Where to Stay in Dubai – Neighborhoods & Area Guide

Written by Jan Meeuwesen
Updated on
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Dubai is a bucket list destination for travelers of every variety. For any dreamer who has found themselves scrolling through Instagram, Dubai is the first port of call when they jump aboard their private jet. Famed for its luxury shopping malls and those idyllic 5-star suites, Dubai is almost other-worldly when it comes to design, extravagance, and way of life. No doubt social media dreamers will be well acquainted with Dubai – at least vicariously. When it comes to traveling in Dubai, there is so much more to it than what is portrayed in the media.

Although many would assume that the only place to visit is the iconic, man-made Palm, nothing could be further from the truth. There are a number of interesting and versatile neighborhoods to explore in Dubai. In Old Town Deira, travelers can explore a more authentic feel in the Emirates and learn about the history of this ultra-modern city.

Dubai is a city that caters to every kind of traveler. After all, if you can dream it, you can do it in Dubai. From Jumeirah Beach to the iconic Palm, from Old Town Deira to the expansive Dubai Mall – there are a lot of choices out there.

Let’s explore where to stay in Dubai.

Jumeriah Beach

Jumeriah Beach, DubaiSource: Paul J Martin / shutterstock
Jumeriah Beach

Jumeirah Beach is one of the most popular places to stay in Dubai. Set right on the United Arab Emirates’ serene coastline, Jumeirah Beach is picture-perfect in every way. This neighborhood has very much been designed with entertainment and leisure activities in mind.

Safe, clean and ever so friendly, Jumeirah Beach is a great place to stay in Dubai for first-time travelers, families and beach lovers. There is so much to see, do and explore. Most importantly, there are countless opportunities to feast at Jumeirah Beach.

Naturally, Jumeirah Beach is at the cutting edge of every possible trend. Along ‘The Walk’ at Jumeirah Beach’, visitors can dine at some of the most impressive restaurants in the city and explore international big-name chains too. This chic and suave neighborhood is popular with locals and expats.

Away from the obvious Dubai Mall, ‘The Walk’ at Jumeirah Beach provides one of the best opportunities for shopping in Dubai in a more relaxing and refreshing environment.

Good For: Active Travelers, Adventurous Travelers, Architecture Enthusiasts, Beach Bums, City Slickers, Couples, Culture Vultures, Families, First-Time Tourists, Foodies, Shopaholics, Whistle Stop Travelers

Neighborhood Highlights: Jumeriah Beach, The Walk at Jumeriah Beach, AquaFun Water Park, THE BEACH Shopping Mall, Sushi Art Japanese Restaurant, The Cheesecake Factory, Big Chefs Restaurant, Roxy Cinemas, Pure Sky Lounge & Dining, Dubai Marina, Dubai Marina Yacht Club, Zero Gravity Dubai

Hotel Recommendations:

  • The Ritz-Carlton Dubai – The Ritz-Carlton Dubai is the perfect hotel for first-time travelers to Dubai who want to experience the city in style. The Ritz-Carlton Dubai is an expansive resort that sits back from The Walk at Jumeirah Beach. They offer vast, luxurious suites and beautiful bedrooms. There are multiple swimming pools and a spa.
  • Amwaj Rotana – Amwaj Rotana is a top pick in Dubai. Located just one minute from the beach, Amwaj Rotana is ideal in terms of location and facilities. There is free WiFi available in public areas – this is in addition to a swimming pool and four different dining options offering international cuisines.
  • Mövenpick Hotel Jumeriah Beach – Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach is a gorgeous hotel set within the Jumeirah Beach Residences. The whole resort is stylish and offers luxury facilities like a spa and swimming pool. Having been awarded 5-stars, Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach offers outstanding levels of service and high levels of comfort.

Downtown Dubai

Downtown DubaiSource: Sophie James / shutterstock
Downtown Dubai

Downtown Dubai is a must-visit neighborhood in Dubai, even for those who choose not to book a hotel there. Downtown Dubai is home to some of the most famous landmarks in the city – in the world, in fact. At the heart of Downtown Dubai, standing proud, is the tallest building in the world – the Burj Khalifa.

Built in 2010, the Burj Khalifa stands 830-meters tall. Visitors, should they be brave enough, can experience the most incredible views from the observation deck on the 148th floor. The views from the observation deck are simply incredible, made even more impressive at night when Dubai becomes a mosaic of lights.

The other major drawcard to Downtown Dubai is Dubai Mall. As one of the biggest shopping malls in the world, Dubai Mall is a destination in its own right and really can’t be explored in one day alone. There are over 1,200 stores and services, including a kids-only amusement center.

Good For: Active Travelers, Adventurous Travelers, Architecture Enthusiasts, City Slickers, Couples, Culture Vultures, Families, First-Time Tourists, Foodies, Shopaholics, Whistle Stop Travelers

Neighborhood Highlights: Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, The Dubai Fountain, Reel Cineman, KidZania, Dubai Opera, Burj Park, City Van Tours, Dubai Bowling Centre, Business Bay District, Safa Park, Dubai Ice Rink, VR Park, Hysteria Escape Room, Dubai Dino

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Address Dubai Mall – Address Dubai Mall is one of the most highly-sought after hotels in Downtown Dubai. Boasting 5-star service and facilities, Address Dubai Mall has an infinity pool that overlooks the Burj Khalifa. All the rooms feature a private balcony with panoramic views of the city. Gourmet tea and coffee is provided.
  • DAMAC Maison Dubai Mall Street – DAMAC Maison Dubai Mall Street is located in the heart of Downtown Dubai. The whole of DAMAC is exceptionally modern and stylish, as is everything in Dubai. The apartments offer self-catering facilities, a dining room space and an ensuite bathroom with luxury bathtub. There is a gym and a spa complex.
  • Rove Downtown – Rove Downtown is a much-loved hotel in Downtown Dubai. They have a fantastic swimming pool and a beautiful sun deck. Rove Downtown is situated adjacent to the Burj Khalifa. There are interconnecting rooms available which makes Rove Downtown perfect for families. There is a cinema in-house in addition to a gym.

Trade Centre

Trade Centre, DubaiSource: alex7370 / shutterstock
Trade Centre

Trade Centre is a great place to stay in Dubai for travelers who want to experience a taste of the nightlife scene and generally be in the heart of the action. Situated equidistant from Jumeirah Beach and Old Town Deira, Trade Centre is the bustling business district of Dubai.

For travelers heading to Dubai on a working holiday, the Trade Centre is the perfect place to stay. All of the hotels offer a business center within their complex and free WiFi. If there’s a meeting that must be attended, chances are it’ll be in the Trade Centre neighborhood.

Travelers can experience Dubai’s nightlife scene here. One of the hottest clubs in the city is the Cavalli Club. A restaurant, lounge, and nightclub, Cavalli Club is clad with Swarovski crystal and a sense of class only found in Dubai.

With thanks to Dubai’s exceptionally efficient public transport system, getting from the Trade Centre to the bigger landmark hubs is easy and affordable. The Dubai Metro operates in business hours and beyond.

Good For: Active Travelers, Adventurous Travelers, Architecture Enthusiasts, Business Travelers City Slickers, Couples, Culture Vultures, Foodies, Shopaholics, Whistle Stop Travelers, Party People

Neighborhood Highlights: The Green Planet Dubai, Al Khazzan Park, Emirates Towers, The Palace of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Garden Glow, The Stables Restaurant, Cavalli Club & Lounge, Zinc Nightclub, Cirque Le Soir, Etihad Museum

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Fairmont Dubai – Fairmont Dubai is a modern and minimalist hotel close to Trade Centre. Offering world-class decor and a high standard of service, there is a lot to love about Fairmont Dubai. There are a number of bars and lounges within the hotel where guests can relax with a beverage or two.
  • Sheraton Grand Hotel Dubai – Sheraton Grand Hotel Dubai is one of the most popular hotels in Dubai. Many rooms offer impressive views of the city and some feature their own private balcony. Some premium rooms offer a deep soaking bathtub, in addition to a living room space and a fully equipped kitchen.
  • Nassima Royal Hotel – Nassima Royal Hotel is a bit of a hidden gem in Sheikh Zayed Road in the Trade Centre district. There are 471 rooms at Nassima Royal Hotel – from budget-friendly deluxe double rooms to luxury suites, there is something for everyone. The health club features an outdoor pool and a gym.


Deira, DubaiSource: Oleg_P / shutterstock

Deira is the Old Town of Dubai and offers visitors the chance to experience what life is like for most people in the United Arab Emirates. Compared to the ultra-modern Trade Centre District, Deira feels like stepping back in time. Located along Dubai Creek, it is possible to explore the neighborhood on board a traditional dhow taxi boat.

For travelers who want to learn about the history of Dubai, Deira is the best place to stay. The Heritage House is one of the most popular places to explore in Deira and provides fascinating insights into the traditional ways of life that are still practiced today.

The Women’s Museum Bait al Banat is well worth supporting. It is a cultural initiative that was set up with the vision to explore and uplift the status of the influential women to the Arab World, who are often overlooked in history books and the modern media.

The traditional markets, souks in Deira are not to be missed – gold, spices, textiles and more.

Good For: Active Travelers, Adventurous Travelers, Architecture Enthusiasts, Budding Historians, City Slickers, Couples, Culture Vultures, Families, Foodies, Shopaholics, Like a Local Travelers, Off-The-Beaten-Track Travelers

Neighborhood Highlights: Women’s Museum Bait al Banat, Heritage House, Gold Souk, Spice Souk, Al Ahmadiya School, Deira City Centre Shopping Mall, Seawings, Traditional Architecture Museum, Palace of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed the Emir of Qatar, Reef Mall, Fish Roundabout Dubai Mosque, Dhow Wharfage, Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Flora Creek Deluxe Hotel Apartments – Flora Creek Deluxe Hotel Apartments offer travelers the chance to feel right at home in Dubai. The apartments are not only affordable, but offer everything travelers could need for an enjoyable stay. The apartments all offer a kitchenette, a living room space and a comfortable bedroom space. There is free WiFi.
  • Hyatt Regency Dubai – Hyatt Regency Dubai is one of the most luxurious hotels in the city. It is the perfect hotel to use as a base for exploring Dubai’s heritage district – the souks are just a five-minute walk away. The Hyatt Regency Dubai features a revolving restaurant, a private ice skiing rink and a spa complex.
  • JW Marriott Hotel Dubai – JW Marriott Hotel Dubai is a 4-star hotel in the heart of Deira. Offering chic and stylish rooms, this hotel is a top pick in Dubai. There is a luxury spa and wellness center set within the hotel with an extensive treatment menu. Guests can use the squash courts and swimming pool too.

The Palm

The Palm, DubaiSource: PureSolution / shutterstock
The Palm

For travelers seeking an all-inclusive resort holiday in Dubai, it doesn’t get much better than The Palm. Construction engineers literally moved the ocean out of the way to create one of the United Arab Emirates’ most impressive manmade landmarks.

The Palm is home to dozens of luxurious 5-star resorts, offering everything from private beaches and helicopter landing pads to lavish spa and wellness centers and some of the most impressive fine dining restaurants in the city.

The Palm is the perfect place to stay for travelers who dream of doing absolutely nothing on their holiday. Nothing except waking up, strolling to the buffet for a lazy breakfast, wandering to the beach and back to their room again. It’s a pretty decent set up really.

For a totally relaxing and indulgent, traditional beach holiday, The Palm is the perfect place to stay in Dubai. With so many massive resorts to choose from, there is steep competition. Each resort offers a more impressive set of facilities from the last.

Good For: Beach Bums, Laid Back Travelers, Couples, Honeymooners, First-Time Travelers, Families, Luxury Travelers

Neighborhood Highlights: 5-Star All Inclusive Resorts, N’Dulge Nightclub, Aquaventure Waterpark, Emirates Golf Club, Zero Gravity Dubai, Jumeriah Beach, Al Sufouh Beach, Barasti Beach, Dubai Marina, Jetty Lounge

Hotel Recommendations:

  • The Atlantis – The Atlantis is one of the most famous hotels in Dubai. Situated at the top of The Palm, The Atlantis is perfect for every kind of traveler. Many rooms offer stunning views of the ocean below and overlook The Atlantis’ stretch of private beach. All rooms have free WiFi and a coffee maker.
  • Anantara The Palm Dubai – Anantara The Palm Dubai is a popular choice in The Palm. As a world-class hotel, the Anantara offers four different dining options and three swimming pools. Each room features a luxury Nespresso coffee machine, free WiFi, and plenty of space to spread out. There is entertainment in-house every evening.
  • The Retreat Palm Dubai MGallery by Sofitel – The Retreat is a truly luxurious hotel in The Palm that is best suited to couples and solo travelers. A refined, stylish hotel, The Retreat offers 5-star service from start to finish. There is an infinity swimming pool that overlooks the beach and the Arabian Gulf. The Rayya Wellness Center has an incredible treatment menu.

Where to Stay in Dubai – Neighborhoods & Area Guide:

  • Jumeriah Beach
  • Downtown Dubai
  • Trade Centre
  • Deira
  • The Palm