How to Visit the World Islands in Dubai
The World Islands, or ‘The World’, are a collection of in-progress man-made islands off the coast of Dubai which are being built to resemble the world map. Each island will be themed around the part of the world it resembles. While The World is still being built, a few sections are complete and open for tourists.
So, how can you visit the World Islands in Dubai? Only one island is open for visitors: Lebanon Island. You can visit Lebanon Island by taking a boat from Jumeriah’s Fishing Harbour. Once you’re on the island, you can visit a range of bars, restaurants, lounges, pools, and beaches.
This guide will explore everything you need to know about visiting the World Islands in Dubai, and how to make the most of the experience!
Seeing The World
While you can’t visit most of The World, you can see it when you fly above Dubai. Many flights that come into Dubai during the day fly over The World, and if you look carefully, you’ll be able to see the shape of the islands standing out from the sea.
If you are in Dubai for a few days, you can also arrange to take a helicopter or hot air balloon tour over Dubai. During this tour, you’ll see an aerial view of The World.
However, if you want a more hands-on experience of The World, then you should plan to visit Lebanon Island.
Visiting Lebanon Island
When planning a trip to Lebanon island, there’s a lot you need to consider, including how you’ll get there and what you can do once you arrive.
To get to Lebanon Island, you first need to fly into Dubai. Depending where you are in America, the flight can take between 10-15 hours.
When visiting the island, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Day passes are free for children under the age of five, and cost between USD25-75 for children over five and adults, depending on the season you visit. Be sure to check the pass prices online.
- The island is about five kilometers off the Dubai coastline.
- The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Coast Guard requires that all visitors to The World keep their day passes and original passports with them at all times.
- Lebanon Island is only open from 11:00 AM-6:00 PM for children every day. For adults, it is open until 11:00 PM, so make sure you are at the harbor for the last ferry.
- You are not allowed to bring outside food and drinks with you to Lebanon Island, but there is a restaurant on the island where you can have a meal.
- Boats to the island may be canceled if there is bad weather.
You can choose to visit Lebanon Island privately or join a tour group that will take you to the island. Here are some popular tours you can consider.
Dubai World Islands Lebanon Island Tour
The Dubai Travel & Tourism group runs a five-hour tour to Lebanon Island. The tour includes:
- Hotel pickups from Dubai
- A boat transfer to Lebanon island
- Soft drinks and juice
- Reserved sunbeds
- Unlimited access to the pools on the island
You can learn more about the tour here.
Living Kool Lebanon Island Tour
Living Kool is another tour company that runs a five-hour tour to Lebanon Island. This tour’s highlight is that, along with a visit to the island, it includes an hour of kayaking. Other inclusions are:
- A boat transfer to Lebanon Island and back to Dubai
- Access to the pools on the island
- Access to the restaurants and bars on the island.
This tour doesn’t offer pickups from your hotel, so you’ll have to find your own way to Jumeriah Fishing Harbour.
You can learn more about the tour here.
Klook Private Tour
The Klook tour company runs a private tour that will take you to Lebanon Island and allows you six hours to explore the island. The tour includes:
- A hotel pick up and drop off
- A private boat transfer to the island and back
- Access to the pools, bars, and restaurants
You can learn more about the Klook Private Tour here.
If you choose to pre-book a tour to Lebanon Island, be sure to check the tour’s policies. Some tour companies will not refund you if the tours are canceled due to bad weather.
What can you do at Lebanon Island?
You don’t necessarily need to go with a tour company to enjoy Lebanon Island. After you buy your pass and arrive on the island, there are plenty of things to do!
The island is fairly small, and you will be able to walk across it in about an hour. This will allow you to take advantage of all the facilities available.
Lebanon Island has two main beaches; one in the South of the island and one in the North. They are clean and warm and filled with sunbeds for you to relax and soak up the sun.
The southern beach is more popular as it has a stunning view of the Dubai skyline. If you’re looking for privacy, head to the North Beach, which is equally beautiful and has a view of an endless expanse of the sea.
There are shower facilities near the beach available. There are also six small huts lining each beach that you can rent. These huts are air-conditioned and have private toilets and couches, just in case you need a respite from the heat.
The pool sits at the center of Lebanon island and is fairly large. After enjoying a swim, relax on the sunbeds that surround the pool or head to one of the nearby bars.
Lebanon Island has two bars that are on either side of the pool. The bars have a carefully curated wine menu featuring exquisite wines from all over the world. The bartenders are also know how to design delicious and potent craft cocktails.
Lebanon island is home to Toro Blanco, a Mediterranean and seafood restaurant.
Its menu includes healthy salads made with fresh ingredients, gourmet burgers, sandwiches, and sharing platters. Some of the must-try dishes are the seafood platter and the mixed grill platter.
At night, Toro Blanco transforms into a lounge with indoor and outdoor seating, live music, and shisha with a range of different flavors. You can also ask for a private dining area to be set up near the beach, which is perfect for a romantic dinner.
The restaurant also has a popular BBQ beach brunch every Friday.
Lebanon island has a range of other activities that are free for all visitors. These include beach volleyball, table soccer, billiards, and a kids’ play area. You can also hire water sports equipment like kayaks, jet skis, parasails, banana boats, and stand up paddles.
If you want to see the other World Islands, you can also hire a boat from Lebanon island. The boat will take you around some of the other islands so you can see their development.
Lebanon Island’s Future
Lebanon island has a wide range of activities that are sure to help you relax and unwind. But, you should note that the island may not always be open to the public. In 2018, the current owner of Lebanon Island put it on sale for a cool $27.2m.
While there have been no concrete offers yet, the media reports that the current owners are working on several deals. Some of these are reportedly from Sheikhs and celebrities, many of whom would want to make the island a private space.
So, if you do want to visit Lebanon Island, you should plan a trip soon – before it’s too late!
Where can you stay around Lebanon Island?
If you can’t get enough of Lebanon island, try to stay near the Jumeriah Harbour, so it’s easier to visit it. While there are no hotels on the island, there are several hotels near the Harbour that you can put up at.
Dubai can be an expensive place to be a tourist in, but there are a few low-cost hotels near Jumeriah Harbour. These include:
- Al Khoory Executive Hotel Al Bada. This is a three-star business hotel that has a gym, free Wi-Fi, and steam and sauna rooms. It is a ten-minute walk from the Jumeriah harbor. Find out more about the hotel here.
- Smana Hotel Al Raffa. The Smana Hotel is popular with both business and leisure travelers. It has all the basic amenities you need to be comfortable, including Wi-Fi, in-room minibars, and safes. It’s a twenty-minute walk from Jumeriah Harbour. Find out more about the hotel here.
- Fortune Karama Hotel. This hotel is a little more inland but has a range of facilities for its guests. As well as rooms, a restaurant and lounge area, it also has a swimming pool, spa and wellness center, and a night club. It is a thirty-minute walk from the Jumeriah Harbour, but only a ten-minute drive. Find out more about the hotel here.
- Tamani Marina Hotel and Hotel Apartments. This property has service apartments with one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom suites. The suites have living areas, and some have kitchenettes. Tamani also has a health and fitness club, both indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and a business center. It’s a ten-minute walk from the Jumeriah harbor. Find out more about the service apartments here.
Mid-range hotels in the area offer practical amenities with a touch of luxury. Some mid-range hotels to consider include:
- Ibis Styles Dubai Jumeira. Ibis Styles is a five-minute walk from the Jumeriah Harbour. It has a range of leisure and sports facilities, including a gym, a swimming pool, a beauty parlor, and a jacuzzi. It also has access to a private beach! Find out more about the hotel here.
- Holiday Inn Express Dubai – Jumeirah. The Holiday Inn Express is a popular chain of hotels around the world. The one in Dubai is a convenient, five-minute walk from Jumeriah Harbour. Facilities it offers include a fitness center, a bar, Free Wi-Fi, and a restaurant. Find out more about the hotel here.
- Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Media City. This property is part of the international chain of Raddison Blu hotels and offers great value for money! As well as plush, spacious bedrooms, it has a fitness center, a pool, free Wi-Fi, running trails, and in-room minibars. It’s also close to the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Mall, which are other exciting tourist destinations in Dubai. Find out more about the hotel here.
If you’re looking to splurge and treat yourself, there are plenty of high-end hotels near Jumeriah Harbour to choose from. These include:
- The Ritz Carlton Dubai. This is a beautiful, beachfront property which is a few minutes’ walk from the Jumeriah Harbour. It has a variety of sea, garden, and pool facing rooms and suites. It has a spa, fitness center, and access to a private beach. Find out more about the hotel here.
- Double Tree By Hilton Hotel. This is another beachfront property that offers guests access to a private beach and stunning rooms. As it’s a part of the Hilton chain of hotels, it promises excellent service and luxury. The hotel has two pools, a large fitness center, a spa, and twelve different restaurants and bars. Find out more about the hotel here.
- The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina. The Westin is a stunning property which has luxurious rooms, private beach access, pools, and a spa. It also has a kids club, a golf course, and tennis courts. The hotel places a focus on sustainable operations. Find out more about the hotel here.
- InterContinental Dubai Marina. This hotel is a towering skyscraper that offers stunning views of the sea and Dubai city. It has a collection of bars and restaurants which serve wine, whiskey, and cuisines from all around the world. It places a focus on wellness and leisure and has a spa with six treatment rooms and a rooftop pool that overlooks the Dubai Marina. The hotel is a five-minute walk from Jumeriah Harbour. Find out more about the hotel here.
Staying near the Jumeriah Harbour will not only make it easier for you to visit Lebanon Island but will also place you closer to a range of other attractions in the area. These include the Palm Island, the Mall of Emirates and a variety of seaside restaurants and bars.
About the World Islands
Before making plans to visit The World, it’s worthwhile learning a little about the background of The World, so you know what to expect.
The History of The World
The world is an ambitious project which began in 2003 when it was commissioned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is the ruler of Dubai. He envisioned it as 300 artificially built islands that would be built in the shape of the world map. The islands are arranged into seven sets to represent the seven different continents in the world.
The work to build the islands began in 2003 but has been a slow process because of financial constraints. In 2012, Lebanon island was opened for public use, and there’s now a restaurant, pools, and bars on the island for visitors to use.
Now, the Kleindienst Group is developing the ‘Heart of Europe,’ a collection of islands themed around Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Ukraine, Switzerland, and Morocco, as a luxury resort. It will be open in late 2020.
Celebrities and The World
In the last few years, several celebrities have reportedly purchased land in The World. For instance, actress Hilary Swank bought land in Aquitania, which is a development in the France and Spain islands.
Michael Schumacher, the famous Formula One driver, is rumored to have bought an island in The World. Similarly, singer Madonna also bought land in The World that includes a villa and a private beach.
Of course, as these pieces of land have been purchased, they are now private and inaccessible to the general public.
While many of the World Islands in Dubai are not complete or not accessible to the public, you can fly over them, or take a boat ride past them. The only island in The World that you can visit is Lebanon Island. You should try to visit it soon!
Lebanon Island is a short ride from Jumeriah Harbour and has fun facilities, including a pool, a restaurant, two bars, and sports facilities. It also has two pristine beaches with beautiful views!
To make it easier to visit Lebanon Island, you can stay near the Jumeriah fishing harbor. There are several hotels in every area which can cater to any budget.
If you visit Dubai, you should definitely try to put a visit to Lebanon Island on your itinerary!