The Best Places To Stay in Dubai
Whether it’s luxury shopping, a desert adventure or checking out the latest in architecture and innovation, Dubai is definitely the United Arab Emirates city with the biggest personality and reputation. Host city of the 2020 World Expo, interest in the emirate is growing, and with that comes one new hotel after another at a rapid pace. Having lived in the Emirates, and stayed in many of the establishments on my shortlist, this is my pick of the places that will make your Dubai stay comfortable and memorable.
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Best for shopping: Address Downtown
Neighborhood: Downtown Dubai
With the world’s largest shopping mall a short stroll from the lobby, shopaholics will be in their element at this 220-room, five-star hotel. Not only is The Dubai Mall on the doorstep, the hotel offers some of the best views of the Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest tower – and Dubai’s spectacular dancing fountain. The hotel is also just a 15 minute walk from the Dubai Opera. The recently refurbished property is chic and luxurious and has a dedicated spa and wellness floor, along with an extensive range of dining options, including Turkish restaurant the Galliard.
Rooms start from Dh 1,000 (£212) room only
Best for opulence: Burj Al Arab Jumeirah
Neighborhood: Jumeirah Beach
Those with a penchant for luxury will be in their element here. Visible from just about every corner of Dubai, the 321 m tall, sail shaped property is as stunning inside as it is breathtaking from the outside. From the cascade waterfall at the entrance to the vibrant color palette and extensive use of gold throughout, the Burj Al Arab makes for a truly palatial experience. There are 202 luxury duplexes in the hotel, and each of the 28 floors has a check in counter, reception desk and 24-hour private butler service. Guests can indulge in a dining experience like no other at Nathan Outlaw’s Al Mahara restaurant, where guests can go “under the sea” and sit among the classy establishment’s floor-to-ceiling aquarium. Nearby, the Wild Wadi Waterpark and Kite Beach are around the corner and the Madinat Jumeirah souk is just a short abra ride away.
Rates start from Dh 5,512 (£1,166) per night
Best for that desert vibe: Bab Al Shams
Neighborhood: Endurance City
For a true Arabian experience, Bab Al Shams will provide you desert memories to treasure. A 45-minute drive from Dubai International Airport, this tranquil resort has gazelles, birds and an abundance of other wildlife. There are desert adventures such as camel rides, falconry exhibitions and nature walks to enjoy, along with plenty of traditional Arabic dining options. Each of the rooms reflects the Middle East in its design, and provides guests with desert or courtyard views to enjoy 24/7.
Rates start from Dh 693 (£146) per night
Best to impress: Palazzo Versace Dubai
Neighbourhood: Culture Village
Every inch of this 215 room five-star hotel was designed and tailored exclusively by Versace. Impressive? You bet. Located on Dubai Creek, the hotel (the second in the world after Australia’s Gold Coast) was fashioned on a 16th century Italian palace and combines neoclassical style with Arabic architecture. It boasts eight restaurants and bars, three outdoor pools and some of the best views of the Dubai Creek. Guests are welcomed by a striking pebbled mosaic of the iconic Medusa upon entry, a 3,000-kilogram hand-blown Bohemian glass chandelier, and occasionally will come across a live falcon alongside its Arabic master. Rooms are beautifully designed with parquet flooring and silk finishes. A stay here is a fashionable, eloquent experience that is nothing short of impressive.
Rooms start from Dh 1,000 (£211) per night