Destinations / Middle East & North Africa

Where to Stay in Dubai: Best Neighbourhoods & Hotels for Sightseeing

Dubai is a city of luxury, beachfront indulgence and cultural immersion. A city of many faces, Dubai caters to all travellers with its wealth of once-in-a-lifetime attractions, from the towering Burj Khalifa to the internationally-acclaimed Mall of the Emirates. There’s no shortage of things to do in Dubai, so the only thing left to figure out is what part of this enigmatic city will suit your travelling style.

From the waterfront district of Bur Dubai and the world-famous attractions in Downtown Dubai to the island-style paradise of Palm Jumeirah, Dubai boasts a variety neighbourhoods perfect for sightseeing and inner-city excitement. With over 400 million annual visitors to HotelsCombined, we’ve tracked down the highest-rated hotels for each area, including where to stay in Dubai on a budget.

We’ve also combined this in-depth hotel guide with up-to-date information on the best sights and activities for each neighbourhood. Read on for expert advice on where to stay in Dubai.

Bur Dubai

Where to Stay in Bur Dubai

Bur Dubai hugs the banks of Dubai Creek, where nature abounds in a range of wildlife attractions, waterfront walking trails and scenic golf courses. This historic neighbourhood is the site of Dubai’s original settlement and is blessed with traditional souqs, authentic eateries and storied structures.

Bur Dubai’s waterfront is teeming with local everyday life, from fishing boats and cafes to archaeological museums and heritage villages. This sprawling neighbourhood also keeps you close to many of Downtown Dubai’s world-famous attractions and desert safari operators in neighbouring Deira. Are you seeking culture, nature, shopping and gourmet dining? Bur Dubai might be the perfect place for you.

Best Hotels in Bur Dubai

Savoy Central Hotel Apartments 

Savoy Central Hotel Apartments Savoy Central Hotel ApartmentsAre you looking for self-contained accommodation in Dubai? Savoy Central Hotel Apartments offers you a well-equipped kitchen, along with air conditioning, modern decor and stylish bathrooms. There are options to suit all types of travellers, including the spacious Family Studio and extravagant Executive Studio. These opulent apartments also feature coffee and tea making facilities, complimentary Wi-Fi and work desks.

You’ll find ample opportunities to relax at Savoy Central Hotel Apartments, from the indulgent rooftop pool and fully-equipped gym to the sauna and steam rooms. In addition to the on-site safari and city tours, this opulent hotel boasts an ideal location near the Dubai Museum and BurJuman Shopping Mall. You’re also a short walk from the culturally-rich Meena Bazar and fascinating Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood. Parents can take advantage of the on-site babysitting services, while business travellers will appreciate the conference rooms.

Star Rating: 3*
Price: AED 165 – AED 793
Guest Rating: 8.8
Address: P.O.Box 49519, Al Rolla Road, Bur Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Melia Dubai Hotel 

Melia Dubai Hotel Melia Dubai HotelStyle and sophistication abound at the five-star Melia Dubai Hotel, where Spanish influences combine with an array of pampering facilities to create a first-class Dubai experience. Kick back at the exclusive rooftop pool with its panoramic city vistas before enjoying a specialty treatment at the on-site YHI Spa. The hotel’s restaurants provide gourmet dining, from innovative Indian dishes at Signature By Sanjeev Kapoor to international flavours at Azalya.

You can choose from a range of contemporary rooms that boast Italian-style furnishings. This is one of Dubai’s best budget-friendly hotels, thanks to the affordable Melia Guestroom with its flat-screen TV and garden views. If you want to splurge, opt for The Level Grand Suite, which boasts a freestanding bath and heavenly bed. Right outside you’ll find the Meena Bazaar. 

Star Rating: 5*
Price: AED 123 – AED 764
Guest Rating: 8.7
Address: 23, Kuwait Street, Bur Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Four Points by Sheraton Downtown Dubai 

Four Points by Sheraton Downtown DubaiHotelsCombined visitors rave about the on-site bar at Four Points by Sheraton Downtown Dubai, where you can enjoy American and English-style beers and cuisine at Yesterday Restaurant & Pub. This diverse hotel also has an international dining outlet called The Eatery Restaurant and an Italian restaurant called Centro Citta. You can relax at the outdoor swimming pool that features a sundeck or work up a sweat in the fitness centre or sauna.

Rooms at this budget-friendly Dubai hotel range from the affordable Classic Rooms to the opulent One Bedroom Suites. The latter is fully self-contained with kitchenettes, separate living and dining areas and laundry facilities, while all rooms enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi, air conditioning and mini bars. Wander outside to find the Dubai Dolphinarium only a 10-minute cab ride away. 

Star Rating: 4*
Price: AED 111 – AED 1,030
Guest Rating: 8.4
Address: Mankhool Road 4C Street, Bur Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa

Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa

The four-star Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa is a few blocks from Dubai Creek, only a few minutes’ walk from the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood and the Meena Bazaar. This hotel exudes Arabian heritage, from the elegantly appointed rooms and sun-drenched pool to the alfresco on-site restaurant and VIP Lounge. You can also enjoy the Sherlock Holmes English Pub and alluring Mumtaz Mahal Restaurant.

Rest easy knowing you’ll be sleeping peacefully on a king-size bed in your Classic Room, Executive Room, One Bedroom Suite or Grand Suite. The Grand Suite also features silk bedding, elegant furnishings and handcrafted artwork. Along with a beauty salon and currency exchange, you can also take advantage of 24-hour room service, a fully-equipped gym and on-site day spa with Moroccan baths and facials.

Star Rating: 4*
Price: AED 146 – AED 741
Guest Rating: 8.3
Address: Al Fahidi Street, Opposite to Dubai Museum, Dubai City Centre, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Hotel Locations

Meena Bazaar

Bur Dubai's Top Attractions

Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood

Travel back and immerse yourself in mid-19th-century life in Dubai at the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, where you’ll find traditional buildings made of stone, teak, sandalwood and palm fronds. Atmospheric alleyways and beautiful public squares reveal art exhibits, alfresco cafes, fine-dining restaurants and cultural and historical museums. Don’t miss one of the regular events, such as Sikka Art Fair and Heritage Week.

Al Fahidi Neighbourhood
Dubai Dolphinarium

The first air-conditioned indoor dolphinarium in the Middle East, Dubai Dolphinarium is all about family fun with its spectacular dolphins and seals. You can see friendly dolphins and seals perform tricks and stunning acrobatics, before checking out the Exotic Bird Show to witness Middle Eastern birds amaze audiences with their stunts. Dubai Dolphinarium also has an indoor trampoline, a mirror maze and 5D and 7D cinemas.

Dubai Dolphinarium
Dubai Garden Glow

Dubai Garden Glow is easily one of the most unique theme parks in the world, home to a glow-in-the-dark garden comprising 10-million energy-saving bulbs, a dinosaur park with over 100 animatronic dinosaurs and an ice sculpture park made out of 5,000 tons of ice. Located in Zabeel Park, Dubai Garden Glow comes alive at night with eye-catching exhibits, including the Happy Forest and Sea World.

Dubai Garden Glow
The Dubai Mall

You’ll find few places in the world as devoted to shopping as The Dubai Mall, a staple in fashion around the Middle East and across the globe. It features over 1,200 retail outlets, including Adidas, Armani, French Connection, Nickelodeon and Irony Home. Shoppers can refuel at high-quality eateries, such as Magnolia Bakery and Social House. Reel Cinemas, Dubai Ice Rink and Dubai Aquarium provide family entertainment.

The Dubai Mall
Meena Bazaar

If you prefer to do your shopping surrounded by the sights, smells and sounds of the city, head to the outdoor mall of Meena Bazaar. It earned its name from the well-dressed mannequins in the shop windows, which will entice you to enter jewellery, diamond and traditional fashion stores. Meena Bazaar is best experienced at night when the laneways reveal fairy-lit Indian and Pakistani stores and spice shops.

Meena Bazaar

Downtown Dubai

Where to Stay in Downtown Dubai

You’re surrounded by world-class sightseeing and experiences while staying in Downtown Dubai. This relatively small neighbourhood offers an array of attractions within an easy walking distance from its hotels. The action takes place around the magnificent Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountain, where you’ll find wildlife and cultural attractions, along with high-end designer stores.

Downtown Dubai is also ideally positioned near Dubai Creek and a range of waterfront parks, while the encircling streets reveal numerous international and local restaurants. This neighbourhood is ideal for travellers seeking inner-city convenience and a front seat to Dubai’s sightseeing hotspots.

Best Hotels in Downtown Dubai

The Palace Downtown Dubai 

The Palace Downtown Dubai bedroom The Palace Downtown Dubai restaurantThe Palace Downtown Dubai places you right on the edge of the stunning Dubai Fountain, overlooking Burj Park, the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Opera. It’s also surrounded by fine-dining restaurants and cocktail bars, including Karma Kafé and Bice Mare. The hotel itself is blessed with exquisite on-site dining options, from Bangkok-style seafood at Thiptara to poolside shisha and Arabian cuisine at Buhayra Lounge.

If you’re looking for true pampering, visit The Spa at Palace Downtown for signature therapies that blend Western and Eastern expertise. You’ll also find a palm-fringed swimming pool and fully-equipped business centre for work and leisure. Designed for splurging, the hotel has lavish rooms and suites, including those with lake or fountain views. Arabian opulence flows throughout each one, especially in the suites, which boast textiles and wooden furnishings.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: AED 672 – AED 2,433
Guest Rating: 9.2
Address: Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, P.O. Box 9770, Downtown Dubai Complex, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Manzil Downtown Dubai 

Manzil Downtown Dubai restaurant Manzil Downtown Dubai bedroomA boutique Arabic style accentuates the overall opulence of Manzil Downtown Dubai, where you’ll discover touches of extravagance, from the sun-drenched temperature-controlled pool to the valet parking and state-of-the-art gym. It’s also possible to eat around the world without leaving the hotel, thanks to the multicultural fare at The Courtyard and unique Levantine cuisine at Boulevard Kitchen.

There is a range of rooms to choose from, all of which come with beautiful Arabic decor and large windows. You can opt for the Deluxe Pool View Room, which has ample natural light and a heavenly king-size bed. Alternatively, upgrade your vista by staying in the Deluxe Burj View Room or Burj View Suite, which both overlook the Burj Khalifa. The latter also has a private balcony, media hub and adjoining lounge.

Star Rating: 4*
Price: AED 357 – AED 1,229
Guest Rating: 9.1
Address: Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai Complex, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Vida Downtown Dubai 

Vida Downtown Dubai pool Vida Downtown Dubai loungeVida Downtown Dubai is another hotel that captures the heritage and traditional culture of the Middle East, all within a contemporary and luxurious haven. It starts with the rooms and suites, which provide impressive floor space, calming interior decor and sun-drenched windows. You can up the ante by staying in the Premier Suite, which has a separate dining area, study and butler’s kitchen. Large groups should book the Boulevard Suite for two bedrooms with king-size beds, a private terrace and two bathrooms.

Let indulgence rule your days at Vida Downtown Dubai, where you can lounge in a cabana between refreshing dips in the pool. You’re spoilt for choice with the on-site dining, from Mediterranean cuisine at 3in1 and innovative French fare at La Serre to Chinese and Japanese street food at Downtown Tokyo. 

Star Rating: 4*
Price: AED 303 – AED 1,502
Guest Rating: 9.1
Address: Emaar Boulevard, The Old Town, Downtown Dubai Complex, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Armani Hotel Dubai 

Armani Hotel Dubai bedroom Armani Hotel Dubai restaurantIf sightseeing and luxury are your top priorities for your Dubai holiday, stay at Armani Hotel Dubai located at the world-famous Burj Khalifa. From here you can also walk to the Dubai Fountain, Dubai Mall and Burj Plaza. This five-star hotel combines its prime location with exemplary service and facilities, including personalised sensory treatments at the on-site Armani/SPA and contemporary couture at Armani/Galleria.

The award-winning on-site dining at Armani Hotel Dubai includes one of the best views in the city from Armani/Amal, which also dishes up traditional Indian meals and live music. No expense is spared in the hotel’s rooms and suites, which all have mesmerising city vistas and opulent furnishings. The Armani Premiere Suite also features a personal butler station and deep-soaking tub, while the balcony upgrade gives you private cushioned sun loungers.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: AED 1,102 – AED 4,593
Guest Rating: 9.1
Address: P.O. Box 888333, Downtown Dubai Complex, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Hotel Locations

The Dubai Fountain

Downtown Dubai’s Top Attractions

Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo

Housed within the Dubai Mall, the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is one of the world’s largest aquariums. It holds over 33,000 marine animals, including the world’s largest collection of sand tiger sharks, saltwater crocodiles, clownfish and penguins. Kids will love the unique Mermaid Experience, which lets them dress up as a mermaid or pirate, while adventurers will enjoy the Shark Dive, Cage Snorkelling or Shark Encounter.

Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo
Burj Khalifa

Standing at over 800 metres tall, the Burj Khalifa is the tallest structure in the world and stands out on the glistening Dubai city skyline. We’re talking 160 stories of architectural genius, including the world’s highest observation deck at 555 metres, which grants you panoramic vistas of Dubai and the surrounding ocean and desert. This unique tower boasts the world’s fastest double-deck elevators and virtual reality experiences.

Burj Khalifa
Dubai Opera

The ultra-modern Dubai Opera opened in 2016 and has quickly become one of the city’s premier cultural venues, hosting the biggest names in opera, classical music, theatre and ballet, including Shaolin Warriors and “Romeo and Juliet”. Not only is this venue an architectural gem with its futuristic dhow shape, but it’s also a hotspot for international and national performances on a state-of-the-art stage with seating for 2,000 people.

Dubai Opera
Souk Al Bahar

Are you looking for authentic Middle Eastern shopping with an opulent twist? Make a beeline for the Souk Al Bahar, where you’ll find a number of local stalls selling handicrafts, antiques, unique souvenirs and specialty items. From limited-edition prints at Mozaiic Art Gallery to luxurious jewellery at Intermix Gems, Souk Al Bahar has the perfect item for you. It also features restaurants and cafes overlooking the Dubai Fountain.

Souk Al Bahar
The Dubai Fountain

The cherry on top of any Dubai holiday, The Dubai Fountain is the world’s largest choreographed fountain located in the picturesque Burj Khalifa Lake. The fountain stretches for over 270 metres and features a range of powerful water nozzles that shoot off in time with various melodies. It also boasts 25 colour projectors that help bring the water to life while you watch from the Dubai Fountain Boardwalk.

The Dubai Fountain

The Palm Jumeirah

Where to Stay in Palm Jumeirah

The world’s first man-made archipelago, Palm Jumeirah is in the shape of a palm tree when seen from above. This isn’t the only tropical-paradise trait at Palm Jumeirah, where you can also relax in opulent resorts with private beaches, sun-dappled pools and pampering day spas. You’re a far cry from Dubai’s busy city streets while staying at Palm Jumeirah, where verdant lawns meet soft sand, umbrellaed loungers and turquoise water.

Palm Jumeirah’s exclusivity lends it some of Dubai’s most unforgettable experiences, from a family-friendly water park and Atlantis-themed aquarium to dolphin encounters and tandem skydiving. You’ll also find a wealth of gourmet dining right outside your front door.

Best Hotels in Palm Jumeirah

One&Only The Palm Dubai 

One&Only The Palm Dubai bedroomDiscover the tranquillity at One&Only The Palm Dubai, which has earned an almost perfect rating on HotelsCombined thanks to its tropical-paradise setting, award-winning on-site dining, luxurious suites and heavenly pool. Choose from the Moorish-inspired Manor House rooms, secluded Palm Beach Mansion suites or the utterly intoxicating Beachfront Villas. Many of these come with private pools, panoramic beach views and sun-soaked day beds.

Guests can work up a sweat at the on-site fitness and wellness centre, enjoy signature beauty treatments at Pedi:Mani:Cure Studio or indulge in personalised spa therapies at Guerlain Spa. You also have access to a wealth of dining and drinking establishments, including 101 Bar that overlooks the cityscape and the poolside Zest restaurant. Soak up those sunny days at the 850-square-metre main pool, adults-only pool or the inviting private beach.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: AED 1,726 – AED 3,902
Guest Rating: 9.9
Address: West Crescent, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah

Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah lounge Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah bedroom

The five-star Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah is a tropical haven on the edge of Dubai’s biggest attractions. You’ll feel truly relaxed while staying at this award-winning hotel, whether you’re kicking back on the private beach, dining at the six on-site restaurants and bars or sipping cocktails by the pool. There’s even an on-site day spa with couples’ suites, hot tubs, herbal steam rooms and an ice fountain.

Those seeking a bit more excitement can go kayaking, windsurfing or water skiing at the Water Sports Center, play a game of tennis, work out at the fitness centre or arrange a snorkelling trip. Not only do the rooms and suites at Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah overlook the ocean, but they also come with fluffy bathrobes, a pillow menu and optional in-room food and beverage packages.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: AED 426 – AED 3,330
Guest Rating: 9.2
Address: Crescent East, Plot C-34, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Atlantis The Palm

Atlantis The Palm bedroom Atlantis The Palm terrace

Easily one of the best and most unique hotels in Dubai, Atlantis The Palm is a royal palace, year-round playground, international dining destination and tropical oasis all rolled into one. Guests at this award-winning hotel have direct access to the Aquaventure Waterpark, Lost Chambers Aquarium and one-of-a-kind dolphin encounters at Dolphin Bay. There’s also the Shuiqi Spa that offers pampering body and mind treatments and Shuiqi Salon’s female and male styling.

The guest rooms at Atlantis The Palm offer private balconies overlooking the ocean and Dubai city skyline. Upgrade to the Club Suites for private airport transfers, complimentary daily drinks and a personalised concierge. For the ultimate luxury, stay in one of the Signature Suites, such as the Underwater Suite, which surrounds you with marine animals in every room.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: AED 605 – AED 29,359
Guest Rating: 9.0
Address: 1 Crescent Road, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa

Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa bedroom Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa pool

HotelsCombined visitors love the private beach and sea views at Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa. Some of the best ocean and city vistas are found at the hotel’s lagoon-style pool, which is surrounded by grassy lawns, palm trees and private cabanas. If you want your own private pool, book one of the opulent villas or bungalows, which also have Polynesian designs.

The self-contained apartments are ideal for travellers who enjoy staying in and soaking in the deep bath, cooking in the gourmet kitchen or lounging on their private balcony. You can also stay in beautifully appointed suites with signature king-size beds and direct beach access or budget-friendly rooms with turquoise decor and Lanvin bath products. Dine at one of the 14 on-site restaurants and lounges or relax with a revitalising treatment at SoSPA.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: AED 186 – AED 1,926
Guest Rating: 9.1
Address: East Crescent Road, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Jumeirah Zabeel Saray

umeirah Zabeel Saray pool Jumeirah Zabeel Saray bedroom

The Ottoman-inspired Jumeirah Zabeel Saray is a masterpiece of architecture and art, blessed with Turkish murals and historic decor. You’ll find alluring features around every corner, whether it’s the 59-metre infinity pool, private beach, award-winning Talise Ottoman Spa or private cinema. Active travellers can play tennis, work out in the Talise Fitness Studio or arrange a private boat cruise. 

The rest of the world quickly fades away when you reach your sumptuous room or suite, which overlooks the Arabian Gulf and Dubai city skyline. If you prefer to splurge, check out the Royal Residences, where you’re enveloped in unbridled luxury, from an exclusive lagoon-style pool and direct beach access to antique furnishings. Enjoy the delicious brunch at The Rib Room or a romantic dinner for two on the beach.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: AED 502 – AED 2,906
Guest Rating: 9.1
Address: The Crescent (West), Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Hotel Locations

Emirates Golf Club

Palm Jumeirah’s Top Attractions

Aquaventure Waterpark

Spread across 17 hectares, Aquaventure Waterpark is a fun-filled aquatic adventure with high-speed water slides, including the heart-stopping Leap of Faith and Shark Attack, which whips you past an aquarium filled with sharks. Aquaventure Waterpark also boasts relaxed river rides, a private beach, poolside cabanas and a kids’ play area. Check out the Shark Safari for a scuba diving-esque experience or feed friendly Cownose Rays.

Aquaventure Waterpark
Al Sufouh Beach

Al Sufouh Beach is also called “Secret Beach” by the locals because this idyllic stretch of sand has an alluring exclusivity tucked between royal fortresses, towering palm trees and the resorts of Palm Jumeirah. Unlike most other Dubai beaches, Al Sufouh doesn’t have volleyball courts or large crowds. Instead, you’re treated to a relatively untouched shoreline of white sand, azure water and umbrellaed loungers.

Al Sufouh Beach
Dubai Marina Yacht Club

Walk among some of Dubai’s most elite and wealthy residents at the Dubai Marina Yacht Club, where million-dollar catamarans and yachts sit alongside promenades lined with alfresco cafes, bars and restaurants. There are four marinas, including the Club House Marina, East Marina and West Bay Marina that are beautiful at sunset. Head to the Mall Marina to browse international fashion brands at Dubai Marina Mall.

Dubai Marina Yacht Club
Emirates Golf Club

Enjoy first-class golf facilities at the renowned Emirates Golf Club, the first of its kind in the Middle East. It boasts two exquisite 18-hole golf courses, including the Faldo Course, which also offers night golf. Keen golfers can test their skills on the challenging holes, while active spectators should time their visit for the Omega Dubai Desert Classic or Omega Dubai Ladies Masters.

Emirates Golf Club
Mall of the Emirates

Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates is more than just a retail haven, thanks to its 90-plus restaurants, five-star hotels and array of family-friendly entertainment. This “shopping resort” features the first ski resort and snow park in the Middle East, a 14-screen cinema, the Magic Planet arcade and the Dubai Community Theatre & Arts Centre. It doesn’t skimp on the shopping either, with stores like American Eagle and Dior.

Mall of the Emirates

Dubai Keeps the Highlights Coming

There’s no end to Dubai’s sightseeing hotlist, with countless world-renowned attractions and unforgettable experiences found in every neighbourhood. The three areas above provide some of the city’s finest sights, while the top hotels in each spot offer effortless luxury and inner-city havens. HotelsCombined visitors consistently choose hotels in Dubai with on-site dining, a range of room options, day spas and a close proximity to attractions.

Where do you want to stay in Dubai? Let us know in the comments below.

Author: Ben Stower

I'm enamoured with travel, whether it's finding the quiet, local sanctuaries in touristic cities, venturing into rock vaults in a distant jungle or spending hours on a Spanish beach. I can't see an end to my travelling. Just another chapter and another story to tell.

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