Dubai, a glittering gem in the United Arab Emirates, is a world-class touristic destination known for its extraordinary blend of tradition and modernity. The city boasts a myriad of attractions that cater to all sorts of travelers. From the architectural wonder that is the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, to the bustling traditional souks brimming with spices, gold, and textiles, Dubai offers a unique encounter with both the old and the new. Its luxurious shopping malls, state-of-the-art amusement parks, and breathtaking man-made islands make it a playground for the extravagant.
Not only is Dubai an urban marvel, but it also offers stunning natural beauty. The vast Arabian Desert surrounding the city provides ample opportunities for adventurous activities such as dune bashing, camel riding, and desert safaris. Meanwhile, the pristine beaches offer a tranquil escape from the city’s fast-paced life. The city’s rich cultural heritage can be explored through its many museums, art galleries, and heritage villages. With its cosmopolitan dining scene, vibrant nightlife, and renowned hospitality, Dubai promises an unforgettable travel experience.
Table of Contents
Where to stay in Dubai – the neighbourhoods in Dubai
It’s not always easy to select your hotel when you do not know the city. Below are the disctricts of Dubai with their points of interests and selected hotel.
Deira: The historic soul of Dubai, Deira is best known for its traditional markets, namely the Gold Souk and Spice Souk. Wander its alleys and you’ll be transported back in time. Points of Interest: Gold Souk, Spice Souk, Deira Corniche. Hotel Highlight: Hyatt Regency Dubai offers luxury combined with traditional charm, situated close to the Souks and easily connected to the rest of the city.
Bur Dubai: Home to Dubai Museum and the historic Al Fahidi Fort, Bur Dubai offers a journey into the city’s past. Points of Interest: Al Fahidi Fort, Dubai Museum, Textile Souk. Hotel Highlight: Arabian Courtyard Hotel and Spa provides an oasis of calm amidst the historic hub and offers easy access to the museum and souk.
Jumeirah: An epitome of luxury, Jumeirah boasts pristine beaches and iconic views of the Burj Al Arab. Points of Interest: Jumeirah Beach, Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Mosque. Hotel Highlight: Burj Al Arab, the world’s only 7-star hotel, is not just an accommodation but an experience. Centrally located, it offers unparalleled luxury and easy reach to major attractions.
Marina: Dotted with skyscrapers, Dubai Marina is where modernity meets the sea. The boardwalk offers a vibrant nightlife and dining scene. Points of Interest: Marina Walk, Dubai Marina Mall, Skydive Dubai. Hotel Highlight: Address Dubai Marina, a luxury hotel directly linked to the Dubai Marina Mall, acts as a perfect hub for exploration.
Palm Jumeirah: This man-made wonder offers luxury villas and world-class resorts overlooking the Arabian Gulf. Points of Interest: The Pointe, Aquaventure Waterpark, The Boardwalk. Hotel Highlight: Atlantis, The Palm, offers a unique ocean-themed experience, situated near major attractions on the Palm.
Dubai Festival City: A lively blend of shopping, dining, and entertainment. Points of Interest: Festival Bay, Imagine Show, Festival City Mall. Hotel Highlight: InterContinental Dubai Festival City boasts views of the Dubai skyline and is connected to the mall, ensuring guests have everything at their doorstep.
Dubai South: The future of Dubai, this vast region includes the Al Maktoum International Airport and the Expo 2020 site. Points of Interest: Expo 2020 Site, Passenger Terminal. Hotel Highlight: Aloft Dubai South offers a contemporary stay, catering to both business and leisure travelers, with the Expo site a short drive away.
Arabian Ranches: A tranquil escape from the city’s hustle, this is a luxury residential community surrounded by lush greenery. Points of Interest: Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, Arabian Ranches Golf Club. Hotel Highlight: No hotel directly here, but the villas themselves are a luxurious option for longer stays, and you’re a short drive away from major city attractions.
Downtown Dubai: The urban epicenter, Downtown Dubai is where modernity meets luxury. With the towering Burj Khalifa, sprawling Dubai Mall, and mesmerizing Dubai Fountain, it’s an unmissable spot. Points of Interest: Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, Dubai Opera. Hotel Highlight: The Palace Downtown offers exquisite luxury combined with traditional charm. Ideally situated, you’re at the heart of Dubai’s major attractions.
Business Bay: The commercial heart of Dubai, Business Bay mirrors Manhattan’s hustle, with high-rises and the Dubai Canal adding to its aesthetic appeal. Points of Interest: Dubai Canal, Bay Avenue. Hotel Highlight: The JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai, one of the world’s tallest hotels, ensures a panoramic city view and is a stone’s throw from Downtown and the Canal.
Al Quoz: A blend of industrial might and art, Al Quoz is home to the burgeoning Alserkal Avenue arts district. Points of Interest: Alserkal Avenue, Theatre of Digital Art. Hotel Highlight: While Al Quoz lacks luxury hotels, its proximity to Marina and Downtown offers plenty of nearby opulent stay options.
Al Barsha: A hub for shopping and skiing enthusiasts, Al Barsha is where you’ll find the Mall of the Emirates and Ski Dubai. Points of Interest: Mall of the Emirates, Ski Dubai. Hotel Highlight: Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates, connected directly to the mall, offers luxury with the added charm of views over Ski Dubai’s slopes.
Jebel Ali: An industrial marvel, Jebel Ali is the gateway for international trade with its port. Points of Interest: Jebel Ali Free Zone, Jebel Ali Beach. Hotel Highlight: JA Beach Hotel provides a beachside luxury retreat, albeit a bit farther from the main city attractions.
International City: A blend of global cultures represented architecturally, International City is a themed residential and business zone. Points of Interest: Dragon Mart. Hotel Highlight: Premier Inn Dubai Dragon Mart is an affordable and comfortable option, with close proximity to the massive shopping center.
Al Qusais: A calm residential space away from the hustle, offering a genuine local experience. Points of Interest: Al Qusais Pond Park. Hotel Highlight: TIME Grand Plaza Hotel stands out for its amenities, although visitors might need to travel a bit to access other city landmarks.
Mirdif: A popular residential zone known for its shopping and entertainment venues. Points of Interest: Mirdif City Centre, Mushrif Park. Hotel Highlight: Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, a short drive away, offers luxury combined with traditional aesthetics.
Dubai Design District (d3): The city’s hub for fashion, design, and art, d3 is the meeting point of creativity and innovation. Points of Interest: Art galleries, fashion studios. Hotel Highlight: Rove Dubai Marina, located a short drive away, offers trendy accommodations for the modern traveler.
Dubai Sports City: For sports enthusiasts, this neighborhood boasts stadiums and sporting academies. Points of Interest: Dubai International Stadium, Els Club Golf Course. Hotel Highlight: Treppan Hotel & Suites provides easy access to sports venues and a comfortable stay.
Dubai Production City: Previously IMPZ, this zone caters to the global and local publishing, printing, and packaging industries. Points of Interest: The community itself is an attraction for media enthusiasts. Hotel Highlight: Ghaya Grand Hotel is centrally located in the zone and offers modern luxury.
Dubai Healthcare City: A center for world-class medical care and services. Points of Interest: Mohammed Bin Rashid University Of Medicine and Health Sciences. Hotel Highlight: Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights offers luxury within the healthcare city and proximity to the old Dubai charm of Deira and Bur Dubai.
Dubai Festival City: A riverside blend of shopping, dining, and entertainment. Points of Interest: Festival City Mall, Imagine Show. Hotel Highlight: InterContinental Dubai Festival City directly connects to the mall, ensuring attractions are at your doorstep.
Meydan: A name synonymous with horse racing and luxury living. Points of Interest: Meydan Racecourse, Meydan Theatre. Hotel Highlight: The Meydan Hotel offers a luxury stay overlooking the racecourse, providing a unique experience.
Al Karama: A bustling area with a dense population, Karama is the place for affordable shopping and diverse cuisines. Points of Interest: Karama Market. Hotel Highlight: Park Regis Kris Kin Hotel offers a panoramic view of Dubai’s skyline and is close to both Karama and Bur Dubai.
Al Rashidiya: A tranquil residential district. Points of Interest: Al Rashidiya Park. Hotel Highlight: While lacking luxury hotels, its proximity to the airport makes transit accommodations like Dubai International Hotel accessible.
Nad Al Sheba: Known for its horse racing and luxury villas. Points of Interest: Nad Al Sheba Racecourse. Hotel Highlight: There aren’t direct luxury hotels, but the area is close to Downtown Dubai’s luxury accommodations.
Al Jaddaf: On the banks of the Dubai Creek, it’s a rapidly developing region. Points of Interest: Dubai Creek, Al Jaddaf Waterfront. Hotel Highlight: Marriott Hotel Al Jaddaf offers luxury with a traditional touch and easy access to both old and new Dubai.
Dubai Creek Harbour: A future contender for Dubai’s center stage, this development promises modernity and luxury. Points of Interest: Dubai Square, Creek Marina. Hotel Highlight: While still developing, the proximity to Downtown ensures visitors have quick access to luxury accommodations like the Address Hotels.
Dubai South: The emerging giant, hosting the Expo 2020 site and Al Maktoum International Airport. Points of Interest: Expo 2020 Site, Passenger Terminal. Hotel Highlight: Aloft Dubai South, close to the Expo site, caters to both business and leisure.
Dubai Hills Estate: A green heart in the desert, this community offers luxury homes and recreation. Points of Interest: Dubai Hills Park, Golf Club. Hotel Highlight: While direct luxury hotels are forthcoming, the community’s central location means Downtown and Marina hotels are easily accessible.
The best neighbourhoods for your stay in Dubai
Dubai, an emblem of luxury and modernity, holds a unique charm in each of its neighborhoods. Among its expansive cityscape, Deira, Downtown Dubai, and Dubai Marina stand out as three must-consider locales for travelers looking for a rich experience. Here’s a closer look:
Nestled on the eastern bank of the Dubai Creek, Deira is one of Dubai’s original centers. Once the heartbeat of Dubai’s trade and commerce, Deira now offers a vibrant blend of old and new, representing the soulful side of Dubai.
What makes it attractive:
Traditional Markets (Souks): The Gold and Spice Souks are a sensory feast. With shimmering displays and aromatic alleys, these are places where one can experience the old-world charm.
Dubai Creek: The natural seawater inlet divides the city into Deira and Bur Dubai, offering picturesque dhow cruises.
Heritage House: A peek into the Emirati lifestyle of the past, showcasing traditional home designs and artifacts.
Top 2 Luxury Hotels:
Park Hyatt Dubai:
An elegant resort-themed hotel, set within the heart of the city, it offers serene views of the Dubai Creek and marina.
Amenities: Includes a 25-meter swimming pool, world-class spa, and a choice of seven restaurants serving international gourmet dishes.
A stunning 19-story pyramid-shaped luxury hotel, blending Asian style with an Egyptian aesthetic.
Amenities: Features a botanical garden, luxurious spa, and private balconies with city views in every room.
As the name suggests, Downtown Dubai is the city’s bustling heart. This cosmopolitan hub is where iconic landmarks meet luxurious lifestyles.
What makes it attractive
Burj Khalifa: The tallest structure in the world offers unparalleled views of the city.
Dubai Mall: One of the world’s largest shopping malls, it’s an ultimate luxury shopping destination.
Dubai Opera: The multi-format performing arts venue set within the Opera District offers world-class performances.
Top 2 Luxury Hotels
Armani Hotel Dubai:
Housed in the Burj Khalifa, it encapsulates designer Giorgio Armani’s aesthetic sensibilities and dedication to luxury.
Amenities: Offers bespoke dining experiences, a luxurious spa, and the Armani lifestyle experience.
A harmonious blend of Middle Eastern heritage and contemporary Dubai, located by the Dubai Fountain.
Amenities: Offers traditional hammam spa treatments, direct access to Dubai Mall, and six unique dining destinations.
Dubai Marina is a man-made canal district, and its sprawling skyline is a testament to Dubai’s architectural feats.
What makes it attractive
Dubai Marina Walk: A 7-km long pedestrian walkway lined with cafes and retail outlets, perfect for an evening stroll.
Yacht Tours: Charter a yacht and explore the marina, or dine in one, for a unique experience.
Skydive Dubai: For thrill-seekers, nothing beats a jump with the Marina’s skyline beneath.
Top 2 Luxury Hotels:
Grosvenor House, a Luxury Collection Hotel:
A dual-tower complex that shines in the Marina skyline, blending modern luxury with bespoke guest experiences.
Amenities: Houses the renowned Buddha Bar, offers personalized butler services, and boasts a world-class spa.
Address Dubai Marina:
Directly linked to the popular Marina Mall, it offers an elegant stay with mesmerizing views of the Marina.
Amenities: Features an infinity pool on the fourth floor, five contemporary dining and lounging venues, and a luxurious spa.
Whether it’s the heritage charm of Deira, the vibrant heart of Downtown, or the coastal allure of the Marina, each neighborhood offers a distinct flavor of Dubai. Coupled with unparalleled luxury accommodations, these districts promise an unforgettable Dubai experience.