Dubai best surfing locations and beaches
Dubai, the Las Vegas of the Arab world, is well-known for indoor ski resorts, neo-cities built on the sea and constructing the world’s tallest building. But the city does have a few natural wonders, like waves. In winter all along the Persian Gulf winds aimed directly at Dubai generate waves. With several hundred miles of open fetch the surf can actually get pretty good.
Unfortunately the same developments that have made Dubai famous, the offshore Islands and the under construction World Islands residential projects are choking off the swell. As developers pump sand into the sea they create barriers just offshore, rendering the epicentre of Dubai surfing, Jumeriah Beach, flat during most surf reports.
The Dubai shoreline still has good surf conditions on its day, especially in winter when the prevailing wind patterns blow strong from the northwest to create consistent wind swell. For summer surf forecasts the waves often go flat and it’s time to check out Wadi Adventure wave pool just outside of town.
Jumeriah Beach surfing
Dubai’s surf scene is centered around Jumeriah Beach, also known as Sunset Beach. This spot draws in wind swell and hosts several above average days. As mentioned before, offshore developments have diminished the surf’s consistency. Jebal Ali Lefts is an uber-rare point that turns on only in the biggest wind swells blowing down the Persian Gulf.
Wadi Adventure wave pool in Dubai is must!
Dubai’s most famous wave is the human-made wonder of Wadi Adventure wave pool. The wave is accessible for an 18€ entry fee to the park and then an additional 48€ for a one-hour surf session shared with six other surfers. The wave is a steep right or left off a wall that weakens a bit as it spreads out to the centre of the pool.
Dubai surf conditions and weather
Water temps range from around 70 degrees Fahrenheit in winter to 90 degrees in summer. Air temperatures hang around 70 in winter and climb into the 100s daily during peak summer hours. Rain is rare but typically happens in February – if at all.
Dubai surfing schools
Kite N’ Surf Dubai has a plethora of ways to keep you in the water, from kitesurfing, windsurfing, kayaking and SUP, they have lessons and rentals. Kite instruction starts at 170€ for private one-on-one two hour lessons.
One of the first to realise the potential of the surf here is the crew at Surf House Dubai who opened up shop in 2005. This core group (they’re all lifeguards and expert surfers) offer private surfing lessons starting at $90. If the waves are flat you can try SUPing for 68€ which includes professional tips from their ISA certified instructors.
Surf School Dubai has BSA certified instructors and kicks off private lessons at just 38€ for 90 minutes. They offer surf lessons only when there is sufficient swell to push you into the waves. Check in ahead of time for surf forecast and availability.
Dubai hotels for surfers
Tucked away a natural setting high in the hills above Wadi Adventure wave pool, the Mercure Grand Jebel Hafeet Al Ain Hotel is the closest stay to your next chlorine surf session. With three swimming pools, spa, and fitness facilities, the hotel boasts heaps of comfort and ornate luxury starting at 85€ per night.
The Park Regis Boutique Hotel at Jumeriah Beach is steps away from the surf. The casual stay offers full amenities and one of the city’s favourite restaurants, 21 Grams, an urban Balkan themed bistro. The rooms are light and airy with full modern amenities. In a city where flashy and grandiose is the standard, the Park Regis is a refreshing down-to-earth hotel. Rooms start at 60€.
With a rooftop pool and bar on a high-rise in central Dubai, the Elite Byblos Hotel offers a great deal at just 45€ per night. The cosmopolitan stay has full gym and amenities along with massage and spa options. Modern, haute design runs throughout the hotel and meeting rooms dot the lower floors. Their bar and restaurant serve trendy bites as well as local desert favorites.
Dubai is a great vacation place for water sports activities.
Dubai surfing guide and tips prepared by Bryan Dickerson (wavepoolmag.com) for Dailystoke.com’s surf guides.
Photo by Christoph Schulz