Where to stay in Dubai for all budgets

Where to stay in Dubai - Address Dubai Marina

Where to stay in Dubai depends on your budget and there is an eclectic mix of neighborhoods that will appeal to a wide range of tastes and interests.

Whether you want to explore Old Dubai’s historical neighborhoods with their museums and traditional markets; enjoy the beach resorts with their outdoor activities and water sports or window shop in the city’s malls, we have you covered.

The various emirates have long since stopped depending on oil revenues for growth, and have developed the country from a few fishing villages along coastal deserts, to an oasis where both rich and poor come to make or spend their fortune. Despite the perception that Dubai is a playground for the rich, spoilt and bored, it has developed into a forward thinking and technologically savvy city that caters for every budget.

Read more: The Best Time to visit Dubai (a resident’s guide)


When deciding on where to stay in Dubai many first time visitors opt for the areas close to the airport they are flying into or even at a Dubai airport hotel. The neighborhoods of Old Dubai offer so many opportunities for authentic food and cultural experiences as well as the ability to walk to the nearby traditional souks. The neighborhoods of new Dubai offer a different kind of holiday filled with outdoor and beach activities.

Over the years Dubai’s public transportation has improved and become so advanced that most areas of the city are accessible via metro, tram, marine services, bus or metered taxi.

Read more:How to get around in Dubai public transport

OLD DUBAI – Deira, Bur Dubai

Where to stay in Dubai - Dubai Creek Deira

Dubai Creek Deira and view across Bur Dubai

The Dubai Creek divides the old city of Dubai into two sections. Deira is on the northern bank of the Dubai Creek and is home to many communities who have lived here for generations. Deira is an option for budget travellers and is popular for having many of the cheapest hotels in Dubai.

  • The best areas to stay in Dubai and be within walking distance of the Deira souks are the Al Ras, Naif and Al Rigga neighborhoods. They have green and red line metro and bus access.
  • Hotels range between 1 and 5 stars with prices starting at US$37 per night for a 1 star to US$197 per night for a 5 star hotel.

Read more: unseenDXB Photo Trail and Food tour

Bur Dubai is on the souther bank of the Creek and is the best place to learn about the history and culture of Dubai with it’s many museums and heritage sites. This area is popular for those looking for cheap Dubai apartments for rent or good value four and five star hotels.

  • The best areas to stay in Bur Dubai around the creek and be within walking distance of the museums and Meena Bazaar are in Al Fahidi, Al Seef, Al Raffa and Umm Hurair neighborhoods. There are green line metro stations at Al Ghubaiba, Al Fahidi and Burjuman and bus access.
  • The Al Shindagha Historic district is where the Al Shindagha Museum, Dubai Heritage Village and Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum house museum are located. The closest metro is at Al Ghubaiba and there is also a bus interchange. It is a short walk to the Al Fahidi neighborhood where the Dubai Museum is located.
  • The Al Seef District has been developed with the heritage and history of the area in mind and combines sandstone buildings, wind towers and narrow alleys with hotels and an open air floating market and exhibition spaces featuring local arts and crafts.
  • Hotels around the creek in Bur Dubai range between 1 and 5 stars with prices starting at US$50 per night for a 1 star to US$368 per night for a 5 star hotel.


Dubai Festival City is located on the east bank of the Dubai Creek waterfront and is also very close to the Dubai International Airport. The new Dubai Creek Harbour precinct is under construction adjacent to this area.

  • Outside of the hotels and Dubai Festival City Mall it is not really pedestrian friendly or have many other activities or leisure options.
  • The historical areas of Deira and Bur Dubai are a taxi ride away.
  • Hotels range between 4 and 5 stars with prices starting at US$95 per night for a 4 star to US$245 per night for a 5 star hotel.


Where to Stay in Dubai - Burj Khalifa in profile

Burj Khalifa – a platinum colored record breaking cloud piercing spider lily inspired tower

Describing itself as ‘the center of Now’, Downtown Dubai is the location of Dubai Mall, Dubai Fountain, Dubai Opera, Souk al Bahar as well as the iconic Burj Khalifa. This area has enough to keep you busy for a few days with metro access to the Red line as well as adequate coverage by taxis, uber and Careem.

  • The area along Sheikh Mohamed Bin Rashid Boulevard is pedestrian friendly with wide sidewalks and many cafes. However, the roads behind it still have many construction activities and it is not very pedestrian friendly. Even staying at hotels a few blocks away will require a taxi or hotel shuttle to the Dubai Mall precinct.
  • Most of the entertainment and activities are located in and around Dubai Mall, Souk al Bahar and the Dubai Opera precinct.
  • Hotels range from the unrated Sleep & Shop at Dubai Mall to 5 star hotels with prices starting at US$23 per night for a Single Igloo Pod to US$790 per night for a 5 star hotel.
  • The Lofts West and Lofts East are popular options for a Dubai holiday home rental in this area. I visited my cousin when he stayed there with his family and was amazed by the view of the Dubai Mall Fountains from their balcony. Check rates and availability. 


The areas on either side of Sheikh Zayed Road between the Trade Center Roundabout and the 5th Interchange at Dubai Marina has many hotels, hotel apartments and self-catering options.

  • There is access to metro stations on the Red Line and the Water Canal marine stations.
  • There are many dining options in the residential buildings and hotels but not many other activities in the immediate vicinity.
  • Depending on your choice of neighborhood you can stay close to Dubai Mall, City Walk, Times Square, Oasis Centre or Mall of the Emirates.
  • Hotels range between 3 and 5 stars with prices starting at US$54 per night for a 3 star to US$926 per night for a 5 star hotel.


This is one of the newer areas and was redeveloped over the older parts of Satwa that were demolished from 2007/2008. The traffic around this area is heavy during peak hours.

  • City Walk is a lifestyle destination incorporating hotels, hotel apartments, residential apartments, children’s play areas and an extensive mall with leisure activities for young and old.
  • There is self parking and valet parking at the City Walk Mall and there are taxi and bus services to this area.
  • It is very close to the Box Park leisure and retail development and Galleria Mall.
  • Self catering apartment prices start at US$348 per night and hotels prices start at US$384 per night for a 5 star hotel. The best view of Downtown Dubai is from the rooftop lounge at the La Ville Hotel and Suites.


This area is located around the Mall of the Emirates and has metro access on the Red Line. There are many affordable hotels and hotel apartments in Dubai and it is recommended for a longer Dubai vacation and affordable Dubai family holidays.

  • The Ski Dubai facility is located in Mall of the Emirates and the neighborhood has many options for hotels and hotel apartments.
  • It is very family friendly and walk-able during the cooler months and there are numerous dining options outside of the malls in the area. Most of the entertainment and other activities are inside the malls though.
  • The Al Barsha Pond Park is close by and is ideal for relaxation and leisure activities during the cooler months.
  • This area is located in close proximity to Wild Wadi Water Park and Madinat Jumeirah that are a short taxi ride away.
  • There are both hotels and hotel apartments with prices starting at US$ 63 per night for a 3 star hotel to US$541 per night for a 5 star hotel.
  • I lived in this area for five years and stayed in the Holiday Inn Al Barsha for a few nights when I lost my apartment key years ago, and loved the service and friendly staff. Check rates and availability.


This area is located adjacent to the Emirates Golf Club and Jebel Ali racecourse and has metro access on the Red Line. There are many affordable hotels and hotel apartments although it is mainly residential.


The Palm Jumeirah Dubai view from Sofitel The Palm

The Palm Jumeirah Dubai view from Sofitel The Palm

There is no shortage of luxury accommodation on this palm shaped man-made island off the Jumeirah Beach coast. A number of Dubai luxury resorts are located here.

  • Luxury resorts include the Sofitel Dubai The Palm, the Waldorf Astoria Palm Jumeirah, Atlantis the Palm and Jumeirah Zabeel Saray.
  • There are many leisure activities and dining options in the resorts as well as dining and leisure at Club Vista Mare.
  • Hotels range between 4 and 5 stars with prices starting at US$114 per night for a 4 star to US$931 per night for a 5 star hotel. There are also apartments and villas with prices starting at US$150 per night to US$2,800 per night.


This area is located opposite the Dubai Marina on the other side of Sheikh Zayed Road. There are many hotels and hotel apartments and every cluster has countless dining options. It is recommended for a short or long Dubai vacation.

  • JLT is accessible via the Jumeirah Lakes Towers Metro station as well as the Damac Metro Station on the Red line.
  • There are many retail and dining options in every cluster but not many leisure activities or other entertainment options. The Dubai Marina and it’s leisure options are accessible via the Sheikh Zayed Road overpasses from either the JLT Metro station or the Damac Metro Station.
  • I lived in Cluster C for three years and the area has had many improvements since then but has also become much more insular in some ways. There is valet parking at the hotels but restricted parking at the residential buildings in the clusters.
  • Hotels range between 4 and 5 stars with prices starting at US$102 per night for a 4 star to US$218 per night for a 5 star hotel.


Where to stay in Dubai - Dubai Marina

Dubai Marina view

The Dubai Marina area is located around a man-made marina in the newer area of Dubai. JBR is located in the Dubai Marina neighborhood and is named after the 6 communities along The Walk / Al Mamsha Street. Over the years it has come to refer to the entire area between the JBR communities and the ocean. This area is recommended for a short or long Dubai vacation.

  • The Dubai Marina has completely transformed from a dusty sandpit with a handful of older beachfront hotels and the Gotham City look created by the JBR towers when I first arrived, to a thriving residential neighborhood for young professionals and families.
  • There are retail, dining, entertainment and leisure activities aplenty along Marina Walk as well as in many of the residential and hotel towers.
  • The premier hotels in this area include The Address Hotel and Residences adjacent to the Dubai Marina Mall and the Ritz Carlton at the Walk JBR.
  • Hotels in Dubai Marina range between 3 and 5 stars with prices starting at US$86 per night for a 3 star to US$326 per night for a 5 star hotel.
  • JBR is the premier destination for a beach holiday and has numerous accommodation, dining, retail and leisure options.
  • There are holiday apartments as well as four and five star hotels including The Ritz Carlton, Hilton and Sofitel Jumeirah Beach with direct private beach access.
  • Hotels in JBR range between 4 and 5 stars with prices starting at US$118 per night for a 4 star to US$287 per night for a 5 star hotel. Two bedroom holiday apartments range from US$200 to $817 per night.


Dubai Marina bird's eye view

The best places to stay in Dubai are those resorts, hotels and apartments that have a good balance between location, amenities, proximity to beaches, Dubai landmarks or the top attractions in Dubai. The prices may vary wildly over peak festival periods and New Year’s Eve and you are advised to book early and avoid disappointment and high prices. Many Dubai hotels have compulsory booking for their New Year’s Eve ball and this should be taken into account when deciding where to stay in Dubai.

In preparation for writing this detailed post I stayed in many types of accommodation in numerous areas between Old and New Dubai. This allowed me to experience the guest rooms, dining, amenities and customer service at different types of accommodation providers; from boutique hotels and independent operators to popular local and international chains. My stay cations were self paid, with any additional benefits or upgrades available to all other hotel guests and loyalty club members.

My requirements included:

  • Ground floor accommodation or an elevator to access the upper floors.
  • 3 to 5 star hotel price per night including breakfast (because who rents a room and doesn’t give you breakfast).
  • Free cancellation
  • On site restaurants or within walking distance of eateries.
  • All hotels and apartments have a 24 hour front desk, and guest rooms have private bathrooms, flat screen tv’s and a desk as well as a kettle or coffee maker with refreshments.

Click on the individual hotel links to check the accurate rates and availability for your preferred stay.

Where to stay in Dubai – Hotels in Deira Dubai

This is the place where bargain hunters come for shopping in the souks and to experience Old Dubai at it’s grittiest. The abra stations along both sides of the Dubai creek make it easy for visitors to move between the Deira and Bur Dubai if they want to visit the historical areas.

This area is busy. Certain roads will have slow moving traffic at peak hours and the areas around the souks are especially chaotic now that there is very little street parking on the roads closer to the creek and construction sites.

Affordable: Hyatt Place Dubai / Wasl District

  • Hyatt Place Dubai / Wasl District is located on the main road between the Naif and Al Rigga neighborhoods, near the Fish roundabout. The closest metro is Salah al Din on the Green line.
  • It consists of a 202 room hotel and apartments with free internet access for guests.
  • The interiors and decor are modern with clean lines and there is a gym, pool and sun terrace.
  • There is also an on site restaurant and bar if the surrounding neighborhood eateries are not to your taste.

Check rates and availability for the hotel  and Check rates and availability for the residences

Deluxe: Radisson Blu Deira Dubai Creek

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This was the first 5 star hotel in Dubai inaugurated in 1975 and is located on Baniyas Road in Deira.

  • The low rise building is not as flashy on the outside as the newer towers but the interiors and 288 guest rooms and suites are newly renovated and modern.
  • It is located on a busy road that sees high traffic volumes during peak hours but is also 400 meters away from the Union square metro station and interchange, on the Red Line, if you want to use public transport.
  • I had originally requested to check in between 2-3pm but when I arrived after 3:30 pm the creek view room was still not ready. The duty manager overheard the guest relations staff telling me that I would have to wait but that she didn’t know long it would be until the room would be ready. He took over my check-in and promptly upgraded my room to a Junior suite as one was available. There was no charge for the upgrade. 
  • The suite was enormous with a king size bed, sitting area and balcony as well as a separate dressing room area adjacent to the king size bathroom. There were balconies leading from the bedroom and the bathroom (this one had a better view of the creek).
  • When I went down for dinner in the evening I approached the restaurant reservations desk (there are 9 restaurants in the hotel and annex). I couldn’t decide where I wanted to go for dinner and the restaurant staffer Ben, who assisted me asked if I would be interested in the hotel’s Eid dinner promotion. Over the 4 day holiday they were offered a buffet dinner that showcased all the best dishes from all of the restaurants and it sounded like a bargain I could not refuse.
  • When it came time to pay the server informed me that Ben was actually their manager and that he had told them to give me a 50% discount on the dinner rate.
  • The restaurant staff are lovely and helpful and ensured that all guest needs were attended to, including the families who had young children with dietary restrictions.
  • My only disappointment was with Housekeeping and the fact that the hallway to the guest rooms on the 5th floor smelled like a stale locker room. There was some kind of air blowing device apparently to help the carpets dry but that only caused the nasty smell to permeate into the guest rooms.
  • There is no pillow menu and the pillows on the bed were the worst I have ever slept on. A request for non-feather firm pillows brought a sullen bored looking housekeeper to my door who brought even worse ones, that I declined. I would recommend placing a request for your pillow preference at the time of booking.
  • The boarding area for many of the dhow cruises is across the road from the hotel. During the cooler months it will be lovely to stroll along the creek side or even down to the souks.

Check rates and availability

Luxury: Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre

  • This sprawling and luxurious resort is located near to the Dubai Airport Terminal 1 and is accessible via taxi, Careem and uber.
  • There are 589 rooms and suites and the extensive landscaped gardens are an oasis of calm in the midst of big city madness.
  • There are 18 restaurants and bars on site and guests are spoilt for choice with the variety of entertainment options.
  • They have a spa as well as a fitness center and 4 swimming pools.
  • I have attended work conferences and events at this hotel and their service and food has always been impeccable.

Check rates and availability

Where to stay in Dubai – Hotels in Bur Dubai

This is the place to stay if you want to immerse yourself in the cultural heritage and history of Dubai. Many hotels are within walking distance of the Al Fahidi historical neighborhood, museums and cultural landmarks of Bur Dubai.

Affordable: Queen Elizabeth 2 hotel on a cruise ship

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This 13 deck floating hotel is located in the refurbished and renovated Queen Elizabeth 2 cruise liner that is permanently docked in Port Rashid. I booked a stay here for my birthday because I wanted to experience something different.

  • There is valet parking and self-parking available on site but it is a distance from the main road so an airport transfer, taxi or uber is recommended if you are not self-driving.
  • The hotel check-in area and reception is in a new custom built land based structure and has a lobby lounge and retail area.
  • There is a full duty free section in the ship where guests can purchase chocolates, nuts, gifts as well as jewelry and other luxury goods.
  • A porter will assist with carrying the luggage to the guest room and also explains how to navigate around the ship. A few of the recreation areas and eateries were closed during the summer but will re-open for the peak season in the cooler months.
  • The internal construction on the lower levels of the ship was still underway during my visit but did not cause any noise or disturbance.
  • My Deluxe guest room with sea view was very spacious and the AC inaudible, although the room was always fresh smelling and the perfect temperature to be comfortable during summer.
  • There are narrow elevators as well as stairs to all the decks. Certain elevators don’t go to all the levels as I found when I wanted to go back to my room from the duty free section.
  • I enjoyed the marina and ocean view at breakfast and dinner in the all day dining restaurant as well as at afternoon tea in the Yacht Club.
  • There are historic heritage tours held on the ship at various times during the day and are free for hotel guests. All you have to do to take the tour is go to the meeting point 10 minutes before the start.
  • If you have ever yearned to take a sea or river cruise then this is a good way to try out whether you are able to handle the sense of confinement. I didn’t realize how much of a landlubber I was until I imagined myself unable to move from the boat onto dry land for any amount of time.

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Deluxe: Al Seef Heritage Hotel

  • Al Seef is a newly redeveloped lifestyle destination featuring a hotel, 90 dining and 350 retail options on the same side of the Dubai Creek and lying just east of the Al Fahidi district.
  • The Al Seef Heritage Hotel has a unique decentralized hotel design and is in the style of an old Arabian village with houses, retail areas, squares and outside entertainment.
  • 190 guest rooms of the Al Seef Heritage hotel are grouped across the development in 22 low rise multi-story bayts or traditional the Arabian villas, and each guest room has it’s own entrance around a common courtyard or hallway. A security guard is stationed at the ground level reception area of each bayt to ensure that only registered guests access the upper floors.
  • The guest rooms are not enormous but they have comfortable beds and the attention to detail in the furniture and fittings is something else. The Souk View rooms don’t have much of a view so a Creek View room is recommended.
  • There is no gym or swimming pool but guests may use the swimming pool at Zabeel House hotel on the East side of the development and receive free tickets to the Laguna Water Park at La Mer.
  • The development is walk-able and the hotel also offers rides on their golf carts to and from the restaurants, cafes and bars as well as to Zabeel House.
  • My favorite dinner here was at Kim’s Singapore Seafood restaurant in phase 3 of the development, where the off-menu Seafood laksa recommended by the manager was so good I wanted to lick the bowl.

Check rates and availability

Luxury: Palazzo Versace Dubai

  • This hotel is located on the furthest edge of the Bur Dubai district in the Al Jaddaf Waterfront near the Dubai International airport and has spectacular views across the Dubai Creek.
  • It is built in the style of an Italian palazzo and the interiors (soft furnishings, furniture and decor) of the 215 guest rooms and suites and 169 residences are designed and made by the Italian Fashion house Versace.
  • There are 8 restaurants and bars with interior and exterior terraces and three outdoor pools.
  • The hotel provides complimentary shuttle services to Festival City, Dubai Mall and Dubai Parks and Resorts theme parks as there is not much going on around that district yet.

Check rates and availability

Hotels near Dubai Mall

The hotels around the Dubai Mall command high rates for their spectacular views over the Dubai Fountains but it is the best area to stay in Dubai for proximity to Dubai Mall and it’s attractions. There are much cheaper options on the other side of the road and you can take in the amazing view for free from the Apple store in the mall.

Affordable: Ramada Downtown Dubai

  • This property is located next to the Dubai Opera and has 181 guest suites with stunning views of Burj Khalifa, Dubai Fountains or the city.
  • All apartments have fully fitted kitchens with dishwasher and washing machine and there are amenities like a gym, badminton court, an outdoor swimming pool and kid’s pool and indoor and outdoor play areas for children.
  • There is an all day dining restaurant and lobby lounge cafe on site as well as 24 hour room service.
  • The hotel provides complimentary shuttle services to Jumeirah Beach Park and the metro station and it is a short walk from the Dubai Mall and Souk al Bahar.

Check rates and availability

Deluxe: Vida Downtown

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This hotel is located in the Old Town district of Downtown a few blocks away from Dubai Mall and is part of the local Emaar hotels brand. It was previously known as the Qamardeen hotel before re-branding as a family friendly urban business hotel.

  • It is within walking distance to Dubai Mall and there are numerous eateries along that strip of road. Regrettably at the time of my stay in summer they did not offer any complimentary shuttles to Dubai Mall and the Heritage tram was not operational.
  • The design of this urban boutique hotel is reminiscent of an Arabian palace with an entrance that is light and airy and feels very welcoming.
  • Ultra-modern guest rooms range from Deluxe suites to two bedroom Boulevard Suites and there is a swimming pool and fitness center for guest use.
  • I stayed in a Junior suite and it was enormous but still homey, with Nespresso coffee maker as well as flat screen tv’s in the living room and bedroom.
  • There is a courtyard where the outdoor swimming pool and covered cabanas are located.
  • The hotel has the 3in1 on site restaurant on the ground floor, the Stage2 lobby lounge and bar as well as the La Serre French bistro and boulangerie that are attached and accessible from the veranda.
  • There is also a mosque located behind the hotel and adequate sound insulation to keep out any street noise.
  • This may not be the most expensive hotel in Dubai or the most flashy but it was the one that I enjoyed staying in the most. I love the atmosphere and ambiance of the hotel’s modern interiors, well lit public spaces and guest rooms and find the subdued muted colors very calming.

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Luxury: Armani Hotel Dubai

  • The Armani Hotel Dubai is the flagship hotel of the Emaar Hotels group in Downtown and is adjacent to Dubai Mall and has direct access into the mall.
  • This fabulous hotel located across 11 floors of Burj Khalifa has 160 guest rooms and suites and the premium Fountain suites have views overlooking the Dubai Fountains.
  • This hotel was featured in the Mission Impossible movie Ghost Protocol where Tom Cruise scaled Burj Khalifa with suction cups while being pummeled and body slammed against the building by crosswinds.
  • Interiors are minimalist Japanese inspired elegance for the guest rooms as well as the seven on-site restaurants.
  • The hotel has a spa and outdoor swimming pool and .

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Dubai Marina Hotels

The Dubai Marina is the best area to stay in Dubai for entertainment, outdoor living and leisure activities in New Dubai. I lived in this area when I first moved to Dubai and at that time the only buildings were a few of the older hotels on the beach front and a few towers on Al Marsa Street (Dubai Marina Road). There was no public transport to the area except for Dubai taxis. Now there are two metro links, a tram line as well as bus services throughout the Marina.

Affordable: Marina Byblos Hotel

  • The Marina Byblos hotel is located near to the JLT metro station access and a tram station in Dubai Marina. It is within walking distance to Marina Walk and JBR.
  • There are 184 guest rooms and suites that are decorated in a beachy modern style and have city or marina views.
  • There are 8 on-site restaurants and bars including a SkyBar on 10 near the rooftop pool.

Check rates and availability

Deluxe: Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel and Suites

  • Located at the start of the man-made marina this hotel is reachable by taxi or uber.
  • Guest suites have sea views, marina views or Palm Jumeirah views and offers apartment style serviced suites with fully fitted kitchens and washer / dryer.
  • There is a lobby lounge cafe and restaurant, a traditional British restaurant as well as an Observatory Bar and Grill on the top floor offering panoramic views of Dubai Marina and Palm Jumeirah.
  • There is an outdoor pool and fitness center as well as a full service spa.

Check rates and availability

Luxury: Address Dubai Marina

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The Address Dubai Marina hotel and Dubai Marina Mall are part of the Emaar brand and has special offers and seasonal discounts throughout the year.

  • The hotel is adjacent to the Mall and the construction of the hotel, residences and mall kick-started the development of the Dubai Marina neighborhood 14 years ago.
  • There are 200 guest rooms and suites as well as 442 serviced residences all decorated in calming neutrals.
  • There is a spa and fitness center as well as an outdoor swimming pool.
  • The hotel is very popular with couples and families and on weekends has themed brunches for children in the Mazina all day dining restaurant. There are two further restaurants, a lobby lounge and a poolside bar and restaurant.
  • There is direct access to the Dubai Marina Mall from the hotel with many more dining options and an array of cuisines. The Marina Walk is accessible from the hotel and there are also numerous food trucks and entertainment activities for children.
  • This hotel is located near to the Dubai Marina pick up points for many dhow cruises, the Dubai water taxi and other waterborne excursions.
  • Those wanting an urban zipline experience can walk over to the mall to buy tickets and enjoy the experience zipping between the towers and across the marina.
  • The hotel is within walking distance to JBR and The Beach Mall but if you don’t feel like walking there is also a tram station right opposite the mall main entrance.
  • The Constellation Ballroom offers one of the best iftars during Ramadan and it is one we often go to for work functions and team building. It was also my late mother’s favorite Dubai iftar.
  • I had reserved a Deluxe Marina View King room but when I checked in at 3:30 pm it was not yet ready. Without skipping a beat the lovely guest relations associate assigned a Grand Room Marina View that had a separate living area with flat screen tv and a small balcony with table and chairs.

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Best Beach hotels in Dubai

The best beach hotels in Dubai are notoriously expensive but there are smaller boutique options that do not break the bank as well as luxury resorts that leave you wanting for nothing.

Affordable: Park Regis Boutique Hotel

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This boutique hotel is a stone’s throw from the Umm Suqeim Public Beach and opposite the beach park, and really is a bargain of a lifetime if you can snag a booking.

  • There are only 21 guest rooms over 3 levels and the decor is neutral with pops of color.
  • There is no pool or gym although it is a short walk to the beach as well as Wild Wadi Water park.
  • The hotel has an on-site urban Balkan restaurant where guests can take their breakfast and offers many Balkan and Eastern European specialities. I must confess that I was very surprised at the quality and spread of the breakfast because it was generous and very delicious despite being a set menu.
  • I will recommend the 21 Grams restaurant for breakfast, lunch or dinner even if you are just having a day out at the beach. For a detailed review and more independent breakfast restaurants in Dubai please check out the Favorite Breakfast spots in Dubai from my fellow expats Nancy and Namrata at She Said, She Said.
  • I waited a few minutes at check-in for them to confirm that the guest room was actually ready and was presented with a glass of sparkling fruit juice to refresh and revitalise.
  • To make up for the wait, I was moved to a higher floor and a guest room with a big terrace with table and chairs. The average size rooms are very modern and airy with a beachy feel to the interiors and decor.
  • The mini-bar with complimentary juices, nuts, potato crisps and date cookies were a nice touch and much appreciated, especially since this is a small independent hotel.

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Deluxe: Jumeirah Mina A’Salam – Madinat Jumeirah

  • The Mina A’Salam hotel is the first of the three hotels, summer houses and villas that make up the expansive Madinat Jumeirah resort.
  • The expansive resort is connected by a private beach, landscaped gardens and waterways with golf carts and boats available to transport guests between different areas
  • Guest rooms and suites have an ocean or resort view and guests have complimentary access to the Wild Wadi Waterpark.
  • Guests also have complimentary access to Talise Fitness with it’s high altitude suite and climbing wall.
  • There are 7 on-site restaurants and bars and a total of 50 dining establishments within the resort, all accessible via a boat or buggy ride.

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Luxury: Bulgari Resort, Dubai:

  • This luxury resort is located on Jumeirah Bay, it’s own seahorse shaped island off the coast of Jumeirah.
  • The hotel offers 101 elegant and high tech guest rooms and suites as well as 20 villas. There are also private mansions as well as 173 sea facing apartments across 6 residential buildings.
  • The resort has an indoor pool and fitness center as well as a spa with a hammam or Turkish bath.
  • There are six bars and restaurants as well as a yacht club and private marina.

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Best beach hotels in Dubai for Dubai family holidays

The best beach hotels in Dubai for family holidays are resorts with the facilities and amenities to entertain parents as well as children. The family sized rooms are larger and provide a second queen bed or sofa bed for children.

Affordable: JA Ocean View Hotel:

  • This hotel is part of the local Jebel Ali Resorts brand and is located on the beachfront at Jumeirah Beach Residence and is accessible by taxi and uber. The nearest tram station is a few blocks away.
  • There are 342 sea view guest rooms and suites that are suitable for a family of four (2 adults + 2 children).
  • There is a spa, health club and gym and access directly to the beach from the swimming pool level.
  • Children have their own pool, kids and teens club as well as a covered outdoor playground.
  • In addition to the five on-site restaurants and bars guests also have access to the restaurants and cafes along The Walk at JBR and the Beach Mall.

Check rates and availability

Deluxe: Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah:

  • This is one hotel that is consistently sold out, even in summer and is located on the Eastern Crescent of the Palm.
  • There are 319 guest rooms and suites with sea facing views.
  • The hotel has a private beach and the water sports center offers boat tours, kayaking, snorkeling and pedal boating. There are also tennis courts, a fitness center and two temperature controlled outdoor swimming pools.
  • There are six restaurants and bars on-site and my favorite Dubai restaurant is located here. You can read about my experience at Social by Heinz Beck.

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Read more: In Review: Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah

Luxury: Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort and Spa:

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The Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort and Spa is located on the eastern crescent of the Palm Jumeirah and is an expansive resort consisting of a hotel and hotel apartments.

  • The resort has a Polynesian theme and feels like a tropical paradise from the moment you enter the grounds. All guests have access to the hotel’s private beach.
  • The front access security officer Apollonia, the porters and other service staff welcomed me with such enthusiastic and sincere greetings that I could not help but smile.
  • My Luxury Room with King Bed was spacious and comfortable and had a very big bathroom / toilet and shower area.
  • The guest rooms range from Classic rooms with king beds to Two Bedroom Opera Suites and come with a mini-bar and bose station in addition to the flat-screen tv and refreshment station.
  • I would recommend rooms with resort or Palm views because the sea view rooms overlook the main road and unless you are on high floor you won’t actually have any sea view.
  • There are 16 dining establishments including a steakhouse, two all day dining restaurants, as well as French, Italian and Asian options. In addition, there are also outdoor bars and eateries near the beach. The three pools and children’s play areas are also in close proximity.
  • There is an onsite So Spa with twenty eight treatment rooms, a  high tech So Fit gym as well as tennis courts.
  • There were two things that I loved at this hotel aside from the family friendly ambiance and wonderful tropical resort feel inside and out. The first was the fact that they exhibit the works of local artists and the art is for sale. The second was the incredible living green wall with 170 types of plants.

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With so much choice for where to stay in Dubai all you need to do now is plan that vacation!

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  • Reply
    October 28, 2019 at 1:55 am

    Dubai looks like a dream to visit! I would love to stay in the nicest hotels. I think I would want to stay in Old Dubai or Downtown Dubai. However, the beach areas looks neat, especially the Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort and Spa.

    • Reply
      Razena Schroeder
      October 28, 2019 at 8:25 am

      The Al Seef Heritate Hotel is a great option in Old Dubai as it is within walking distance of the historic district and many museums. There is also the Zabeel House by Al Seef on the other side of the Al Seef district. In Downtown Dubai you cannot go wrong with the Vida Hotel or The Palace Downtown.

  • Reply
    Rukku Sumayya
    October 21, 2019 at 11:22 am

    This is an ultimate stay blog, book marked for future references. Thank you so much for this !

  • Reply
    Medha Verma
    September 16, 2019 at 6:32 pm

    I have been living in Dubai for over 8 years and I have to say, you’ve pretty much covered everything comprehensively and done a great job at describing all the areas. I always tell my friends to find a place in either Bur Dubai because of its proximity to downtown or Al Barsha because it is centrally located and very easy to get to the beach, the malls, the happening areas such as Marina and JBR.

    • Reply
      Razena Schroeder
      September 16, 2019 at 6:34 pm

      I lived in Bur Dubai when I first moved to Dubai and it was always too busy and noisy and far from work. I lived in Al Barsha too for 5 years and quite liked the quieter neighborhood and its family friendly atmosphere. Hated the traffic in both areas especially at peak hours.

  • Reply
    September 16, 2019 at 1:20 pm

    Wonderful pictures! I am glad that you have been to so many beautiful places in Dubai and am sure that you enjoyed the trip a lot!

  • Reply
    September 14, 2019 at 8:19 pm

    Such great recommendations. I’m dying to go to Dubai and so glad to know there are options for all budgets. Since you always just hear how luxurious this place is!

  • Reply
    Pia - Dream and Wanderland
    September 14, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    An awesome and detailed list of locations where to stay in Dubai. When I go there, I definitely come back and make use of the information!

  • Reply
    September 14, 2019 at 5:38 pm

    That’s so much information! Perfect for when I decide to travel there next, thanks for the research help!

  • Reply
    Lyanna Soria
    September 12, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    This was quite an informative read especially to those who are planning on going to Dubai. Looks like a great place with tons of exciting areas and venues to visit. It’s quite expensive but it would be a great place for a short vacation and it’ll be worth it.

  • Reply
    September 12, 2019 at 3:03 am

    I would have a heck of a time deciding whether to stay in old Dubai or new Dubai. I love both beaches and history. I would have to split my time between the two.

  • Reply
    Kevin Akidi
    September 11, 2019 at 7:21 pm

    Dubai is one of my favourite cities. It is so beautiful and modern. This is a great and helpful post for anyone who wants to travel to Dubai, I love it.

  • Reply
    Crickette, The Things I Have to Say
    September 11, 2019 at 2:39 pm

    Hopefully when I travel to Dubai I stay at the Burj. Haha. But thank you for this extensive list. This is really helpful!

    • Reply
      Razena Schroeder
      September 11, 2019 at 3:05 pm

      😂 that is the ultimate bucket list item for many people who visit Dubai. Fortunately there are many other options for those on a budget.

  • Reply
    September 10, 2019 at 9:41 pm

    So many great options. Thanks for the detailed post. I’m actually moving to dubai next month. I’ve never been and I’m so excited

    • Reply
      Razena Schroeder
      September 10, 2019 at 9:43 pm

      The weather will be much cooler when you get here so you will be able to acclimatise quickly. There are so many South Africans here!

  • Reply
    September 6, 2019 at 3:11 am

    I honestly (and naively!) had no idea there were so many accommodation options in Dubai. This has been so enlightening and incredibly useful. Thank you so much!

    • Reply
      Razena Schroeder
      September 10, 2019 at 9:45 pm

      Every area has it’s unique points and it all depends on what you want to spend your time doing while you’re here.

  • Reply
    Josy A
    September 6, 2019 at 2:31 am

    Blooming ‘eck! There is sooo much choice! This has to be the most thorough post about places to stay in Dubai I have ever seen!!

    Staying in the Dubai Marina sounds like my cup of tea, but staying in downtown Dubai would be a pretty amazing experience too! Your enthusiasm for the city shines through this post!

    • Reply
      Razena Schroeder
      September 10, 2019 at 9:47 pm

      Downtown is beautiful at night when the lights on the trees on the Boulevard are switched on and it is cool enough to sit outside at the cafes. I live in Dubai Marina so I’m partial to the relaxed pace and having everything at my fingertips 🙂

  • Reply
    September 5, 2019 at 11:53 pm

    Such a choice! My sister recently moved to JBR and I’m looking to go out and visit soon, this has definitely given me food for thought and a LOT of info to help my research!!!

    • Reply
      Razena Schroeder
      September 5, 2019 at 11:57 pm

      You will love JBR. Every tower has it’s own swimming pool and community gym. All the communities of JBR are within walking distance to the beach.

  • Reply
    September 4, 2019 at 8:14 pm

    Very useful!! I’ll keep it in mind when I go there one day. Staying in the old part looks very nice.

    • Reply
      Razena Schroeder
      September 5, 2019 at 11:58 pm

      Old Dubai is great for exploring the culture and shopping in the souks.

  • Reply
    September 1, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    It was interesting to read a little more about the different neighborhoods and places to stay in Dubai – I honestly only really know what I’ve heard, and just know that it’s known for its glitz and glam, but it’s nice to know there are great places to stay for people that have smaller budgets, too!

  • Reply
    September 1, 2019 at 8:53 am

    Wow, this is such a thorough resource! Dubai seems like such a fascinating place to visit. I hope to make it there one day for sure!

  • Reply
    September 1, 2019 at 2:45 am

    I’d love to visit Dubai! Thanks for all the wonderful suggestions.

  • Reply
    September 1, 2019 at 1:01 am

    Wow thanks for this guide it was very complete! Dubai has been in my travel bucket list for so long I hope a day I can go!

  • Reply
    August 31, 2019 at 11:06 pm

    Dubai is on my list (for when I have more funds post-graduation hahaha) so I’ll save this for later! Thank you!

    • Reply
      Razena Schroeder
      August 31, 2019 at 11:16 pm

      You are most welcome. There are a few really nice hotels that won’t cost an arm and a leg 😉

  • Reply
    Chelsea Pearl
    August 31, 2019 at 9:08 pm

    This is such a helpful guide! Staying in Palm Jumeirah is high up on my bucket list.

    • Reply
      Razena Schroeder
      August 31, 2019 at 9:52 pm

      There are so many lovely hotels on Palm Jumeirah. I’m trying out the Emerald Palace Kempinski tonight since it was a holiday here today.

  • Reply
    August 31, 2019 at 6:00 am

    Looks beautiful but I’m sure it’s an expensive (and long) flight from the US. I’ve seen Dubai stops on cruise lines that sound great.

    • Reply
      Razena Schroeder
      August 31, 2019 at 9:54 pm

      Emirates flies to a number of American cities and from what I’ve heard from colleagues and fellow travelers, much better value for money than US carriers. It’s their 35th anniversary next year so maybe they’ll good deals.

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