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Dubai city guide and hotels

The glamor and scale of Dubai is something which cannot be exaggerated: the sheer size of its multi-layered malls, the height of its tower blocks glistening in the desert heat, and the brilliance of its chalk-white shore are at once real and surreal. One of the seven Emirates of the UAE, its main city, also called Dubai, teeters at the edge of the Arabian Desert on the Persian Gulf. This a young city in every sense, built over the last few decades from the desert floor and presently catering to a thronging population of carefree expats, serious local businesses, fans of top-tier sports and visitors from every corner of the globe.

Dubai Neighborhoods

Al Bastakiya

One of Dubai's oldest neighborhoods, Al Bastakiya is dotted with arts and crafts shops and independent cafes. The roads narrow and take unexpected turns here, while the market souks are a blaze of color and an amiable riot of bartering.

Al Shindagha

Al Shindagha marks the center of the city, and the prime destination for an impressive cluster of museums. The city is even starting to vie with cosmopolitan cities like Paris and London in the cultural stakes, and places like the fortress-like, 19th century house of former ruler Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum stand in stark contrast to the chic designer Dubai of today.

Dubai Marina

Dubai's strength grew out of its port location and today, the Dubai Marina is still a major focal point, whether you?ve come to trade or just sunbathe. Home to a scenic one-mile walk at Jumeirah Beach Residence, the Marina is also the place to find the next-level deluxe hotels which first gave the city its glamorous sheen.

Things to see

The Burj Khalifa

The Burj Khalifa is known as the no.1 skyscraper in the world for height, and at an almost unimaginable 2,722 feet, it was famously scaled by Tom Cruise in 2011's Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol. Prepare to lose your breath as you survey the view from the top ? and be glad you?re exiting via the elevator.

Dubai Fountain and the Deira Clocktower

Another superlative to add to Dubai's list, the Dubai Fountain is the world's largest of its type and, as music soars to match the graceful jets of water ? reaching 500 feet into the air ? it's hard not to find yourself entranced. The equally magnetic Deira Clocktower is one of Dubai's most visible structures, despite its fairly down-at-heel location on a traffic circle.

Dubai Museum

Dubai's near-magical transformation from flat desert into stunning UAE poster-city makes for a compelling tale, and guests can read all about it at the city and emirate's primary museum.

Jumeirah Mosque

One of the most accessible mosques for non-Muslims, this landmark lights up like a bejeweled crown when the sun has set, and both its sand-colored walls and lofty interiors show off the striking Medieval Fatimid style of this region.


Dubai malls

The Dubai Mall and its 1,200 stores is a must-visit if shopping is on your itinerary. However, malls are not just malls in Dubai: when you?ve shopped to your limit, you can hang out with the marine population at Dubai Aquarium or even go skiing at Dubai Mall's main rival, Mall of the Emirates.

Shopping festivals

The Dubai Shopping Festival at the Dubai Mall lasts a month in and around February and is the time to put your bargain-hunting cap on and start rifling the aisles. If you can?t make a winter vacation, Dubai Summer Surprises promises plenty of deals in June.

Dubai souks

Souks can be found throughout Dubai, and many a bargain can be haggled at these open-air marketplaces. Although some of the most popular ones are the Gold and Spice souks, they?re also a feast for curious browsers, where everything from Andalusian crafts to incense-laden rugs is on offer.


Dubai temperatures peak in the summer, with average highs of 106 degrees Fahrenheit in August. Winter temperatures can be a lot more comfortable with January highs at around 75 degrees. This particular emirate enjoys only limited rainfall, usually in the winter months.

Recently booked Dubai hotels

Hotel Last booked Stars Price from
Ramada Chelsea Al Barsha
Dubai Marina
1 hour ago 3 stars $47
Millennium Airport Hotel 6 hours ago 4 stars $84
Emirates Grand Hotel
Sheikh Zayed Road
8 hours ago 4 stars $95
Dusit Thani Dubai
Sheikh Zayed Road
8 hours ago 5 stars $147
Dubai Marine Beach Resort and Spa
Jumeirah Beach
10 hours ago 5 stars $154
Melia Dubai
Bur Dubai
10 hours ago 5 stars $76
Armani Hotel Dubai
Downtown Burj Khalifa
11 hours ago 5 stars $370
Abidos Hotel Apartment Al Barsha
Dubai Marina
11 hours ago 4 stars $87
Tamani Marina Hotel and Hotel Apartments
Dubai Marina
12 hours ago 5 stars $119
Warwick - Dubai
Sheikh Zayed Road
14 hours ago 4 stars $92

Recently Rated Dubai Hotels

Hotel Reviews Stars Price from
Millennium Plaza Hotel Dubai
Sheikh Zayed Road
3.8 / 5
6 reviews
5 stars $92
Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa
The Palm
4.4 / 5
9 reviews
5 stars $157
Traders Hotel, Dubai by Shangri-La
4.2 / 5
6 reviews
4 stars $71
Ahmedia Heritage Guest House
4.3 / 5
4 reviews
3 stars $97
Ramada Chelsea Al Barsha
Dubai Marina
3.9 / 5
7 reviews
3 stars $47
Fairmont The Palm Dubai
The Palm
4.5 / 5
8 reviews
5 stars $163
Millennium Airport Hotel
3.9 / 5
14 reviews
4 stars $84
Majestic Hotel Tower
Bur Dubai
4.2 / 5
14 reviews
4 stars $80
Le Meridien Fairway
4.0 / 5
50 reviews
4 stars $76
Auris First Central Hotel Suites
Dubai Marina
4.5 / 5
2 reviews
4 stars $63

Dubai hotels

  • Dubai Hotels

Featured Dubai Hotels

From $377

1 Atlantis The Palm

5 stars
4.5 / 5 65 reviews

Crescent Road, Palm Island Map

FREE Breakfast and FREE Airport Transfers

Atlantis the Palm is world-renowned, and the first hotel to be built on this artificial island in Dubai. A five-star luxury resort themed around the ancient myths of Atlantis, it offers guests... More

Resort You Never have to leave.
We only stayed one night, but it was fantastic. We were able to check our bags in early, enjoy the aquarium and water park and after checking out the next day they held our luggage while we...
Jul 27, 2014
From $283

2 One&Only Royal Mirage

5 stars
4.3 / 5 3 reviews

Al Sufouh Road Map

Includes Breakfast

One&Only Royal Mirage, located on the Arabian Peninsula offers a haven infused with rich green courtyards, vibrant gardens and all the mythic charms of old Arabic come alive. One&Only... More

Beautiful Arabian Hotel
We had a wonderful short break at this hotel. A very classy luxury resort. Superb service from attentive friendly staff. Nothing was a problem and we felt very spoilt and loved every minute if our...
Aug 15, 2013
From $220

3 Mina A Salam Madinat Jumeirah

5 stars
5.0 / 5 3 reviews

Jumeirah Road Map

Special Notice from Mina A Salam Madinat Jumeirah

The Mina A Salam Madinat Jumeirah Hotel Dubai is set on an intricate network of waterways and walkways in the Persian Gulf's Madinat Jumeirah resort. Underpinned by traditional Arabian hospitality,... More

An Awesome Hotel
The Mina A Salam is a phenomenal hotel. We booked three rooms with the "site facing" (read: construction) and frankly it wasn't an inconvenience at all. There was no noise at night and the noise...
Feb 3, 2014
From $119

4 Grand Millennium Dubai

5 stars
4.7 / 5 6 reviews

212422 Map

Special Weekend Offer

The Grand Millennium Dubai, combines world class business and leisure facilities, offering guest an unprecendented level of service. This exclusive new property offers luxurious, spacious and... More

Don't miss this one!
We were on a family break with 2 young children staying in a hotel in a business district. Bit of a gamble? No, it was terrific! We had a family suite upgrade on the 19th floor (2 ensuite bedrooms,...
Apr 29, 2014
From $263

5 Jumeirah Beach Hotel

5 stars
4.4 / 5 11 reviews

Jumeirah Beach Road Map

Summer Flavours Half Board + Wild Wadi Access

The Jumeirah Beach Hotel is a familiar sight on Dubai's skyline, designed in the shape of a wave to reflect the surrounding waters. With the Wild Wadi Waterpark on-site, guests can expect an... More

Nice view
Good experience overall, nice location, many choices of activities
Jul 28, 2014
From $103

6 Rose Rayhaan by Rotana - Dubai

4 stars
4.4 / 5 17 reviews

Sheikh Zayed Road Map

Sophisticated, stylish Dubai accommodationsSoaring into the Dubai skyline with 72 floors, Rose Rayhaan by Rotana-Dubai is one of the world's tallest hotel, offering business and leisure travelers... More

Great location, close to Metro.
Staff very friendly and helpful. Dinner specials very good. Hotel close to all services.
Apr 28, 2014
From $64

7 Coral Al Khoory Hotel Apartments

4 stars
4.1 / 5 7 reviews

Al Barsha, Sheikh Zayed Road Map

Stay 3 Nights and Save 10%

Coral Al Khoory Hotel Apartments boasts an unbeatable location in the hub of new Dubai, just 30 minutes from Dubai International Airport, 10 minutes from the Dubai International Convention and... More

Solo traveller
Very good , but no free water. cold swimming pool.
Mar 9, 2014
From $318

8 Al Qasr Madinat Jumeirah

5 stars
5.0 / 5 2 reviews

Al Sufouh Road Map

Summer Flavours Half Board + Wild Wadi Access

As part of the waterside super-resort Madinat Jumeirah, the Al Qasr hotel in Dubai offers the comfort and style of royal Arabia, living up to its name (‘The Palace’) with sculpted horses lining the... More

Difficult to fault
Beautiful hotel with excellent amenities. You could quite easily spend a week in the resort without leaving. The staff were excellent and had the perfect balance of being very helpful without being...
Apr 29, 2014
From $292

9 Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates

5 stars
4.7 / 5 14 reviews

Sheikh Zayed Road Map

Stunning Dubai hotel adjacent to Ski DubaiLocated on Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates, Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates is near many of Dubai’s top shopping options and is adjacent to magical Ski... More

Had a great time in this hotel and will surly come back to it again
Apr 11, 2014
From $119

10 Tamani Marina Hotel and Hotel Apartments

5 stars
3.3 / 5 48 reviews

215855 Map

Limited Time Offer SAVE 50%

The five-star Tamani Marina Hotel and Hotel Apartments are set in a 55-story skyscraper overlooking Dubai's city streets. Standing 680 feet tall, guests can gaze out across the outdoor public... More

average but i can get a better deal for my money
the main good thing -in the future- with this hotel it that its location is right on the path of the soon to be lunched Dubai monorail. otherwise the hotel / apartments is average and i didn't find...
Aug 12, 2014
From $123

11 Auris Plaza Hotel

5 stars
3.3 / 5 3 reviews

Al Barsha 1, Behind Mall of the Emirates Map

Located next to Mall of the Emirates, in Al Barsha, the Auris Plaza Hotel is a new luxurious 5 star, family orientated hotel. Offering rooms ranging in size from the Classic Rooms at 35sqm up to... More

Good hotel
Good location very nice room, good size, comfy bed, good shower. Easy access to metro (Mall of Emirates 5min walk) Strange that you have to give such a big deposit when you check in. Otherwise...
Jan 24, 2013
From $157

12 Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa

5 stars
4.4 / 5 9 reviews

The Palm Jumeirah Map

Save 25% on your stay

Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa is a Polynesian themed resort comprising 361 rooms and suites and 182 serviced apartments ideally located. The luxury beachside hotel offers a large variety of... More

Perfect Amenities
It has perfact amenties like pool and inside restaurantes. You can take rest all the time only this hotel. good pool and beach, restaurant, view
Aug 11, 2014
From $51

13 Golden Sands Hotel Apartments

4 stars
3.6 / 5 69 reviews

Mankhool Street, Bur Dubai Map

The Golden Sands Hotel consists of three buildings' Golden Sands 3, Golden Sands 5, and Golden Sands 10' which offer a range of apartments with high-quality facilities. Part of the Al Moosa Group... More

very nice, comfortable and friendly staff. near to every things
Jun 22, 2014
From $87

14 Abidos Hotel Apartment Al Barsha

4 stars
4.1 / 5 21 reviews

Al Barsha 1 Map

The Abidos Al Barsha Hotel is one of two prestigious Abidos hotels (the other being Dubailand) located in Dubai. The hotel's tagline is 'simplicity is the new luxury' - evident in it's design, and... More

Overall, Great Stay
Staff was great and helpful. Our room was similar to the pictures, but was missing the pizazz. Our sofa bed was broken, which caused a little discomfort, but the room was very large and overall...
Dec 10, 2013
From $131

15 Habtoor Grand Beach Resort and Spa

5 stars
4.2 / 5 12 reviews

Dubai Abu Dhabi Road Map

The perfect beach retreat on Dubai's coast  With tropical gardens on one side and blue sea on the other, this resort is an ideal retreat when visiting Dubai. The Habtoor Grand Resort and Spa... More

Good City Break
My only criticism - the hotel needs a little updating in terms of decorating. It seems a little tired and with a 5* rating, the finish should really be better. Oh, and a second - no free wi-fi....
Mar 5, 2014
From $163

16 Fairmont The Palm Dubai

5 stars
4.5 / 5 8 reviews

Palm Jumeirah Map

Summer Sale - Rate includes 3rd Night Free

The iconic Palm Jumeirah the world*s largest human-engineered island is a destination steeped in seaside elegance-a place where magnificent tourist attractions and miles of white sand wait at every... More

Fairmont The Palm
Lovely hotel in a unique position on the palm. The views looking back across to the skyscrapers at night is special. The pools and beach are perfect. The restaurants are outstanding with both food...
Aug 17, 2014
From $116

17 Gloria Hotel and Apartments

4 stars
4.2 / 5 11 reviews

P.O. Box 502222 Map

Book in advance and SAVE

Featuring 1,000 elegant suites, a 4-star Gloria Hotel offers comfortable accommodation in Dubai for traveling executives, families, holiday makers as well as long staying guests. It is located in... More

Convenient hotel with very large apartments
We enjoyed our stay at Gloria Hotel. It is conveniently located across the road from a metro station. The staff were helpful & the rooms extremely comfortable. The only disappointing aspect was...
Jul 8, 2014
From $63

18 Auris First Central Hotel Suites

4 stars
4.5 / 5 2 reviews

Tecom of Al Barsha Map

Auris First Central Hotel Suites is located in the heart of Te-com one of Dubai's leisure and business districts. Only 5 minutes walking distance from Dubai Internet City metro station, close to... More

Great place
very happy with this hotel as over all. services, staff, facilities are all ok. the location is not bad however, the other facilities such as pool, spa and coffee shop and other places around the...
Aug 15, 2014
From $184

19 The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina

5 stars
4.7 / 5 11 reviews

Al Sufouh Road Map

Save 20% on your stay

High ceilings, grand mirrors and radiant lighting welcome guests staying inside the Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina in Dubai. Relaxation is high on the agenda at this hotel, with... More

very nice short break
Hotel facilities are very good - very nice beach area and pools - lots of lounge chairs available. Restaurants expensive but food is good. We booked executive club room and worth it for extras;...
Feb 5, 2014
From $313

20 Anantara Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa

5 stars
Not yet reviewed

East Crescent, Palm Jumeirah Map

Book in advance and SAVE 15%

Imagine a unique destination set on a man-made marvel on the Dubai coastline that entices one and all with a distinct blend of serenity and splendour. Offering an urban escape, Anantara Dubai The... More