WHERE TO STAY IN DUBAI – FROM LUXURIOUS 7 STARS TO BUDGET HOTELS
The history of Dubai is rich and complex and dates from centuries back, but don’t be fooled, Dubai is one of the most modern, wealthy and best functioning cities today!
This means that Dubai is home to some pretty exceptional hotels, apartments and buildings, and that also means that it can be an absolute nightmare trying to find where to stay when you visit the city. Fear not, as I have done the hard work for you and have created this ultimate guide to staying in Dubai.
Whether you are visiting Dubai for work, going on a holiday there, simply passing through for a few days on your way to another destination (Dubai is a major transit hub), or looking for some Dubai family hotels, I have the perfect accommodation for you!
In this article you’ll find the best hotel rooms and apartments to fit any budget and I’ve even added a section of accommodation near the airport!
There are a few different areas in Dubai where you could end up staying depending on what type of stay and accommodation you want, the budget you have and how many people you are.
Here is a simple breakdown of the best Dubai neighbourhoods for tourists:
Downtown Dubai – the middle of the action, full of points of interest; also the place where most of the hotels are;
Jumeirah Beach – located just outside of downtown, Jumeirah beach is the main beach in Dubai and is home to some amazing hotels that overlook the ocean;
The Palm – Palm Jumeirah is the first of three planned artificial islands off the coast to be completed. It is also the site of many hotels and other well-known points of interest;
Al Barsha – situated close to Palm Jumeirah is Al Barsha where another group of gorgeous hotels can be found. This is also the location of The Mall of the Emirates;
Deira – occupying the space between Dubai International Airport and the ocean is Deira, where you will find cheaper options for accommodation.
PRO TIP: Make sure you choose a hotel that is close to the metro so you’ll easily get around the city!
As a general rule, I encourage you to book your accommodation as far in advance as possible, to not only ensure you don’t miss out on the best hotels in Dubai, but in many cases you will find a cheaper price too!
However, this is especially pertinent for Dubai. Due to its prominence on an international commerce level, Dubai can become very full and booked out months in advance (keep your eye out for Dubai hotels special offers!). Therefore, be sure to make your Dubai hotel booking ASAP!
So let’s get into it, here’s my complete guide to Dubai accommodation:
Whether you want to stay in the legendary Burj Khalifa, with views across the whole city or even on the infamous Palm Jumeirah island, Dubai has many, many hotels to choose from. As I alluded to before, there are some seriously luxurious hotels in the city; however, Dubai prides itself on being a hospitable city, meaning that there will be an option for every budget and style, as there are even some very cheap hotels in Dubai!
Here are my favorite luxury, middle-priced and budget hotels in Dubai:
1. BEST LUXURY HOTELS IN DUBAI (US $160 AND UP)
If there’s one thing that Dubai is known for and knows how to do it, it’s luxury!
From the world’s first 7-star hotel in Dubai (yes, you read that right!) to the highest concentration of supercars in the world (probably), Dubai is home to some serious luxury, so I thought this deserves its own special section!
Honestly, this city has the biggest variety of luxury hotels I’ve seen in the world, some of them being a unique experience by themselves!
In this list you will find 5-star hotels in Dubai, some famous hotels to stay and also hotels to visit even if you aren’t staying there. In fact, you will find many entertainment experiences in my Things to do in Dubai article!
For your convenience, I have broken this section down to luxury Dubai hotels in the city center and hotels on The Palm Jumeirah:
1.1) BEST LUXURY HOTELS IN DUBAI CITY CENTER
Burj Al Arab Hotel
Burj Al Arab Jumeirah – Quite possibly the most famous hotel in Dubai and also quite possibly the most expensive hotel in Dubai!
Did you know that Burj Al Arab is the only 7-star Hotel in the world? It’s true!
Located on its own island, this hotel is what dreams are made of. Featuring 9 restaurants, a water park, two pools, bars, fitness centre, ipad in each room, the list could go on forever. This is the ultimate in luxury, and by no means cheap, but if you can fit it in the budget, go for it, you will absolutely not regret it!
However, if it is out of your price range but you would still like to visit, then check out my Best Tours in Dubai post, where I explain how to get in this hotel without actually booking a room there!
View from Burj Khalifa
Armani Hotel Dubai – This hotel is located inside the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa and it’s truly an iconic Dubai hotel! The hotel is spread across 11 floors of the building, which means the views are incredible! The spa is internationally renowned and the hotel has direct access to Dubai Mall, while the rooms are stunning and refined!
Park Hyatt Dubai – With a private beach, private lagoon on Dubai Creek, a swimming pool, numerous dining and drinking options and even its own golf course, this hotel really has it all. The rooms are geared towards luxury too, with floor to ceiling windows, deluxe bed linen and marbled bathrooms! A simply stunning hotel!
Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates – The perfect hotel to choose if you want to get some skiing in. Connected to the Mall of the Emirates and with ski chalets actually overlooking the slopes of Ski Dubai, you will feel like you’re in the Swiss Alps! The hotel also has dining and drinking options, a gym and, of course, a pool!
Palazzo Versace Dubai – The Palazzo Versace was modeled after a 16th century Italian palace and all of the furniture was designed by the Versace fashion house exclusively for this hotel. If you manage to stop staring at the beauty of the lobby and make it to your room, you will be greeted with yet more luxury!
Fairmont Dubai – One of the more conveniently located luxury hotels, the Fairmont features a modern and sleek design. Floor to ceiling windows will provide stunning views and the marbled bathrooms are beautiful. You can also choose from numerous dining options or enjoy one of the two (!) rooftop pools!
Raffles Dubai – Inspired by the Egyptian pyramids, Raffles Dubai maintains this motif throughout. The rooms are simply stunning and are noted for being very spacious. The spa at Raffles is one of the best ones in Dubai and offers in-room treatments. The rooms and suites have an amazing view of the Dubai skyline too!
Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach – Another of the best five-star hotels in Dubai, this accommodation delivers absolute perfection. Guests can take advantage of their own private beach, a bathtub with attached TV, tennis courts, a beach side jogging track or indulge in one of the in-house restaurants or bars. Oh, and not to mention the views of the Burj Khalifa as well!
JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai – The JW Marriott does things big! For starters the hotel is spread across two iconic Dubai towers. In addition, guests can choose from 15 drinking and dining options. You’d need to stay for weeks just to try them all! Marriott hotels provide unparalleled service in general, and this hotel is no exception. After all, it’s one of the top hotels in Dubai! Oh, did I mention it’s the tallest hotel in the world? The views are insane!
The Palm Julmeirah is a man-made archipelago in the shape of a 5-km long palm tree that homes many upscale hotels and attractions in Dubai and makes for one of the best places to stay in Dubai!
I have divided the places to stay in Dubai in two areas, as your choice really depends on your travel style or interests. For instance, the city center is very convenient in terms of travelling with public transportation or its proximity to landmarks. However, the Palm is a completely different experience with great views, lots of activities going on, and more of a Miami Beach Middle Eastern style!
Here are your best luxury options on The Palm:
Atlantis The Palm – This gorgeous hotel is located on the outermost edge of The Palm and therefore it has the best uninterrupted views of the Arabian Gulf! One of the most iconic Dubai buildings, Atlantis features stunning architectural design, a private beach and some of the best restaurants in the city! These include Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen and the world famous Nobu.
The Atlantis is child-friendly too (you can check out my complete guide of Things to do in Dubai with kids here) as it has an in-house underwater aquarium and guests have free entry to the Middle East’s biggest waterpark, which is conveniently located right next door!
PRO TIP: Select the underwater suite if you’d like to sleep surrounded by fish and feel what would it be like to sleep in the actual underwater city of Atlantis
Anantara The Palm Resort
Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort – Anantara The Palm provides guests with choice, and lots of it! However, the hotel is famous for its villas that actually sit on top of the ocean, Maldives-style! If you want to fall asleep to the sound of the Arabian Gulf then this is the place for you!
Five Palm Jumeirah Dubai – Five Palm Jumeirah is located on “the trunk” of Palm Jumeirah, meaning it is close to the mainland. This positions it well in terms of access to Dubai itself! The hotel features its own private beach, five swimming pools and numerous dining options. A great choice if you want to stay on the palm but still feel close to the city!
One&Only The Palm Dubai – One&Only The Palm Dubai is an absolutely stunning Dubai hotel. Inspired by Southern Spain’s Andalucia region, it features absolutely stunning interior design and an outdoor courtyard/pool area to match. They have, of course, a private beach as well if you feel like relaxing on the sand, you can book some villas on the beachside!
Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah – Located on the Eastern tip of the Palm, Waldorf Astoria offers stunning views across the Gulf and back across Dubai too. The rooms are spacious and decorated in a modern, stylish and sleek design. There are 6 in-house dining options and, of course, a pool, gym and even a tennis court.
W Hotel Dubai – This iconic hotel on the Palm features a wonderful pool area that will make you want to stay there forever! While you’re there, you can enjoy the wonderful Latin American and Italian cuisine at its on-site restaurant and play a squash match in the facilities provided. You will love staying at the strikingly modern rooms of the W Hotel!
If you don’t have the budget of an Emirati oil Sheikh but still want to enjoy your time in Dubai in comfort, then this section is perfect for you! Hotel prices in Dubai can quickly balloon out of control, so it can be a bit daunting seeing multi-thousand dollar rooms when searching for hotel rooms in Dubai!
But don’t worry! I’ve done the research for you so only the easy part of choosing is left. Here is my guide to mid-priced hotel rooms in Dubai:
Rove Downtown – As the name suggests, the Rove Downtown is located… downtown. Off to a great start location-wise, and the rooms themselves are also excellent, tastefully decorated with modern facilities! However, my favorite part about this hotel is that they have their own movie theatre, and guests can watch unlimited free movies!!! Where do I sign up?!
Millennium Plaza Hotel – Situated in the financial district, this hotel is perfect for business travellers. It has everything you could need – in-house dining, a pool, spa and wellness center, as well as bars/cafes to relax or perhaps arrange a business meeting. The rooms are stylish and spacious and are often at a great deal comparing to other Dubai hotel prices.
Holiday Inn Dubai Festival City – Holiday Inn Festival City is a great example of an amazing 4-star hotels in Dubai! The decor is sleek, gorgeous and the furnishings are very comfortable. They even have a daily buffet breakfast where kids can eat for free! The hotel is connected to a mall with many luxury brands available to browse and buy – an all-round great hotel.
Dubai is a city of great contrasts in many aspects. The immense wealth generated by international commerce and the oil industry mixes with everyday, regular people and migrant workers to create a melting pot of cultures and people.
This also means that there is accommodation for everybody, so if you’re looking to pocket a few extra dinars, then take a look at these three affordable hotels in Dubai:
Leva Hotel & Suites, Mazaya Centre – Located in downtown Dubai, this is one of the best budget hotels in Dubai. Offering a buffet breakfast daily, in-house dining, 24-hour reception, a kettle in each room and modern TV with cable channels, the Al Khoory Inn plays extremely well at it’s price. Added bonus: the reception staff speak 5 languages!
Park Regis Business Bay – This hotel features a swimming pool, gym, rooftop terrace, 24 hour reception and a kids room. It is located right downtown, within a few km of the Burj Khalifa. There is free parking too if you plan on hiring a car (by the way, you can check out my guide about car hiring in Dubai here).
Carlton Downtown Hotel – Again located in the thick of the action, the Carlton Downtown boasts 6 in-house dining options, a swimming pool and a fitness center. There is also a spa for all your wellness needs and spacious, beautiful rooms – what more could you want? This hotel performs like a middle-priced one for the cost of a budget one!
In my humble opinion, there is almost no place better in the world to let loose and get an apartment than Dubai! There are some truly spectacular properties available in the UAE’s biggest city, so if your budget is endless or even quite strict, you will definitely find an awesome apartment for you and your travel buddies/family/colleagues in the list below!
So here are my recommendations for great apartments in Dubai:
LUXURY (FROM US $160 AND UP)
Following on from the luxury hotel section, Dubai again really nails the luxury apartment section. Due to the number of international business travellers constantly coming into and out of Dubai, an enormous number of self-contained apartments have popped up over recent years, and let me tell you, some of them are very high class!
Here are three of the best luxury apartments in Dubai:
Bella Vista – 29 Boulevard Downtown Burj Khalifa – As you can see from the name, this property is located close to the world famous Burj Khalifa, so we’re off to a great start already. However, my favorite part of these apartments is the decor, as it is reminiscent of my favorite Disney film (Aladdin). Say no more, right?!
Yanjoon Holiday Homes – Burj Vista Apartments – These holiday homes have a simply stunning view of the world’s tallest building, and an interior to back it up. Stylishly furnished in a modern motif, the Yanjoon apartments will be your home away from home. Each one features a fully equipped kitchen and balcony and as an added bonus, there’s a hot tub!
Five Palm Penthouse – Have you ever wanted to stay on the famous Palm Jumeirah? Or stay in one of the Dubai famous hotels? Then the Five Palm Penthouse is for you! I mean, staying on a palm tree island would be so awesome! The property itself is suited for larger groups and has it’s own private pool! The views across Dubai are simply stunning!
If you are looking for a little bit of freedom during your stay in Dubai but don’t want to sell your kidney to be able to afford an apartment, then don’t worry, there are plenty of options in Dubai for every price range! In this section I’ll outline some mid-priced apartments in this wonderful city:
Damac Maison Dubai Mall Street – Fully equipped, large kitchen – check. Swimming pool – check. Gym – check. Living room and dining room – check. View of the Burj Khalifa – check. Spa/wellness center – check. The Damac Maison apartments really have it all, I can’t believe they fit into this price category, what a bargain!
City Premiere Hotel Apartments – A great example of a hotel-apartment hybrid, this accommodation is also in a great location, right in the middle of everything. Combining the best of both worlds such as a fully equipped kitchen but also 24-hour reception and a daily housekeeping service, City Premiere is a wonderful choice!
Mövenpick Hotel Apartments Downtown Dubai – Who doesn’t like ice cream? These apartments run by the ice cream company are excellent. With a pool, in-house dining and a buffet breakfast every morning, you will never have to leave the property. The rooms are super cool and modern as well! I especially love the decor which actually reminds me of the Mövenpick ice cream!
All this talk of the Burj Khalifa, 7-star hotels in Dubai and luxury may have you worried for your wallet, but rest assured there are also cheap hotel apartments in Dubai! The fact that Dubai is now a major international tourism destination as well as a transit hub means there are options for every budget.
Here are some great places to stay in Dubai that won’t break the bank:
Rose Garden Hotel Apartments – Located right next to the Mall of the Emirates, the Rose Garden apartments are a great budget choice. Offering apartments with either a full kitchen or simply a kitchenette is a great bonus. Plus (and, to be honest, this is a must-have in Dubai), a gorgeous rooftop pool awaits you there as well!
Park Hotel Apartments – Another great property, the Park Hotel Apartment offers fully equipped apartments with a kitchen, home entertainment and even the option of room service. There is also in-house dining, a swimming pool and fitness center. When it comes to cheap accommodation in Dubai, it doesn’t get better than this!
TIME Dunes Hotel Apartments Oud Metha – This one offers the best of both worlds – a 24-hour reception, a pool with panoramic views, a great location and rooms with catering facilities – it’s the ultimate in aparthotel hybrids! One of the few hotels in Bur Dubai in this price range, it is near an international hospital, shopping and restaurants, what more could you need?!
It’s always handy to have an easy and quick journey to/from the airport when travelling to a new city. Luckily enough, Dubai International Airport (DXB) is located fairly close to the city center (approximately 5km). However, it’s not that easy to find Dubai airport hotels! Fear not, as I have done the research for you and now you only have to choose from the best options out there!
So let’s get into it, here’s my guide to Dubai airport hotels:
LUXURY (US$160 AND UP)
If you’re like me, when you go to Dubai you like to indulge! After all, it is a city built upon indulgence. So even if you are looking for a quick getaway and want to stay near the airport, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give up on that 7-star hospitality Dubai prides itself on.
Take a look at these three luxury Dubai hotels located near the airport:
Dubai International Terminal Hotel– What better way to start off this section than with a hotel located inside the actual airport? You can literally walk off the plane into your room, amazing! There is also a pool, sauna, hot tub and fitness center (with another pool). If you’re coming in for business, there’s also a business centre. This hotel has it all!
Millennium Dubai Airport Hotel – This is another one of those Dubai hotels that includes everything you can think of: four restaurants, three bars, a pool, a gym, and even a swim up bar! The guests are so relaxed that the only downside is that you won’t want to leave! Located a two minute drive from the airport, the Millennium ticks all the boxes.
MIDDLE-PRICED (FROM US $85 TO US $160)
If you’re looking for the best place to stay in Dubai close to the airport without breaking the bank, then this is the section for you. Below I have chosen three of my favorite hotels close to DXB that offer the best value for money:
Premier Inn Dubai International Airport – This is one of the many Dubai-3 star hotels; however, you will feel like you’re in a five-star establishment. My favorite part about this hotel is the 24-hour Costa Coffee in the lobby! There’s also a free shuttle to/from the airport and a few other key destinations in the city – a great deal!
Roda Al Bustan Hotel – This is another great choice by the airport at a reasonable price. The Roda has seven dining options, a heated swimming pool, a kids pool, squash and tennis courts and a health and fitness center as well. The rooms are lovely and they have tea and coffee facilities and cable TV. Added bonus: some rooms have a balcony as well!
If you’re coming to Dubai for a short period and don’t want to spend a lot of money or just simply transferring to another flight the following day, you can find cheap hotels in Dubai close to the airport. In fact, it’s actually easier than finding cheap rooms in the city center! Here are two options that will get the job done:
Flora Inn Hotel Dubai Airport – The Flora is a 10-minute drive away from the airport and 5 minutes on the metro. The hotel has a beautiful outdoor pool with great views, an in-house restaurant and spacious rooms fitted with a flat screen TV and cable channels. There is a lot to like about this hotel, especially for this price!
Flora Grand Hotel – Located a little further away but offering an airport shuttle, this hotel gets you a little closer to the action of the city. The rooms themselves are minimalist and very clean, and the beds are very comfortable. They also have a health spa, fitness center, restaurant and bar, so you’ll feel right at home!
There you have it – this was my ultimate guide for where to stay in Dubai!
Dubai truly is a one-of-a-kind, amazing city so I do encourage everyone to visit it at least once in their lifetime. The good news is that I’ve found accommodation for all types of budgets and travelers in this article! Whether you want to be treated like a queen (or king), or you are coming to Dubai on business or are actually on a budget and want to do Dubai on a shoe-string, it is all there for you!
As we’ve seen though, there are some crazy and cool places to stay in the city. I mean, imagine staying in a hotel that is on it’s own island! So please, enjoy your time in this crazy city and I’d love to hear about your experiences down in the comments! Also, feel free to hit me with any questions you might have about Dubai hotels or accommodation as I’m more than happy to help.
You can also check out my article about the Best things to Do in Dubai, you’ll be surprised to find out about the unique activities you can do there! And don’t forget to book early – Dubai hosts hundreds of conferences each year, so depending on the time that you visit, things can book out a long time in advance!