Here’s how to spend a full day at one of the city’s most popular seaside spots
La Mer may only have been open for two years, but it has in that time become one of Dubai’s most popular beach spots, thanks to the mix of family-friendly activities and attractions, not to mention the brightly coloured graffiti, that makes for the perfect selfie spot.
With dozens of shops and restaurants, a water park, a cinema and all sorts of sports to try, it’s easy to while away an entire day here. Here’s how…
Breakfast at Parker’s is a great way to start the day. Diners can opt for something indulgent – we suggest the Benedict croissant with truffle-infused mushroom sauce – or choose a healthier dish, such as avocado on sourdough toast or a tropical açaí bowl. It’s a particularly good pick for those with special dietary requirements.
Spend the rest of the morning on the beach, where you can rent a cabana or daybed, or simply lay out a towel on a free spot of sand. Visitors can laze under the sun or get involved in some water sports, which can be booked at the Watersports by First Yacht kiosk. Options include stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, jet-skiing, fly-boarding, surfing, boat cruising and more. Prices range from AED35 (€8.65) for 30 minutes on an inflatable up to AED2,350 (€580) for four hours of wakeboarding.
There are 60 food and beverage outlets to be found throughout La Mer, so there are plenty of options for lunch. For something fusion, choose Sikka Café, where Emirati food meets Indian and Iranian influences. This includes hot and cold mezze dishes, a range of steaming-hot breads (from naan to paratha and manakeesh), seafood and meat grills, plus a selection of lighter salads.
While most venues in La Mer are unlicensed, and do not serve alcohol, one that does is American-style sports bar Stars N Bars, a concept that hails from Monte Carlo. The atmosphere is lively, with punters watching matches on the TVs, playing arcade games and tucking into the hearty fare, which spans everything from steak to tacos.
Shopping and jumping
There are a couple of dozen shops dotted around La Mer, too, so retail therapy is most definitely an option too, with everything from cosmetics and sunglasses to swimwear and souvenirs on offer.
Children (and the young at heart) can also check out Hawa Hawa, an inflatable playground – similar to a trampoline park – where there are two dunes and seven peaks on which to jump around and enjoy some low-impact, high-intensity fun. Prices start from AED25 (€6.18) for 20 minutes.
Laguna Water Park
A few hours spent in family-friendly Laguna Water Park are certainly not wasted. There’s something for everyone here, such as a surf simulator, five slides – including the family raft ride Manta – and a lazy river. There is also a dedicated kids’ zone, which features a splash pad and RainFortress (a water play structure under which the little ones – much to their delight – get rained on). Tickets cost AED165 (€40.80).
One of the most sophisticated dining spots in La Mer is Masti, a contemporary Indian fusion restaurant and cocktail lounge that’s perfect for dinner. There are chic and colourful interiors across two floors and outdoor seating areas, and beautifully presented dishes. The menu incorporates international flavours and modern cooking techniques into Indian-inspired recipes – think butter chicken pizza topped with burrata, a bhatti-spiced brisket bao bun with oyster sauce and saag paneer lasagne with coconut-lime sauce. It might sound strange, but it works – very well.
Watch a film
See in the wee hours by watching a film at The Roxy Cinemas. On the schedule are the latest Hollywood blockbusters, but also art house films and documentaries that cater to audiences of all nationalities, with subtitles in French and Arabic (or English, depending on the movie). Visitors can opt for standard viewing with popcorn or try the La Mer Experience, which includes a three-course gourmet meal with a mocktail that can be delivered to their reclining leather seat. The full experience costs AED225 (€55.64) with pre-booking or it’s AED110 (€27.20) with a seat only.