From lively shisha spots to romantic date nights, here’s where you can dine with your toes in the sand…

When compiling this list, there were very strict rules. These are not just spots where you can see the beach. Nope – these 15 Dubai gems are all restaurants where you can dine al fresco with your toes firmly in the sand.

From grabbing breakfast at Breeze, a lazy lunch on the palm and a quick pint with mates, to a more romantic date night and lively pre-party shisha spots, there’s something for all beach lovers.

Here are 15 beachfront restaurants in Dubai.

Palm Grill

Best for: An idyllic sunset dinner

If you’re looking for serious on-the-beach dining, it doesn’t get much better than Palm Grill, with beachy chairs and tables and big cushy bean bags set right there in the sand. Situated at the Ritz-Carlton in JBR, you’ll get stunning, uninterrupted views out across the sea to the Dubai eye silhouetted against the sunset. The restaurant recommends you kick your shoes off and get your toes in the sand as you enjoy grilled specialities and fresh seafood.

Palm Grill, The Ritz-Carlton Dubai, The Walk, JBR, 4pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 318 6150. ritzcarlton.com

The Beach Bar & Grill

Best for: Private beach dining

If you’re looking for an ultra-romantic date spot to knock your previous efforts out of the park, then the Beach Bar & Grill at One & Only Royal Mirage should definitely be up there in your considerations. Either sit on the Mediterranean-style terrace that leads out onto the beach or hire your own wooden-slatted gazebo right there on the sand with uncompromised views right out across the waters.

The Beach Bar & Grill, The Palace, One&Only Royal Mirage, 12pm to 11.30pm daily. Tel: (04) 399 9999. oneandonlyresorts.com

Maui

Best for: Hawaii feels

This Hawaiian-themed beachside terrace offers up a simple but satisfying menu filled with power salads, grilled meats, hearty sandwiches, burgers and fresh pizzas. There’s also lots of vegetarian and gluten-free dishes for those inclined. The setting is relaxed, so don your casuals for a lunch or dinner here.

Maui beach Restaurant & Bar, Sofitel The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, 11am to 7pm daily. Tel: (04) 455 6677. sofitel-dubai-thepalm.com

Villa Beach

Best for: Epic Burj Al Arab views

At Villa Beach, you’ll dine literally right there on the sand, with tables and chairs set for dinner and some more casual seating ready for some sunset drinks. The menu is sophisticated Italian with a range of salad, meat, pasta and rice dishes to tuck into.

Villa Beach, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, 12.30pm to 3.30pm, 6.30pm to 11.30pm, daily. Tel: (04) 406 8719. jumeirah.com

Beachcombers

Best for: Family-friendly beachside dining

Nestled right in the shadow of the iconic wave-shaped Jumeirah Beach Hotel is Beachcombers, offering up colourful pan-Asian cuisine and an idyllic setting. It’s family-friendly and serves up an eclectic buffet most days. Views stretch right across the calm seas and, of course, you’ll have unparalleled vistas of the Burj Al Arab.

Beachcombers, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, 7.30am to 11.30am, 6.30pm to 11pm daily except Sunday which is closed. Tel: (04) 432 3232. jumeirah.com

Fish

Best for: A romantic date-night.

Details: With its beachfront location, whitewashed fit-out and twinkly lights, it’s not hard to see why Fish has become one of the city’s most romantic spots. As well as tables in the garden, there is seating right on the beach, so you can enjoy the restaurant’s Turkish, Greek and Mediterranean fusion dishes with your toes in the sand. Open for both lunch and dinner, it’s a sharing concept that invites guests to sample a variety of hot and cold plates. The focus for main course is grills and casseroles, and guests can have fresh fish grilled to order in front of them by Fish’s chefs.

Fish Beach Taverna, Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, daily 12pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 511 7139. fish-dubai.com

Sea Fu

Best for: A romantic aperitivo

Details: Although you can’t quite dine with your toes in the sand at Sea Fu, the stunning beachfront views make it worth a mention. The Asian-influenced seafood restaurant is open for lunch, dinner and bar bites throughout the day, as well as offering 50 per cent off selected beverages between 5pm to 7pm – a perfect time for enjoying the sunset. It’s got a relaxed feel thanks to its brilliant beachfront location, but it’s smaller than most, giving it a romantic, intimate vibe.

Sea Fu, Four Seasons Jumeirah, Jumeirah, daily 12.30pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 270 7777. fourseasons.com

The Beach House

Best for: A family friendly, lazy lunch.

Details: No matter what time of the day you visit The Beach House, you’ll feel like you’re dining at a tropical resort, far from the bustling metropolis that is Dubai. We love its setting, whitewashed decor and menu that makes you feel at home no matter where you’re from. Bag a beachfront table at the edge of the restaurant, and you’re guaranteed a good time – and a gorgeous view. It’s got a great menu of international bites, but we love the oversized martini glass brimming with Calamari – it’s a great way to kick off a lazy lunch.

The Beach House, Anantara The Palm, daily 12pm to 1am, Tel:  (04) 567 8304. dubai-palm.anantara.com

Key West

Best for: Sundowners in a slice of Caribbean luxury

Details: With its white-washed ceilings, natural wooden furniture and turquoise accents, Key West feels like a high-end beach hut, especially with the sea views from its terrace. The menu serves up a fusion of foods from Florida, Latin America and the Caribbean. Make sure you try the lobster mac and cheese tots – crisp parcels generously filled with tender lobster, a gooey mix of gruyere and sharp cheddar, paired with a smoked tomato and fennel seed ketchup. For the best sundowner spot, head out to the beach lounge booths and watch the sun set behind the sea.

Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai, Pearl Jumeirah, off Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai, daily 6pm to 1am. Tel: (04) 376 6000. nikkibeachhotels.com

Breeze

Best for: A leisurely breakfast brunch with friends

Details: On the edge of an impressive run of beachfront restaurants, Breeze is one of our go-to spots for tanning and eating and equal measure. They serve up one of the best breakfast menus on The Palm, that includes healthy options such as smashed avo toast and a watermelon and feta salad, as well as some of our more favourable Saturday morning treats such as the stack of pancakes and Breeze breakfast sandwich. There’s indoor and outdoor seating on the terrace, or make your way down to one of the loungers on the beach and soak up the sun while snacking. It’s a lively atmosphere, and a great spot for taking the family to as well.

Club Vista Mare, Palm Jumeirah, Sat to Weds 11am to 12am, Thurs and Fri 11am to 1am. Tel (04) 568 3000. breeze.ae

Salt

Best for: A bite to each between boarding. And some of the best burgers in town

Details: One of Dubai’s best-loved beach canteens, Salt at Kite Beach is famed for it’s sliders, fries and softie ice creams. The beachside food truck often sees queues stacks of people deep on the weekends. Is one of the best spots on Kite Beach for grabbing a bite to eat in between water sports, or occupying the kids at the Skate Park, outdoor trampolines or adventure gym.

Kite Beach, Jumeirah, daily 9am to late. Tel: (055) 996 5802. find-salt.com

The Jetty Lounge

Best for: Romantic sundowners before dinner

Details: One of the best looking bars in Dubai, Jetty Lounge is all about classy cocktails, chilled out tunes and stunning sunsets. It’s accessed via a winding path through the lush gardens of the One&Only Royal Mirage, perched right on the sand, with sweeping views of the ocean and the Palm. More about intricate cocktails and the ‘wow worthy setting’, you can expect to tuck in to bar snacks and mezze such as hummus, tabouleh, marinated prawns and beef teriyaki.

One&Only Royal Mirage, Al Sufouh, Dubai Marina, daily 2pm to 2am. Tel: (04) 399 9999. royalmirage.oneandonlyresorts.com

Wavebreaker

Best for: A casual pint with mates

Details: Right on the beach, this casual bar and grill is a great spot for a laid back beverage. Wavebreaker has a BBQ and grill menu that’s great for a bit of mid-sunbathing snacking. It’s also home to several screens that show live sports, which is where you’ll find most of JBR’s sports fans and sun worshippers catching the weekly matches. Less about the food, there’s a daily happy hour which offers up a selection of house drinks buy one get one free from 4pm to 8pm, buckets of five beers for Dhs173. One for cocktail lovers, don’t miss out on trying the Wavebreaker twist on a Pina Colada – it’s served in a whole pineapple.

Hilton Jumeirah Beach Resort, JBR, Dubai, daily 10am to 11pm. Tel: (04) 399 1111. hilton.com/dubai

Shimmers

Best for: Wowing guests

Details: We’ve got to say it, we’ve been keeping Shimmers to ourselves. This secluded spot in Jumeirah’s Mina A’Salam is just steps away from the sea and serves up some of the city’s best casual Greek cuisine with a European influence. On the menu, you’ll find the likes of cold seafood starters, salads, casseroles and a cooked to order catch of the day. It’s a casual setting, so you don’t need to dress up, although it sits right on Madinat Jumeirah’s private beach with spectacular views of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah – so you might want to for the Instagram shots alone.

Shimmers, Mina A’Salam, Jumeirah, daily 12pm to 12.30am. Tel: (04) 432 3232. jumeirah.com

Retro Feasts

Best for: Seaside snacking

Details: Right on the beach, this is one of our favourite spots on JBR for a quick bite to eat. Inspired by the childhood favourites of its young chef and restaurant entrepreneur Luke Thomas, the menu quite simply serves up retro classics that any homesick Brit will remember. It’s a quirky space, with a red telephone box for the entrance to the indoor dining area. There’s a big veranda of outdoor seating, that’s great for catching rays while you tuck in.

Retro Feasts, The Beach, JBR, daily 8am to 12am. Tel: (052) 722 6462. Facebook.com/RetroFeastsDubai

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