With sparkling sands, gentle waves and water activities galore, it's no wonder that Sharjah's beaches are attracting crowds of sun-seekers.
Favourite spots include the 600-metre Al Khan Beach, where visitors can try kayaking, kite-surfing and flyboarding among other watersports.
Or head for Sharjah Beach, which is a far calmer spot with sports facilities as well as showers and changing areas.
Grab that towel and head for one of the emirate's brilliant beaches – here are the best places to go...
Al Khan Beach
This 600m golden stretch of sand near the Al Khan historic area is the perfect spot to try kayaking, kite-surfing, parasailing and flyboarding, among other watersports. It is just as good for spending the afternoon lazing away on one of the many sun loungers or bringing the whole family for a picnic. Book your own area on the beach for a birthday party, corporate function or other special occasion.
Dhs5 ages six and above, Dhs5 per car, Dhs20 entry, sunbed and umbrella. Open daily 6am-8pm. Al Khan Street, Sharjah, www.alkhanbeach.com (06 556 0777).
Nestled between the Oceanic Khorfakkan Resort & Spa and a bustling commercial port, this is probably Sharjah’s most famous beach, a tranquil 3km palm tree-lined bay. Watersports, diving, fishing and boat trips are available near the hotel, while some of the country’s best snorkelling can be had at nearby Shark Island - perhaps unsurprisingly. Your haggling skills will come in handy if you want to persuade a local boat captain to take you out to the island - and pick you up afterwards - without it costing you a few hundred dirhams. Just try not to remember that Khor Fakkan means “creek of two jaws” while swimming among some of the larger fish.
Open 24 hours. Khor Fakkan, Sharjah.
Lou Lou Beach
This unspectacular stretch of sand next to the beach resort of the same name is a quieter spot than some to enjoy an afternoon by the blue waters of the Arabian Gulf. The beach is well-maintained and clean too. Visitors should take their own food and drink and entertainment, unless they want to pay for a guest pass for the resort’s beach, which connects to this one.
Open 6am-late. Al Meena Street, Sharjah.
A great spot for those who can’t be bothered with the fuss of some more popular beaches which often means an afternoon of sunbathing comes with the irritation often caused by loud groups, busy restaurants and growling jet-skis. Here, just take in the calming sounds of the sea and leave behind the stress of city life for an afternoon. This beach has some sports facilities plus showers and changing areas.
Open 24 hours. Al Muntazah Street, Sharjah.