Where To Stay in Dubai
Dubai is an amazing city and perfect for solo travellers. It’s so incredibly safe, transport is great and there is so much to do. Having lived in Dubai since October 2022, I share the best areas to stay in Dubai in this article
There’s a reason that Dubai has been voted the number one tourist destination in the world. It’s fab! And that’s why I’ve chosen to make it my home. I have stayed in so many places in Dubai, from co-living places to hotels and tried many different areas so that I can share my tips on the best areas to stay in Dubai. If you are unsure of where to stay in Dubai for your budget, I have included all my favourite areas and accommodation below for all budgets.
N.b. If you don’t have time to read the full article, here is my favourite place in Dubai to stay. The Atlantis on the Palm is the first place that I stayed here. It has a waterpark, a private beach, a club, a giant aquarium, shops, amazing restaurants and you’re on the Dubai Palm! * Check rates & availability here
Best Areas To Stay in Dubai For Tourists
There are several areas to stay in Dubai and it can be confusing deciding on the best location in Dubai to stay. Here are my recommendations:
If you want to be near the main Dubai attractions, Downtown is the best place to stay in Dubai for tourist activities. This area is home to some of Dubai's most iconic landmarks, including the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Fountain and the Dubai Mall. Plus it’s on the metro line too! Hotels in this area include the Armani Hotel Dubai and the Address Sky View Hotel.
$$$ – The Address Sky View Hotel. The Address Hotel has an amazing bar called C’est La Vie with a rooftop pool and amazing views of the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Mall fountain show below. * Check rates and availability for the Address Hotel
$$ – First Collection Business Bay. For something more affordable in the Downtown area, there’s The First Collection Business Bay, a 4-star hotel which regularly has staycation packages. * Check rates and availability for the First Collection Business Bay
$ – Leva Hotel and Suites. If you’re on a budget, the Leva Hotel and Suites, opposite Downtown is great value. It’s a 4-star hotel and very chic and faces downtown. * Check rates and availability for Leva Hotel and Suites
This is one of my favourite places in Dubai. The marina itself has walking and running tracks (it’s takes about an hour to walk from one end to the other). It is close to JBR (a public beach with lots of activities and even more restaurants. And you walk across the bridge from here to Bluewaters Island, another of my favourite areas (check out the London Project or Dolce Greens if you go here). You can even have a camel ride on the beach!
It's a popular choice for those who want to be close to the city's shopping and entertainment hubs. But if you are hiring a car it can get busy with the traffic. For public transport it’s a short walk to DMCC metro station.
This trendy waterfront district is home to a range of apartments and hotels, including the W Dubai – Mina Seyahi, and the Grosvenor House Dubai. Here are my recommendations of where to stay here.
$$$ – W Dubai – Mina Seyahi. This 5-star hotel is close to the marina on JBR. It’s adult only and is 400 metres from the beach. Plus it has a stunning infinity pool that people come here to use during the day! * Check rates and availability for W Dubai
$$ – The Crowne Plaza. The Crowne Plaza has different places to eat and each room comes with a marina view. Plus you’re less than one minute to the Marina mall. You’re closer to Marina beach here than JBR but it’s less than 1km to JBR. * Check rates and availability for The Crowne Plaza
$ – Rove Marina. For a budget option, Rove Marina is a great hotel. I love the Rove brand and have visited this hotel. It’s at the end of the marina and has friendly staff. * Check rates and availability for the Rove Dubai Marina
Best Location in Dubai
In my opinion, the Palm is THE best area to stay at. This is where I first stayed over a decade ago and it just oozes those holiday vibes. It’s also home to the largest waterpark in the world (which is amazing).
This famous manmade island looks like a palm from above with a trunk and several fronds in its crescent shape. At the top of the palm (the trunk) are the Atlantis and the new Atlantis Royal but there are plenty more accommodations on the 17 fronds that you can also stay in. These hotels offer private beaches, pools, and a range of dining and entertainment options.
One side of the Palm is called West Bay which has beach lounge bars and restaurants with pumping music and the other side along the Shoreline is more sophisticated with sea-view restaurants serving fresh fish, Indian cuisine and there’s even a Cuban bar!
There is a monorail here that takes you from the top to the bottom of the Palm and to Nakheel shopping mall. But generally you will either need a car or a taxi to get around if you stay here. Plus it isn’t the cheapest area so expect to pay a lot to stay here
This man-made island is home to some of the most luxurious properties in Dubai, including the Atlantis, The Palm and the Fairmont Palm Hotel & Resort. I have stayed in the Atlantis, and checked out the new Atlantis Royal (which is one of the most beautiful places in Dubai).
$$$ – Atlantis The Palm. If you stay at the Atlantis, you may not even want to leave the resort as it has everything that you need. From the world’s largest waterpark to a private beach, giant aquarium and the Lost Chambers, restaurants and shops. It’s an amazing resort! * Check rates and availability for the Atlantis
$$ – Andaz by Hyatt. This 5-star hotel is gorgeously designed (even the lobby has a wow factor). On The Palm, you’re close to Nakeel Mall, and the restaurants and bars or hop across the road for even more bars at West Bay. * Check rates and availability for the Andaz
$ – Voco Dubai The Palm. Voco is a 4-star hotel on West Bay with the restaurants and beach bars literally on your doorstep so it’s ideal if you’re looking for some nightlife. The staff are great too. * Check rates and availability for the Voco Dubai
Best Places To Stay in Dubai For Luxury!
If you really want to splurge, there are so many amazing hotels here! But the top one has to be the recently opened Atlantis The Royal (it’s outstanding).
$$$ – Atlantis The Royal. Dubai is full of amazing hotels but this one honestly will blow you away. Every single detail from the lighting to the decor and even the aquarium is so well thought out. This is where the celebs stay and Beyonce even did a concert here for the launch! You’ll love the sunken restaurant in the pool too. * Check rates and availability for Atlantis The Royal
$$$ – Burj Al Arab. Where else can you stay in the world’s only 7 star hotel. Located on its own artificial island and shaped like a sail, it is one of the most luxurious hotels in the world, with a private beach, nine restaurants, and a rooftop pool. From the Sky Bar you can see The World, the manmade archipelago of islands. You’re near to Kite Beach which has food trucks and a gorgeous beach, and you can visit Souk Madinat which is a gorgeous souk with restaurants and a canal. * Check rates and availability for the Burj Al Arab
$$ – One&Only Royal Mirage Resort. The One&Only are a lucky brand with hotels in Dubai. The Royal Mirage resort is located at Jumeriah Beach, with acres of gardens and beachfront. Expect world class service from this hotel which has 8 different restaurants and 3 different environments with their own theme restaurants. * Check rates and availability for One&Only Royal Mirage
$ – Gevora Hotel. The Gevora Hotel is the World’s tallest hotel with 154 floors! There are better luxury hotels in the city but this one is more unique (even the outside shimmers gold). There’s a restaurant on the top floor with fantastic views (count how many helicopter pads there are around it). The pool is huge and you can swim with views of the Burj Khalifa, then have a sauna and steam room afterwards. The rooms are big too. I stayed here when I was attending the ATM as it is a short walk from the World Trade Centre. This area is near the financial district and here’s a metro right on your doorstep. * Check rates and availability for Gevora Hotel
Best Area To Stay in Dubai For Quiet Travellers
Al Jaddaf is out of the centre of the city but if you’re looking for somewhere quiet away from the tourists, this is the best location to stay. It’s near the end of the metro line but it’s easy to get into the city (you just change at Burjuman station). You can take a boat ride from here to Festival City and watch the free fountain show at night, spend the day at the pool at the Versace hotel (which is fab!) Or just explore Al Jaddaf’s waterfront or the Mohammed bin Rashid Library, the biggest library of the Arab world.
$$$ – Palazzo Versace Hotel. If you are going to splurge, make it one of the top designer’s hotels. I spent a ladies day here at the pool which is gorgeous! It’s a party place during the day so expect a DJ instead of quiet chilled days by the pool. With a lavish design and chandeliers, this 5-star hotel is definitely a stylish place to stay. * Check rates and availability for Versace Hotel
$$ – S19 Hotel. This hotel has the quietest room that I’ve stayed in the city. My room was big and really comfortable. They do a great breakfast and it’s walking distance to the metro. There is a pool to dip in and cool off and the staff are great. * Check rates and availability for S19 Hotel
$ – FORM Hotel. This hotel has a gorgeous design and is so stylish. It’s a member of the design hotels. There’s a brasserie, a great pool and the beds are custom-built for a good nights’ sleep.I found S19 to be much quieter as the FORM doesn’t have any soundproofing so you may prefer S19 if you’re a light sleeper. * Check rates and availability for FORM Hotel
Where To Stay in Dubai for Digital Nomads
When I first arrived I had no idea of the best areas to stay in Dubai for longer than a couple of weeks. It took me hours of research and staying in several areas of the city to decide where I wanted to stay long-term. Each area provides something a bit different and there may be certain places in the city that you love and others that you don’t resonate with. I personally love the Expo area and wasn’t keen on Production City (where YouCo is) but you may prefer it. Here are my recommended places to stay if you’ll be here for a month or longer.
$$$ – Villa Omh Dubai. If you prefer to stay in a villa with other nomads, Villa Om is not only beautiful (it’s filled with buddhas) but it’s also a friendly sociable place to stay. There’s a big garden with a swimming pool and a shared kitchen and a beautiful lounge area. Plus you can see the Burj Arab from the rooftop. You’ll never be short of company here as it does really feel a co-living place. If you don’t hire a car, it’s a short taxi ride to the nearest metro. * Check rates and availability Villa Omh
$$ – Rove Expo 2020. I love this area. It’s really magical and feels as though you are staying in a theme park. There is only one hotel here, called Rove Expo which is my favourite hotel in Dubai! Located in the Dubai South area in the Expo 2020 area, the hotel is more on the outskirts of the city but the metro does run here (it’s the last stop). The staff are the friendliest I have come across in Dubai and make you feel so at home. The rooms are light and spacious. There’s a gym and a gorgeous swimming pool that overlooks the famous 360 degree dome. This link is for short stay so check out the Rove website if you're staying a month or longer. * Check rates and availability Rove Expo
$ – YouCo Dubai. This is a good co-living place if you are on a budget. But if you are sensitive to noise, then you may not enjoy it if you are sharing an apartment and kitchen with two others as it can be a bit echoey. But there is a co-working area, a pool, a gym and they hold nightly events so you can socialise with the rest of the residents. I stayed here for two weeks and personally didn’t resonate with place but if you’re in your twenties or thirties and don’t mind noise then it's a good choice. * Check rates and availability for YouCo
N.b. There is a also another place called Hive Coliv, which is located in JVC (which you either need a car or taxis to get to). It is pretty costly and you may have to put your name on a waitlist as it’s a popular place to stay. I haven’t personally stayed here.
Other Dubai Areas To Stay
The areas that I’ve mentioned above are the best areas to stay in, but I have also stayed in a few other places in the city. If the accommodation that I’ve mentioned is either too pricey or fully booked, or you prefer to check out a different part of the city, here are some other choices for areas that I have personally stayed in.
There isn’t that much in the area but Al Furjan is fine if you have a car or don’t mind walking 20 minutes to the metro station. It’s a 15 minute drive to the Dubai Marina so it’s close to the marina, the beach and Bluewaters Island. I stayed in 2 different hotels here.
$$ – The Manor by JA. I loved my room here. It’s affordable luxury with a salon and a cafe downstairs that sells smoothies. The restaurant is great with styling booths and you can also dine outside. Plus the customer service is superb here. The soundproofing isn’t that great though so take ear plugs. * Check rates and availability for The Manor by JA
$ – ECOS Hotel. This hotel is really beautifully designed. The rooms have a fridge and a built in couch which I loved. The restaurant is big and a pretty pink colour plus they serve great food. There’s a cosy co-working place, a great gym and a pool. The courtyard is lovely and the perfect place to chill or watch one of the movies that they show at night. It’s a 20 minute walk to Al Furjan metro station so it’s better to have a car if you stay here. * Check rates and availability for ECOS Hotel
This area is fab! You are right next next to the metro and the bus station. There are buses from here to Abu Dhabi and the Abu Dhabi airport. There’s the mall which is beautifully designed like a souk with different sections such as the Egyptian court and Tunisian court. And you are less than a 10 minute taxi ride away from the marina.
$$ – Avani Ibn Battuta. I can’t recommend this hotel enough. The pool is amazing (they have beach beds too), they have a DJ on Saturday days, live music twice a week, one of the longest happy hours I’ve seen in Dubai (3pm to 10pm), a large restaurant, a Starbucks in the lobby and spacious rooms. You do need ear plugs here though as the rooms aren’t soundproofed. * Check rates and availability for Avani
N.b. There’s also a Premier Inn next door if you’re looking to stay in the area on a budget.
Deira is one of the oldest areas in the city so it’s an interesting and cheap place to stay. Because it’s cheap it is home to many of the local workers. If you do decide to stay in Deira; you may prefer to stay on the Port Saeed area. This area is an important part of Dubai’s trading history and home to the Dubai Greek Gold & Yacht Club. There’s a great mall, it’s close to Festival City and walking distance to the City Centre Deira metro station.
$ – J5 Hotels – Port Saeed. This is only a 3-star hotel but it’s fab for the price! I loved the sauna (it’s not mixed), and the gym where you can watch the planes landing at the airport. The pool is large and perfect for lounging around and there’s a restaurant downstairs. Take ear plugs for the street noise and neighbouring rooms. * Check rates and availability for J5 Hotel
My Tips For The Best Places To Stay in Dubai
First of all, the quality of hotels here are amazing. Compare a 3-star hotel in Europe to one in Dubai and it’s on a completely different level. Customer service and hospitality here is some of the best in the world and you can find all types of great cuisine being served in hotels.
It’s standard for the majority of the hotels to have a pool and a gym and some also have a spa area and sauna. So if you want to keep up with your fitness routine, you definitely can here. Expect good service and amenities from the accommodation here.
Accommodation in the summer months is so cheap! You can stay in a 4-star hotel for approximately £35 a night (if you search for the deals). That’s less than a Travelodge in England.
Saying that, if you are a light sleeper and booking a hotel on the budget end, you may end up staying in a hotel that has a nightclub on one of the floors so be prepared to not get the best night’s sleep (unless you’re a deep sleeper of course). Deira is a district with cheaper accommodation but also known for this so do what I do and check the reviews carefully to see if anyone mentions a nightclub or how noisy it is at night.
You don’t really need to use Airbnb here as I generally find the hotels cheaper. There are aparthotels which are studios or apartments with hotel facilities so you still have a reception desk and the amenities of a hotel such as serviced rooms and a restaurant in case you don’t feel like cooking. It’s really normal to live in a hotel here (I’ve been doing it for months) so these are also a good option if you are considering being here for a month or longer.
The best areas of Dubai to stay really depends on what your interest are and what you’re planning to do. If you are still sure of the best location in Dubai to stay by the end of this article or you see a good deal on somewhere that I haven’t mentioned, I would just go ahead and book it, especially if you are only visiting for a week or so.
Dubai is larger than you imagine but taxis are cheap here and there is a metro and bus system (although taking a taxi is a quicker way of getting around). So even if you don’t stay in the perfect place you are never that far from the attractions.
However long you choose to stay in Dubai, I hope that you enjoy this city and fall in love with it, just as I have…
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