Just a few steps from Marina, we found this clean, wonderful playground with plenty of facilities, including showers, toilets, and changing rooms housed in distinctive paneled pods. Kids can keep cool in a splash zone, and there’s even an outdoor gym for pumping. Since it’s right next to The Beach at JBR and The Walk at JBR, there’s no shortage of food and drink outlets, although alcohol is only available in the hotels. You can rent a sunbed – for 125 AED, two single sunbeds – for 235 AED, a daybed – for 275 AED, a cabana – for 365 AED, or a premium cabana – for 600 AED. Prices of sunbeds include towels (30 AED) and use of a shower (5 AED); lockers are available (50 AED).

From there, we had excellent views of Marina Eye. This observation big wheel, with its capsules reaching up to 60m at its highest point, is a good option for panoramic city views.

Just next to it is an attractive outdoor shopping and dining promenade, The JBR Walk. It was an immediate hit when it opened in 2008, initially to meet the needs of the 20,000 people living in the Jumeirah Beach Residence development. Today, The Walk is also a big hit with tourists who join locals in strolling the 1.7km stretch, watching the world on parade from a pavement cafe, browsing the fashionable boutiques, or ogling the shiny Ferraris (and other fancy cars) cruising by on weekends.

Part of the area is also The Beach at JBR, an open-plan cluster of low-lying, urban-style buildings wrapped around breezy plazas. Hugely popular with families on weekends, it mixes cafes and upmarket shops with a lively waterfront fun zone complete with a kiddie splash park, an outdoor gym, a crafts market, and other diversions. A beach club rents out sunloungers (sunbed including lunch and drinks – 99 AED), or you can spread your towel just about anywhere for free.