Dubai is the most visited city in the Middle East and ranks sixth worldwide, edging out tourist hotspots like Paris, Rome, Tokyo and New York. According to the latest data published by the Department of Dubai Tourism, the city-state welcomed around 16 million visitors in 2017.
Whether you are planning to visit the city for a vacation or a business trip, Dubai is not going to disappoint you. You have the advantage of exploring several accommodation, dining, shopping and leisure options. The city boasts of the most luxurious living options and is a popular choice among expats and tourists.
We have rounded up the five most popular neighborhoods that can be considered by tourists during their stay in Dubai. We have also listed the best luxury resorts and hotels in these areas for an uber-luxurious experience.
5 Best Neighborhoods for Tourists to Stay in Dubai
1. Jumeirah Beach
If the thought of clean beaches and an amazing night life excites you, then Jumeirah Beach should be your first choice. Countless resorts with private beaches dot the coastline of the Persian Gulf. If you are looking for more action, enjoy a wide array of water sports like water-skiing and windsurfing. Jumeirah Beach is also home to several restaurants, beach clubs, and bars that specialize in delicious local cuisine.
Where to Stay?
Burj Al Arab Jumeirah: The third tallest hotel in the world, the Burj Al Arab sits on an artificial island and looks like the sail of a ship. The hotel has a helipad and a fleet of chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce limousines. With over 200 suites, a striking lobby, and an attention-grabbing fountain edifice, the hotel remains one of the most iconic structures in the city.
One&Only Royal Mirage: Dubai is home to two One&Only resorts, and both of them are only a couple of miles away from each other. The hotel is a favorite with several celebrities and has hosted guests like Michael Jackson and David Beckham. The Arabian architecture, beautiful palm tree gardens and beachside cabanas at the hotel are a sight to behold.
Souk Madinat Jumeirah – for local and traditional shopping
Wild Wadi – popular waterpark in the area
Kite beach, Sunset beach, La Mer, Nikki beach
Hub Zero- amusement park for gamers
2. Dubai Marina
Dubai Marina is a man-made marina where tourists can find plenty of upscale restaurants that offer a great view of Dubai’s skyscrapers. Along the Dubai Marina Walk, tourists can find a line of cafes, shops, and open spaces that host street performances and events.
Where to Stay?
The Ritz-Carlton: The Ritz-Carlton is situated on a private beach along the Jumeirah Beach Residence Walk (JBR Walk). It has six swimming pools for both, kids and adults and excellent spa facilities. The hotel is only 5-minutes walk away from Dubai Marina. The best thing about the hotel is that most rooms and suites are sea-facing. The beautiful balconies offer amazing views of the garden and pools.
The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina: This upscale resort overlooks the Jumeirah Beach along the Arabian Gulf. Everything about the rooms, from the classic furniture to the vanilla-and-cocoa-colored walls give a sharp, yet cozy feel about the place. The hotel has five pools and a 150m-long lagoon.
Dubai Marina Mall – one of the largest malls in the city.
Dubai Marina Walk – an outdoor venue with restaurants and bars
3. The Palm Jumeirah
The Palm Jumeirah is an artificial island designed in the shape of a palm tree that stretches 5 km into the Arabian Gulf. The $12 billion project started in 2001 and was completed in 2007. The Palm accommodates 1500 beachfront mansions and 6000 apartments. The island also has several luxury hotels and resorts. Those looking for a place away from the hustle and bustle of the city will find The Palm enticing.
Atlantis, The Palm: The luxury hotel resort is the first resort to be built on The Palm. The 23-storey hotel also has a waterpark and an aquarium exhibit in the premises. The rooms give a stunning view of the Arabian Sea and the Palm Island. For a 5-star dining experience, head to Nobu (the hotel’s in-house restaurant) popular for local dishes with a South American twist.
FIVE Palm Jumeirah Dubai: The hotel, located at the trunk of The Palm Jumeirah, is only a 30-minute drive away from the airport. The suites here have private terraces that offer incredible views of the sea. The hotel also has a Penthouse rooftop lounge that gives sky-high views of the Emirates and three restaurants that offer Chinese, Italian and local cuisines. For availability and rates click here.
The Lost Chambers Aquarium – Underwater aquarium
Dolphin Bay – Lagoon where tourists can swim with dolphins
Dubailand, where 13% of residents moved to in the first quarter of 2017, is the most popular neighborhood in Dubai. This part of the city is still under development with a few big projects lined up for the future. The project started in 2003 as one of the most ambitious leisure development projects to attract tourists and offer residents a premier living experience. Availability of high-end accommodation options like the Arabian Ranches Villas for sale and rent at affordable prices is one of the main reasons for the growing popularity of Dubailand.
Al Habtoor Polo Resort: A luxury stay located in Dubailand, the Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club is an equestrian-inspired resort. It epitomizes the elegance of Andalusia, and captures the essence of the city where it stands. The rooms are a haven for leisure travelers who have a knack for the sport. One can expect to see British-style pubs and equestrian lounges offering afternoon tea. Check out availability and rates here.
Arabian Ranches Villas: This luxury accommodation option is extensively popular among expats and tourists who plan to stay in the city for a while. With over 4000 themed villas boasting 2 – 5 bedrooms, tourists have a variety of options to choose from. The area has a shopping center with several retail outlets, restaurants and cafes, a mosque, health care centers and an equestrian center.
Arabian Ranches Golf Club
Dubai Sports City – Multi-venue sports complex
IMG Worlds of Adventure – Indoor amusement park
Desert Safari Rides
5. Downtown Dubai
We have reserved the best for the last. Downtown Dubai is perhaps the first place that comes to the mind of anyone who has visited the city at least once. The area is known for hosting skyscrapers like the Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world with a height of 2,722 feet) and the Dubai Mall (the largest shopping mall in Dubai.) Downtown Dubai is the heart of the city and ideal for anyone who wants easy access to nearby attractions. Don’t skip this one because Downtown Dubai is guaranteed to exceed your expectations!
Armani Hotel Dubai: Elegant, sophisticated and ultra-urban, the Armani Hotel is a result of the partnership between fashion designer Giorgio Armani and the Emaar Hotels & Resorts. The five-star hotel occupies floors 1 – 8 and floors 38 and 39 of the Burj Khalifa. The suites are personally designed by Giorgio Armani and are a reflection of his style philosophy. re-perfect views of the Burj Khalifa. Open your room’s windows and you will see spectacular shows of light, music and water at the Dubai Fountain.
Burj Khalifa Park
The Dubai Mall
Dubai aquarium and underwater zoo
KidZania – Children’s amusement center
Dubai Ice Rink- Ice skating rink
Souk Al Bahar- outdoor commercial area with several restaurants