This is why we like Dubai. A weekend day can be spent jumping waves in the ocean and sitting on the beach and watching the families and friends out enjoying themselves. Mostly large groups of young men (looking to be from Pakistan or India or Egypt) playing chicken on shoulders, dousing each other, wrestling in the waves, posing for pictures. And families with little ones getting dunked in the waves. Kids mostly in water with their fathers as the mothers sit fully covered on chairs on the beach. And a fair amount of westerners in speedos and bikinis mixing up with the more conservative clothing of the locals. Everyone seems to get along.
Near the beach is the JBR (stands for Jumeirah Beach Residents) walk, affectionately known as "the Walk." Here, a nicely cobbled street runs between the beach parking and the street level restaurants, above which are hotels and residences many stories high. Ferrari's, reving their loud engines, mix with the taxis and other cars "cruising" the strip in the single lane of traffic (one-way). In the evening families stroll along the Walk, laughter comes from the patio tables (just like at home but no alcohol served). Other difference: lots of smoking of cigarettes going on. They haven't yet banned that in public places and this seems to be a big vice of many of the locals and expats. There are also very large airconditionaers humming away trying to cool down these outdoor spots. It's a losing battle.
There are many wonderful cafes: Italian, British, Japanese, Asian Fusion, Chinese, Lebanese, American diner and burger fare. And some very high end design retail shops. The Walk runs about six to eight blocks in length. One can almost feel at home, in downtown Kirkland, or San Diego, hanging here.
At night, after dinner there are bars to hang out in. Because they are related to the hotels, they serve alcohol and there many expats hang out to try to forget where they are for a bit. It's loud. And smoky of course. Men out number the women significantly but there are many blond women hanging out that attract the attention. Even a soul like me gets hit on some. Takes a little getting used to: I'm out of practice. A few strong Pina Coladas help ; )