Al Arab

At 321m tall, this so-called Jewel of Jumeirah is the epitome of Arabian luxury. Designed to reflect the floating sail of an Arabian Dhow boat, the opulent 202-room establishment that stands proudly on the shores of the Persian Gulf is laden with 1,790 sq m of gold leaf. Guests are afforded Hermes bathroom accessories and each of the 56 floors has its own reception desk.

This icon of the Dubai landscape has welcomed some serious A-list guests including Kendall Jenner and Selena Gomez over the years, and who could forget the tennis match on the helipad (28 floors up) between Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras in 2005 – now, that will go down in history as one of the greatest sporting stunts ever.

While most of us can’t afford to stay in a palace like this, it is possible to take a tour and you should. The 90-minute guided tours are eye-opening and Insta-worthy, with prices starting from AED 249. Book online at

La Mer Dubai

This beachfront destination is a great spot for a leisurely afternoon or day soaking up the rays – there are cabanas and sun loungers to hire, towels if you need them, and plenty of white sand to sink your feet into. And let’s not overlook the hammocks that you can make use of too, ideal for an afternoon reading sesh.

The beach is brilliant and we all know how easy it is to laze around all day, but depending on the weather, you may prefer to check out the children’s play areas and even make a beeline for the Laguna water park, which has its own surf machine – WaveOz 180 FloRider.

Those with young children will likely prefer the relaxing, more mellow Lazy River adventure, but there is also a raft ride called Manta for the older kids. Back at the beach, there are jet-skis to hire and plenty of food and drink options and retail outlets to peruse For more check out

Safa Park

A few blocks inland, this idyllic greenspace is as picturesque as it is refreshing. A haven of activity during the cooler months (November to March), this 64-hectare oasis is fringed with palm trees, and serves up skyline views embellished with green.

Put down a picnic rug and just be for a while, let the kids make the most of the many play areas, rent a bike for a couple of Dirhams, or fire up the barbecue. This is a tranquil, relaxed way to enjoy this piece of lush paradise in the middle of the desert.

Most travelers will agree we often pack so much into a trip we never make time for a relaxed day – if you are someone who does, put Safa Park on your list.

Jumeirah Mosque


Tours are held at 10am and 2pm daily (except Fridays). Make sure you arrive 30 minutes early to pre-register.

This mosque is the largest of Jumeirah’s mosques and what a presence it has. Three years in the making, it officially opened its doors in 1979. To this day, this white stone structure that is reflective of the Fatimid tradition of medieval times, continues to be one of the Emirates’ most loved Islamic structures.

What’s lovely about this mosque is that it is welcoming of everyone and all about educating tourists and allowing them to satisfy their cultural curiosities. Free to enter ordinarily, if you wish to join a guided tour, you’ll need to pay AED 25 for the privilege of the guide’s time and expertise.

Where to eat and drink

Visitors to Jumeirah will have their work cut out for them when it comes to deciding what and where to chow down. There is such a varied menu here that it’s sometimes hard to choose what you’ll go for and what you’re prepared to pass up during your stay.

The Jumeirah beachfront is full of great fine-dining restaurants and top-notch bars, thanks to the four Jumeirah hotels that line the shores.

Some of the best would have to be Zheng He (Chinese) at the Mina A’Salam property, Rockfish (Italian) at Al Naseem, and of course Pierchic, the Italian eatery that provides some of the finest food and pier-perfect views of the Burj Al Arab next door.

Jumeirah Beach Road is renowned for being one of the best food streets the city has to offer. Cafes like Tania’s Teahouse have made themselves at home within street-facing villas, while others are more like what you’re used to – dining outlets with a shop front and seating indoors and out.

Some of the cool establishments worth hitting up along this thoroughfare include Bikers Cafe – a themed restaurant with a motorsports/F1 vibe; The Surf Cafe; Saudi Kitchen; and Comptoir 102, a health-focused eatery that offers vegan and gluten free goodies, alongside furniture and fashion.

Another dining hotspot in these parts is Souk Madinat Jumeirah, which is connected to the Jumeirah hotel complex. Here, it’s as much about the atmosphere as the F&B offerings. Arrive in a traditional abra between resorts, and then dine out and admire the views or head inside and enjoy a cozy intimate meal in air-conditioned comfort.

Some of my suggestions include Folly by Nick and Scott, Trattoria Toscana, and even Trader Vic’s.

For aperitivos or post-dinner drinks, you can’t miss out on Shimmers at the Jumeirah Mina A ’Salam hotel – the views alone are worth the visit. Gilt, the gold-encrusted treasure within the Burj Al Arab hotel, is a sight for sore eyes and will have you believing you’re living a dream. Do keep an eye on your tab – if you don’t, your eyes may be watering by the time the evening’s over.

The LookUp Bar at the La Ville Hotel & Suites at City Walk draws the hip, young crowd and from the lofty heights it’s a great spot for selfies and kicking up your heels to the dance tunes.

Where to shop

There are a number of different shopping outlets within the Jumeirah neighborhood. Mercato Mall is one of the most popular, as it has more than 140 stores that cover international fashion brands including TopShop and Mango, to name just two. There’s also a cinema within the center and plenty of food and drink options to tap into while you’re doing the rounds. There’s a Spinneys supermarket for your everyday grocery needs and Fun City to keep the kids entertained.

Sunset Mall is the go-to in Jumeirah 3, named after the sunny vibe it emits. Spread over two levels, it is all about jewelry and fashion, perfumes, health and beauty, and electronics and toys.

Town Center Jumeirah is one of the oldest malls on the block and more focused on being a leisure / meeting spot, but it does have traditional Arab clothing stores, Paris Gallery and Damas Jewelry, along with a range of dining and food options.

In contrast, Box Park is one of the newest additions to the local shopping scene. Between Safa Park and City Walk, this is a unique fixture that is ‘out-of-the-box’. The stores here, whether they be food, fashion or design-focused, operate out of colorful shipping containers – some of the brands here you won’t find anywhere else. The mall spans 0.75 miles and guarantees some click-worthy content on socials. The closest metro station is Business Bay.

Where to stay


Some properties have complimentary beach shuttles for guests to use, so it’s worth checking into services your preferred hotels offer, as something like this may assist in reducing some of the costs.

Given the affluence of this area, there are plenty of luxury hotels to match – we’re talking The Mandarin Oriental Jumeira on Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah Al Naseem, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, The Four Seasons, and at the top of the tree, the fanciful Burj Al Arab, which will set you back upwards of AED 2,203 per night. While most of the beachside properties are on the higher end of the rate scale, many do include discounted entry to local attractions.

If you don’t mind being a little bit further away from the beach, Jumeira Rotana, Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Roda Beach Resort and Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa aren’t as pricey. Rove La Mer Beach is one of the newer additions to the tourist accommodation scene, and is a great family-friendly option. Parking/Wi-Fi is free.

Who should stay here?

Those who want to be right in the action, have romance or a special occasion on their mind and don’t mind dropping some cash to make it memorable should stay in Jumeirah. This neighborhood is packed with attractions, and it’s within an arm’s reach of districts in the north and south worth exploring, but there is less of the budget accommodation than there is five-star. That being said, rates are often reduced in the summer, so do your research and compare seasons pricewise before making a final decision.

About the author

Melinda HealyAlthough born in PNG, Mel is an Aussie-made journo who's always been more interested in passport stamps than possessions. A whiz with words, Mel spent a number of years living and working in the United Arab Emirates, it was here that she shared insight into Dubai and Abu Dhabi with the world. Mel believes travel is a privilege and an educator.