When you think about Dubai, it’s probably the image of a busy city with tall skyscrapers, the Burj Khalifa at one end, smooth roads and highways criss crossing each other, and the dazzling lights that stay on all night long. The city is one of the seven Emirates of the United Arab Emirates and has the highest population.
Dubai is located on the Persian Gulf and is known for its year-round sunshine, Arabian-styled charm, and modern skyscrapers. If you plan to visit this emirate, you must research before choosing where to stay in Dubai. Lucky for you, I’m here to help you out! In this article you will find an in-depth guide about the best areas to stay in Dubai.
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Overview of the best areas to stay in Dubai
Unlike its compatriots – Singapore and Hong Kong, Dubai is not a walkable city. The distance between different places to visit is enormous. The public transportation in Dubai is also not very comprehensive and will eat up a lot of your sightseeing time. Hence, depending on what you want to do as a tourist and your budget, you will have to decide which area would be best for you to stay in Dubai.
First, let’s understand the Dubai city layout. The city stretches long and is spread out in a 40-kilometre (25 miles) shoreline area with 14 main districts. Lining the Persian Gulf creek are the oldest buildings in Dubai.
The new city centre is, however, the areas lining the Sheikh Zayed road. The Emirates Tower, Burj Khalifa, and Dubai International Financial Centre are notable attractions here. On their periphery lies the Burj al-Arab that houses a luxurious hotel. Further south is the human-made marina and several human-made lakes.
Here’s a quick overview of the best areas to stay in Dubai with hotel recommendations for each area. In case you prefer staying in Airbnbs rather than hotels, check out my post about the best Airbnbs in Dubai!
Best areas to stay in Dubai
Wondering where to stay in Dubai? Don’t worry, I got you covered! In this article you will find all the best areas to stay in Dubai, together with a bunch of useful information about each area, pros and cons, and some hotel recommendations. If you’re a visual type, you can use the below map for getting familiar with each areas mentioned in this article. Let’s dive right in!
1. Dubai Marina and Jumeriah Beach Residence – Best for nightlife and fun lovers
Dubai Marina is the only properly walkable part of the city, which makes it one of the best areas to stay in Dubai. Jumeriah Beach Residence refers to the beach, the promenade, and all the buildings along the impressive 1.7 kilometre (1 mile) long beach-line. In contrast, the Marina area is everything behind it, including the canal and the tallest skyscrapers.
Here, you can visit the Dubai Marina Walk for midnight strolls, go jet-skiing, parasailing or skydiving, and enjoy your time eating at the upscale bistros, nightclubs, and bars. Also, both Palm Jumeriah and the Jumeriah beach are a short ride away from Dubai Marina. You can book your stay in hotels housed in the skyscrapers that offer fascinating views of the sea as well as the skyline.
Pros and cons of staying in Dubai Marina
Best places to stay in Dubai Marina
Address Dubai Marina is directly linked to the Dubai Marina Mall, while the beach is nearby. The property has an infinity pool on level 4 and has outdoor dining, a poolside bar and views of the Dubai Marina and beyond. The air-conditioned rooms of Address Dubai Marina are decorated with natural, warm colours and wooden furniture.
Crowne Plaza Dubai Marina has a restaurant, outdoor swimming pool, a fitness centre and bar in Dubai. Boasting family rooms, this property also provides guests with a sun terrace. The accommodation features a 24-hour front desk, room service and currency exchange for guests.
Located in one of Dubai’s most vibrant and spectacular neighborhoods, Rove Dubai Marina is the perfect destination for leisure travelers. All guest rooms in the hotel are fitted with a flat-screen TV with cable channels and rooms are complete with a modern bathroom.
2. Downtown Dubai – Best for shopping and major sightseeing
Located between old and new Dubai, Downtown Dubai houses the Burj Khalifa (the world’s tallest building) and the Dubai Mall (the world’s largest mall). Other highlights in Downtown Dubai include Dubai Opera, Dubai Fountain (a vast fountain with incredible water shows) and Souk al Bahar (an outdoor area with several restaurants and bars).
The most luxurious boutique shops, fancy boulevards, and fine-dining restaurants are located in Downtown Dubai, making it the best area to stay in Dubai for shopaholics. If you’re planning to visit Dubai for the first time, you will surely visit the Downtown area to see the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Mall. Hence, you should arrange your stay at this place itself.
Pros and cons of staying in Downtown Dubai
Best places to stay in Downtown Dubai
Towering high at 302 m across 63 levels, Address Downtown is a veritable landmark of luxury, situated in the very centre of Downtown Dubai. The hotel directly overlooks The Dubai Mall (the world’s largest shopping mall) by a pathway-bridge. Guests can choose among 9 unique restaurant concepts.
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.
Ramada Downtown Dubai is located in, the and , and is situated right next to Dubai Opera. Guests can enjoy downtown living in 181 suites comprising of studio rooms, one and two-bedroom suites and a magnificent penthouse.
3. Palm Jumeirah Island – Best for honeymooners and luxury seekers
Palm Jumeirah is a man-made palm-shaped island on the western coast of Dubai city. There are many luxurious resorts located on this island to stay in. Most offer romantic dining, suites with jacuzzis, and waterfront views that make it the best area to stay in Dubai for honeymooners.
Palm Jumeirah is also one of the best areas to stay in Dubai for tourists looking for incredible sea-views. From here, you can see Dubai’s skyscrapers covering the horizon. Best viewed from a height, you can also hire a seaplane to reach your hotel at the Palm. You can visit the Atlantis on the island – the most luxurious properties in Dubai, and the Pointe – a waterfront destination with the best dining restaurants and cafes.
Pros and cons of staying in Palm Jumeirah
Best places to stay in Palm Jumeirah
Located on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah Island and enjoys asandy beach, the 5-star Atlantis offers of the Arabian Gulf. It provides an underwater and complimentary access to the Aquaventure water park and the Lost Chambers Aquarium.
Situated on Palm Jumeirah, Dukes The Palm, a Royal Hideaway Hotel brings a world of British charm with cosmopolitan luxury. Guests can lounge around in the lazy river or enjoy an array of water sports on the beach front.
Located on the Eastern crescent of Dubai’s iconic landmark, Aloft Palm Jumeirah brings a distinct lifestyle experience to the region. 206 loft-inspired rooms with unmatched views and a vibrant social scene with 7 restaurants and bars, provide bold experiences.
4. Bur Dubai – Best for tourists looking for the real soul of Dubai
Bur Dubai is located in the centre of the old city of Dubai. It houses the city’s most exquisite old buildings, religious sites, and museums. The top attractions in Bur Dubai include the Dubai Museum, the Iranian mosque, several authentic souks, and historical neighbourhoods like Al Fahidi, Al Seef, and Al Jaddaf.
Bur Dubai is also one of the best areas to stay in Dubai for tourists travelling with family or friends, as it is filled with a lot of culture and friendliness. The area lies close to Dubai Creek, where you can find floating restaurants and local eateries.
Pros and cons of staying in Bur Dubai
Best places to stay in Bur Dubai
Situated in Dubai, 3 km from Dubai World Trade Centre, Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk features accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, a fitness centre and a bar. This 5-star hotel offers a kids’ club, a concierge service and free WiFi.
Located 5 minutes’ drive from Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), Dubai Marriott Hotel Al Jaddaf offers modern accommodation along with free Wi-Fi in public areas. There is an outdoor, a gym and a hot tub.
Gulf Inn Hotel Al Nasr (formerly Roda Links Al Nasr) features a restaurant, outdoor swimming pool, a fitness centre and shared lounge in Dubai. Featuring family rooms, this property also provides guests with a sun terrace. Gulf Inn Hotel Al Nasr offers a continental or buffet breakfast.
5. Deira – Best for budget travellers
Deira is the best area to stay in Dubai for tourist who are travelling to the city for a short stay or for the ones who have a day or two to spend in Dubai between connecting flights. Deira is located very close to the Dubai international airport and it has several metro stations that connect it well with the tourist attractions in Dubai.
It is located on the periphery of the Dubai Creek, with Bur Dubai on the other side of the creek. The area is a bit more modern than Bur Dubai. Deira houses Dubai’s largest traditional souk and spice market. If you choose this area to stay in, you can walk up to the waterfront restaurants to enjoy traditional food.
Pros and cons of staying in Deira
Best places to stay in Deira
The Radisson Blu lies within the beautiful Deira Creek area of Dubai, a short walk to the bus and metro stations and only 7 km from Dubai International Airport. The hotel, first built in 1975, is a classic fixture of Old Dubai. This area teems with shopping malls as well as traditional souks such as the Spice Market.
Within 1 km from Dubai International, Mövenpick Grand Al Bustan features modern, luxurious accommodation and 7 restaurants serving different cuisines. It offers a temperature controlled outdoor pool, a kid’s pool, squash courts, tennis courts and extensive spa treatments.
Offering a year-round outdoor swimming pool and fitness centre, Rove City Centre is located just a 7 minutes drive from Dubai International Airport and 20 minutes by car from Dubai Mall. Guests can enjoy the on-site all day dining restaurant, The Daily.
6. Al Barsha – Best for food-lovers
Al Barsha is an area that is close to both Dubai Marina and Downtown Dubai. It is connected by metro to all the major attractions in Dubai. Al Barsha houses the Mall of Emirates, which is filled with high-end boutiques and fashion shops. Hence, it is often called a shopper’s paradise.
The sightseeing places in Al Barsha include Tranquil Al Barsha Pond Park and Dubai Miracle Garden. It also houses world-class restaurants serving global cuisines, including Arabic, Indian, and Pakistani food. If you don’t want to spend a fortune staying in the Marina and Downtown area but still want to stay connected to these areas, Al Barsha is the best area to stay in Dubai for you.
Pros and cons of staying in Al Barsha
Best places to stay in Al Barsha
Directlyto of the , Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates is centrally situated with close proximity to areas such as Downtown Dubai, Dubai Marina and Palm Jumeirah. The hotel features the unique Aspen Ski Chalets, the only hotel rooms in the region with view onto skiing slopes (of Ski Dubai).
All suites and rooms at Sheraton Dubai Mall of the Emirates offer views of the city skyline. Each features free WiFi, a flat-screen TV, minibar and an en-suite bathroom. Some suites include a living room and a kitchenette complete with dining area.
Flora Al Barsha Hotel is located in a primeon Sheikh in near the famous of the . The hotel’s 186 are elegantly designed and spaciously sized including Classic, Deluxe, Premiere and connecting Rooms and Suites, fully equipped with stylish interiors featuring king or
7. Al Seef and Al Fahidi – Best area for history lovers
Both these areas beside Dubai Creek are the city’s oldest neighbourhoods. The buildings are constructed out of traditional materials like stone and wood. Al Seef houses Dubai’s oldest Arab village souk, whereas Al Fahidi houses the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, where you can learn about UAE’s culture.
The areas have, however, been modernized and have several elite hotels and trendy restaurants. The old buildings are converted into quaint cafes and artists’ workshops. Both Al Seef and Al Fahidi are one of the best places to stay in Dubai for history lovers.
Pros and cons of staying in Al Seef and Al Fahidi
Best places to stay in Al Seef and Al Fahidi
Located in Dubai, a few steps from Grand Mosque and 5 km from Dubai World Trade Centre, MAZMI CASA provides accommodation with free WiFi, air conditioning, a restaurant and a bar. All units come with a seating area, a flat-screen TV with cable channels and a private bathroom with a hairdryer and shower.
deally set in the Bur Dubai district of Dubai, Al Seef Heritage Hotel Dubai is set 6 km from Dubai World Trade Centre and 10 km from Dubai Mall. All rooms are fitted with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a fridge, a kettle, a bidet, a hair dryer and a desk. At the hotel the rooms come with a private bathroom.
8. Dubai Media City – Best for keeping away from crowds
If you love being in a less overbuilt and less crowded place, Dubai Media City is the best area to stay in Dubai for you. Dubai Media City is connected to both Jumeirah Beach Residence and Dubai Marina by metro. The Mina Seyahi beach next to this area is a beautiful beach with a vast white-sand shoreline expanse.
The International Cricket Council that governs cricket around the world is headquartered in Dubai Media City. The area is also famous for outdoor concerts, exhibitions, award shows, and gourmet festivals. There are several cafes and eateries in Dubai Media City where you can enjoy a delicious meal on an outdoor terrace.
Pros and cons of staying in Dubai Media City
Best places to stay in Dubai Media City
Facing the bay of Palm Island and over looking the Arabian Gulf, thisboasts of 1 km of beach front and 65 acres of lush gardens. The Arabian Styled resort is made up of 3 distinct environments: The Palace, Arabian Court and Residence & Spa. Each with unique rooms and themed restaurants.
Occupying a primeon Jumeirah Beach, The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi is a 5-star beach . It features spectacular 5 , a 500 m private beach, luxurious rooms and 8 restaurants. Panoramic views over the Arabian Gulf and the Palm Jumeira can be enjoyed from most rooms and parts of The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort.
Media One Hotel offers trendy accommodation in a, just 2 km from . Guest include free Wi-Fi access, an outdoor pool and a fully-equipped gym. All guest rooms at Media One include LCD satellite TV, internet access, a minibar and tea and coffee making facilities.
9. Dubai Creek – Best area for vibe and culture
Dubai Creek is an outlet of the sea that flawlessly combines old Arabia with modernized Dubai. This is a place where you can find the traditional water-taxis and floating restaurants lined up offering the best delicacies. Dubai Creek area is well connected with the transportation system (metro) for tourists’ convenience.
The popular areas like Bur Dubai and Deira lie on either periphery of the Dubai Creek. You can have a fantastic view of Dubai city, go for a dinner cruise, or walk along the creekside while staying here. Ras al Khor bird Sanctuary is the mighty Dubai Creek’s endpoint, where you can spot rare bird species. Hence, to soak in the city’s vibe and culture, Dubai Creek is the best location to stay in Dubai.
Pros and cons of staying in Dubai Creek
Best places to stay in Dubai Creek
Nestled on the shores of the Dubai Creek, Park Hyatt Dubai boasts a 100 m infinity lagoon leading into a beautiful private sandy beach. It also features a 25 m pool set among palm trees. Park Hyatt Dubai has rooms with deluxe bedding and feature floor-to-ceiling windows opening onto a furnished balcony.
Al Bandar Rotana is a striking, ultra-modern hotel with a prime waterside location in the city’s original heartland. Ideal for business and leisure travellers, the elegant five-star property, which sits on the edge of Dubai Creek is close to several attractions.
Overlooking Dubai Creek, this 4-star hotel is a 2-minute walk from transportation links offering service to. It has 3 on-site restaurants and offers spacious guestrooms with satellite TV. Rooms at the Riviera Hotel feature balconies with city or views.
10. Dubai Desert – Best for the adventure seekers
There’s more to Dubai than the huge skyscrapers and the gleaming lights. Beyond Dubai’s towering landmark buildings and high-end hotels lie vast rustic dunes that stretch towards the Arabian desert.
These sweeping desert landscapes house some of the finest hotels and safari camps. These properties offer adventure activities like quad biking, sandboarding, hot air ballooning, or a simple desert safari from glamping style villa tents to full-scale luxury resorts.
By staying in the Dubai Desert, you can experience a chance to be close to the wilder side of the Arabian Peninsula with camels, falcons, and oryx. The Dubai desert is the best area to stay in Dubai for people who have already been to Dubai’s landmark sightseeing destinations, have extra time in hand and looking for something more unique and adventurous.
Pros and cons of staying in the Dubai Desert
Best places to stay in the Dubai Desert
At Al Maha, the luxurious Bedouin style tents combine the heritage of Arabia with luxury, and all come with private temperature controlled swimming pools, private sun decks, a large bedroom with seating arrangements and a spacious bathroom with a soaking tub.
Set among the dunes around Dubai, this 5-star luxury resort features anoverlooking the desert. The Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and Spa is built in the style of a traditional Arabic fort. Courtyards with fountains, gardens and stone alleyways pave the way for appointed guest rooms, designed in an Arabic style.
Situated in Sharjah, 43 km from Sharjah National Park, Mysk Al Badayer Retreat features accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, a garden and a terrace. With free WiFi, this 5-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk and room service. The hotel has an indoor pool and a concierge service.
So this is the end of the list of the 10 best areas to stay in Dubai. Whichever area you select for your stay in Dubai, just make sure you are residing at walking distance or a short ride away from a metro station, which will help you navigate the city easily. Of course you can always use taxis or ride-hailing apps to get around in Dubai as well, so you can be more flexible on where to stay.
Always remember that the place of stay is crucial when it comes to the satisfaction of a trip. Make sure that you plan and book the accommodation beforehand! I hope you liked this article about the best areas to stay in Dubai and it will be useful for you when choosing where to stay in Dubai.
If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email, I always love helping you out! Do you know some other great areas to stay in Dubai? Let me know in the comments!
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