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

When compiling this list of Dubai’s best beachfront restaurants, there were very strict rules. These are not just spots where you can see the beach. Nope – these 17 gems are all restaurants where you can dine alfresco with your toes firmly in the sand.

From sun-kissed breakfasts to romantic date nights and laidback sundowners, there’s something for all beach lovers.

Here are 17 of the best beachfront restaurants in Dubai.

Koko Bay

koko bay

Best for: Sunset sips on the sand

This fresh-faced beach bar and restaurant brings serious Bali vibes to Palm Jumeirah’s West Beach. Sink your toes into the sand while you savour fruity cocktails cocktails and a selection of Euro-Asian snacks.

Koko Bay, Palm West Beach, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, Sat to Wed 12pm to 12am, Fri and Sat 12pm to 1am. Tel: (04) 572 3444. @kokobayuae

White Beach

medres-whitebeachamprestuarant-terrace

Best for: Day-to-night dining and dipping

At this Atlantis The Palm hotspot, dine on the sand under a crocheted umbrella, or up in the beachy-keen restaurant, where the sun-kissed flavours of the Med come to the fore. On Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays, entry to White Beach is Dhs150, fully redeemable on food and drink.

White Beach, Atlantis, The Palm, Crescent Rd, Palm Jumeirah, daily 10am to 10pm Entry 21+. Tel: (0)55 2004321. atlantis.com/dubai/bars-and-nightlife/white-beach-club

Palm Grill

The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai, JBR - Palm Grill Al Fresco Dining

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 across the sea to Ain Dubai silhouetted against the sunset. The restaurant recommends you kick your shoes off and get your toes in the sand as you enjoy seafood fresh off the grill.

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

Fish

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Best for: A romantic date night.

Details: With its beachfront location, whitewashed fit-out and twinkling 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 vibrant Turkish, Greek and Mediterranean cuisine with your toes in the sand. For the main event, choose a whole fish from the ice display, expertly grilled to order.

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

Wavebreaker

wavebreaker beachfront restaurant dubai

Best for: A casual pint and burger with mates

Details: Right on the beach, this casual bar and grill is a great spot for a laidback beverage. It’s all about the beach holiday vibes here, with a crowd-pleasing menu of grilled prawns buffalo chicken wings, and the ultimate barbecue burger that are 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. There’s a daily happy hour from 4pm to 7pm, and pool and beach passes for Dhs129, fully redeemable in food and drinks.

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

Zoya by Maui

zoya by maui

Best for: Hawaii feels

This Hawaiian-themed beachside terrace at Sofitel The Palm offers up a simple but satisfying menu filled with power salads, grilled meats, hearty sandwiches, burgers and fresh-from-the-oven pizzas. The setting is relaxed, so don your casuals for a lunch or dinner here.

Maui beach Restaurant & Bar, Sofitel The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, noon to 6pm daily. Tel: (04) 455 6677. sofitel-dubai-thepalm.com

Villa Beach

Villa Beach beachfront restaurant dubai

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 lunch and dinner, and some more casual seating ready for sunset drinks. The menu is sophisticated Italian with antipasti, pasta and grilled seafood on offer.

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

The Beach House

the-beach-house-anantara

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 bustle of 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. The oversized martini glass brimming with calamari is 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

The Jetty Lounge

oo-royalmirage-beach-jetty-cabana-skyline-3114-master-984499

Best for: Romantic sundowners before dinner

Details: One of the best looking bars in Dubai, Jetty Lounge is all about classy cocktails, chilled 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. While it’s more about intricate cocktails and the ‘wow-worthy setting’, you can expect to tuck into bar snacks and mezze such as hummus, tabouleh, marinated prawns and beef teriyaki.

One&Only Royal Mirage, Al Sufouh, Dubai Marina, daily 4pm to 1am. Tel: (04) 399 9999. royalmirage.oneandonlyresorts.com

Breeze Beach Grill

breeze beach grill

Best for: A leisurely breakfast with friends

Details: At the end of Club Vista Mare’s strip of restaurants, Breeze is one of our go-to spots for tanning and eating in equal measure. It serves up one of the best breakfast menus on the Palm, with healthy options such as smashed avo toast and a watermelon and feta salad, plus stacks of pancakes and the 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, Sun to Weds 12pm to 12am, Thurs and Fri 9am to 12am. Tel (04) 568 3000. breeze.ae

Salt

salt-kite-beach

Best for: A bite between boarding

Details: One of Dubai’s best-loved beach canteens, Salt at Kite Beach is famed for its sliders, fries and ice creams. The beachside food truck often sees deep queues of people on weekends. It’s one of the top spots on Kite Beach to refuel in between water sports and other beachfront activities.

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

Retro Feasts

retro feasts beachfront restaurant Dubai

Best for: Seaside snacking

Details: Situated right on the beach, this is one of our favourite spots on JBR for a quick bite to eat. As the name suggests, the menu serves up retro classics that will cure your homesickness. It’s a quirky space, with a yellpw telephone box for the entrance to the indoor dining area. There’s also a big verandah 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

Sea Fu

sea fu

Best for: Aperitivo that leads into dinner

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. Between 5pm to 7pm, they offer a 50 per cent discount on drinks, making it the perfect time for a sunset aperitivo. 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 1pm to 1am. Tel: (04) 270 7777. fourseasons.com

The Beach Bar & Grill by Marco Colagreco

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 be high on your hit list. 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 a menu from Michelin-starred master Marco Colagreco.

The Beach Bar & Grill, The Palace, One&Only Royal Mirage (temporarily closed). Tel: (04) 399 9999. oneandonlyresorts.com

Shimmers

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Best for: Wowing out-of-town 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 (temporarily closed). Tel: (04) 432 3232. jumeirah.com

Nikki Beach

Cafe Nikki Brunch

Best for: Sundowners in a slice of Caribbean luxury

Details: This blissful beachfront setting awaits for relaxed meals of poke, mezze or mixed grills overlooking the sea, and cocktails as the sun sets.

Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai, Pearl Jumeirah, off Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai, Tue, Thu, Fri and Sat, 11am to 8pm. Tel: (04) 376 6000. nikkibeachhotels.com

Beachcombers

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, family-friendly setting. Views stretch right across the calm seas, delivering unparalleled vistas of the Burj Al Arab.

Beachcombers, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai (temporarily closed). Tel: (04) 432 3232. jumeirah.com

Images: Supplied/Facebook