Hailed as the most expensive city in the Middle East and one of the top 50 expensive cities in the world, Dubai wows its visitors with luxury shopping, ultramodern architecture, and high-end accommodation options year after year. Known for its skyscrapers, in particular, the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, Dubai is a city that was built to impress.
A city that boasts business, tourism, real estate and finance, it’s no surprise that Dubai is one of the most modern and progressive emirates out of the seven that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE). What is surprising, however, is that despite this, profound traditions remain at the heart of the city’s culture.
A city full of ambitious futuristic vision, innovation and a go-getting attitude, you can be sure that you will be entertained with the attractions and sights that are on offer here. From an army of robocops and indoor ski slopes to shopping malls made to look like Persian Palaces, Dubai is a place where the only limit is your imagination! A city full of wonder, Dubai also scores major bonus points for practicality and convenience, providing all the necessary requirements you’d want from a city. Here, you can fill your boots from exploring the wide range of shops to eating your way through the vast culinary scene and burning yourself out from the lively nightlife. If you want to go out on your own, check out Renty, a car rental service in the UAE.
Although a big and daunting city, if you do your research and have a look at its layout, deciding where to stay in Dubai will become much easier. All you have to do then is make the best decision for you! To help you do just that, we’ve put together this list of where to stay in Dubai as a first-time visitor, including the best hotels to stay in Dubai, different Dubai neighborhoods, best area to stay Dubai, where to stay in Dubai city or beach and much more!
We will cover off all types of Dubai accommodation options from Hostels to luxury Dubai hotels as well as how to decide where to stay in Dubai, the best Dubai hotels, best places in Dubai to visit, the best places to stay in Dubai, hotels near Dubai attractions, Dubai neighborhood guide and many more. Airbnb is also a great option for short or long stays.
This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
Bur Dubai – Where to stay in Dubai for nightlife
Downtown Dubai, Bur Dubai, is home to the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, where at the foot of the tower is the impressive Dubai Fountain. As you can imagine, this area is full of high-end luxury hotels, most of which have spectacular views of the building and the giant fountain with its unmissable water shows. Bur Dubai is a lively area, packed with plenty of hotels and restaurants, and one of the world’s largest shopping centres, Dubai Mall.
If you’re looking for the action in Dubai, you can’t get much more in the middle of it all than this. As well as amazing facilities, the downtown area is also home to the restored historic quarter, Bastakiya as well as the popular wild wadi waterpark. Get your fill of history and culture at one of the museums before moving on to what else the district offers because it is plenty! From a winding waterfront, complete with monuments, shops, market stalls, and restaurants, to the refreshing oasis that is BCreekside Park, Bur Dubai is a great option for first-time visitors who want to experience Dubai in its entirety.
The Best places to stay in Bur Dubai
Deira – Where to stay in Dubai on a budget
As the majority of the city’s souqs (market places) are in Deira, this is probably one of the busiest areas in all of Dubai. Situated on the Eastern bank of Dubai Creek, Deira is packed to the brim with shoppers and vendors and wharves filled with traditional Arab sailing dhows. Although busy, this area is a great place to experience the true culture of Dubai and its merchant past, plus there is nothing like exploring a huge market place and drinking in the sounds and smells of a culture.
In this old part of Dubai, you will find luxurious hotels on the waterfront promenade and historical attractions such as the Heritage House Museum, all within 10-15 minutes away from Dubai International Airport. For a different side to the city and for the convenience of travel, Deira is another great choice for where to stay in Dubai.
The Best places to stay in Deira
Jumeirah Beach – Best area to stay in Dubai with family
Jumeirah Beach is a place full of glamorous resort hotels, lively beach clubs, and a plethora of shopping and restaurant options that will make your head dizzy with the indecision of where to go first. The fact that it is also home to a seven-star hotel, Burj Al Arab, that is built on its own island, shows the level of luxury to expect here. If your primary goal is to be by the beach and you love to live in style, then you’ve hit the jackpot with Jumeirah Beach.
Boasting white sands and warm, turquoise waters, the beach stretches all the way from the North (from Deira) to the South (to Dubai Marina) and every single patch of sand along the way is as heavenly as the next. It is also complete with a shopping strip called “The Walk,” so if the beach isn’t for you, well air-conditioned shops, restaurants and bars line the beachfront. A suitable area for families, the district is also home to Madinat Jumeirah Souk, a place where you can buy traditional products, and Al Wadi Wadi, a massive waterpark perfect for any age!
The Best places to stay in Jumeirah Beach
Dubai Marina – Best place to stay in Dubai for tourist
If you head south of Jumeirah Beach, you will find the fairly new district of Dubai Marina. Established in 2003, this district is built alongside a man-made canal and consists of high-rise buildings, including the second tallest building in Dubai, Princess Tower. A densely populated area, you will find facilities such as a state-of-the-art regional media hub (known as Dubai Media City), a technological park (known as Dubai Internet City), Dubai Marina Walk which is full of restaurants and bars that suit every style and budget.
Dubai Marina Mall (one of the largest malls in Dubai) and Marina Beach. As you can imagine, this modern district is full of new hotels, housed in skyscrapers that tower over the marina and offer fantastic views all around. With both Jumeirah Beach and The Palm just a short drive away, this makes Dubai Marina one of the top places to stay while in Dubai.
The Best places to stay in Dubai Marina
The Palm (Palm Islands) – Best place to stay in Dubai for couples
Yes, escaping the city is an option whilst staying in Dubai! The Palm is an artificial island built in 2014 and you will find it floating in the Persian Gulf. Although artificial, the relaxation that can be achieved here is very much real. Offering luxury hotels, sea views, a private white sand beach, and water and marine-animal parks, the island also isn’t short of attractions and entertainment to be had if you so choose.
You’re also not ever far away from the iconic Dubai skyscrapers and buzz of the city if you want just a day or two of exploring the exciting metropolis, so we think that this makes The Palm a worthy place to recommend visitors stay.
The Best places to stay on Palm Islands
If you’d like to save it for later, please save it to Pinterest.