Where to Stay in Dubai [5 Best Neighborhoods of 2018]

 Dubai is a massive, modern and sprawling city. World-class shopping, legendary nightlife, extravagant cuisine, and endless sunshine are just a few of the reasons that Dubai is an amazing travel destination.

But Dubai is much larger than most people think, and picking one place to stay can be overwhelming. Which is exactly why we put together this epic guide of where to stay in Dubai!

Written by our travel experts, this no-stress guide will show you EXACTLY where you should stay in Dubai.  We’ll help you find a neighbourhood that suits your style (and save some cash while you are at it!)

Here are our picks for where to stay in Dubai. Some of these neighborhoods are unbelievable…

Additional reading – the Ultimate List of the Best Hotels in Dubai, and Dubai’s Coolest Things to Do

Where to Stay in Dubai

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Dubai

  • Where to stay in Dubai first time – Dubai Marina
  • Where to stay in Dubai on a budget – Al Mankhool
  • Best area to stay in Dubai for nightlife – Al Satwa
  • Coolest place to stay in Dubai  – Downtown Dubai
  • Best neighbourhood in Dubai for families – Deira

Where to Stay in Dubai

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Dubai.

Best Budget Hotel in Dubai – M Hotel Downtown by Millennium

M Hotel Downtown by Millennium Dubai

M Hotel Downtown by Millennium is the best budget hotel in Dubai

Set in Downtown, M Hotel is the best budget hotel in Dubai. Offering affordable rooms in one of the most expensive areas of the city, M Hotel is a great find. Offering modern yet simple rooms, M Hotel has everything you could need, including amazing views of Dubai’s cityscape.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Dubai – Al Ghurair Hotel

Al Ghurair Hotel Managed by AccorHotels Dubai

Al Ghurair Hotel Managed by AccorHotels is the best mid-range hotel in Dubai

Al Ghurair Hotel is the best mid-range hotel in Dubai. Located in Deira, Swissotel is a place of contrasts. Surrounded by the old town of Deira, the opulence and modern touches of the hotel are really rather impressive. Boasting over 400-rooms this is a slick operation catering to guests every need.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in Dubai – Shangri-La Hotel Dubai

Shangri-La Hotel Dubai

Shangri-La Hotel Dubai

Shangri-La Hotel is the very definition of luxury and opulence. As the best luxury hotel in Dubai, Shangri-La boasts the full 5-stars. Set in a busy and bustling part of the city Shangri-La is a welcome retreat. The rooms are simply incredible and guests need not lift a finger.

 

Dubai Neighbourhoods Guide

Dubai

Dubai

Dubai is a city of contrasts, a city alive and thriving. As one of the most modern cities in the world, Dubai is ever evolving. If you want to experience the more historical, authentic side of the United Arab Emirates you need to head to Deira.

This Old Town of Dubai retains its authenticity, it’s Arabian charm. You can scurry around the souks, haggling for bargains and sipping on sweet black tea. It’s surprisingly refreshing in the sweltering heat.

Hotel Jules Insider Tip

Dubai is the home of extravagance and opulence and you can experience this everywhere you turn in the modern city centre. Iconic landmarks like The Palm are great for hotel resorts but offer little more than that. If you want things to do in Dubai, to keep active and explore you need to be based in Downtown, Al Satwa or Dubai Marina.

Downtown is one of the coolest places to stay in Dubai and Al Satwa, also known as Trade Centre District, has a great nightlife scene. It’s where all the expats go to let their hair down.

Despite its reputation for being expensive and elitist, Dubai can be affordable and accessible. Squished between the new town and the old is the budget-friendly neighbourhood of Al Mankhool.

Although a little away from both districts getting around Dubai is so very easy. The public transport network is affordable, efficient and ever so clean. Running from 5 am – 12 am Saturday to Wednesday. On weekends it runs until 1 am.

Remember that weekend in the United Arab Emirates are Friday and Saturday, not Saturday and Sunday.

Dubai’s 5 Best Neighbourhoods to Stay in

Now let’s take a look, in greater detail, at the best neighbourhoods to stay in Dubai. Each is a little different to the last so be sure to check out which is right for you!

Neighborhood #1 - Dubai Marina

(Where to stay in Dubai first time)

Dubai Marina - Dubai

Dubai Marina is our pick for where to stay in Dubai for your first time

The best place to stay in Dubai first time is Dubai Marina. Offering the luxury travellers have come to expect from the city, with access to all the fun facilities dotted around the place, Dubai Marina is a great base for first-time visitors. This neighbourhood is home to some very luxurious hotels and is one of the more expensive areas of Dubai.

Dubai Marina, as its name would suggest, sits overlooking the water. One of the best things to do in Dubai Marina is to take a traditional Arabin boat tour of the Marina. In true Dubai style, you have the option of upgrading your boat tour to be a luxury cruise featuring fine dining and beautiful wines. This is the best way to appreciate the magnificence of the towering skyscrapers that stand proudly along the water’s edge.

Top Things to Do in Dubai Marina

  • Explore the Marina in the most relaxing way, on a traditional Arab dhow boat.
  • Take a long old stroll along The Beach JBR, stopping to take in the sights, have a mini workout on the fitness equipment and enjoy the coastal views.
  • Feast at any one of the 70+ dining options. From a simple coffee to fine dining brunch, the possibilities are endless.
  • Treat yourself to breakfast at one of the most impressive spots in the neighbourhood, Marina Bay Yacht Club.
  • Dance the night away at the neighbourhood’s hottest club, XL Dubai.
  • Be the bravest you can be, it’s worth it; experience Skydive Dubai

Where to Stay in Dubai Marina

Best Budget Hotel in Dubai Marina – Marina Hotel Apartments

Marina Hotel Apartments Dubai

Marina Hotel Apartments is the best budget hotel in Dubai Marina

Live like a local and stay on budget! The best budget hotel in Dubai Marina is Marina Hotel Apartments. Offering guests fully equipped apartments with views of the Marina below, this is a really good find. Guests have access to the swimming pool, indoor tennis courts and sauna.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Dubai Marina – Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach

Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach Dubai

Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach is the best mid-range hotel in Dubai Marina

Sofitel Dubai is a wonderful hotel right on Jumeirah Beach. As the best mid-range hotel in Dubai Sofitel boasts an incredible restaurant and lounge area. Many rooms overlook the water and have their own private balcony. Guests can workout in the gym or relax in the Turkish spa bath.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in Dubai Marina – Hilton Dubai Jumeirah

Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Dubai

Hilton Dubai Jumeirah is the best luxury hotel in Dubai Marina

No doubt about it, the best luxury hotel in Dubai Marina is Hilton Dubai Jumeirah. Offering a private stretch of beach, amazing outdoor pool area and incredible in-house restaurant, Hilton Dubai Jumeirah is the very definition of luxury. There are both rooms and beautiful suites available, some with ocean views.

 

Neighborhood #2 - Al Mankool

(Where to stay in Dubai on a budget)

Al Mankhool - Dubai

Al Mankhool is our pick for where to stay in Dubai on a budget

Sitting equidistant from Old Town Deira and Al Satwa, Al Mankhool not only offers the best of both worlds but does so for a fraction of the cost!

Al Mankool has a few residential streets that offer a sense of authenticity and there are dozens of affordable accommodation options too. For travellers keen to continue to explore Dubai on a shoestring it, without a doubt, the best place to stay in Dubai.

The ADCB Metro Station can be walked to from all areas of the neighbourhood in just a few minutes and from there you can connect with the rest of Dubai. Al Mankhool is just a few streets back from Dubai Creek. Despite the sweltering heat, there is a sense of freshness to the area.

Al Mankhool is a great place to experience authentic Arabin food on a budget. Dotted around the neighbourhood you will find some of the best, and totally under the radar, local restaurants. Dubai is an international city and Al Mankhool is one of the more international areas of the city. Pakistani restaurant Ravi is not to be missed.

Top Things to Do in Al Mankhool

  • Shop ’til you drop in one of the quieter malls in the city BurJuman.
  • Feast on beautiful Pakistani food at Ravi Restuarant.
  • Admire the majestic Mussallah Al Eid mosque.
  • Take a stroll along the banks of Dubai Creek.
  • Walk through the neighbourhood over to Dubai Garden Glow – a total novelty but really impressive.
  • Explore food from other areas of the Middle East at Lebanese Village.

Where to Stay in Al Mankhool

Best Budget Hotel in Al Mankhool – London Crown Hotel

London Crown Hotel Dubai

London Crown Hotel is the best budget hotel in Al Mankhool

Cheap, cheerful and the best budget hotel in Al Mankhool, London Crown Hotel is a real winner. Perfect for unfussy travellers just looking for a place to rest their head London Crown Hotel is everything you could ask for. The rooms are uniform but comfortable, clean and feature modern furnishings.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Al Mankhool – Savoy Central Hotel Apartment

Savoy Central Hotel Apartments Dubai

Savoy Central Hotel Apartments is the best mid-range hotel in Al Mankhool

The best mid-range hotel in Al Mankhool is Savoy Central Hotel Apartment. Boasting a rooftop pool, sauna and a fitness centre, you won’t find this kind of value for money in any other neighbourhood. What’s more, guests have a whole apartment to enjoy, complete with lounge and kitchen area.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in Al Mankhool – BurJuman Arjaan by Rotana

BurJuman Arjaan by Rotana Dubai

BurJuman Arjaan by Rotana is the best luxury hotel in Al Mankhool

BurJuman Arjaan by Rotana is the best luxury hotel in Al Mankool. Competing with Al Satwa on price point, they still offer great value for money and excellent service. The swimming pool is nothing shy of dreamy and the breakfast spread is mind-blowing. All rooms have WiFi and an iPod dock.

 

Neighborhood #3 - Al Satwa

(Best area to stay in Dubai for nightlife)

Al Satwa - Dubai

Al Satwa is our pick for best area to stay in Dubai for nightlife

Al Satwa is also commonly referred to as Trade Centre District. Being the bustles business centre of Dubai there needs to be space for all those office workers to network of a lunchtime and to let their hair down at night.

Being under sharia law there are certain rules and constraints that impact the nightlife scene in Dubai. By and large, however, these don’t have a negative impact and serve to keep everyone happy and safe.

As you would expect in Dubai, even the nightlife is bigger and better than anywhere else on earth. The nightlife around Al Satwa is pretty incredible and the venues each more extravagant than the last.

Cavalli Club identifies itself as a series of refined bars but in essence, it is an upmarket nightclub that features Swarovski crystal furnishings throughout.

If you don’t fancy a swanky bar, panic not. Al Satwa is home to a number of casual brew pubs and Irish themed bars serving a good old fashioned pint of lager.

Top Things to Do in Al Satwa

  • Party with the beautiful people surrounded by Swarovski crystal at Cavalli Club.
  • Enjoy a relaxed drink in a cosy yet modern setting Vii Dubai.
  • Have a neon night at Sensation Club at Crowne Plaza Hotel.
  • Enjoy a firey evening at Cirque Le Soir, a circus-themed club with fantastic circus acts.
  • Relax with some live jazz and excellent cocktails at Blue Bar.
  • Catch up on the latest sport at Fibber Magee’s Irish sports bar.

Where to Stay in Al Satwa

Best Budget Hotel in Al Satwa – Ibis One Central Hotel

Ibis One Central Hotel Dubai

Ibis One Central Hotel is the best budget hotel in Al Satwa

Ibis One is one of the best budget hotels in Dubai. As the best budget hotel in Al Satwa Ibis One stays open 24-hours a day. The rooms are simple, modern and comfortable. Guests can dine at the in-house restaurant and relax with a drink at the in-house bar.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Al Satwa – Crowne Plaza Hotel

Crowne Plaza Hotel Dubai

Crowne Plaza Hotel is the best mid-range hotel in Al Satwa

Crown Plaza Hotel is the best mid-range hotel in Al Satwa. Guests can benefit from their huge range of amenities, including a fitness centre, restaurant and business centre. The rooms are modern and bright. Each features air conditioning, a coffee machine and on-demand movies too.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in Al Satwa – Shangri-La Hotel Dubai

Shangri-La Hotel

Shangri-La Hotel is the best luxury hotel in Al Satwa

The best luxury hotel in Al Satway is Shangri-La Hotel. Standing proud in the centre of the Trade Centre District, Shangri-La offers everything you could possibly ask for in a hotel. Guests are welcome to use the swimming pool, relax on the sundeck or workout in the gym.

 

Neighborhood #4 - Downtown Dubai

(Coolest place to stay in Dubai)

Downtown Dubai - Dubai

Downtown Dubai is our pick for the coolest place to stay in Dubai

Downtown Dubai is, without a doubt, the coolest place to stay in Dubai. Home to all of the must-visit malls, landmarks and restaurants Downtown Dubai is where the action is at. By no means a cheap neighbourhood, if you want to stay in the heart of the action you’ve got to dig deep.

Downtown Dubai is home to the Dubai Mall which is one of the most incredible places on earth. It is one of the largest shopping malls in the world and makes up part of the Burj Khalifa complex. The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world.

Overwhelming in terms of size, style and the sheer number of people milling around at any given moment, whether you want to shop or not you have to experience Dubai Mall during your trip.

Taking a trip to the observation deck of the Burj Kalifa is the highlight of any trip to Dubai. It’s difficult not to get dizzy when you look down from the glass floor balcony!

Top Things to Do in Downtown Dubai

  • Size up the city from above at the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa.
  • Explore one of the most impressive, expansive shopping centres in the world, Dubai Mall
  • Watch the water come alive and dance to the music at the iconic Dubai Fountain.
  • Let the kids run wild, set their imaginations alight at Kidzania.
  • Dine in the sky at highly sought after fine dining restaurant At.Mosphere.
  • Go ice skating in the desert city at Dubai Ice Rink.

Where to Stay in Downtown Dubai

Best Budget Hotel in Downtown Dubai – M Hotel Downtown by Millennium

M Hotel Downtown by Millennium

M Hotel Downtown by Millennium is the best budget hotel in Downtown Dubai

M Hotel is the best hotel in Downtown Dubai. Affordable but still luxurious, M Hotel has a spa, a swimming pool and offers amazing views of the city below. The rooftop terrace is a great place to catch a tan and the in-house bar is a nice spot to relax in after a day of exploring.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Downtown Dubai – Ramada Downtown Dubai

Ramada Downtown

Ramada Downtown Dubai is the best mid-range hotel in Downtown Dubai

Boasting a whole heap of amenities and incredible views of Dubai, Ramada is the best mid-range hotel in Downtown Dubai. All rooms have air-conditioning, a mini bar and complimentary slippers. All the rooms are spacious and bright. There is a kitchen area and a dining room space too.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in Downtown Dubai – Armani Hotel

Armani Hotel Dubai

Armani Hotel is the best luxury hotel in Downtown Dubai

Armani Hotel is one of the most expensive and well-situated hotels in all of Dubai. As the best luxury hotel in Downtown Dubai, Armani Hotel has such great service that guests need never want for anything. Created by the world-famous fashion brand, Armani Hotel is stylish beyond compare.

 

Neighborhood #5 - Deira

(Best neighbourhood in Dubai for families)

Deira - Dubai

Deira is our pick for best neighbourhood in Dubai for families

Although not the most expected suggestion, Deira is the best place to stay in Dubai for families. For families who want an authentic experience, to be enlighted about other cultures and to learn while on the road, there is nowhere better than Deira.

As the Old Town of Dubai, Deira oozes authenticity and charm. There is a heap of museums in this neighbourhood that have received a great deal of investment. As such they are interactive, informative and most importantly enjoyable for all who visit.

If you only visit one museum in Dubai be sure to visit the Dubai Museum. Located just over the creek from central Deira, Dubai Museum runs visitors through the history of the Emirates using recreated historical scenes and wax models.

In the heart of Deira, you will find one of the most authentic souks in Dubai. Dubai Spice Souq is a sensory overload. It is mesmerising to walk through the winding alleys of the market, observing as locals stock up on their spices. Perhaps even take some home for your own cooking!

Top Things to Do in Deira

  • Have an olfactory overload at Dubai Spice Souq, take some home for your own dishes.
  • Learn about the history of Dubai and the United Arab Emirates at the interactive Dubai Museum.
  • Step back in time and experience traditional living at Heritage House.
  • Take a dhow taxi boat along Dubai Creek from Old Town to the new.
  • Discover how women have shaped the United Arab Emirates at the Women’s Museum Bait Al Banat.
  • Stock up on souvenirs, trinkets and treats at Old Souk.

Where to Stay in Deira

Best Budget Hotel in Deira – Marco Polo Hotel

Marco Polo Hotel Dubai

Marco Polo Hotel is the best budget hotel in Deira

Marco Polo is a cheap and cheerful hotel in the heart of Deira. There is a billiards table and an in-house bar. The restaurant at Marco Polo serves some great food at affordable prices. With just over 100 rooms Marco Polo is a relatively small hotel in Dubai and offers a quiet environment.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Deira –  Al Ghurair Hotel

Al Ghurair Hotel Managed by AccorHotels Dubai

Al Ghurair Hotel Managed by AccorHotels is the best mid-range hotel in Deira

Al Ghurair is one of the best mid-range hotels in Dubai, not just Deira. Offering the luxury you would expect from a 4-star hotel in Dubai but with a fairer room rate, Al Ghurair is a little gem. There is a swimming pool and another pool just for the children too. Swissotel is family-friendly and very welcoming.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in Deira – Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers

Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers Dubai

Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers is the best luxury hotel in Deira

Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel is the best luxury hotel in Deria. Featuring design elements inspired by the historic neighbourhood, this Sheraton hotel is stylish and welcoming. Guests can relax by the swimming pool or on the sun terrace. There are family rooms and spacious suites available.

 

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Dubai

Dubai is a lively, vibrant and modern city. A relatively new tourist destination, this expansive metropolis is quickly becoming one of the world’s top travel destinations. With great shopping, wild nightlife and fine dining, Dubai is more than worth a spot on your bucket list.

To recap; our top pick for where to stay in Dubai is Deira and the best hotel is Al Ghurair Hotel. A modern property surrounded by the Old Town, you can enjoy all the very best of opulent and luxurious Dubai without going over budget.

Let us know if we’ve missed anything in the comments below. Thanks!

*** Some of the links on Hotel Jules are affiliate links, which means if you do make a purchase, we may make a small commission (at no extra cost to you.) Thank you for using our links! Your support keeps the site going 🙂 ***

About the Author Hotel Jules Editor

Hotel Jules is an internationally acclaimed review site that rates the best hotels in the world. Our primary objective is to offer tourists with added information on the different types of accommodation they can get in various places around the world. Each one is evaluated using factors like cleanliness, service, location, price affordability, and amenities.

Leave a Comment: