20 years ago the area we now call Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) consisted mostly of a beach with a few low rise hotels like Hilton Jumeirah Beach and Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort scattered around. Then, in 2002, Jumeirah Beach Residence opended it’s doors and ever since high rise hotels and residential buildings have popped up, surrounding the old, dignified hotels.
“The Walk” and “The Beach”
My first trip to Dubai was in 2010 and then the area was very much developed and “The Walk”, a 1,7km strip with outdoors restaurants and shops, was in place. I remember thinking the area was quite nice, that the shops where not all that and that they could do better than a big, ugly parking lot in prime beach location, right in the middle of JBR. A few years later the parking lot is gone, or at least it has gone underground, in the form of a parking garage and above ground we have “The Beach”, an urban shopping and dining destination which also includes all sorts of entertainment, activities for all ages, a jogging track, sun bed rentals ++. The area is buzzling with life from morning to night, even though I am able to run more or less in peace in the jogging track at 7-8 in the morning.
“The Beach” has food for every palate and wallate. It offers everything from upscale restaurants to food trucks. A common denominator of all, though, is that they are not license, meaning they are not allowed to serve alcohol. If you are craving a beer or a glass of wine, however, there are plenty of hotel beach bars and restaurants in the neighborhood that can oblige and where most of them have happy hour from around 4-5 in the afternoon. A bit of advise, however, is not to go wandering around if you feel a bit tipsy. Then I would recommend you to stay within your hotel or walk towards it with out drawing too much attention to yourself. Not that I have ever seen anyone getting in trouble after drinking in a licensed place, but why risk it?
Like mentioned earlier, there is no lack of activities in”The Beach” area. Here you can find both free and charged outdoor fitness equipment, playgrounds, a small waterpark for toddlers, football-snooker, miniature bowling, shops, market stalls, outdoor big screen that shows football matches and lots of other stuff.
As mentioned before “The Walk” consist of a 1,7 km strip and includes “The Beach”. Here you can amuse yourself with pop-up entertainment every night while eating at one of the many cozy restaurants or you can simply sit and gaze over all the luxurious cars passing by (which there are pleeeenty of in the emirate where even the police cars can be Buggatties, Mclarens, Aston Martins, Ferraries and where the police is currently (according to CNN) flying motorbikes.
The beach at JBR consists of fine-grained sand and has a public area and several private areas, driven by the beach located hotels. On the private sections you have the right to pass through, but if you try to settle yourself down in the sand, you will most likely be told by the guards to relocate to the public portion of the beach. The public beach has shrunken quite a bit since my first visit, which is a pity, but luckily you are still able to spend a day at the beach without it feeling too crowded.
If you would like to avoid sand in all nooks and crannies, it is possible to rent sun-beds at a considerable charge at the beach, or you can simply (for free) settle yourself down on the lawn just above the beach. The public beach also have sanitary facilities which I must admit are the cleanest ones I have ever seen at a beach.
If you want to upgrade the beach experience, several of the beach hotels sell day-passes to their beach and pool facilities. There is also a beach club located at the end of the beach, Zero Gravity, which I am sure will catch the attention of young adults (meaning a great party factor, a fair celebrity factor, sky-high selfie factor and a substantial sound factor).
Right next to Hilton the Walk hotel you can take the escalator up to the Plaza Level of JBR for even more entertainment lik 3 D blacklight mini-golf or escape room. If you would like a free training session, bring a basket ball and play a match in the full size municipal basket ball court or let the youngest ones play on the playground which also include a mini trampoline. In the area is also a well assorted supermarket where you can buy cold sodas for about 1/10 of the hotel price, so we usually have several trips here to fill up our minibar of fridge. You can also buy fresh bread, sandwiches, sliced fruit, ice cream and lots of other stuff to make your holiday a little bit cheaper.
Anyone still wondering why I always return to JBR? It simply has everything I need for a perfect vacation!