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Where to stay in Dubai For first time visitors

A comprehensive guide on finding the best accommodation in Dubai

Where to stay in Dubai

Wondering where to stay in Dubai for your first-time visit? Dubai is a real city of extremes, the hub of everything luxury and excess but also featuring some tucked away historical areas that take you right back to mid-nineteenth century Arabia. The world’s only seven-star hotel could only have been opened in Dubai and some of the main activities here include the finest of fine dining (bottomless brunch is a popular pastime in the UAE and worth trying at least once), relaxing on one of many private beaches, living it up on some of the most exciting party islands in the world, and shopping in the world’s largest mall. People looking for authentic local culture may struggle here but some more cultural activities include some local markets, the must-try desert safari, and several museums. There are plenty of day trips to be had in the UAE, like the nearby capital city Abu Dhabi or mountainous region of Al Ain. Dubai is truly a one-of-a-kind base to be in.

Where to stay in Dubai For first time visitors - Contents

Where to stay in Dubai

Dubai isn’t the most budget-friendly vacation spot and there are a lot more mid-range to luxury spots than budget but that’s not to say you can’t find something to suit you. Dubai ranges from the hyper-rich areas to the more cultural areas which tend to be a little cheaper. You can also make use of the happy hours that happen in most bars and the various lady’s nights that are standard for most bars in Dubai. Dubai does have an overground metro system, an excellent coach system for travelling to other cities in the UAE, and taxis are affordable compared to other major cities so wherever you stay you won’t be too far from the action.

Dubai Itinerary

Al Fahidi - Historical Neighbourhood

Why stay in Al Fahidi

This area is one of the most authentic neighbourhoods you can stay in if you’re looking to see some of old Dubai. Representing the mid-nineteenth century, Al Fahidi is a restore heritage area that was once known as the Bastakiya Quarter. You can wander through the narrow alleys of sand coloured buildings which contain museums, local craft shops, art galleries, and some hotels. There are some very quaint cafes in the area also. This is a charming place to stay with plenty of photo opportunities in Dubai if you don’t want to be in the glitzier parts of the city.

Why avoid Al Fahidi

While it’s a pleasure to wander around this neighbourhood, once you have there’s not a lot going on and you will have to travel a fair way to see most of the sights of Dubai. There’s also not a huge range of accommodation and it does book up fast. The area is very traditional so it’s not the place to be if you’re looking for that luxury Dubai experience.

Where to stay in Al Fahidi

Jacob's Garden HotelCheck Jacob's Garden Hotel on Booking.com

Jacob's Garden Hotel

Jacob's Garden Hotel features a restaurant, a fitness centre, as well as a hot tub and a sauna. Grand Mosque is 1.4 miles from the property.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Park Regis Kris Kin Hotel

This 5-star hotel offers a rooftop pool with views of Dubai cityline and non-smoking rooms with an interactive flat-screen TV and designer bathrooms. It is located across from Burjuman Shopping Centre.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Four Points by Sheraton Downtown Dubai

The 4-star Four Points by Sheraton Downtown Dubai features a rooftop swimming pool and free Wi-Fi in all areas. Located on Mankhool Road, it is 1.2 miles from the World Trade Centre.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

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Where to stay in Dubai For first time visitors

Where to stay in Dubai For first time visitors

Deira - Affordable with Lots to Offer

Why stay in Deira

Deira is one of the more budget-friendly areas of Dubai and is situated on the northern side of Dubai Creek. This is where you’ll find most of the city’s gold, spice, and seafood souqs (local markets) all filled with vendors and traditional items. You can also visit The Heritage House Museum and walk along the promenade that winds down to Maktoum Bridge and the Dubai Creek Golf Course so there’s plenty to do right on your doorstep. You can also take a water taxi to visit Bur Dubai which is a more historical area of the city and very different in atmosphere to Deira. There’s plenty of accommodation that’ll suit a wide range of budgets and it’s easy to get to the main areas of Dubai.

Why avoid Deira

There are very few downsides to Deira as it’s one of those great all-rounders but that does mean that it doesn’t offer the luxury experience you might get in some of the downtown areas. It’s also very busy due to the sheer amount there is to do there and how popular it is with visitors to Dubai. Therefore, it’s not the most peaceful of areas to stay in and is somewhat geared towards tourism.

Where to stay in Deira

Hyatt Regency Dubai - CornicheCheck Hyatt Regency Dubai - Corniche on Booking.com

Hyatt Regency Dubai - Corniche

Hyatt Regency Dubai is located in the heritage district, within a 5-minute walk from the popular gold, spice and textile souks. This luxury hotel offers a revolving restaurant, a private ice skating rink and free WiFi.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Hyatt Place Dubai Baniyas Square

Hyatt Place Dubai/Baniyas Square is conveniently located in Nasser Square-Dubai's historic district on the eastern side of Dubai Creek - and is famed for its accessibility and its provision of a wealth of enriching individual experiences to both business and leisure travellers alike.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Riviera Hotel

Overlooking Dubai Creek, this 4-star hotel is a 2-minute walk from transportation links offering service to Dubai Museum. Rooms at the Riviera Hotel feature balconies with city or creek views.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Bur Dubai - Traditional neighbourhood

Why stay in Bur Dubai

Bur Dubai is on the southern side of the Dubai Creek and highly contrasts Deira. Similar to the nearby Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood you’ll find traditional sand coloured architecture and wind towers. This is perfect for people who want to live a traditional lifestyle while in Dubai but still be relatively close to the action. There’s also a lot more accommodation here than the historical neighbourhood while still being budget-friendly. There are plenty of nearby attractions like The Dubai Museum, the Heritage Village, and the Iranian mosque so it provides an excellent base for exploring all the cultural attractions of Dubai. There are lots to enjoy in terms of local food and handmade crafts and provides a perfect spot for people watching and seeing traditional life and architecture in the city.

Why avoid Bur Dubai

It’s not as upmarket as other areas in Dubai and offers very little to no luxury accommodation or dining in the area. You’re also not as well connected to public transport as you are in Deira so you may end up spending more money on taxis or time on the water taxi to Deira.

Where to stay in Bur Dubai

Palazzo Versace DubaiCheck Palazzo Versace Dubai on Booking.com

Palazzo Versace Dubai

Reminiscent of a 16th century Italian Palace, Palazzo Versace Dubai features a high ceiling entrance, landscaped gardens, and a range of well-crafted Italian furnishings. Every single piece of furniture and fabric that adorns the hotel’s 215 hotel rooms and suites, and 169 residences, is designed and tailor-made by the House of Versace exclusively for the Palazzo Versace Hotel in Dubai.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Queen Elizabeth 2 Hotel

Step inside the world’s most celebrated ocean liner afloat today - now one of Dubai’s iconic destinations. Docked permanently at the Mina Rashid marina, The Queen Elizabeth 2 is the Middle East’s first floating hotel - offering passengers a hub of culinary and nightlife experiences, a state-of-the-art events centre and a heritage attractive site showcasing a rare and fascinating glimpse into maritime history.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Roda Links Al Nasr

Featuring a fitness centre and a spa & wellness centre, Roda Links Al Nasr is situated in Dubai. This 4-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk. Guests can make use of a shared lounge.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Jumeirah Beach - Luxury getaway

Why stay on Jumeirah Beach

One for people who are looking for a luxurious getaway on one of the world’s most famous man-made islands. If you love sunbathing on pristine, private beaches with plenty of nightlife to distract you then Jumeirah Beach is what you’re looking for. Jumeirah boasts a wide selection of local and international restaurants, beach clubs, and bars so there’s really no need to leave the island if you didn’t want to. This is also ideal visitors who love water sports as there’s no end to the activities you can enjoy including windsurfing, water-skiing, and a giant water park. You can also book a helicopter or seaplane ride to see the island's palm shape from above or skydive over it. With the world’s most admired hotels to stay in, this is definitely an area that you can enjoy to the max in a way you probably couldn’t in most cities.

Why avoid Jumeirah Beach

This is a very commercialised area geared entirely towards tourism and resort style holidaying so this may not be for you if you prefer a more realistic view of Dubai. It’s also not ideal for exploring some of the other tourist destinations in Dubai as it’s quite self-contained and could be a hassle if you’re looking to do more than a day trip. As you might expect, this area is aimed at those wanting to spend some money in Dubai so not the place for anyone on a budget.

Where to stay in Jumeirah Beach

Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah BeachCheck Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach on Booking.com

Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach

Occupying a beachfront location, Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach is a luxurious 5-star resort featuring a private beach, 2 outdoor swimming pools and a lavish spa. An indoor pool and a state-of-the-art fitness centre are also available. Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Fountain are a 15-minute drive away.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Roda Beach Resort

The exquisite residential Roda Beach Hotel offers a chic address for your stay in Dubai with direct access to The Kite Beach. The resort is surrounded by a wide choice of dining, shopping and entertainment options and is a stone throw away from vibrant beach clubs and pristine public beaches.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Sheikh Zayed Road

Why stay close to Sheikh Zayed Road

You’ll definitely have a lot of accommodation choice staying close to this multi-lane highway as it’s the main road that runs all the way through Dubai to the Abu Dhabi border. Most addresses for cafes and restaurants you come across in Dubai are on this stretch so you’ll have plenty to do and you’ll never be waiting long for a taxi or a bus. The road is split in the northern half (nearest to downtown Dubai) and the southern half (the half closest to Abu Dhabi).

Why avoid

Although it’s very convenient for staying close to the main highway through the city and there are some excellent deals to be had, it can be noisy with cars. Also, there’s not a lot to do within walking distance depending on what part of the road you’re on. If booking somewhere on the road, check whether your accommodation is in the north or south and what’s nearby before you book.

Where to stay close to Sheikh Zayed Road

Dusit Thani DubaiCheck Dusit Thani Dubai on Booking.com

Dusit Thani Dubai

Dusit Thani Dubai is located on Sheikh Zayed Road, in the heart of Dubai’s financial district. The World Trade Centre and the International Convention Centre are within easy reach. The guest rooms are decorated in a contemporary Thai style, complemented by modern bathrooms. The luxury amenities include bath salts. The rooms on the upper floors offer panoramic views over Dubai.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Zabeel House by Jumeirah, The Greens

Featuring an outdoor swimming pool, Zabeel House The Greens by Jumeirah is situated in Dubai and is 2.1 miles from Dubai Marina Mall. Attractively located in the Greens district, this hotel provides a fitness centre. The property offers a 24-hour front desk and free WiFi is available.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Cosmopolitan Hotel Dubai - Al Barsha

Located in Al Barsha just off Sheikh Zayed Road, the Cosmopolitan Hotel Dubai is a 10-minute walk from the Mall of the Emirates and a 2-minute walk from Sharaf DG Metro Station.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Dubai Garden Glow

Why stay in

Visit the rest of the world right where you stay, this recreational park is ideal if you’re travelling with children. The park means to educate people about their carbon footprint and recycling and takes you on a journey across the globe. Think the ‘it’s a small world’ ride in Disneyland but on a much larger scale. You’ll be treated to live performances from international artists including singers, dancers, musicals, and acrobats. It’s also a great way to see UAE art culture in action. Not too far from Bur Dubai, you’ll be able to see some of the traditional authentic cultures to on your doorstep.

Why avoid

If you don’t like theme park type stays, then this not for you. It’s very much aimed at tourists and although it’s not in a bad location for exploring the rest of Dubai, the accommodation tends to be quite expensive simply because of the convenient access to the park.

Where to stay close to Dubai Garden Glow

The H DubaiCheck The H Dubai on Booking.com

The H Dubai

Located at #1 Sheikh Zayed Road, The H Dubai location is ideal for getting out and about in Dubai. Renowned for its eclectic and vibrant selection of dining and nightlife experiences; the award-winning Mandara Spa; world-class rooms and suites, the property also boasts an outdoor pool and state-of-the-art fitness centre.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Rove Trade Centre

Strategically placed between new and old Dubai, Rove Trade Centre offers the perfect location for leisure and business guests alike. Rove Trade Centre is located adjacent to Dubai World Trade Centre, and just 15 mins walk from Dubai Garden Glow, 10 mins drive from Downtown Dubai with the Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa. Rove Trade centre offers an outdoor swimming pool and a 24 h fitness centre.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Novotel World Trade Centre Dubai

Novotel World Trade Centre is a 4-star luxury hotel less than 5 minutes' walk from World Trade Centre Metro Station (red line). Situated in Sheihk Zayed Road, with 5 minutes to Burj Khalifa (world's tallest building), Dubai Frame, Dubai Mall (with Ski Dubai and shopping), Dubai Outlet Mall, Dubai Financial Centre and a few minutes to Jumeriah Beach and the Gold Souq. Free shuttle service is provided to many attractions.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Downtown Dubai

Why Stay in Downtown Dubai

Nearly everything you picture about Dubai in terms of modern attractions is in the downtown area. This is where the most impressive architecture, including the world’s tallest skyscraper the Burj Khalifa can be found and also Dubai Mall, the world’ biggest shopping centre complete with ski slopes, the world’s tallest fountain, an aquarium, and every shop and restaurant you’ve ever heard of. If you’ve got a family with you then this is going to keep everyone happy. Nearby are nightclubs, more restaurants, large souks, and ongoing events throughout the year. It’s impossible to be bored and if you are then the transport links around the country are excellent as everything stops in front of the mall. You’ll also find some of the best hotels with incredible views right here.

Why avoid Downtown Dubai

Once again, this is an area that’s geared more towards the higher end of spending and there’s little budget accommodation in the area. It’s also a very commercial area so not ideal if you’re looking for a more culture centred stay and is not conveniently located to any beaches so if you’re looking to sunbathe every day you may find yourself in a taxi more than you’d like.

Where to stay in Downtown Dubai

Address Dubai MallCheck Address Dubai Mall on Booking.com

Address Dubai Mall

The Hotel is in Dubai Mall and adjacent to Burj Khalifa, Address, Dubai Mall offers elegant and chic accommodations. This 5-star hotel features an outdoor infinity pool overlooking Burj Khalifa.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Sofitel Dubai Downtown

Located in the heart of Downtown Dubai, connected to The Dubai Mall and 10 minutes away from City Walk, Sofitel Dubai Downtown is an idyllic oasis that blends urban sophistication with refined luxury, features air-conditioned rooms and free private parking. Guests can enjoy the on-site bar and complimentary shuttle bus going to kite beach.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Roda Al Murooj Hotel

Five-star Roda Al Murooj Hotel is situated across from Dubai Mall and the famous Burj Khalifa. It features a lush garden with a large swimming pool and free WiFi in public areas. Dubai World Trade Centre is a 10-minute drive away.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

The Dubai Mall (downtown)

Why stay in The Dubai Mall

Yes, you can stay inside the actual Dubai Mall, in six hotels that have a Dubai Mall postcode and are highly sought after. The advantages of staying here are the same as staying in Downtown Dubai as it’s the same area but you also get to stay in the height of luxury within the world famous mall. If you’re looking for the best possible experience in terms of views, location, and luxury then this is ideal for you.

Why avoid The Dubai Mall

This is more of a ‘say you’ve done it’ kind of stay, there aren’t many advantages over staying in the downtown area in general apart from staying in some of the most exclusive hotels in the world (which is quite an experience).

Where to stay in The Dubai Mall

Address DowntownCheck Address Downtown on Booking.com

Address Downtown

Towering high at 350 yards across 63 levels, Address Downtown is a veritable landmark of luxury, situated in the very centre of Downtown Dubai. The hotel directly overlooks Burj Khalifa, offers uninterrupted views of the daily Dubai fountain show (the world’s tallest water-music spectacle) and is connected to The Dubai Mall (the world’s largest shopping mall) by a pathway-bridge.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Address Dubai Mall

The accommodation at the Address boasts a balcony with a panoramic view over Dubai, some of which overlook Burj Khalifa. Alfresco dining experience is available to guests at CABANA, with a selection of grills and exotic cocktails. KARAT, the lobby lounge, serves snacks and sandwiches.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Meena Bazaar

Why stay in Meena Bazaar

An area within the Bur Dubai district, this is a haven for shoppers. The Meena Bazaar itself is brimming with thousands of stalls that sell local crafts, clothes, pottery, and food. Staying in the Meena Bazaar is an ideal way to spend your holiday if you’re like to be transported to the past and have one of the world’s biggest bazaars on your doorstep. The Bur Dubai district is well-suited to budget travellers and is one of the most authentic areas to stay in Dubai.

Why avoid Meena Bazaar

Meena Bazaar is a very busy area as it’s one of the most popular shopping areas in Dubai and stays open late so it’s always buzzing. If you’re looking for a peaceful holiday then this might be a bit bustling for you.

Where to stay in Meena Bazaar

Arabian Courtyard Hotel & SpaCheck Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa on Booking.com

Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa

Centrally located opposite Dubai Museum, the peaceful Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa is ideally positioned for sightseeing, shopping and business. The spacious guest rooms are comfortable and decorated in an Arabian style.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

XVA Art Hotel

XVA Art hotel is situated within the heart of historic Al Bastakiya. It offers elegant rooms featuring art by well-established designers and artists from the region, including Zayan Ghandour and Numa.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Dubai Marina - Dubai Nightlife

Why stay in

This man-made marina is a wonderful place to walk around and enjoy the upscale atmosphere of Dubai with some of the best restaurants and bars at your fingertips. Enjoy your dinner on a luxury cruise around the marina or enjoy the ‘marina walk’ which is an ideal walking route around the area to enjoy all of the cafes, restaurants, and shops on offer. There are plenty of open spaces and festival areas where music and dance performance are commonly held. Experience incredible views of the Dubai skyline here while enjoying an ambience that is peaceful than other areas of Dubai despite how popular it is. If you like being by the water, like a youthful, vibrant ambience, and a touch of luxury then this is ideal for you.

Why avoid

While there’s a wide range of mid-range to luxury accommodation here, it does tend to book up fast so make sure you book early if you’d like to stay here. It can get quite noisy at night due to the nightlife scene here but that’s easily avoided by staying off the main strip. It’s also quite far from the more authentic areas of Dubai so if you’d like to spend lots of time exploring those areas.

Where to stay in the Dubai Marina

Grosvenor House Hotel and ApartmentsCheck Grosvenor House Hotel and Apartments on Booking.com

Grosvenor House Hotel and Apartments

Located on Dubai Marina promenade, the 5-star Grosvenor House offers panoramic views of Dubai Marina, personalised butler service, an outdoor pool and an extensive range of culinary experiences. Mall of The Emirates is 10 minutes away by car.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach

Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach is located in The Walk at Jumeirah Beach Residence. This luxury 5-star hotel is steps away from The Beach Mall, Dubai’s prime destination for seafront dining and entertainment.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Festival City

Why stay in Festival City

Like a city within the city, this self-contained space in Dubai is made up of the newest malls, residential apartments and hotels, shopping, leisure facilities even schools. Everything you could possibly need is in this one area in a pristine compound where residents of Dubai live. If you’re looking for a hyper-modern home away from home or you’re working online and would like access to co-working spaces and homely facilities, then this is perfect. There are a variety of accommodation options to suit most budgets.

Why avoid Festival City

It’s ideal if you’re staying long term in Dubai but isn’t particularly geared towards tourism as it’s a residential area and not ideally located for the various attractions in Dubai.

Where to stay in the Festival City

InterContinental Dubai Festival CityCheck InterContinental Dubai Festival City on Booking.com

InterContinental Dubai Festival City

Adjacent to Festival City Mall, InterContinental Dubai Festival City boasts a 30 yards outdoor pool that extends onto a balcony with panoramic views of Dubai Creek. A full-service spa with aromatherapy is offered.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Holiday Inn - Dubai Festival City

Directly connected to the Dubai Festival City Mall home to 500 retail stores, restaurants and kids/family entertainment, Holiday Inn - Dubai Festival City is a 4-star property perfect for families with its Family Suites.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Responses

a
avni
18 Oct 2019

Thanks for information.i really like your blog and information keep it up and i m also waiting for your next blog