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Decked-out beach alongside luxury high-rises proves a popular spot for Dubai's multiethnic mix

  • APTOPIX Mideast Emirates Beach Photo Gallery-1.jpg

    In this Saturday, April 19, 2014, children play on the beach, as the sun sets in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The ribbon of beach nestled along the towering skyscrapers rising from Dubai’s man-made marina district is a rare spot in the Middle East, bringing together the conservatively dressed and the bikini-clad in a multiethnic mix of those with means and those still striving for a more comfortable life. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)The Associated Press

  • Mideast Emirates Beach Photo Gallery-2.jpg

    In this Saturday, April 19, 2014 photo, people enjoy the beach in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The ribbon of beach nestled along the towering skyscrapers rising from Dubai’s man-made marina district is a rare spot in the Middle East, bringing together the conservatively dressed and the bikini-clad in a multiethnic mix of those with means and those still striving for a more comfortable life. The Princess tower is seen at background left. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)The Associated Press

  • Mideast Emirates Beach Photo Gallery-3.jpg

    In this Monday, April 21, 2014 photo, people walk past a gym at the beach in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The beach _ which overlooks the city’s iconic Palm Jumeirah island, far right, is now more popular than ever after the recent opening of a sleek new shopping and entertainment promenade. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)The Associated Press

  • 049fa1a1c366b710520f6a706700234c.jpg

    In this Saturday, April 19, 2014 photo, people try to get their picture taken from a camera installed on an advertising board at the entrance of the beach in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The ribbon of beach nestled along the towering skyscrapers rising from Dubai’s man-made marina district is a rare spot in the Middle East, bringing together the conservatively dressed and the bikini-clad in a multiethnic mix of those with means and those still striving for a more comfortable life. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)The Associated Press

  • f218873bc365b710520f6a7067000958.jpg

    In this Monday, April 21, 2014 photo, people walk past a sand statue depicting famous landmarks of the city at the beach in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The ribbon of beach nestled along the towering skyscrapers rising from Dubai’s man-made marina district is a rare spot in the Middle East, bringing together the conservatively dressed and the bikini-clad in a multiethnic mix of those with means and those still striving for a more comfortable life. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)The Associated Press

The ribbon of beach nestled along the towering skyscrapers rising from Dubai's man-made marina district is a rare spot in the Middle East, bringing together the conservatively dressed and the bikini-clad in a multiethnic mix of those with means and those still striving for a more comfortable life.

Most of the luxury towers along the beach have been built only in the past decade. Some are homes to foreign professionals working in the Gulf commercial hub, others vacation properties or a place to park some cash for wealthy businesspeople from Russia, Asia and nearby Saudi Arabia.

The beach — which overlooks the city's iconic Palm Jumeirah island — is now more popular than ever after the recent opening of a sleek new shopping and entertainment promenade.

In true glitzy Dubai fashion, actor Will Smith joined Dubai ruler Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in February for an early peek at the waterfront complex, which boasts an outdoor cinema and high-tech digital signboards that let visitors take selfies and even find out the time of the next Islamic call to prayer.

Associated Press photographer Kamran Jebreili spent a few days documenting life on the beachfront. Here's a gallery of some of his images.

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