Updated: Nov 4, 2019
If you're travelling to Dubai anytime soon and are still undecided on where you'll be staying, then there are a few things that you will need to consider before finally choosing. After all, the place that you're staying can either help or hinder your vacation, so choosing wisely is a must!
In this blog post, I have written about the three most popular areas in my opinion in Dubai, and the differences to consider between them; Downtown Dubai, Jumeirah and Dubai Marina.
This will give you some good insider knowledge (especially as a first-timer) to help you decide where to stay. Subscribe for more blog posts on hotels and things to do in Dubai next and check out my 13 tips on booking hotels online, which applies here too!
1. DOWNTOWN DUBAI
If you plan to turn up every day and night (which I'd encourage because this is DUBAI?!), then I would recommend staying Downtown Dubai. Most of the popular night clubs, lounges and major attractions are in this area, so finding something to do is pretty easy and won't cost you an arm and a leg in cab fares. The hotels can be relatively cheap in this area, but as with anything else, the more luxurious, the more expensive.
Anytime I've stayed in Downtown Dubai, I find that most of the things that I want to do are nearby. For example, staying close to or on Sheikh Zayed Road means I get to enjoy a host of clubs, lounges and restaurants easily. I also enjoy staying near Dubai Mall because it's convenient. The Dubai Mall is attached to the Burj Khalifa (world's tallest skyscraper), which is absolutely beautiful to look at at night.
I've only ever had to venture out of Downtown Dubai, to go to certain places such as: Burj Al Arab, Dubai Marina, Barasti Beach Club, Zero Gravity and a few other places. However, with proper planning you can do most of these things in just a few trips.
-Ask for a room with Burj Khalifa view from the hotel that you're booking.
-Most hotels downtown offer a free shuttle service from the hotel to The Dubai Mall with your booking, (which is connected to Burj Khalifa) so make use of the free shuttle services and don't waste money on cab.
- Most hotels in Downtown Dubai are nice, but it really depends on your budget. Of course, the higher the budget the nicer the hotel, but this is Dubai... so you can definitely get a better value 4* or 5* hotel here, than in the UK
If you plan to have a very chilled time in Dubai, spending time at the beach, doing Shisha and just soaking up the sun, then I'd recommend staying in Jumeirah. It is the most expensive place to stay in Dubai and as a result is far quieter than Downtown. Jumeirah is also home to the world's only 7-star hotel in the world- Burj Al Arab which averages around £1500 per night, so it's no wonder that the area is overwhelmed with beautiful, but overpriced properties.
I've stayed in Jumeirah twice before and really enjoyed my stays at Waldorf Astoria and Royal Central Palm, however, when it came to the evening time, I did find it quite boring because there wasn't much happening in the area besides shisha smoking in neigbouring hotels or posh lounges and a bit of alcohol. If I wanted to venture out into Downtown where it was all happening, I'd be looking at spending about £20 each way.
-My advice is to stay here only if you've finished doing all the turn-up activities in Dubai and you're ready to relax and soak up some celebrity-style luxury.
-Ask for a room with Burj Al Arab view from the hotel that you're booking.
-Most hotels in Jumeirah offer a free shuttle service from the hotel to Four Seasons Hotel, which is where the major waterpark, Aquaventure is. So, make use of the free shuttle services and don't waste money on cab.
3. DUBAI MARINA
Dubai Marina is also an option when considering where to stay, since it has some of the most popular instagrammable hotels in Dubai. It is also located close to Marina Beach and has various other activities that can be done, such as Yacht cruising and Zip-lining. Dubai Marina is also a good place to say seeing as you'll be close to another mall in Dubai which is The Mall of Emirates. This mall is not as popping as Dubai Mall, but it's still a convenient attraction to this area.
I would say that it is quite similar to staying in Jumeirah, in that if you stay in Dubai Marina and want to venture into Downtown for the day (or night), it's about a 20-25 minute cab ride each way and it can get bloomin' expensive if you do that too many times on your stay. However, there is definitely a lot more to do in this area than in Jumeirah and hotels are not as expensive at all.
-If you're staying in this area of Dubai, make sure you have enough activities planned in and around the area to keep yourself busy. It can end up being a really good pick if you plan your itinerary properly.
- There is a lot to do in and around this area if you plan properly
I hope that this blog post has been helpful for you. Next I'll be giving some hotel recommendations on which hotels to stay in these areas and things you can do, so subscribe to be the first to know when these blog posts are out.