WHERE TO STAY IN DUBAI – RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ALL BUDGETS
If you are planning a trip to dazzling city and are wondering about “the best places to stay in Dubai” or the “where to stay in Dubai,” you are about to find the answers here.
This post will help you find and book the perfect Dubai accommodation for your stay – for every budget and for every kind of visitor.
A while ago, I posted a list of 10 top-notch hotels in Dubai on my blog. The city´s hotels are amazing and the standard is very high – however, so are the prices.
While my other post was only about luxury and quite expensive accommodations, this post is about accommodations for all price ranges, in all of the most popular districts in Dubai.
Though Dubai does not have any real super budget hotels that you might love from other destinations, like Bali or Las Vegas, you can find cheaper hotels that are not total crap and still offer good value for the money – and of course, you´ll find plenty of the most luxurious hotels in the world in Dubai.
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Best Places to Stay in Dubai – Accommodations in Dubai for all Budgets
Okay, here are the best places to stay- whether the best luxury hotels, mid-range hotels but also some cheaper hotels in Dubai – divided by different places to stay in Dubai.
Best Hotels for Downtown Dubai
Downtown Dubai is home to some major tourist attractions, like Burj Khalifa, Dubai Fountain, and Dubai Mall, as well as some top-notch hotels. For the longest time, I was not very impressed with this area, but now I have to admit that it has become one of my favorite places and it is one of the best places to stay in Dubai.
I love the proximity to Burj Khalifa and the crazy Dubai Mall, and it is not too far from the public beaches, the airport, and Dubai Marina.
You´ll also find plenty of restaurants and bars, so it is not boring at all – this is a fun area to stay for people who enjoy a day out to explore Dubai, or who want to spend an evening checking out Dubai´s nightlife.
Hotels in this area do not have their own beaches, but the above-mentioned location makes up for that deficiency. Most hotels in Dubai have pools – some of them are quite fancy and perfect for the relaxing part of your trip. I have stayed in most of the hotels myself – if I have not stayed there I made sure to only pick the best hotels for that budget.
Luxury Hotels in Downtown Dubai – Armani Hotel
It is no surprise that this 5-star hotel in Downtown Dubai, just next to Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall, is synonymous with luxury and pure elegance. Giorgio Armani delivered what you can expect from a high-quality designer.
Armani Hotel not only has a great location but its beauty and simplicity – yet luxury – make it one of the best hotels in Dubai. Check out rates for Armani Hotel
Mid-Range Hotels in Downtown Dubai – Carlton Downtown
This 4-star property is also located close to Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall, and is the perfect accommodation if you are looking for a nice hotel that does not cost a fortune.
The Financial Centre Metro Station is within walking distance and ideal for those who like to use public transportation (being close to a metro station is great as it eases things extremely if you do not wanna be stuck in traffic when using a taxi).
The pool area offers a nice view of Burj Khalifa, and from the 357 guest rooms, you can choose between deluxe rooms all the way up to penthouse suites. So there is definitely no shortage of luxury, even if it is not a 5-star property. Check out rates for Carlton Downtown
Budget Hotels in Downtown Dubai – Rove Downtown Dubai
Downtown is a pretty expensive area to stay in Dubai, so finding budget hotels that are still nice is not the easiest.
This 3-star hotel is located a few kilometers from Burj Khalifa (not far from the international airport) and close to other attractions, like La Mer, Dubai Garden Glow and Dubai Deira.
While the hotel is very simple and offers basic amenities, you might be lucky enough to get a room with a view – a view of Burj Khalifa! Find the best for Rove Downtown
Best Hotels for Dubai Deira and the Creek
Dubai Deira and the Creek – the old part is located in the eastern part of the city and is very charming but NOT the perfect choice for everyone.
Here, you’ll find the lively Gold and Spice Souk. There are also some museums to visit, and you can spend plenty of time in the Souks.
Dubai’s oldest part is located more or less next to the airport (9km). It is a busy area, and the small and narrow streets of the Gold and Spice Souks will give you what is probably one of the most authentic experiences – though the shopkeepers are mostly non-Arabs.
There are also some museums to see, and riding an abra from one side to the other is lovely (and very inexpensive).
Where to stay in Dubai on a budget? In Dubai Deira? Well, as a solo female traveler strolling through Deira, I definitely felt safe – BUT not always comfortable.
It is very common to be constantly approached by men – either by people who are trying to sell you stuff or because they are hitting on you. It is one of the cheapest areas to stay in Dubai but I still cannot recommend it, unless it is a big hotel chain in the main street.
If you are on a budget, look for another area to stay. Even as a couple, I recommend only booking a hotel on the main street.
Male travelers can find real bargains here, though the standard for cheaper accommodations is quite low for those accommodations. Though I do not say, Deira is one of the best places to stay in Dubai, it can be okay if you pick the right hotel.
Luxury Hotels in Deira – Hyatt Regency Dubai
For a luxury stay in Deira, the Hyatt Regency Dubai is the first choice. It is located along the Corniche (a lovely waterfront promenade that is made for nice strolls) in the historic district and within walking distance of the busy Gold and Spice Souk.
Rooms normally include a view of the Persian Gulf or the old town of Dubai.
You can choose between 421 luxury rooms, and for the most luxurious stay, you can pick one of the suites and enjoy access to the Regency Club Lounge.
On my last trip, I stayed in there for a week with my sister and two nephews – we had booked an apartment with a kitchen and two bedrooms which was perfect for us. Click here to find the best rates for your stay at Hyatt Regency Corniche
Mid-Range Hotels in Deira – Radisson Blu Dubai Deira
You can find real bargains with 5-star accommodations at mid-range hotel prices, like at the Radisson Blu Hotel Deira.
It is not only located close to the Gold and Spice Souk and the metro and bus stops, but is also just a 10-minute taxi ride from the airport. Click here to find the best rates for your stay in Deira
Budget Hotels in Deira
To be honest, I have not found any nice budget hotels in Deira that I can recommend.
Deira has a lot of budget hotels, especially the ones on the side streets, but I do not necessarily recommend them.
While the staff is often nice and friendly, it should be said that it is not the safest area to stroll through at night (though I never actually felt physically threatened, it is just not the best place to book a hotel in Dubai, especially for female travelers).
Best Hotels in Madinat Jumeirah
Madinat Jumeirah is a re-creation of ancient Arabia and, in my opinion, one of the best areas to stay in Dubai.
Once you enter Madinat, it is nothing like the hustle and bustle that is so common in Dubai. Little shops sell souvenirs, jewelry, etc. and some restaurants and cafes allow you to enjoy the lovely atmosphere.
There is also an outdoor part where you get the best view of Burj Al-Arab. You could also ride an abra, which is much more expensive than in Deira, but well, the hotels in this area are not a bargain either.
In return, you have one of the best hotels in all of Dubai and can enjoy more privacy than in many other parts of the city.
Luxury Hotels in Madinat Jumeirah – Al Qasr and Dar Al Masyaf
Madinat Jumeirah is home to several luxury properties and here is the most luxurious of them all. They are all part of the hotel group Jumeirah Hotels, as is Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Beach Hotel.
The location of the Jumeirah Dar Al Masyaf and Al Qasr (these two hotels belong somehow together) is almost perfect.
Nestled in beautiful Madinat Jumeirah, in between beautiful gardens and waterways, with private pools and Madinat Jumeirah’s own private beach, and in close proximity to Dubai Marina (a short taxi ride), this is indeed a perfect place to stay.
Two-hundred eighty-three rooms offer pure luxury, and it cannot get any more exclusive than staying here (as a guest, you also have free access to the Wild Wadi Waterpark, the tickets are not cheap, so if you are a waterpark fan, this might be a great way to spend your day without any extra costs).
Best Hotels in Dubai´s Desert
The desert is actually my favorite area in Dubai and if you are looking for a unique place to stay in Dubai, then the desert could be a great choice.
I have been to the desert several times and it is not only the perfect spot for an adventure (dune bashing in Dubai is fun, as is a hot-air balloon ride or a BBQ), it is also a fun place to stay in Dubai overnight (probably one or two nights are enough here) and the desert is actually one of the best places to visit in Dubai.
You can either opt for a luxury hotel in the desert, or book a desert safari and stay in one of the re-creations of bedouin life overnight.
Luxury Hotel in the Desert – Al Maha
Al Maha is a luxury hotel and part of the Starwood Luxury Collection. Located in the desert, this is indeed the perfect hotel for a quick and relaxing getaway from Dubai´s craziness.
Nestled in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, this hotel plays a part in conserving the area. You can spot Arabian oryx and gazelles while staying there overnight – if you are lucky, you may even see them while spending time at the pool.
But there is more to do as a guest: You get up to two free desert activities every day!
Mid-Range / Budget Accommodations in the Desert – Desert Safari
Another great way to stay overnight in the desert is to book a desert safari that includes an overnight stay in a tent.
After several desert tours, I can assure you that there are not many things that are more romantic than staying in the desert – stargazing and enjoying the beauty of nature, while staying in one of the re-created Arabic camps. Click here for prices of a desert safari including an overnight stay in a tent
Best Hotels in Dubai Marina
Dubai Marina is a beautiful part of Dubai and was created in 2003, it stretches over several kilometers and it one of the best places for nice walks in Dubai.
It is still constantly changing and expanding, and thus, you’ll see construction work being done almost everywhere you look.
Currently, it is the second biggest man-made marina, but Dubai would not be Dubai if it did not plan to break records and make it the biggest in the world.
It is the home to many hotels, including the tallest hotel in the world, and the perfect place for nice strolls and beautiful views. Dubai Marina is also home to one of the best hotels, including one of my favorites, and thus, my top tip for booking a luxury hotel.
Luxury Hotels in Dubai Marina – Grosvenor House
Dubai Marina is home to some amazing hotels, and one of my all-time favorite hotels is the Starwood Luxury Collection’s Hotel Grosvenor House.
This property represents a simple and pure form of elegance and is the perfect place to stay for any business traveler or couple.
Whether you head out to explore Dubai Marina, or spend your time in their amazing spa, or just chill in the nice lobby or one of the numerous bars or restaurants – Grosvenor House is definitely a great place to choose if you’re looking for a luxury stay in Marina.
While the hotel does not have its own beach section, you can use the private beach area of their sister property, which makes this hotel the perfect place for a trip to Dubai. Click here to find the best rates for your stay at Grosvenor House Dubai
Luxury Hotels in Dubai Marina – Intercontinental Dubai Marina
This fun and stylish luxury property in Dubai Marina is colorful and lightens up your day, while still offering the luxury you are used to from Intercontinental hotels.
The beach is within walking distance, and if you prefer to spend a day at the pool area, you´ll have a view of Dubai Marina.
Or you can dine in one of the restaurants with a view – this hotel is definitely a good choice. Click here to find the best rates for your stay at Intercontinental Dubai Marina
Mid-Range Hotels in Marina – Media One Hotel
Marina is not the cheapest area to stay in Dubai, and while there are plenty of hotels there, most of them are pricey 5-star hotels. However, there are a few nice places that are more affordable.
Media One Hotel is located in Media City, very close to Dubai Marina, and a good choice if you want to save a bit on accommodations and are okay with not staying directly in Marina.
However, it is just a stone’s throw from Dubai International Marine Club and close to many of the main attractions in Dubai. Click here to find the best rates for your stay at Media One in Dubai
Budget Hotels in Marina – Holiday Inn Express
Not far from Dubai Marina is the budget hotel Holiday Inn Express Dubai.
While it is not directly located in Marina, it is still in close proximity and you can easily reach the popular areas within a few minutes.
Best Hotels for JBR Walk
I also enjoy the proximity to Dubai Marina and love going there for a walk.
This area is perfect if you stay with kids – most hotels have direct beach access, so it is the perfect place for those who prefer lazy days at the beach rather than the hustle and bustle of Downtown or Marina.
Don’t worry, even if you do not like the beach, you won’t get bored – with all the restaurants and cafes, street art, and fun activities, there is always something going on.
Luxury Hotels in Dubai JBR Walk – Ritz-Carlton Dubai
Ritz-Carlton is the first choice when it comes to luxury accommodations at JBR Walk.
This elegant hotel does not impress with its height – rather it is stretched out and quite lovely with its unique style. The beach and garden area is extensive and the perfect place for kids and adults alike. Different pool areas and the proximity to the busy JBR area make it a great place to book your stay.
It is just next to Dubai Marina and, thus, not a very affordable place to stay. If you are looking for mid-range or budget hotels, I recommend the hotels that I mentioned in the Dubai Marina section.
Best Hotels in Palm Jumeirah
When I heard about the Palm(s) on TV for the first time, I was more than a little skeptical about the negative impact on the environment. However, on my second and third trips to Dubai, I actually stayed at one of the hotels on Palm Jumeirah, and to be honest, I loved it – but there are a few things to knwo before booking your stay on the Palm.
There were supposed to be three palms, but actually, only one got finished and a second one is supposed to be finished eventually. The third one was stopped as a result of the financial crisis, which also hit Dubai.
Now, Palm Jumeirah is home to one of the most expensive and best hotels around. Looking for a budget hotel in this area is impossible, but you will find one of the most iconic hotels of all in Dubai – The Atlantis in Dubai – as well as other very well-known luxury chains, like Fairmont or Sofitel.
If you are fine to stay away from main attractions, then the Palm is one of the best places to stay in Dubai.
Luxury Hotels on the Palm – Atlantis – The Palm
Atlantis – The Palm is like a little city in itself.
There is hardly any reason to leave the hotel at all – with its own waterpark, aquarium, plenty of restaurants, little shops and stores, its own bars for clubbing, and several pools (it probably goes without saying that the hotel has its own private beach area, which is actually extensive), there is no shortage of activities.
Whether you plan a weekend with your friends, a family trip, or just want to relax, this place is anything but boring.
Luxury Hotels on the Palm – Anantara – The Palm
If you are looking for another 5-star luxury hotel on the Palm, but like it a little quieter and even more remote, then Anantara – The Palm is the perfect option for you.
Being at the end of the Palm, it is located in a very quiet area of the Palm, and you will not have many other travelers stumble upon it (keep this in mind as it is time-conuming getting to other parts of Dubai).
The beach area is tranquil and lovely, and with its many restaurants and pools, it is perfect for those who want to enjoy a romantic getaway or just escape the craziness of Dubai.
Extra Budget Hotel Tip for Dubai
Ibis Al Barsha
While the ratings are not the best for this property in Al Barsha, a district that is not really charming, due to the distance to Dubai Marina and sights like Miracle Garden, I cannot actually say anything bad about it and enjoyed my stay there.
While this place is very simple and not directly next to a metro station, many places, including Dubai Marina, are close by and easily reachable via cab. Or, after a few minutes of walking to the metro station, you can also get to the main sights for a little money via the metro.
CONCLUSION: TOP HOTELS AND BEST PLACES TO STAY IN DUBAI
So, hopefully this guide has helped you finding out about the best places to stay – n terms of area but also in terms of the best accommodation for your budget and you have found an answer to your question “where to stay in Dubai”. So, wishing you a wonderful trip to thee city whether you go there for a vacation or for your business trip.
Only have 3 or 4 days in Dubai? Then read this post.