Burj Al Arab

Where to Stay - Introduction

Dubai is a large city and to most tourists it stretches from the Deira side of the Creek area at one end to Jebel Ali at the other.

On a good day with free-flowing traffic it can take over 30 minutes at 60mph on the major highway Sheikh Zayed Road to get from one end to the other. The city also spreads out the other way from the Creek towards the stricter Emirate of Sharjah, but this is not thought of as a main tourist area. 

There seems to be two main ways of arranging holidays in Dubai.

  1. Booking a combined flight and hotel accommodation in which the price is quoted per person.
  2. Booking flights and accommodation separately, in which case the accommodation is usually priced by the room allowing for (say) 2 occupants.

Check out our much more detailed sub-menu above. It'll help you decide what to look for and where to find it. We suggest you start by looking at Hotels in Dubai for background information on hotels and then move on to the actual Choosing Your Hotel and Furnished Apartments in Dubai sections.

We've used various hotel booking sites that compare prices for you and generally find them simple and straightforward to use. They also have the benefit of listing over 500 hotels in Dubai, with plenty of search options and price comparisons. 

Try a few different hotel search sites and you should find one that you like and feel confident using. Most experienced travellers have their own favourites. To see a selection of such site visit our Choosing Your Hotel page.

Let’s initially help you avoid the biggest mistake by telling you which areas to avoid. At this point it may be useful to have a good up-to-date map of Dubai and surrounding emirates. This is not as easy as it seems because really useful, up-to-date, to scale, maps are hard to find and street maps can change overnight.

Personal favourites are two-fold:

  • Lonely Planet’s ‘Best of Dubai’ which has useable maps and lots of good information, and
  • The Big Bus Tour leaflet (and website) has a useful map which gives a good, albeit not to scale, overview of Dubai and its attractions and will help you get a feel for the layout of the place.

Your first Dubai holiday? It'll be hot. Remember: Sunscreen & Bottled Water!

Entrance to Palace Hotel, Old Town

For a holiday in Dubai we suggest you do not book any hotel in:

  • Abu Dhabi
  • Ajman
  • Al Ain
  • Al Aqah
  • Dibba
  • Fujairah
  • Oman
  • Ras Al Khaimah (RAK)
  • Sharjah
  • Umm Al Quwain

These areas are all too far away from Dubai to be convenient for a Dubai based holiday!

Pick one of these and you'll probably be spending over an hour just getting to and from Dubai city every day. There'll be no buses or trains so it'll mean using taxis or hiring a car, and as you'll read elsewhere on this website, driving yourself may be something you really don't want to be doing.

However, that’s not to say these places may not be worth a visit, some of them most certainly are. Al Ain, for example, is totally different from Dubai in that it has no high rise buildings, is a very green ‘garden’ city and also has more road roundabouts than you’ll find in many a British city!

A little time spent researching your accommodation options and where they are in Dubai will help improve your stay in Dubai, make Getting Around Dubai easier, put you closer to the major Places To Visit and Things To Do and Shopping areas and reduce your reliance on The Metro or Taxis.  


Kindly note that any mention of individual hotels, guesthouses, apartments etc. does not imply that we have seen them or recommend them. Facilities and accommodation are as advised on the internet and we cannot be held responsible for their accuracy or otherwise. It’s up to you to check them out thoroughly to ensure they meet your needs.

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