The Burj al Arab is the world’s most luxurious hotel. It stands on it’s own manmade island off the coast of Jumeirah Beach and is accessible only by private bridge or helicopter. The hotel was at the top of my list of things to see in Dubai, but as it turned out, it’s not the easiest structure to get close to. Most people head to the Jumeirah public beach to see it, but I wanted more. Shimmers Dubai is a beach restaurant and bar that ended up being one of my favorites in the city. Keep reading to discover the best place in Dubai for a relaxing evening complete with beach cocktails, shisha and of course, killer views of the Burj al Arab
THE MADINAT JUMEIRAH HOTEL
Shimmers Dubai is located on the private beach of the Madinat Jumeirah Hotel. One day, after spending the blazing hot afternoon walking around the Marina, we made our way over to the resort in pursuit of sunset cocktails.
The Madinat Jumeirah Resort is huge (the largest in the Emirates!), and they’ve designed it to be an authentic recreation of ancient Arabia. Visitors can take abra rides on artificial canals, browse the modern day souk, and eat at over 50 of their restaurants and bars. It was crazy busy, a little hectic and it reminded me of Las Vegas ~ but definitely an experience.
MISSING THE SUNSET
Shimmers doesn’t open for dinner until 6:30pm and on this particular day, the sun was setting at 6:35pm. We made our way over to the restaurant a little earlier than our reservation hoping to grab some sunset photos of the Burj al Arab before the sun went down.
One thing we’ve quickly learned in Dubai is that security is strict, and we were not allowed on the beach until the restaurant opened. We thought we might be able to sneak around another way but it was a no-go and we had to wait with the security guard until the clock struck exactly 6:30pm.
With 5 minutes to spare before the sun disappeared, I left Nick to check in and literally ran to the water to try and capture the last glimpse of golden light. Naturally, a group of friends saw me alone with my camera and figured I was the perfect person to take their sunset photos. Since I am not socially equipped handle awkward encounters with strangers, I agreed to photograph them and missed my shot.
SHIMMERS DUBAI // THE BEST VIEWS OF THE BURJ AL ARAB
To properly get over the disappointment I felt from missing the sunset, I leaned into my bean bag chair, dug my toes in the sand and ordered a passion fruit cocktail.
You would also assume that a beach restaurant with such an exclusive location would come with with a level of pretentiousness, but this was not the case. Despite the 5 star setting, the atmosphere at Shimmers is very relaxed and comfortable. There is a minimum spend of AED 95 per person to sit on the beach, but considering that a bottle of water costs AED 40, the minimum is easy to meet. We also received no added pressure to order anything but drinks and the service was fantastic.
Shimmers feels like a entire world away from the hustle and bustle of the Madinat Jumeirah Hotel. With one of the best views of the Burj al Arab directly in front of you and the sound of the Arabian gulf softly rolling in the distance, you can’t really find a better place to relax in Dubai.
I mean.. I’m 100% sure you can, since the whole concept of Dubai is based on luxury and comfort, but Shimmers is right up there with the best.
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE VISITING SHIMMERS DUBAI
SHIMMERS CLOSES BETWEEN LUNCH AND DINNER Shimmers closes for an hour and a half each day between lunch and dinner (from 5pm-6:30pm). If you plan on having lunch, the last call for ordering is 4:30pm.
A MINIMUM SPEND TO SIT ON THE BEACH There is a minimum spend of AED 95 ($26 USD) per person to sit on the beach and this does not include shisha.
THE BEACH IS PRIVATE Unless you are staying at the hotel or visiting the restaurant, there is no access to the beach. Simply let the security know you’re going to Shimmers and (granted that it is not in between lunch and dinner), you will be allowed in.
TELL THE TAXI TO TAKE YOU TO THE SOUK MADINAT JUMEIRAH We weren’t aware that Shimmers is located within the Madinat Jumeirah Resort, and our taxi driver had never heard of it. When we pulled up the location on the map, he was even more confused because he couldn’t find a road that would take us to the beach. The Madinat Jumeirah Souks are a popular tourist site, so it will eliminate confusion and you will be dropped off at the entrance of the hotel.
DRESS CODE Casual
MAKE RESERVATIONS Reservations are highly advised and the walk through the hotel is long. So arrive with enough time to get to the beach. You can book online, or by phone (+971 4 4323232).
PRICES The prices at Shimmers were in line with most of the restaurants and bars we went to in Dubai. The food is surprisingly not over the top expensive, considering the location. The average cost for 2 people without alcohol is AED 350 ($95). Expect to pay between AED 80-110 ($22-$30 USD) for cocktails, AED 50-60 ($14-$16) for mocktails, AED 30 ($8 USD) for soda and AED 40 ($10 USD) for a bottle of water.
ON THE MENU Shimmers Dubai serves authentic Greek / Mediterranean cuisine. Click here to view the menus.
HOW TO GET TO SHIMMERS DUBAI
Shimmers is located on the grounds of the Madinat Jumeirah Hotel Resort.
The easiest way to arrive is by taxi, as there is no metro stop near the hotel. If you want to save money, you can take the metro (red line) to The Mall of the Emirates stop, and then take a 5 minute taxi ride from there.
6 King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud St – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Lunch: 12:00 – 5:00pm
Dinner: 6:30pm – Midnight