Where To Stay In Dubai: A Guide To The Best Areas To Stay

Dubai’s got it all – grandeur, supercars, the world’s tallest buildings, beaches, great food, crazy shopping, culture (believe it or not!), and a nightlife that very few cities in Asia can match up to.

Add to all of this the fact that its spread over a huge area and it becomes very important that you put some thought into choosing the area you want to stay in.

This list should help you decide just that. We’ve handpicked the best areas in Dubai to rest your head when you’re visiting the emirate. 

Downtown

Dubai Downtown
If you were ever to get a postcard from Dubai, it’d likely be that of its amazing skyline – and that’s Downtown for you. With Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest building and the incredible Dubai Mall (the largest mall in the world), Downtown is essentially what Dubai is all about – money, grandeur and luxe.

Everyone wants a slice of Downtown Dubai, and this is definitely the most expensive area to stay. Downtown can get overwhelming with the sheer number of people.

For context, you should know that the Dubai Mall gets over 80 million visitors a year! Also, it’s a fair distance from the nearest beach, so the flat landscape might leave you feeling a little dour.

Why Stay In Downtown?

  • This is the Dubai you’ve heard of and want to experience
  • Tons of shopping
  • Great wine and dine options
  • Lots to do and see

What’s The Catch?

  • Very expensive
  • Crowded
  • Traffic
  • Lacks culture

Budget Properties 

  1. Steigenberger Hotel Business Bay: Located in the heart of the Business Bay district, it is close to the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall. Rooms are spread across 19 floors and offer views of the Dubai skyline, Dubai canal and Burj Khalifa. Doubles from AED 319 
  2. Villa Rotana Dubai: Strategically located on Sheikh Zayed Road, with 118 spacious rooms and suites and views of the Burj Khalifa. Doubles from AED 212

Luxury Properties

  1. Movenpick Hotel Apartments Downtown Dubai: A modern skyscraper with 244 deluxe units and serviced apartments, featuring an all-day restaurant, swimming pool, pool lounge, sauna and gym. Doubles from AED 638
  2. Ramada By Wyndham Downtown Dubai: A modern hotel with views of the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountain from its 181 luxury suites. Doubles from AED 611
  3. Address Downtown: An award-winning business and leisure hotel that is the flagship Address property in Dubai. Facilities include a spa, fitness centre, meeting rooms, and the popular Qix club. Doubles from AED 1599 
  4. Sofitel Dubai Downtown: Linked to the Dubai Mall through an air-conditioned skywalk, it has 350 rooms and suites with impressive city views. Doubles from AED 650

Marina


JBR Walk Dubai
This part of the city is modern and vibrant. The focal point here is the man-made marina with sparkling blue waters. It is one of the few places in Dubai where you can enjoy a walk on the lively promenade that’s dotted with quaint cafés, a restaurant for every cuisine, and a whole lot of bars.

If lounging by the beach with a cocktail in hand by day and partying it up by night is your thing, then Marina is the ideal area for you.

Unfortunately, all good things come at a price, and Marina is also one of the more expensive neighbourhoods in the city. Since the Marina is a newly developed part of the city, it is at a bit of a distance from the other “must-see” parts of Dubai, like Downtown or the Old City.

Why Stay In Marina?

  • Great food options
  • Tons of bars and nightclubs 
  • The beach
  • It’s all so new!

What’s The Catch?

  • Expensive
  • Limited shopping
  • At a distance from the main landmarks 

Budget Properties 

  1. Jannah Marina Bay Suites: Spacious suites in the heart of Dubai Marina, overlooking the waterfront. Doubles from AED 300
  2. Wyndham Dubai Marina: A modern, contemporary hotel with a rooftop pool and 24/7 fitness centre that’s just steps away from JBR and the Dubai Marina Mall. Doubles from AED 342
  3. City Premiere Marina Hotel Apartments: An apart-hotel, where each apartment has a separate bathroom and living and dining area, along with a fully equipped kitchenette. Doubles from AED 313
  4. Park Island, Dubai Marina: Modern apartments in a residential neighbourhood with sea and marina views, and an infinity pool. Minimum 5-night stay required. Doubles from AED 600

Luxury Properties 

  1. The Ritz-Carlton Dubai: Perched on a private beach just steps from the JBR Walk, with all rooms and suites facing the sea. Doubles from AED 1627
  2. Address Dubai Marina: Directly connected to Dubai Marina Mall, with a variety of restaurants and bars and a popular spa. Doubles from AED 1099
  3. Grosvenor House, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Dubai: With 750 guest rooms, suites, and apartments, the hotel has 16 dining destinations, a private beach, and a terrace pool and spa. Doubles from AED 791

Jumeirah

Jumeirah is the most popular part of Dubai, making it the ideal area to stay in for a first time traveller who wants to experience all facets of this fascinating city. The area is at the centre of all the action, and you can easily access Dubai’s other areas from here.

Palm-Jumeriah-Dubai

It’s got everything from great restaurants, bars and nightclubs to beaches, water sports and shopping. This is also the area with the highest concentration of expats in the city – and you’d be easily forgiven for thinking you’re in a European city when you’re walking along the streets here. It’s common to see women in bikinis here – a sight unseen in the rest of the emirate. 

There’s not much to dislike about Jumeirah, but if we had to nitpick, it would be the traffic that’s inherent to popular spots and perhaps that the metro isn’t as well-connected as it is in other parts of the city. (The closest metro stations – Jumeirah Lake Towers Metro Station and Dubai Marina Metro Station – are a kilometre away from Jumeirah). There is, however, an excellent bus service and plenty of taxis readily available.

Why Stay In Jumeirah?

  • The beach and amazing water sports 
  • Shop till you drop
  • Amazing nightlife and great fine dine options
  • Centrally located

What’s The Catch?

  • Expensive
  • Traffic
  • Crowded

Budget Hotels:

  1. RODA Amwaj Suites: An affordable place to rest your head in pricey Jumeirah, offering one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, along with a Loft and Penthouse. Doubles from AED 375
  2. Suha Hotel Apartments by MONDO: Experience a 4-star apartment hotel stay in the heart of Jumeirah Beach Residence and a short walk from Jumeirah Beach. Minimum three nights stay required. Doubles from AED 388 
  3. Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa: Located at the start of Jumeirah Beach, with plush rooms, a spa, 12 restaurants and bars, and plenty of activities on offer. Doubles from AED 337  

Luxury (3 Recommendations)

  1. Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa: Created in a French-Polynesian theme, this luxury five-star beach resort on Palm Jumeirah island offers wonderful views of the Arabian Gulf. Doubles from AED 1148
  2. Bvlgari Resort Dubai: With 101 rooms and suites and 20 villas, this massive property is located on the seahorse-shaped Jumeirah Bay. Doubles from AED 2220
  3. Four Seasons Resorts Dubai at Jumeirah Beach: Experience typical Four Seasons luxury at the eponymous Jumeirah Beach. Doubles from AED 2240

Bur Dubai

Contrary to popular perception, Dubai isn’t a new city that’s come into existence since the discovery of oil. And while the city did take on a different trajectory once that happened in the mid sixties, it has been around for centuries – serving as an important trade link to Iran that was very prosperous at the time.

Bur Dubai

Bur Dubai is essentially the Old City – typical with its narrow alleys, mosques, street-side handicraft shops, and rustic bazaars, although some parts of the area are much more modern.

For those who value culture (or for those on a budget), Bur Dubai is the place to be. There’s plenty of authentic Indian and Arabic food options everywhere, with the majority of them being pocket-friendly.

While Bur Dubai caters to those who want a taste of the city’s heritage, it is far from all those things that make Dubai….. well, Dubai. This is far from the bright night lights and fancy establishments that make the emirate famous.

Why Stay In Bur Dubai?

  • Heritage and culture value
  • Inexpensive 
  • Awesome local and regional cuisine options

What’s The Catch?

  • At a distance from the fancy areas
  • Limited fine dining restaurants, bars and nightclubs 
  • Limited shopping options 

Budget Hotels:

  1. Gateway Hotel: Set in the heart of Bur Dubai, with 188 rooms and suites, and just 30 minutes from the international airport. Doubles from AED 260 
  2. Sun City International Hotel: A no-frills hotel with an assortment of single, double, deluxe and triple rooms. Doubles from AED 210
  3. Roda Links Al Nasr: Ideal for both business travellers and couples, the 114 guest rooms at this hotel feature state-of-the-art amenities. The property is adjacent to Wafi Mall and Creek Park. Doubles from AED 220
  4. Novotel Bur Dubai: A newly opened hotel near Creek Park that offers easy access to all of Dubai’s attractions. Doubles from AED 344

Luxury:

  1. Mazmi CASA: Merely a few steps from the Grand Mosque and Dubai World Trade Centre, this luxury hotel has modern rooms designed with an Afghan touch. Doubles from AED 1150 
  2. Grand Hyatt Dubai: Towering over the Dubai Creek, this hotel has a mammoth 682 rooms and offers luxury in keeping with the Grand Hyatt standards. Doubles from AED 480
  3. BurJuman Arjaan by Rotana: A contemporary apartment hotel with 148 suites that is connected to both the BurJuman Mall and BurJuman metro station. Doubles from AED 453
  4. Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights: Overlooking the historic Dubai creek and city skyline, with 463 generously sized guest rooms. Doubles from AED 383

Deira

Like Bur Dubai, Deira is one of the older parts of the city and is interesting in its own right. It is at the centre of Dubai’s massive textile and gold business, and hosts traditional markets called souks. More recently, Deira has seen a wave of modernisation and is now a thriving business district. This is where old meets new in Dubai.

deria_dubai

There’s plenty to do in Deira – from a good old-fashioned walk on its cobbled streets lined with all kinds of shops and coffee houses, to bars of all themes and fine-dining establishments. Deira is close to the airport as well, so it’s a convenient option for a short stay in the city.

But while all this may be true, Deira is also far from the most famous Dubai landmarks – Burj Khalifa, Jumeirah Beach, and Dubai Mall. It is, however, well connected to them by the metro station, Deira City Centre, on the Red Line.

Why Stay In Deira?

  • Proximity to the airport 
  • Lots of food and drink options
  • Fascinating mix of the past and the future 
  • Reasonably priced

What’s The Catch?

  • At a distance from the must-see areas
  • Can get flat and dour for some

Budget Hotels (4 Recommendations)

  1. Roda Al Bustan: This Arabian hotel chain offers a comfortable stay with a host of state-of-the-art facilities. Doubles from AED 255 
  2. Holiday Inn Express Dubai Airport: Clean and comfortable rooms near the airport, convenient for both business and leisure stays. Doubles from AED 124 
  3. OYO 165 San Marco Hotel: Basic functional rooms with a mini fridge, AC and free wi-fi. The hotel also has a swimming pool and restaurant on its premises. Doubles from AED 120 
  4. Best Western Plus Pearl Creek: Spacious rooms with modern amenities, making it ideal for a short stay in the city. Doubles from AED 205

Luxury (3 Recommendations)

  1. Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek: This 1975-built hotel is just 7km from the airport and offers rooms and suites with private balconies. Doubles from AED 243 
  2. Crowne Plaza Dubai Deira: This luxury hotel in Deira offers all the mod cons you could need, and is ideal for a business convention too. Doubles from AED 390 
  3. Le Meridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre: Set in the midst of 38 acres of verdant gardens, it provides a serene and luxurious stay in Deira. Doubles from AED 550 

 Al Barsha

This area is a practical choice for those planning a longer trip to this rather expensive city. It is centrally located – between Downtown and Marina – well connected to both of them by metro. There are great restaurants all over the place, with the Indian and Arabic options being particularly impressive.

Barsha

Al Barsha is a new neighbourhood and is relatively sparsely populated. If you need some down time from the bright lights of its neighbouring areas, Al Barsha is right for you.

It is home to the Dubai Autodrome and the impressive Mall of the Emirates, but besides these there’s not much else to see here. The area is quiet and reasonably priced, making it a popular choice for Dubai’s expat population.

Why Stay In Al Barsha?

  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Quiet
  • Makes sense for longer stays
  • Well connected

What’s The Catch?

  • No significant landmarks
  • Very limited nightlife
  • Can be dull

Budget Hotels (4 Recommendations)

  1. Al Khoory Atrium: Set in the heart of New Dubai, with easy access to Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre and Dubai International Airport, as well as the Mall of the Emirates and the Central Business District. Doubles from AED 233
  2. Citymax Hotel Al Barsha at the Mall: With a nifty rooftop pool and gym, this hotel is conveniently located close to the popular malls. Doubles from AED 210 
  3. DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel and Residences Dubai – Al Barsha: Located opposite the Mall of the Emirates, it provides complimentary shuttle services to the Mall and Jumeirah Beach. The hotel has well-appointed rooms, a 24-hour fitness centre and a business centre. Doubles from AED 319
  4. Centro Barsha – by Rotana: This business hotel has 243 modern rooms and suites, along with complimentary shuttle service to the beach and the Mall of the Emirates. Doubles from AED 210

Luxury (3 Recommendations)

  1. Sheraton Mall of the Emirates Hotel, Dubai: A rooftop swimming pool with stunning views of the city and 480 plush rooms, including 90 suites, makes this a good option to stay in Al Barsha. Their Turkish restaurant “Besh Turkish” cannot be missed. Doubles from AED 476 
  2. Millennium Al Barsha: Ideal for both business and leisure travellers, this 4-star hotel has 299 rooms and suites and 109 service apartments. Doubles from AED 350
  3. Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates: With 392 rooms and 20 Aspen-style chalets overlooking Ski Dubai, this hotel is modern yet spacious. Doubles from AED 900
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