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Hotel Dubai – in which area of the city should I stay?

The 2:1 ratio between the number of inhabitants and the number of registered vehicles alone reveals this: Dubai is a car city! In addition, a quadrupling of the population within 20 years is a clear verdict: the roads are neuralgic zones. If you don’t choose your hotel carefully, you run the risk of spending too much time in a cab instead of enjoying the beauty of Dubai.

In this blog, we would like to introduce you to different parts of the city and point out their advantages and disadvantages to help you make a smart choice of hotel. Of course, the budget also influences this sensitive decision. And yes – yes, it’s true: Dubai is relatively expensive, sometimes even very expensive.

An annoying and not always easy to understand factor in hotel costs are the (hidden) taxes. Sometimes it even gives the impression that prices are deliberately set low in order to compensate for the costs with above-average taxes. It is therefore important to always keep an eye on the total price including taxes.

To give you an overview, we first describe the areas that are ideal for a vacation in Dubai. We then provide hotel tips based on our experience. We take the following characters into account:

Note: Everything is updated regularly. For this reason alone, it is worth visiting us several times!

  1. Budget-friendly hotels
  2. Family-friendly hotels
  3. Exclusive and luxurious hotels
  4. Unique and special hotels

Our tip: A rather expensive breakfast at the hotel can be elegantly pushed aside, because in Dubai there are a whole range of options for a good and inexpensive breakfast. Apart from that, a cup of coffee or tea until midday can be enough, especially on warmer days.

Urban areas of Dubai – which one suits me?

Bur / Deira: This district, where many locals live, is a historically significant part. The buildings are picturesque, but some are in need of renovation. Apart from a considerable range of reasonably priced restaurants with specialties from all over the world, in our opinion this district offers too little in the evening. For this reason, we recommend that you think carefully about staying here. Like almost everywhere in Dubai, this area is considered safe. Another advantage is certainly the proximity to the airport. But even if you are only making a stopover in Dubai, it is best not to book a hotel in this outlying district.

Downtown: This is where the world-famous Burj Khalifa is located. The area is equipped with numerous apartments and hotels. Much can be explored on foot. Because it is centrally located, recommended places in the surrounding area can be reached quickly. Shopping is very popular in this very special architectural landscape, with the famous Dubai Mall being just one of many addresses. After all, anyone who appreciates art and culture cannot ignore the Dubai Opera. This multifunctional theater for entertainment and music enjoys worldwide recognition. The weighing up of the pros and cons can be summarized as follows: A good location, special attractions and a wide range of offers have their price.

Business Bay / Sheikh Zayed Road: The hallmarks of this area are high-rise buildings and busy roads. It is not for nothing that Sheikh Zayed Road is the largest and most famous street in Dubai. Although most of the hotels are equipped with good soundproofing, we still find everything here too hectic or too business-oriented. The advantage is undoubtedly the generally low prices, as there are no tourist attractions such as water playgrounds or beaches.

JBR: As the name suggests, the “Jumeirah Beach Residence” is located on the beach. One of the world’s largest high-rise complexes with 36 residential towers and around 10,000 residents is not only intellectually stunning. However, what at first glance appears to be a narrow space expands pleasantly on the beautiful beach. The location is therefore ideal for a beach vacation. The beach offers pretty much everything tourists could wish for. In addition to shopping, there is even parasailing, banana boats and wakeboarding. What everyone raves about are the excellent restaurants and foodies, some right on the water. The sand at JBR may not be super-fine, but the atmosphere here is fantastic for all groups, whether families or singles.

The Palm Jumeirah: The extravagance of Dubai is reflected in the palm-shaped island. Noble hotels, luxurious residences, countless gourmet restaurants with international cuisine try to fulfill every wish. In the evening, the venues are transformed into extravagant clubs with a considerable frequency. The idiosyncratic architecture in the shape of a palm tree, which extends Dubai’s coastline by around 100 kilometers, has the disadvantage of being tied to this area. If you want to go on an excursion, you need a lot of patience. Depending on the situation, the cab ride can take a long time.

The World, Riverland, Expo etc.: If you are looking for a themed place with restaurants and stores, Riverland – in the heart of Dubai – is the ideal park. A walk along the river is tempting. It is also a journey back in time to different eras of the past. There are other smaller areas that specialize in theme parks. If you would like to find out more about a specific topic, visit our blog articles, which I link to in each case.

Hotels Dubai – which interest and in which price range?

1. budget-friendly hotels

Rove Downtown – They are not easy to find the cheap hotels, but they actually exist! The “Rove” hotel chain with four locations in Dubai fits into this category. For example, the “Rove Downtown” is located right next to the Burj Khalifa, just 20 minutes from Dubai Airport. The rooms are simply furnished and there are no overly luxurious amenities. As the frequency shows, this concept works with the relatively small rooms (26m2). The lively atmosphere is particularly popular with young visitors.

Ramada by Wyndham – is an American hotel chain and one of the largest with more than 6,000 hotels worldwide. Dubai must therefore also be a station! The Ramada by Wyndham Deira reminds us of the motels in America. It is a good option for price-conscious travelers. In general, it can be said that relatively cheap hotels are mainly located in Bur Dubai or Deira. As already mentioned, these areas in Dubai are also considered completely safe. One disadvantage can be that these cheap hotels are not located on the beach and in the evening the scene is mainly dominated by locals. One advantage is the short cab rides to reach preferred meeting points.

Sheraton Beach Sharjah – Just a few kilometers from Dubai is the emirate of Sharjah, which does not require a border crossing. Within 14 years, the population has doubled to 1.6 million inhabitants, and this has a simple explanation. Everything is much cheaper here, including the hotels. Traffic can be an obstacle, especially in the morning, and a rather conservative mindset. For example, alcohol is taboo here. The Sheraton Beach Hotel offers a great vacation, especially for families

2. family-friendly hotels

In principle, families are welcome everywhere in the United Arab Emirates, and this also applies to Dubai. We, with our 6-year-old daughter, prefer a family hotel with extras such as a kids’ club or splash pad. In such hotels, well-being is also guaranteed for parents. These extras do come at a price, but it pays off in every respect.

Centara Mirage Beach Resort – is located on a newly created island near the airport. The beach is not perfect, but there are lots of great entertainment options for children. What could be better for children than climbing up and sliding down with Mom and Daddy? The food is fine, but not first class. A very special experience is a drink at sunset at the beach bar.

JA Palm Tree Court – is located just outside Dubai in the direction of Abu Dhabi. The Ja Palm Tree Court Hotel is stunning with lots of activities for families. If you would like to read more about this resort, you can find it on our blog article

Rixos The Palm – Although Rixos is a chain in the luxury sector, it places a strong focus on families. We like the option to book all-inclusive and the many attractions for children, all in a prime location on the Palm with direct access to the sea

Rove the Park / LapitaFor families who want to visit one, two or even three theme parks, we recommend staying in a hotel in Riverland. These hotels are both very child-friendly and, from our point of view, good value for money. We see another advantage in strolling through Riverland Park in the evening without having to return to Dubai. This is particularly advantageous if another theme park is on the program the next day.

Entrance area at Hotel Lapita in Dubai
Splashpad at the Laptia Hotel in Riverland Dubai. Very family-friendly

3. exclusive and luxurious hotels

The top hotels in Dubai really are top class. The modern architecture alone, which blends in with the Arabic style, is a feast for the eyes. As a rule, these hotels offer first-class restaurants, so there is no need to go outside in the evening. The associated deep reach into the wallet needs no explanation.

Jumeirah Mina A’Salam – The Jumeirah is located in the middle of Souk Madinat. The feeling here is that of a fairytale 1001 Nights – right in the middle of the city. In the evening, take a stroll to the Madinat souk area with its many charming restaurants. In the hotel itself there is a Thai restaurant and … . For every night booked, there is also admission to the Wild Wadi Water Park, which is very attractive for the whole family.

The Address Beach Hotel – is very modern with a perfect location directly on Jumeirah Beach JBR. The hotel has ???? excellent restaurants, whereby the Rooftop stands out. It is possible to rent a cabana – even for external guests – but the minimum spend is a considerable 500 euros. But if you are looking for something out of the ordinary, it pays off.

Armani – The name gives it away: the fashion icon Giorgio Armani is behind this hotel idea. Relaxation – the credo of the hotel on 11 floors with 7 restaurants – is the order of the day right from the start. The elegant rooms are deliberately kept simple and of course the shopping pleasure of the Dubai Mall is close by.

4. unique and special hotels

Terrasolis – Dubai and the desert go hand in hand – after all, the huge building complexes were built in the desert. One option is to visit the beach clubs and parties on the roof terraces. The other option is to seek out the glampings and unusual pods away from the sand. The Terrasolis offers this. After a day at the trendy pool with DJ, the view of the starry sky in the evening rounds off the day perfectly.

Bab Al Shams – is a fairytale-style hotel in the desert with an infinity pool overlooking the vastness of the desert. There are a number of pools with romantic baars. A short ride on a camel or a photo with a falcon on your arm is also tempting. As the proximity to India is palpable, there are correspondingly many Indian restaurants. We give top marks to the Indian restaurant in the Bab Al Shams hotel in the desert.

Anantara The World – will transport your thoughts to the Maldives. We are picked up by a private yacht in Dubai. After a short drive we reach the Anantara The World. The enchanting villas alone are worth the trip. If you can afford it, book a villa with your own pool. The restaurant on the island is truly unique, as there is only one themed restaurant here.

View of Dubai from Anantara The World Hotel in Dubai from the restaurant

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