Burj Al Arab

Places To Stay


We're not going to recommend individual hotels as you’ll find most to be more than acceptable and in any case hotel prices constantly change and you’ll be offered different prices depending which hotel search website or agent you approach them through. We list some hotel search websites to try on our 'Choosing Your Hotel' page.

On your first Dubai holiday? Drink plenty of bottled water!

Visiting Dubai for the first time you will in have to get used to Getting Around By Taxi to get to the Places to Visit and Things to Do, so to a degree, it doesn’t really matter where you stay unless you specifically want a beachfront or Creek-side hotel and these tend to be the 5* ones that are the ones generally shown in newspaper and magazine articles. Mind you, there are 100's more quite adequate (or better) 3* and 4* ones. 

In the 5* category, hotels considered the most luxurious include Le Royal Meridien, the Ritz-Carlton, the Burj al Arab, the Le Meridien Mina Seyahi and not forgetting The One & Only Royal Mirage.

In the same category you could consider Grosvenor House Dubai, Mina A’Salam at Madinat Jumeirah Resort, Al Maha Desert Resort and Al Qasr Jumeirah at Madinat Jumeirah Resort.

However, on any hotel search website that lists over 500 Dubai hotels, you're bound to find some good deals that fit your budget.

Perhaps one of the main things to consider is whether you need the hotel to have a pool. We suspect people spend more time around hotel pools than actually on the beaches. Our preferred ones tend to be those with the pool in the hotel grounds and whilst others have rooftop pools, these are usually smaller. Just check the pool depth – they’re generally not as well marked as in Europe!

Virtually all 3* and better hotels will have a good breakfast buffet, but check before you book. Check also whether breakfast is included in the price or is at extra cost. Depending on the hotel you choose the breakfast cost is likely to range from 40Dhs to 120Dhs per person per night.

The other major item to consider when comparing prices is whether the figure quoted includes the city tax and a service charge. At the time of writing, these are being quoted at 10% each.

Our experience is that any 5* hotel is likely to be fantastic with the highest levels of service, facilities and food. They’ll often have a range of restaurants available - some have over a dozen. Even if you’re not staying in a particular hotel it’s quite normal to visit for meals but, in this category at least, you need to book in advance and dress appropriately.

4* hotels and most 3* hotels are also likely to offer good service, facilities and food, again often with a more than acceptable restaurant or three on site, but remember that whilst it's often convenient to eat 'in-house', actually eating out in Dubai is an experience to be tried in as many places as possible - look at our Food and Drink pages for a wealth of suggestions.

On your Dubai holiday you can shop 'til you drop!

You’ll also recognise some of the ‘Budget’ hotels, some of which are relatively new to Dubai. You'll need to check if they have pools, but include:

Premier Inns - at least 3 in total, one by the airport (good for the business traveller but not the tourist) and two more well out of the city, which would mean much greater use of taxis.

Ibis Hotel - at least 5 hotels, all in the main areas of Dubai.

Holiday Inn Express - one in Jumeirah,  one in Knowledge Village/Internet City, one near Safa Park and Sheikh Zayed Road, and one near Dubai Airport.

Holiday Inn - One in Al Barsha near The Mall of the Emirates (we, and family, have stayed here and were quite happy with it - see our Trip Advisor entry written by 'RichPWade'), plus one in Deira City Centre and a third in the Embassy District of Bur Dubai.

Novotel - very central although you'll use taxis a lot, just off Sheikh Sayed Road by the World Trade Centre. There's also a Novotel in Deira City Centre and Suite Novotel Mall of the Emirates.

Ramada (part of the Wyndham Group) have at least six hotels, some of which are centrally placed for older Dubai.

The number of hotels in this category seems to be expanding all the time so work on the basis that this list is already out of date.

We’ve stayed at various hotels over the years and visited many more for meals. They’ve all been quite acceptable, with good food, a choice of where to have it, plus excellent service, but it does no harm to check them out on www.tripadvisor.com.

It can however be useful to look for hotels that offer free airport transfers as this can save long waits for taxis at the airport when arriving and as they use their own drivers they should know where the hotel is! If airport transfers are offered by a hotel but are not free, they’re likely to be more expensive than a taxi.

Family members resident in Dubai advise not staying in the Deira or Bur Dubai areas of Dubai mainly as the roads can become gridlocked for hours especially if there’s a road accident and on very rare occasions you may unwittingly find yourself in a ‘red light’ type area or find your hotel has more than one use!

However, my wife & I have stayed in both areas - in the Hotel Metropolitan Diera and the Arabian Courtyard in Bur Dubai. Both hotels were more than acceptable and right in and amongst the hustle and bustle of the city – something many visitors will like. Mind you we were trapped one evening, unable to get more than half a mile from the latter hotel, which is right by The Dubai Museum, (see Places to Visit and Things to Do) in over two hours, because of an accident and the subsequent road gridlock. It all makes for added interest and something to tell the neighbours.

Use our Best Ways to See Dubai, Getting Around Dubai and Places to Visit and Things to Do pages to get the most out of your holidays in Dubai.

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