La Mer, open since 2017, is one of Dubai’s most colourful seaside neighbourhoods, nestled on the northern shoreline. Divided into two areas, La Mer South and La Mer North, it’s defined by its retro Californian style. The Instagram-friendly destination offers a heady mix of water sports, fun parks, fashionable restaurants, street art and seasonal parties after dark.
By day, visitors can hire sunbeds or rent wooden day rooms on La Mer Beach. The multi-coloured beach huts house showers. La Mer beach club, Train, is fully licensed with a shisha area, but its name is derived from its fitness facilities – it has a gym and a boxing and yoga studio – and its Origin 33 restaurant and lounge also serves healthy meals and a menu of fresh juices and smoothies.
The best restaurants in La Mer, according to local award-givers, include Masti, a beachfront eatery applauded for its modern Indian cuisine, innovative mixology and eclectic interior design by Studio Lotus. The name Masti is derived from the Hindi word for fun and mischief and the décor and dishes live up to the name, with cheeky monkey artwork and playful fusions for the palate such as the tandoori chicken bao.
Another creative culinary outlet is iScream. Managing Partner Rami Halawi came up with the concept for iScream with his family. Offering a wide selection of unusual flavours is the brand’s unique selling point.
“Here at iScream, we’re very crazy; that's why we have crazy flavours like curry, kulfi, tabbouleh, ketchup and Mexican chilli-chocolate,” says Rami.
On certain days, customers are invited to scream into a sound monitor for their ice cream – if they beat the highest recording in decibels, they win their ice cream for free.
La Mer’s shops focus on beach pursuits and accessories, making it a good place to shop for swimwear, sunglasses, suntan lotion and anything else required for a day on La Mer Beach or at one of its fun parks.
At the confluence of north and south La Mer lies Laguna Water Park. Here, patrons test their courage on slides knotted with surprise twists and turns. They can also learn to surf on the one hundred and eighty-degree wave machine by Flowrider.
For more wet and wild adventures, there are two deep stretches of beach with a Watersports by First Yacht centre on each, offering a huge range of activities, including flyboarding, water step biking, pedal boats and jetskis. Explore the coast on a 90-minute guided jetski tour.
Those who prefer airborne adventures can bounce around at Hawa Hawa, a wavy trampoline-like playground imported from Japan.
A vintage-style cinema, street performers and seasonal celebrations keep visitors entertained by night, with the biggest gathering taking place for New Year’s Eve. Expect fireworks and DJs spinning decks with a countdown on a big outdoor screen.
With so much titillation on the doorstop, it’s expected that apartments in Mediterranean-styled Port de La Mer by Meraas will be hot property.