Where to stay in Dubai? Here are the best neighbourhoods to stay in the most famous city in the United Arab Emirates.
With over 1.6 million inhabitants, Dubai is the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates after Abu Dhabi. Located on the west coast of a peninsula of the Persian Gulf, Dubai is hardly smaller – with its 35 km² – than the Gaza Strip (45 km²). In the near future, the city hopes to become the world’s leading destination for luxury tourism. Are you going to Dubai for a holiday or a business trip? Start looking now for where to stay in Dubai, as accommodation rates will not be cheap.
With its arid subtropical climate, temperatures can rise up to 50°C in summer, and not a drop of rain falls from May to the end of October. Choose your period to visit Dubai: the best months to visit are from November to April. Each sector of the city has its own vibe, culture, and atmosphere: here is a mini-guide to the best neighbourhoods to stay in Dubai.
The world’s “highest” city centre
Photo credit: Flickr – Bertrand Duperrin
Impossible to miss this area which seems to have forgotten its modesty with the economic and financial boom that the oil economy allowed it. In the city centre, many buildings beat a world record. The shopping center is the largest in the world, holding the title of the most visited shopping site in the world. The Burj Khalifa Tower – from where you can climb to the 124th, 125th and 148th floors – is the highest tower in the world. The JW Marriott Marquis is the highest hotel in the world.
There are many things to do for the whole family: the Dubai souk, the aquarium and the underwater zoo, as well as numerous fountains. Booking accommodation in this area allows you to do luxury shopping and be close to everything without taking the car or public transport. Without a doubt, this is the best place to stay in Dubai if you enjoy shopping in style and comfort.
The Media City
Photo credit: Flickr – lensnmatter
Further south are Dubai’s major press organs. This suburb has another, more attractive specialty: trendy restaurants and festive areas. It is here that locals and tourists taste Arab culinary specialities, such as Lebanese mezzé, grilled haloumi, Moroccan tajine, shawwarma, oriental tabbouleh, hummus, etc. And remember: it is not because it is a Muslim country that you cannot drink alcohol. The law allows non-Muslim tourists to buy and consume alcohol in authorised places (home, hotels, restaurants, bars, and cafés) but not in the streets. Choose this neighbourhood if you want to enjoy the markets and music festivals or even go up to the 42nd floor of the Media One hotel to have a drink and admire a breathtaking view.
Photo credit: Flickr – Michael Theis
It’s a bustling neighborhood, and one of the oldest in the city. Visit the Heritage Village and the Dubai Museum with its old fort, to relive the stages of the city’s development. Also take a traditional boat cruise on the creek (Dhow Cruise) to enjoy the warm evenings. Wander as you wish through the Textile Souk, shops, restaurants, and hookah cafes.
Deira, the old centre
Photo credit: Flickr – Mathias Apitz (München)
Here is a neighbourhood to stay in Dubai which plunges the visitor into a strange mixture of tradition and modernity. In a maze of narrow tangled streets, there are cheap restaurants and many little souks where you can find a whole array of trinkets and souvenirs.
Jumeirah and the range
Photo credit: Flickr – themonnie
What better way to stay in Dubai than near the beaches? It is so hot that one likes to relax on the coast’s private (paid) or public beaches. On the sand, enjoy a view of the famous Burj Al Arab hotel and get a taste of the atmosphere of the Madinat souk. You’ll enjoy its shops, bars, nightclubs, and restaurants. Overall, Jumeirah is an excellent area to stay in Dubai.
Main photo credit : Flickr – Alex DROP