A Nikki Beach Dubai Experience

Dubai, the land of sun, sea and prosperity; the place where people come to become who ever they want to be. It doesn’t matter where you came from or who you were, here you can reinvent yourself the moment you step off the plane. There’s nothing wrong with that, this city hands you all the tools on a silver platter, from high end shops to world renowned restaurants and clubs – becoming the big I Am here is not a hard task, but does that mean that those of us who don’t want to become “so Dubai” should have to suffer?

As a general rule I avoid beach clubs in the city because I just don’t fit in there, I am not a size 10, I do not believe in wearing make up to the pool and I have no issue getting my hair wet. For me spending the day by the pool or at the beach should be relaxing and fun, I shouldn’t be worrying about posing for the perfect Instagram shot or who’s at the table next to me but that’s how I feel whenever I do go. Which brings me to my Nikki Beach Dubai experience.


For a friends birthday we decided that a ladies afternoon of free flowing drinks, nibbles and some much needed vitamin D was the perfect thing for a Tuesday, and all for AED 125. Why not.

We arrived at around 12pm, got our beds and a glass of Prosecco, lathered up in suncream and started to enjoy our afternoon.

It didn’t take long before we started noticing the flaws: a 20 minute wait for water and drinks in a venue where staff outnumbered guests, an incredibly strict bag check on the door and a pretty dire lack of staff actually looking after the guests instead of chatting or texting.

After a little while we decided a dip in the pool was in order and made our way waterside; not two seconds from getting ankle deep the lifeguard starts yelling something at us. We turn and see him wildly gesturing at my friend and yelling something inaudible above the thumping house music.

As it turns out the issue was her shorts.

Dressed in a swimming suit and board shorts my friend made her way over to him to find out what the problem was where she was rudely informed the shorts were not allowed in the pool…why? Because. Despite them being swimming shorts she was not allowed to wear them and would have to remove them before entering the water.

Now I understand that clothing is not allowed in the pool for various safety and hygiene reasons but these were no different to what the men dotted around the venue were wearing and I didn’t see them being told to take those off.

When asked why she couldn’t wear them the staff could give us no other reason than just because they were not allowed; so because she is female she has to wear a bikini or one piece only – despite not being comfortable dressing like that.

After a more than a few angry words were exchanged, mostly from the lifeguard and security staff, the manager intervened and it was all okayed because they were in actual fact swim shorts -go figure. But in this country should a woman wanting to cover up a little really be made into such an issue? When did modesty become a bad thing? Why should someone be penalized for not wanting to have her bum on show?

After our dip we ordered our food, a platter of fruit and nibbles of which everything was delicious and light, perfect for a day by the pool. But again we had an uncomfortably long wait for our next round of drinks and by this point we seemed to have our own personal body guard casting a shadow over our sunbeds – it would have appeared we were being watched for misbehavior.

In the next few hours we had another issue with a friend wanting to cover up a little in the pool wearing a swim skirt – a small piece of costume material designed for this exact purpose – which it was a firm no on.

We then had a run in with a fairly heavy handed security guard regarding the use of a Polaroid camera; go figure. You’re not allowed cameras inside the venue. During the earlier security check our cameras were checked and okayed, no one told us we could not use them inside and the way they reacted after three clicks anyone would have thought we had robbed a bank.

Never mind the barrage of selfies people were taking my on their phone or securities lack of intervention when a man was taking pictures of all the girls sunbathing in the pool despite not knowing them or asking their permission.

From the no camera rule to the zero tolerance for anyone who doesn’t want to bare all I have to say the staff at Nikki Beach Dubai did a pretty great job of ruining our entire day and left us feeling more than a little deflated.

I cannot support any venue that makes a spectacle out of a woman for wearing too many clothes and making her feel out of place because she doesn’t want to have her body on show. I am sorry if that does not fit in with your ideal customer.

It is safe to say this particular beach club will not be receiving my patronage again.

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    • We weren’t staying there, we were just visiting the beach club for the day but their rules aren’t clear and it’s not so much being strict about them it’s more of them being prejudice and body shaming. Safe to say I’ll never go back.


  1. Do you know if Nikki beach is a chain? I know I’ve been to a couple other Nikki beaches, either way sounds like a great time. I would love to visist the one in Dubai.


    • Yes it’s the same Nikki Beach, they’ve had a beach club for a while here and just opened the resort. I’m going to assume you’re being sarcastic though because after the day we had there I’d never give them my money again.


  2. I am in shock at how rudely they treated you guys and why on earth would they penalize someone for wearing shorts. Talk about double standards, its crazy that the men are allowed but its not okay for women to want to cover up. Absolutely ridiculous. Your body, your choice! x


    • Exactly, I was absolutely fuming. Funnily enough, despite how active they are on Social Media, etc. they have failed to actually acknowledge this post or anything else…taking the head in the sand approach it seems.


  3. Wow, sorry you had such a negative experience with the shorts issue. I’m actually surprised that was the reaction, as I’ve heard it’s a more conservative culture. Glad you managed to have a nice time despite that!


  4. I think that they are inventing new rules on the go, I mean, I cannot think of another explanations since they do not know the reason of why some things are not allowed.


  5. Look stunning on the pictures but feel sorry to herd that you had all thus bad experience . But every place they have their own rules if we don’t like it than we just avoid to come .


    • That’s true but when those rules intentionally body shame people or otherwise make them uncomfortable it’s not really excusable. It’s a shame because the place really is beautiful.


  6. It sounds like a lovely place, but stuffed full of stuffiness!
    It is odd how they get over some things. We’re off to Northern France in a few weeks and we’ve been told that men in bermuda shorts aren’t allowed in the pool – It must be speedos.
    I really don’t like speedos. What is the purpose of this rule?
    Lastly, is there a key for the icons at the bottom of the post?


  7. Thats crazy. Unfortunately not everywhere in the world is going to be in our comfort zone or what we think is right. I still think its important tp respect others, afterall you went to Dubai!


  8. I am like you and don’t like to wear make up to the pool either. I mean, who likes the raccoon look and who likes to leave that in a pool for others to swim in? Eww.


  9. Sometimes rules are very strict in private places. So I don’t opt for private places. I have heard in London there is one hotel where we have to go for dining with special size of our heels. Small heels not allowed. So every specific private resort have its own set of rules, so I dont go.


    • There are clubs here which women are not allowed in if they have heels below a certain height, it’s ridiculous. But fine if they want to have those rules but if they don’t tell you about them how can they get so mad at you for breaking them and how dare they be so rude…


  10. Oh wow! Dubai looks incredible, I’ve not been but I’d love to! That’s such a shame though that you had that experience. No Woman should be made to feel bad for choosing to cover up and it seems an odd place for that to be an issue!


  11. What an awful behavior by the staff! They have given a right to a man to wear whatever he likes and for a woman, they have made such a ridiculous rules. It’s your body and your choice! Who the hell are they to tell a woman what to wear? Sorry to hear that they spoiled your day!


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