We love a hidden gem…

In the UAE, we are lucky enough to have countless stretches of pristine beaches, however many of them are now flanked by luxury beach clubs and hotels. If you’re seeking a sun-soaked spot away from the crowds without the entry fee, these are the spots to visit.

It’s important to note that many of these beaches are beautifully untouched and it’s important to preserve them, so make sure to not leave anything behind.

Khorfakkan: Shark Island


Located on the South Eastern side of Khorfakkan’s bay, this spot is for those who have a flare for adventure. All beach dwellers must make their way to the Khorfakkan port, at which point there will be plenty of boats that will take you to the island. Here, you can bask in the crystal clear waters that surround the stoney island formation. Shark Island is perfect for those who have a hankering for snorkeling, as the waters are home to a phenomenal variety of sea life. Alternatively, most of the water here is shallow enough to see the seabed, so your sure to see shoals of fish swim by, as well as being home to rays, Arabian angelfish, and black-tip reef sharks – which we promise are friendly.

Boat rides should cost between Dhs60 and Dhs100 depending on how many people are in your party. Be sure to pack all your essentials before reaching the island as there are no amenities available, as well as a form of ID for the boat trip.

Shark Island, Khorfakkan, open daily

Sharjah: Kalba Beach


Our neighbouring emirate Sharjah is home to a picturesque 7km of coastline, including Kalba beach. Here, you can soak up the pristine waters, whilst trying to spot some endangered wildlife such as the Hawksbill turtles. Located just off Khor Kalba’s Mangrove Conservation Reserve, this area is the home to rare animals and the only place in the UAE where Arabian-collared kingfisher’s breed. Here you can make friends with local fisherman, that use these shores for their daily catches. This spot is peaceful but also limited, so pack a beachside spread before you arrive.

Kalba Beach, Sharjah, next to Khor Kalba Mangrove Conservation Reserve, open daily 

Dubai: Secret Beach


Located on the right side of of Mercato Mall’s beachfront and stretching toLa Mer, this beach is every beach lovers dream. Often without the regular crowds that swarm the popular Dubai public beaches; this hidden gem offers a more peaceful alternative. One of the charms of this destination is it’s simplicity, however that means it comes without amenities, so be sure to pack a take picnic so you remain fueled and hydrated during your beach day.

Secret beach, between The Mandarin Oriental Jumeirah and La Mer, open daily

Dubai: Jebel Ali Beach


This serene shoreline is an idyllic public beach, offering a more rustic beach experience compared to some of Dubai’s more built up beaches. Beach goers can enjoy kitesurfing, kayaking and paddle-boarding along this quiet coastline. Jabel Ali beach is free to enter, but you are not permitted to bbq or camp.

Jebel Ali Beach, Public Beach, Mina Jebel Ali, Dubai, next to Soul Beach Dubai, open daily

Fujairah: Qidfa Beach


You’ll need to drive roughly two hours out of Dubai to reach Qidfa Beach, but you’ll be rewarded by a lovely stretch of oceanfront – and possibly even a mild surf for boogie boarding to the sandy shore. There are also modest picnic facilities as well as a play area for the little ones to enjoy.

Qidfa Beach, Mirbah, Fujairah, open daily

Khorfakkan: Luluyah Beach

secret beaches UAE

Luluyah Beach is a quiet destination for a weekend get away. Ideal for combining hiking, swimming or even a camping trip with friends. It’s a lovely spot for sunset, where you can gaze over the cotton candy skies dancing over the waves. There are no amenities on this beach but there are many restaurants and cafes close by, where you can head to before or afterwards. The famous camping spot, ‘Black Rock’ is next door, so you and your squad can make a weekend out of it.

Luluyah Beach, Khorfakkan, open daily

Umm Al Quwain: Mangrove Beach

secret beaches UAE

Roughly an hour from Dubai, this beach opened to the public in 2020 and is perfect for a beach day. With public amenities you can rent kayaks, paddle-boards and when you get hungry there is a cafe you can grab a snack. You and your loved ones can paddle in the water, snorkel or just kick back and relax on the sand. It’s Dhs20 to enter with your car, and you can camp here overnight for a fee of Dhs100. If your wanting to make a proper day out of it, you can also BBQ here as long as you leave the beach untouched upon departure. Guests won’t have to leave their fur babies at home, with this beach being pet friendly.

Mangrove Beach, Um Al Quawain, Dhs20 for entry, Dhs100 to camp

Abu Dhabi: Mirfa Beach

secret beaches UAE

If you’re looking for a spot away from the crowds in Abu Dhabi, then look no further than Mirfa beach. One of Abu Dhabi’s best kept secrets, it’s a tranquil and secluded stretch of paradise. Mirfa beach has no public amenities, so make sure to stock up on supplies at the small town nearby if you’re planning on a day full of splashing through the turquoise waters, or an overnight camping trip.

Mirfa Beach, Abu Dhabi, roughly an hour from the centre of Abu Dhabi, open daily, visitabudhabi.ae

Images: social and google maps