Having visited a few times, I was happy to see shops and restaurants filled with joyful customers and patrons, the sandy shore coloured with beach-goers and the walk buzzing with adults and children enjoying the fresh air. But I also noticed that a new complaint had formed: the parking issue. It started out as a nightmare with the underground lots being full most of the time and an AED20/hour fee. Not all outlets were validating parking tokens. So you ended up paying for parking while having spent on shopping or food. And the Green Parking staffers seemed to be the slowest parking attendants around. Queues formed, new grunts were heard and the traffic jams moved from the main JBR street to the underground parking.
Luckily, a new process was established: validate your token after spending AED75 in one go at outlets at The Beach and parking is free for 3 hours, after which you will incur a fee of AED20/hour. Note: any minute after the first 3 hours counts as a full hour. So yes, the first time I visited, I had to pay AED80 for parking after having spent a sum on renting a lounge chair at the beach! And the second time, the 10minutes after my 3 free hours cost me AED20. Still very expensive, when some of the top hotels in town validate parking for longer and charge less for additional hours… So watch out: take your token with you when you leave your car and make sure to have it validated!
All things said, The Beach is an adorable location. It’s the new outdoors hang out (until summer at least)! And since Dubai is equipped with convenient transportation methods, you can take to the “street life” and leave traffic and parkings behind. Ditch your car and hop on the tram through JBR, then take a short stroll between the gigantic identical buildings until you reach the beachside areas. Enjoy a walk, stumble upon the ice cream truck by the end of JBR, spoil your sweet tooth at the magical La Cure Gourmande (every child’s -and adult’s- dream!), discover the latest in football at Real Madrid Cafe, or also revisit older JBR outlets like Zaatar W Zeit and The Butcher Shop & Grill, as after all, they pioneered life on JBR.