Looking for the best places to stay in Dubai? You just found them! In this article I have outlined all the best areas to stay in Dubai, as well as accommodation options for every budget in every area.
Dubai is a huge metropolis, with attractions dotted all over it. Understandably, choosing the best place to stay in Dubai for your trip can make you a little nervous, especially if it’s your first time in Dubai.
Whether you’re a first time visitor to Dubai who wants to discover the charm of Dubai Marina, or a budget traveller who wants to explore this concrete jungle without spending a fortune, or even a couple looking for a romantic getaway, this post has something for you!
I have visited Dubai so many times that I have almost lost count of how many (I think I’m on trip number 6 at least), and have had the pleasure of seeing the city grow and change.
I’m not a Dubai local, but I know a fair bit about travelling there, and wanted to share my knowledge with you. There isn’t a single best place to stay in Dubai, it depends on your travel style and personal preference.
Which is why in this guide I have listed all the best areas to stay in Dubai, as well as explaining exactly what type of traveller these ares are best suited for.
So without further ado, let’s dive in and find the where to stay in Dubai for you!
- 1 Best Areas to Stay in Dubai at a Glance
- 2 Famous, iconic and/or unique hotels in Dubai
- 3 Best areas to stay in Dubai
- 3.1 Dubai Marina & JBR – Best area to stay in Dubai for families & first time visitors
- 3.2 The Palm – Best location to stay in Dubai for couples & luxury
- 3.3 Deira – Best place to stay in Dubai for budget travellers
- 3.4 Downtown Dubai – Best part of Dubai to stay for shopping & malls
- 3.5 Jumeirah Village Circle & Jumeirah Village Triangle – Best area to stay in Dubai for long term travellers & digital nomads
Best Areas to Stay in Dubai at a Glance
Before we dive into the best hotels and accommodation options of every Dubai neighbourhood, I wanted to share with you an overview of who each area in Dubai is best suited for.
Depending on your budget and travel style, different areas will be best suited for your Dubai trip.
The Palm: An iconic and totally unique place to stay. If you want luxury, or you’re looking for the best area to stay in Dubai for couples, this is the place for you.
Deira: Travelling on a budget isn’t always easy in Dubai, but opt to stay in Deira (aka Old Dubai) and you’ll have a good mix of affordable accommodation and interesting history.
Downtown Dubai: Malls and skyscrapers mark this the most touristed section of Dubai. It’s great for shopping and sightseeing alike.
Jumeirah Village Circle & Jumeirah Village Triangle: In Dubai for longer than a week or so? Opt for this residential area and enjoy a quieter pace of life away from the megamalls.
If you have a long layover in Dubai overnight, no need to worry about finding a hotel, as you might be eligible for a complimentary stay through the Emirates Dubai Connect service.
Famous, iconic and/or unique hotels in Dubai
Before I dive into the nitty gritty of the best places to stay in Dubai, it would be crazy to not mention some of Dubai’s famous accommodation options.
These hotels are so famous, it doesn’t even matter what area they’re situated in: staying in them is part of the adventure.
Burj Al Arab – Famously, the Burj Al Arab (or “the Burj” as people call it) is the only seven-star hotel in the world.
With its name translating to “Tower of the Arabs”, it’s an iconic sail-shaped building that is a feat of engineering. Amenities make the mind boggle: it has nine restaurants, four swimming pools and a private beach.
All rooms have 24-carat gold iPads to use. If it fits your budget, it’s without a doubt one of the most iconic places to stay in Dubai.
One & Only Royal Mirage – This five-star hotel bills itself as “Dubai’s most intimate luxury beach resort”. Here guests can unwind in high-end seclusion among lush gardens and designer suites.
It’s also situated right on the sands of Jumeirah Beach, and boasts an iconic beach club.
Atlantis at the Palm – Located on the Palm, this luxury pink hotel boasts 1,548 rooms – all decorated in a chic ocean theme. It’s particularly great for families as it has its very own (quite famous) water park.
25hours Hotel One Central – It may not be as famous as the above hotels, but after spending one night here I can say it’s still an awesome hotel.
For one thing, this fashionable option has an epic rooftop pool with a view of the Museum of the Future and the Emirates Towers. The interior design is cool and has been tailored to fit the city.
Address Downtown Dubai – Among other things, this luxury hotel features an incredible infinity pool with an equally incredible view of Burj Khalifa: the world’s tallest building.
It’s, without a doubt, one of the most photogenic places in Dubai.
To be fair, The Address skyscraper is tall itself (63 floors). The location in Downtown Dubai is prime for exploring top sights.
Jumeirah Beach Hotel – Next to the sail-shaped Burj al Arab is the glistening curve of the Jumeirah Beach Hotel.
This eye-catching wave of a building is set right on its own slice of white powdery sand and overlooks the Arabian Gulf. Good if you’re a fan of nightlife.
Best areas to stay in Dubai
Dubai Marina & JBR – Best area to stay in Dubai for families & first time visitors
Dubai Marina, and Jumeirah Beach Residences (JBR), is an iconic part of Dubai. It’s a typical beachside locale where you’ll find all the action of the city. Think restaurants, markets and luxury fashion boutiques.
Beach-lovers and families alike can spend the day at the beach, while those keen on nightlife will enjoy the bars and clubs (there are some particularly amazing rooftop bars in the area).
In fact, it’s arguably the best place to stay in Dubai for nightlife. This part of the city feels a little bit separate from the rest, with numerous high-rise buildings dotted around the Marina.
There’s always something to do around here, including wandering along Marina Walk, thrilling activities such as jet-skiing or skydiving, or going for a traditional dhow dinner cruise.
I always say it’s the best area to stay in Dubai for first time visitors since it’s very stereotypically Dubai.
When people first think of Dubai, and picture the white sand beaches lined with skyscrapers behind them, that’s often Jumeirah Beach they’re thinking of.
Whether you’re a family or a group of friends, if it’s your first time in Dubai treat yourselves to a stay in Dubai Marina, and you won’t regret it.
There’s a whole host of places to stay in Dubai Marina and JBR. Here are a few options for every budget to inspire your trip.
Budget: Rove Dubai Marina – This is a perfect option for budget travellers. It’s just a short stroll from Jumeirah Beach, and is close to shopping and dining options, too. Rooms feature rain showers, while amenities include a chic outdoor pool and restaurant.
Mid-range: Wyndham Dubai Marina – There are 493 rooms to choose from at this large hotel. The property boasts a number of different restaurants, too, as well as a spa, a gym and an outdoor swimming pool. It’s especially convenient for families who want to stay at Dubai Marina.
Luxury: Grosvenor House, a Luxury Collection Hotel – This high-end five-star hotel is all about luxury. Rooms boast panoramic views of Dubai Marina, and include options to make use of a personalised butler service. Elsewhere, there are two swimming pools and a number of bars and restaurants.
The Palm – Best location to stay in Dubai for couples & luxury
The Palm is arguably the best location to stay in Dubai for couples. Here is where you’ll find the most luxury, sought-after hotels in the city, including the Atlantis, the Waldorf Astoria and the Fairmont.
It’s an internationally famous part of the city, and given its uniqueness, choosing to stay here makes for a really special experience.
Because it’s an island, with different “palm fronds” extending out into the sea, you’ll have plenty of beach and sea to admire.
Though it’s not exactly well connected by public transport, it’s still pretty close to everything, and you can easily get around via taxi.
If you’re wondering where to stay in Dubai for a honeymoon or special occasion, this is it.
Don’t expect any budget options though: these are all luxury options, great for beaches and those who want something a bit different out of the city.
Here are some suggestions for cool places to stay at The Palm, for every budget.
Budget: Adagio Premium The Palm – There may not be many (or any) budget options on the palm, but this place is more affordable than the rest. It offers up swish studio rooms that feature kitchenettes, so you can make your own meals if you really want to stick to budget.
Mid-range: Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort – Featuring all-round luxury, this resort is easily one of the best places to stay in Dubai. Situated on its very own slice of sand, here you can enjoy villa-style accommodation set around any of its three pools. There are multiple restaurants and a spa, too.
Luxury: Raffles The Palm – Over on the western crescent of The Palm, the Dubai iteration of the world-famous Raffles hotel is an obvious choice for out and out luxury. Boasting 550 yards of private beach, the property also includes six eateries and three swimming pools. Amenities abound.
Deira – Best place to stay in Dubai for budget travellers
While you may not think Dubai is a place that budget travellers should be going to at all, Deira is actually a good option for that.
Not only is it budget friendly, it’s also a convenient place to stay if you’ve only got a few days to spare, or you’re there for a one-night layover; as it’s very close to Dubai Airport.
So if wondering where to stay in Dubai on a budget, then Deira is a fantastic option. On top of its convenience and affordability, Deira also happens to be one of the oldest parts of the city.
You can still see remnants of Dubai’s history of trading; over the centuries, merchants would have arrived by boat with their gold and spices to trade.
Today you can explore the souks, still packed with spices and gold, and discover the historical districts of Al Fahidi and Al Seef. It’s a fascinating flipside to skyscraper-clad modern Dubai.
The waterside area is home to a mix of chic yachts and Arabian dhows; there are people out for evening walks, and the call to prayer always makes this part of town seem extra atmospheric.
Here are some great places to stay in Deira, Dubai, for every budget.
Budget: Super 8 by Wyndham Dubai Deira – This modern, new-build property in Old Dubai offers affordable, boutique-style rooms for those travelling on a budget. It’s close to the Grand Mosque and Gold Souk, among other things.
Mid-range: Edge Creekside Hotel – This swish property has boutique credentials with colourful decor and clean, stylish rooms. Amenities include an outdoor swimming pool, fitness room and a restaurant.
Luxury: Golden Sands Hotel Creek – A glistening tower hotel, this option features high-quality rooms kitted out with designer furnishings. The five-star hotel also boasts a rooftop pool looking out over the Dubai skyline and Dubai Creek.
Downtown Dubai – Best part of Dubai to stay for shopping & malls
Downtown Dubai is the best area to stay in Dubai if you have a tight Dubai itinerary and want to be close to just about everything – or what feels like everything. It’s been dubbed “Centre of Now”, which is a fair name.
It’s the city’s bustling hub of tourism, with endless shopping opportunities and a few landmark sights. If you’re the sort of person who forgets things from their Dubai packing list, worry not, here you’ll find everything you need.
One of these is the Burj Khalifa. Currently the tallest building in the world, it features suitably jaw-dropping views of the city and beyond.
Another great viewpoint is Sky Views, a more adventurous way to experience the man-made landscape from 219 metres up.
Also in the centre of Downtown Dubai is the popular Dubai Fountain, situated on the 12-hectare Burj Khalifa Lake, which attracts crowds with music and light shows.
Nearby there’s the $20-billion complex: Dubai Mall. Here you’ll find luxury stores alongside an Olympic-sized ice rink and even an aquarium.
Staying in this well connected part of town does come with a price tag, but I tried to list anyway the best hotels in Dubai Downtown for every budget.
Budget: Ramada Downtown Dubai – Overlooking the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Fountain, this is a polished, modern property made up of studio rooms, suites and a penthouse.
Mid-range: Sofitel Dubai Downtown – This sophisticated hotel is connected to the Dubai Mall and has a whole lot of amenities to enjoy. Think fifth-floor pool terrace, restaurants, and a well equipped fitness centre.
Luxury: Armani Hotel Dubai – Yes, this is a hotel envisioned by Italian fashion designer, Giorgio Armani. As you may expect, it is uber luxury, from the moment you step in the private entrance, across the 11 floors it takes up in the Burj Khalifa itself.
Jumeirah Village Circle & Jumeirah Village Triangle – Best area to stay in Dubai for long term travellers & digital nomads
These two residential areas aren’t exactly well connected by public transport, and they’re not really near any big attractions, either.
This is more where to stay in Dubai if you’re thinking about being here for longer than just a short vacation. With that in mind, it’s ideal for digital nomads or long-term travellers.
Jumeirah Village Circle is set in the heart of New Dubai. It’s a modern development that’s a local, family-friendly community for luxury living.
Another development is Jumeirah Village Triangle; also residential, it caters to a more suburban type of community, with spacious properties and tree-lined streets.
Being away from the main hustle and bustle of Dubai, they’re both fairly quiet and more affordable than touristy areas.
I wouldn’t recommend it for first time visitors or travellers set on seeing all the sights, but if you’ve been to Dubai before and want something more relaxing, then this is it.
If this quieter, more residential part of Dubai sounds like the place for you, here are some great options for every budget!
Budget: Adagio Jumeirah Village Triangle – Here you can choose from either studios with kitchenettes or one-bedroom apartments, complete with balconies and city views. Perfect for an extended stay in Dubai.
Mid-range: Novotel Jumeirah Village Triangle – I spent a few nights at this hotel and loved it. At this four-star hotel offering you’ll get spacious rooms, a good buffet breakfast and a cool swimming pool with a view of the Dubai skyline.
Luxury: Five Jumeirah Village – If you want the luxurious Dubai experience, worry not, as not all accommodation in the Jumeirah Village area is affordable. Take this place for one thing. It’s a high-end option with spacious, glitzy rooms, a fitness centre, and a restaurant.
Final thoughts on good places to stay in Dubai
There you have it, the ultimate Where to stay in Dubai guide! Have you been to Dubai before? How did you find it? And where did you stay? Let me know in the comments below!
If you’ve read my blog before you know I’m a huge fan of nature and outdoors destination. Dubai might not seem to fit with my usual travel style, but it’s a place I actually really enjoy visiting every time.
From Dubai you can go on cool day trips, like to Abu Dhabi or on a desert safari, where you can then do exciting activities like dune bashing and sand boarding. It can be a very thrilling destination.
However, choosing the wrong area or hotel in Dubai can seriously put a dampener on your trip, which is why I wanted to make sure you know exactly where to stay in Dubai for your travel style.
I hope you find my Dubai accommodation guide useful, and that you will enjoy Dubai as much as I do! If you need more help deciding where to stay in Dubai, just let me know in the comments below!