Skip to Content

Where to Stay in Dubai in 2024 | Best Areas & Hotels

Where to Stay in Dubai in 2024 | Best Areas & Hotels

It’s quite easy to give an answer to the question of where to stay in Dubai since the most famous city in the Arab Emirates is one of the most popular destinations for tourists in the world.

You only have to do a decent amount of research, find what you like the most, and choose the most suitable area of the city. Once you’re there, we guarantee that you’ll have the time of your life.

The 5 Best Places to Stay in Dubai

Vector map of Dubai pictured with several of the best places to stay and attractions to visit

Every part of Dubai offers something different and unique. In this guide, we tried to give a balanced picture of the city. In the beginning, we will present the most famous parts of the city and the places where you’ll find renowned attractions.

But, as you reach the end of the guide, you’ll be more and more surprised by the complexity and the beauty of this one-of-a-kind city.

  1. Downtown: This part of the city is the obvious choice for firstcomers since it’s the place where you’ll see the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai fountain, and the Dubai Mall Complex.
  2. Palm Jumeirah: You’ll find the best hotel in Dubai, located along one of the most interesting architectural phenomena in the world, “the Palm.”
  3. Dubai Marina: Aside from its obvious beauty, the Dubai Marina is the nightlife paradise of the city, full of clubs, bars, and restaurants that work late in the night.
  4. Bur Dubai: Located right next to Downtown, Bur Dubai is the historic district of the city and the area where you’ll come face to face with the historic Dubai.
  5. Deira: Probably the best place in the city if you want to avoid spending a lot of money and you plan to spend your trip on a budget.

The Best Areas & Hotels in Dubai

There are three basic things that have to be said in relation to Dubai’s hotels. First, it’s a city with a thousand hotels of every type and size; second, it’s very expensive, literally the 14th most expensive city in the world; it has the second most five-star hotels in the world.

You have to remember all three facts before you start exploring a suitable option for your stay in Dubai. Beautiful and luxurious five-star hotels are everywhere in the city.

Basically, every area — even the less expensive ones — has at least 10 to 15. However, the most luxurious and expensive are located Downtown, in Palm Jumeirah, and in the Marina districts.

People who are interested in saving money, or want to stay longer in Dubai, should choose either Bur Dubai or Deira. Deira is definitely the cheapest place in Dubai, with the most one- and two-star hotels in the city.

1. Downtown

The beautiful downtown area pictured at night with amazing palm trees illuminated below modern high-rise buildings for a piece on where to stay in Dubai

Ivan Kurmyshov/Shutterstock

As with any destination, it’s best to stick to the center of the city you’re visiting for the first time — the same applies to Dubai. If you’re planning to spend just a few days in the country, the Downtown district is the perfect choice for you.

You’ll find the central attractions of Dubai, the ones that get talked about the most, and you’ll experience and feel the true atmosphere of this magnificent city.

The center is organized around three central attractions, and we recommend that you visit all three of them: the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Fountain, and Dubai Mall Complex.

The Burj Khalifa (or Khalifa Tower) has been the tallest building in the world since 2009, with its total height amounting to precisely 829.8 meters. It holds other records too, like the longest elevator, the world’s tallest nightclub and restaurant, etc.

Most tourists usually run straight to the observatory, and they do that for a reason — the view is incredible, and it offers the perfect chance for a great Instagram photo.

Just outside the Burj Khalifa is the Dubai Fountain. Again, the size of the thing defies the imagination: it’s 270 meters long, shoots water 150 meters in the air, and is illuminated by 6,600 lights and 50 colored projectors.

After you’ve feasted your eyes on the fountain, don’t forget to visit the park too, which is also nearby. Downtown Dubai is the perfect choice for shoppers, mostly because of the Dubai Mall Complex.

Once more, it’s the biggest shopping center in the world, with more than 1,000 outlets and a lot of luxurious brands. You can basically spend the whole day and miss some corner or some shop — yes, it’s that big.

Dubai is never cheap, but Downtown is extra expensive. If you want to see Dubai on a budget, don’t even think about accommodation in the center.

There are literally only two budget hotels in the area. On the other hand, the hotels in this part of town are simply marvelous — all of them! Even the “budget” ones have gyms, spas, and pools.

Downtown Budget Hotels

  • The address dubai mall Luxury 1bed balcony is the first of the two two-starred hotels in the center of Dubai. Since this is Dubai, even the two-star hotels have an outdoor swimming pool, a spa, wellness, and fitness centers. The hotel also offers everyday room service and a kid’s club.
  • Luxury 2bedroom with balcony & view in Downtown is the second two-star hotel in Dubai’s downtown, and again, it is quite luxurious for a hotel of its ranking. Aside from the free Wi-Fi, parking, and a terrace, you also get an outdoor pool and a fitness center, and you can use both of them whenever you want.

Downtown Mid-Range Hotels

  • The Address Dubai Mall residences balcony studio is a three-star accommodation, fairly close both to the Dubai Mall and the Dubai fountain. The hotel offers rooms with free Wi-Fi, free private parking, flat-screen TVs, a fully equipped dining area, and a kitchenette. It also has an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness center.
  • Bella Vista – 29 Boulevard Downtown Burj Khalifa is another three-star accommodation with a great location — 500 m from the utmost center of Dubai. The rooms have free Wi-Fi, and there’s free private parking, a fitness center, and an outdoor swimming pool. Finally, there are facilities for disabled guests.

Downtown Luxury Hotels

  • Armani Hotel Dubai is located on the 11th floor of the famous Burj Khalifa and was designed by one of the most famous fashion icons in the world, Giorgio Armani. It’s super luxurious, with elegantly furnished rooms, a spa, a swimming pool, a restaurant, a gym, and direct access to the Dubai Mall.
  • Address Downtown is another opulent (and super expensive) five-star hotel located in the center of Dubai, overlooking the Dubai Mall. Furnished in a modern, technologically advanced way, the hotel also offers nine different restaurant concepts, an outdoor pool, a spa, a fitness center, and a bar.

See All Hotels in Dubai

2. Palm Jumeirah

Road running down the stem of one of the branches of the plant-shaped island in Palm Jumeirah, one of the best areas to stay in Dubai, pictured from the air for a piece titled Where to Stay in Dubai

Captured Blinks/Shutterstock

While traveling through the deserts of Arabia or Africa, a lot of travelers hallucinate a fresh and lush oasis in the middle of the desert. You’ll definitely feel the same thing when you first set eyes on Palm Jumeirah — a man-made oasis located in the southwestern part of Dubai.

Literally speaking, it’s an island shaped like a palm tree and probably one of the most beautiful and luxurious places in the whole city. Palm Jumeirah is the place you most often see in pictures of Dubai.

We recommend it to lovers of beautiful hotels and water since most of the activities in this area are oriented either around the first thing or the second.

Before we present them, we have to note one crucial thing: you don’t have to stay at one of the hotels at Palm Jumeirah to visit it — everybody’s free to visit the restaurants and the beaches and have as much fun as they want.

At the center of the area, you’ll find the Atlantis resort — one of the most famous hotels in Dubai. As we said, you don’t have to be a guest to visit its restaurants, clubs, cafes, and beaches; or enjoy the many different activities it offers, such as yoga, the aquapark, the aquarium, the dolphin adventures, and tours.

The offer is simply inexhaustible, so make sure you visit their website and find what suits you the most. As we mentioned earlier, Palm Jumeirah is very expensive, and we don’t recommend it to those who plan to travel on a budget.

There are no less than 27 five-star hotels in the area and not one accommodation with less than three stars. If you don’t want to spend that much money, choose one of the neighboring and less expensive areas and visit the Palm during the day.

The Palm Budget Hotels

  • Royal Club By RVHR, Palm Jumeirah is the cheapest hotel on the Palm. Since there are no hotels with less than three stars, only on this specific occasion can we count this hotel as a “budget” option. It has a garden, two swimming pools, a gym, and a private beach.

The Palm Mid-Range Hotels

  • Al Hallawi Palm Jumeirah 2 BR Apt Partial Sea View is a great three-star hotel located at the beginning of the Palm. It offers free Wi-Fi and parking, a private beach area, a garden, a bar, and a spa. Finally, it’s located just 700 meters from Palm West Beach.
  • Luxury residential apartments located in Anantara is another beautiful three-star hotel, this time located on the right side of the Palm. It has a private outdoor pool, a designated private beach area, a fitness center on the premises, available room service at all times, a bar, and a restaurant.

The Palm Luxury Hotels

  • Kempinski Hotel & Residences Palm Jumeirah is as luxurious as it gets, quite out of this world,  even for Dubai. It offers two swimming pools, a five-acre garden, a lot of private sandy beaches, a restaurant, a bar, and a gym. The hotel is equally suitable for couples and families.
  • Five Palm Jumeirah Dubai is another super-luxurious five-star hotel located at the beginning of the Palm. It offers no less than five outdoor swimming pools, 470 rooms available for guests, and a lot of additional facilities, such as restaurants, bars, halls, a spa, and a karaoke spa.

See All Hotels in Dubai

3. Dubai Marina

For a piece on the Best Places to Stay in Dubai, a few luxury skyscrapers pictured on either side of the water with boats driving down it

Rastko SK/Shutterstock

As we mentioned, the Dubai Marina is the nightlife hub of the city, But before we give you a list of the clubs and bars where you can go a little wild, we have some other things to recommend.

First, you just have to take a stroll along the Marina: it is around seven kilometers long, surrounded by palm trees and a beautiful landscape, and full of restaurants, shops, and craft markets.

The Dubai Marina Walk Fountain and Dubai Marina Mall are also worth visiting. Don’t forget the water too.

If you’re into water sports like jet skiing or you want to rent a yacht, the Dubai Marina Yacht Club is the right place for you. Finally, the nightclubs. Aside from Downtown, the Marina has the highest concentration of nightclubs in Dubai.

Here’s a list of the best clubs, presented in no particular order:

In terms of food, in Dubai Marina, you’ll see another interesting thing: Pier 7 offers seven different restaurants deployed on each of its seven floors. Both the quality of the food and its presentation are world-class.

Accommodation-wise, Dubai Marina is cheaper than Downtown or the Palm Jumeirah.

If you look hard enough, you can find a great two-star or three-star hotel for significantly less money. And If you want to have accommodation near the sea, but not to pay a ton of money, the Marina is a great alternative.

Dubai Marina Budget Hotels

  • Golden Stay Vacation Homes continental tower marina is a very nice two-star hotel located 400 meters from Marina Beach. It offers an outdoor pool, air-conditioned rooms with free Wi-Fi, a gym, and a restaurant on the premises.
  • Marina BestView 2 BedRoom Apartment is the second two-star accommodation in Dubai Marina (there are only two of them). There’s free parking and free Wi-Fi for every visitor, and some of the units offer flat-screen TVs with cable and a kitchen. There’s also a restaurant on the premises.

Dubai Marina Mid-Range Hotels

  • Jannah Place Dubai Marina is a relatively cheap three-star hotel that offers a lot of things. It has a nice outdoor swimming pool, free parking for the residents, free Wi-Fi, and accommodations with a kitchenette, a sitting area, and a flat-screen TV.
  • Radisson Blu Residence, Dubai Marina is another three-star hotel with an outdoor pool. The beach is quite close — only 15 minutes on foot — and the apartments offer a panoramic view of the sea. There’s also a fitness center and a restaurant on the premises.

Dubai Marina Luxury Hotels

  • InterContinental Dubai Marina, an IHG Hotel is a very luxurious five-star hotel with a couple of pools, nine venues for food and drink, and a great view of the Dubai Marina. The beach is also quite close, and the restaurants offer food from all over the world.
  • W Dubai – Mina Seyahi, Adults Only is another very luxurious five-star hotel, this time located on the famous Jumeirah Beach. It’s an adults-only hotel, but they welcome everybody over 16. It’s mostly famous for its dining and nightlife facilities, but it also has a gym and a spa.

See All Hotels in Dubai

4. Bur Dubai

The Bur Dubai area pictured with people walking down the market street with shopkeepers peddling wares on either side

23 February 2021, Dubai, UAE: Old Bur Dubai souk market in Creek district. Sellers and merchants with goods, textiles and souvenirs/Frantic00/Shutterstock

Not everything in Dubai is about record-breaking buildings or super-luxurious hotels with innumerable swimming pools. As everybody should know, Dubai was established in the 18th century and existed for about two centuries before it had its boom in the early 21st century.

Bur Dubai is a witness to that history: here you’ll find the old and the traditional Dubai, the museums, the old bazaars, and the traces of real authentic history, mingling with the skyscrapers.

Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood is a direct counterpart to the ultra-contemporary Downtown of the city. If you want to see how Dubai looked in the mid-19th century, before the big modernizing process got hold of the city, take a stroll here.

It’s full of traditional buildings, interrelated alleys, and traditional shops. The Dubai Museum is a must-see too. It’s located in the Al-Fahidi fort, built in early 1787, which was once a base of the monarch, a prison, and an arsenal.

Today, on the other hand, it narrates the story of Dubai from its humble beginnings to today’s magnificence. You’ll find careful reconstructions of old houses, farms, and mosques, as well as a richly detailed texture of the lifestyle of the people who inhabited them.  

Finally, don’t forget the Heritage Village. It’s located right at the mouth of Khor Dubai, and it’s a great example of a completely preserved traditional village — much like the ones you can find in Salem, MA, for example.

The best thing you can do here is to take a look at the completely authentic Muslim Grand bazaar: it’s bustling with crowds, piled up with shops, and overflowing with fragrances of spices and perfumes.

The hotels, in comparison to the Downtown or the Palm, are quite cheaper and more affordable.

There’s a decent number of one-star and two-star hotels which you can stay in at quite a low price. If you’re more interested in culture and history, and you’re not that into super luxurious hotels, Bur Dubai is the right place for you.

Bur Dubai Budget Hotels

  • Sky Iconic is a very cheap one-star hotel located just 600 meters from the Grand Mosque. It offers rooms with free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs, a restaurant on the premises, and excellent regular room service.
  • Time Palace Hotel is the second one-star hotel (there are three of its kind in Bur Dubai) that comes at a really low price. It has an ATM, free Wi-Fi, and a 24-hour desk. The rooms are furnished with air-conditioning, a desk, a private bathroom, and a TV.

Bur Dubai Mid-Range Hotels

  • Premier Inn Dubai Al Jaddaf is a great but not very expensive three-star hotel. All of the rooms have free Wi-Fi and a sitting area. It has an outdoor pool, a fitness center, and a restaurant on the premises: every morning, you can enjoy a halal or an English breakfast.
  • IntercityHotel Dubai Jaddaf Waterfront is another cheap three-star hotel. It offers an outdoor pool, a fitness center, a restaurant, and free parking for every guest. The rooms have free Wi-Fi and air conditioning, and they also have a number of different amenities, like a kettle or a hairdryer.    

Bur Dubai Luxury Hotels

  • Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights is a very luxurious five-star hotel located at the Dubai Creeks. It offers two swimming pools, a gym that is open 24 hours, a space for children’s entertainment and care, and a very chic spa. The rooms are designed in a modern yet sleek and elegant way and offer every amenity you can think of.
  • DoubleTree by Hilton Dubai M Square Hotel & Residences. When you enter this beautiful five-star hotel, you’ll be welcomed by a staff that speaks German, English, Arabic, and Bengali. The hotel offers two swimming pools, a spa and wellness center, a fitness center, and a restaurant.

See All Hotels in Dubai

5. Deira

Boats in Deira, one of the best areas in which to stay in Dubai, pictured floating on the ocean with a mosque in the background

Sergii Figurnyi/Shutterstock

Dubai is a very expensive city, and almost all of the above-mentioned areas in this guide were very pricey. That’s why we decided that it was of the utmost importance to present a de facto budget area.

And Deira is definitely the place in Dubai where you can enjoy a great vacation without spending a ton of money. Located just next to Bur Dubai and the Persian Gulf, it’s as deeply rooted in Dubai culture as the historical area of Dubai.

However, keep in mind that both Bur Dubai and Deira are more traditional neighborhoods and are considered to be seedy or even unsafe for some travelers, especially for women or the LGBTQI+ population.

It’s one of the oldest areas of Dubai, counting its existence since the middle of the 18th century. The center of its life is Dubai Creek, which flows with salt water through Deira before it empties in the Persian Gulf.

Near its end lies the Deira Old Souk Abra station, a famous dock, and next to it, the Spice Souq, which will enchant you with the smells of a thousand and one spices.

If you want to buy some jewelry or anything that shines but don’t want to go to a mall, visit the Gold Souq. As its name suggests, it is full of everything gold — rings, bracelets, necklaces, and whatnot.

Just remember one thing: you have to respect the mercantile tradition of this part of the world and bargain! We can recommend two last things. If you love the outdoors, visit Al Mamzar Beach Park and relax on its sandy beaches or have a swim.

If you prefer culture, and especially literature, go to the museum of the poet Al Oqaili — a famous literary figure of the Arab world. Deira has the most one- and two-star accommodations in the whole of Dubai — 39 of them.

You can also add the 52 accommodations with three stars, and you’ll get the most affordable area in this expensive city, which makes it the only logical option if you’re on a budget.

On top of that, the food is quite nice and versatile. You won’t find as many Michelin-star restaurants in this part of town, but you’ll probably have access to every possible Asian and European dish.

Deira Budget Hotels

  • MOUNT SINA HOTEL By AURA is a decent one-star hotel with a restaurant on its premises. Every room has a private bathroom, free Wi-Fi, and flat-screen satellite TVs. There’s a breakfast available every morning, including both European and Asian (and halal) dishes.
  • Deira Palace Hotel is another very cheap but quite decent one-star hotel with a restaurant. Every room has free Wi-Fi and air conditioning, flat-screen TVs, and dining and sitting areas. The restaurant offers quite tasty and distinctive Yemeni cuisine.

Deira Mid-Range Hotels

  • Al Khaleej Grand Hotel is a very affordable three-star hotel with a restaurant on the premises, 24-hour front desk, and 24-hour room service. There’s also free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, rooms with air-conditioning, and a terrace equipped with plasma TVs and a refrigerator.
  • Ibis Al Rigga is a quite cheap three-star hotel with a restaurant and fitness center on the premises. It offers free parking to its visitors and free Wi-Fi in every nook of the hotel. The rooms are equipped with air conditioning, flat-screen TVs, and private bathrooms. The restaurant serves international food.  

Deira Luxury Hotels

  • Swissôtel Al Ghurair Dubai is a not-so-expensive five-star hotel with 428 suites and rooms. It has a great location, being very close to all of Dubai’s famous landmarks, but also a 10 minutes drive from the Dubai International Airport. It has two swimming pools, a restaurant, and a fitness center on the premises.
  • Golden Sands-Dubai Creek is another relatively cheap but luxurious five-star hotel. It basically offers all the services and amenities but at a much lower price than the other hotels of its type. It has a rooftop, two swimming pools, a spa center, and a fitness center. The breakfast which is served every morning is very tasty.

See All Hotels in Dubai

Over to You — Book Your Trip Today!

The layers of Dubai are in front of you, and now you only have to choose which one (or two, or three) attracts you the most. Before we call it a day and finish this adventure in the jewel of Arabia, let’s do a quick recap.

🏢 Best for Urban ExperienceDowntown
🥂 Most Luxurious AreaPalm Jumeirah
🍷 Best for NightlifeDubai Marina
🏰 Most Historic AreaBur Dubai
💲 Most Budget-Friendly AreaDeira

So, with so much to see and do, and countless amazing (and dare we even say breathtaking) places to stay, there’s no reason to delay — check out all this city has to offer today!