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Dubai Hotel Guide
As the cultural hub of the Middle East, Dubai is an impressively modern and futuristic city, placing it among the top ten destinations in the world. It’s the region’s most progressive city, offering a charming mix of traditional and modern buildings—including the Burj Khalifa, the tallest in the entire world. The city strives to be the entertainment capital of the world, offering luxury shopping, wild nightlife and beautiful Dubai beach hotels.
Visiting Dubai isn’t just about enjoying the city life. Surrounded by beautiful desert and pristine beaches, there’s plenty to see and experience in the city’s surrounding landscape. The city offers dozens of beaches, both private and public, as well as beach resorts. Jumeirah Beach is the most popular for tourists and offers space for sports along with a variety of nearby restaurants. There are also niche beaches, like 4x4 Beach (popular for drivers) and Kite Beach (the ideal spot for kite flyers).
That said, beautiful sea views are available at any of the city’s many beaches.
From discovering the desert’s fossil-caked cliffsides to taking exhilarating dune tours, or just relaxing with a game of golf, Dubai has activities in and out of the city for everyone to enjoy.
Where to Stay in Dubai
While the city is quite expensive compared to others, plenty of affordable Dubai hotels are available for travelers on even the tightest budgets. Where and when you visit will determine how much you pay; Dubai hotel rates are at their highest during December and January. Marina hotels in Dubai and Dubai beach hotels are prime real estate that will cost you more, too. Rates around €130 per night are typical, with 5 star hotels in Dubai costing into the hundreds. If you do go the cheap route, rest assured that Dubai hotels are for the most part at high international standards.
You’ll find most cheap hotels in Dubai within the Deira district. This is the city’s commercial district which means (thankfully) the cheapest hotels are conveniently close to the airport and notable transportation stations. Gulf Pearls Hotel is a budget hotel that’s well-regarded for its beautifully furnished suites and spa. Avari Dubai hotel offers a luxury experience without the price, located at the Deira Clocktower.
Dubai luxury hotels are common. In fact, the city is host to what’s regarded as the most luxurious hotel in the world: Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. This opulent, palatial hotel appears straight from a fairytale, with gilded features and beautiful plush textiles. One of the more affordable but still stunning 5 star hotels in Dubai is Palazzo Versace Dubai. Inspired by 16th century Italian design, this beautiful hotel has a distinct old-world charm. It’s just a 15 minute drive from the airport.
The real lap of Dubai luxury, though, are the Dubai beach hotels. Dubai Marina is an artificial canal city and the most expensive district. Marina hotels in Dubai aren’t necessarily too expensive despite their beautiful views overlooking the water; you can find some surprising deals if you know where to look. Address Dubai Marina offers deluxe suites and studio residences at a fair deal, including rooms with good views. On the other end of the price spectrum is Jannah Marina Bay Suites. These handsomely simple suites offer truly stunning views and an unfussy atmosphere.
The most affordable option for cheap hotels in Dubai are hostels. Dubai Youth Hostel is among the most attractive Dubai hotels for young travelers, with amenities like a pool, garden and football field. Even hostels in this city are luxurious; At The Top Hostel is 66 storeys high, granting guests an awe-inspiring view at a deceptively low cost. It’s among the most affordable marina hotels in Dubai.
Dubai: A Cosmopolitan City: Sightseeing and Tourist Attractions
Dubai is an oasis in the desert, offering experiences across its five districts you can’t find anywhere else. Each district of the city has its own unique character. Most notable are Deira, the commercial district; Bur Dubai, where you’ll find the historic city; and Jumeirah, home to beaches, the marina and other top attractions. Inside the city proper, visitors can shop to their hearts’ content, experience rides at thrilling theme parks and view some of the most awesome towers in the world.
The city is synonymous with some of its most iconic skyscrapers. Among these is the Burj Khalifa, extending 829 m into the sky. Other notable buildings include the sensually shaped Burj Al Arab, Princess Tower and the Atlantis.
Surrounding the city is the hot desert, which visitors can explore or even camp in. One of its biggest attractions are safari rides, in which visitors are driven through the dunes for a thrilling desert experience. If water is more your thing, experience Dubai nature with a scuba diving or fishing excursion.
Dubai is one of the primary shopping destinations in the world; it’s well-known for its bargains, luxury retailers and huge malls. Dubai Mall is unquestionably the most impressive, housing more than 1,200 stores and attractions. In addition to brands like Ralph Lauren, Alexander McQueen and Chanel, the mall has one of the world’s biggest aquariums. Mall of the Emirates is another breathtaking shopping experience, with over 630 luxury brands. Stop by Magic Planet and Ski Dubai after shopping—the mall’s very own theme park and indoor ski resort, respectively. And that’s only the tip of the ice berg; everywhere you look, there’s something to buy and a deal to be had.
If you want to catch a good deal, visit during the city’s shopping festival from January to February. During this time, you’ll find sales and deals at nearly every store in the city.
Dubai Theme Parks
Want to go on an adventure? Stop at one of the many theme parks in the city. IMG World of Adventure is the city’s newest and largest indoor theme park, and is the size of 28 football fields with over 20 rides and attractions. Its signature ride is the Velociraptor, which is the tallest and fastest in the city. Because the park is indoors, you can enjoy it at any season, rain or shine.
Motion Gate is the theme park for movie lovers, featuring characters and attractions from Lionsgate, Dreamworks and Columbia Pictures films. Where else can you rub shoulders with Shrek and the Ghostbusters? If you’re traveling with children, don’t miss out on Legoland, where you can experience exhilarating rides and view impressive Lego brick sculptures.
One of the city’s top attractions is its nightlife. Many Dubai luxury hotels are connected to swanky bars and hot clubs, and you may even spot a celebrity during a night on the town. There’s no specific neighborhood or area for nightlife, as clubs and bars are evenly spread out, but you may want to set your sights on the marina for guaranteed fun. The best nights to go out are Thursday and Friday. Thursday is the end of the work week in Dubai, and is the night where the city truly comes to life.
360 is one of the most famous city clubs, located right along the water in Jumeira. The club often hosts well-known DJs from around the world. Few experiences are so wild as a night at Nasimi Beach, an artificial beach in the middle of the sea beside the Atlantis.