Dubai Middle East Travel UAE

Dubai: Swimming in the Persian Gulf

The view from the hotel’s balcony was too much to bear. The beach called out loud and clear, its calm azure waters beckoning, the glow of its fine white sand inviting languid footsteps. Luxury boats dotted the water while others anchored in the glittering marina.

The resort could have easily been somewhere in the Pacific Islands had it not been for Atlantis the Palm rising from the horizon like a welcome mirage or the unmistakable Burj Al Arab to the far right. Both luxury hotels stood as testament that I was on the Jumeirah coastline in Dubai, in the northwest of the United Arab Emirates.

Atlantis the Palm in the distance

Burj al Arab to the far right

The heat of the desert was palpable. The air was thick and heavy making movements slow and strained. After a fourteen hour flight, jetlag and weariness invited restful sleep. The allure of the air conditioned hotel room at Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina, as tempting as it was, did not match that of the sparkling waters of the Persian Gulf below.

sparkling beach

At the hotel’s private beach, we were given beach towels and shown to a couple of beach lounges under the shade of a large parasol. The temperature soared towards the high thirties Centigrade, the desert’s breath tipping the mercury towards the early forties.

I could have lounged and worshipped the sun but the pull of the sea was too strong. I wondered what it would feel like, taking my first swim in the Persian Gulf.

on the beach

I stepped over hot dry sand. It felt fine and powdery under my feet. I picked up the pace as my feet started to burn and made a dash towards the water’s edge.

clear, salty water

Much like a relaxing bath, the water was hot. It did not cool the skin from the ambient heat, unlike the warmth of the Pacific waters in the tropics. I submerged myself with ease washing away the jetlag in the clear azure water. The water tasted very salty against my lips. I opened my eyes underwater as is my habit to do and felt the sharp sting of the salt.

Fish of various size and colour swam around me as I got further away from the shore. Wet sand under my feet felt fine and dense, like standing on a tightly woven Persian carpet. I floated on my back with ease, the salty nature of the water aiding buoyancy.

The sea felt alive. Tiny waves lapping on the sand left a white foamy residue among temporary footprints. Mysterious clear jelly-like globules scattered along the edge.

foamy residue


I returned to the water for another swim. Floating on my back, I gazed at Atlantis on one side then Burj Al Arab on the other, and I fell in love with the beach.



Le Meridien Mina Seyahi private beach

Le Meridien Mina Seyahi
Al Sufouh Road,
Jumeirah Beach
United Arab Emirates

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About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is a drinks writer, author of GROW YOUR OWN COCKTAIL GARDEN, SHRUBS & BOTANICAL SODAS and founder/editor of Gourmantic, Cocktails & Bars and The Gourmantic Garden. She has been writing extensively about spirits, cocktails, bars and cocktail gardening in more recent years. She is a spirits and cocktail competition judge, Icons of Whisky Australia nominee, contributor to Diageo Bar Academy, cocktail developer and is named in Australian Bartender Magazine's Top 100 Most Influential List. Her cocktail garden was featured on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia and has won several awards. She is a contributor to Real World Gardener radio program and is featured in several publications including Pip Magazine, Organic Gardener, Australian Bartender and Breathe (UK). Read the full bio here.