As the biggest and most well-known city in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai has a reputation for luxurious resorts and towering modern skyscrapers. There is much to do here, from visiting some of the top theme parks to dining in the best restaurants with a view - you can definitely find a slice of grandeur, but there are many other sides to Dubai that you may like to explore. Looking for the best area to stay in Dubai? You’ll find plenty of accommodation, from great Airbnbs in Dubai Marina to hotels with views of Burj Khalifa. This list sets out the best neighborhoods in this cosmopolitan city. Keep reading if you don’t know where to stay in Dubai, UAE.
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Dubai Marina is a man-made marina which accommodates a bustling enclave of tourist activity. You will find plenty of trendy and upscale restaurants, strategically located to offer an amazing view of Dubai’s skyscrapers across the water. Some of these eateries even offer dining atop a cruise on the marina, an experience that will surely be hard to top. Stay close to the Dubai Marina Walk for an easy starting point to explore the area, as this route is designed to bring tourists through cafes, shops, and open spaces where festivals and performances are commonly held.
Downtown Dubai is perhaps what comes to most people’s minds when they think of this city. Here is where you’ll find the Burj Khalifa, Dubai’s incredible skyscraper, which stands at a staggering height of 2,722 feet (829.6 m) with 163 floors. In fact, this tower is so tall that its architects had to create a special metal structure around the building to channel the electricity from frequent lightning strikes safely down to the ground. Other highlights include the Dubai Mall, a record holder for the world’s largest shopping mall. Apart from over 1,000 stores, the Dubai Mall also houses numerous attractions dedicated to recreation and entertainment, such as multiplex cinemas, an Olympic size ice rink, and even a flight and a Formula 1 racing simulator. Over the top Downtown Dubai is guaranteed to exceed all your expectations!
If a beach holiday with plenty of activities, clean beaches, with some of the best hotels in Dubai for tourists, and the option of some vibrant nightlife is what you’re looking for, Jumeirah Beach is a prime option. Most of the resorts dotting the coastline have private beaches, ensuring that your sunbathing will not be interrupted by overcrowding. If you’re interested in more of an adrenaline rush, there is a whole array of water sports available, including waterskiing and windsurfing, as well as a giant water park (Wild Wadi Waterpark) in the vicinity. At night, take a stroll down to the various restaurants, beach clubs, and stylish bars to sample delicious local cuisine as well as international menus.
This historic district of Dubai houses some of the city’s most precious old buildings, museums, religious sites, and even some of the best hotels in dubai for tourists. These include the Dubai Museum, the colorful Iranian Mosque, and a heritage village that encloses the old homes of Sheikhs from the past. To make the most of your time in Dubai, Bur Dubai is a great base for venturing out to look at handmade crafts, watch the boats go by, and try out local eateries. While this area may not be as modern and sophisticated as some of the other neighborhoods in Dubai, you will get an authentic glimpse into the life of locals and traditional architecture as you wander around Bur Dubai.
On the other side of the Dubai Creek, and a ferry ride away from Bur Dubai is the Deira district is Deira. Like Bur Dubai, Deira still retains abundant Old World charm. While Bur Dubai is the stronghold of textile merchants, Deira houses the city’s gold, fish, and spice souks (marketplaces). However, Deira is becoming increasingly developed, and you will observe a fascinating juxtaposition of new and old – from traditional buildings to new commercial buildings with unusual designs. One of these is the endearingly named “Pregnant Lady,” which actually houses the National Bank of Dubai, so named because of its protruding, curved front.
The Al Fahidi neighbourhood is said to best represent Dubai in the mid 19th century. The buildings in this area are typically constructed with traditional materials such as wood and stone, and situated in close proximity to create a labyrinth of alleys. You may also notice that many buildings still retain wind towers called “barjeel,” which served to channel wind into houses in the past for cooling purposes. This is just one example of how the Al Fahidi neighbourhood remains a whole world apart from the modernized downtown and resort towns catered to the rich and elite. Nowadays, some of the old buildings have been adapted into quaint cafes and artist’s workshops, making the neighbourhood an absolute delight to explore.
Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood
Over the years, Al Quoz has grown into Dubai’s art and cultural district. A vibrant art scene has developed organically, with rotating performances and exhibitions from both local and international artists alike. Artists are not the only creative minds who have moved in. The area is also teeming with beautifully designed cafes and coffee houses, fitness studios, and an old warehouse that has been converted into a skate park. There’s always something new to be discovered in Al Quoz!
Arguably one of the world’s most famous man-made islands, the Palm Jumeirah bears the iconic shape of a palm tree. Unfortunately, visitors will need to book a helicopter or seaplane ride to actually see this amazing work of construction. Some of the most luxurious and exclusive hotels and beach resorts are located on these artificial islands, including the St. Regis and Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort. As you may expect, being detached from the bustling mainland provides some serenity and privacy to guests – at a price!
One of the poshest areas in Dubai, Al Barsha is also known for Mall of the Emirates and other high-end boutiques and fashion shops. It surely is a shopper’s paradise. This lovely neighborhood also has several of the best attractions in Dubai like Tranquil Al Barsha Pond Park and Dubai Miracle Garden. A perfect “home base” for those looking to explore the city, this area is popular for both visitors and locals alike. Walk around its modern streets, try out the best dishes from their world-class restaurants, or just shop until you drop. Al Barsha is one of the top places with some of the best hotels in Dubai for tourists, and it’s not a mystery why.
Known as “The capital of Arab Media 2020”, Dubai Media City is one of the best places to stay in Dubai for tourists. It’s where you’ll find some of the most diverse establishments, institutions, and several other modern facilities essential to any central business district. This gorgeous area is also popular for its huge open-air amphitheater, where big-name and popular concerts and festivals are held. Its beautifully landscaped areas with lush greeneries are popular picnic spots. If you’re looking for top-notch shops, international brands, and delicious food, Dubai Media City is the place for you. Home to young professionals, families, and old-school locals, it is a favorite hang-out spot for visitors and residents alike.
Dubai Media City
Dubai: a city of extremes
Whether you are planning to splurge a little on a lavish resort, looking for a convenient base for your business trip, or on a mission to learn more about Dubai’s history and traditional culture, we hope this list has been useful in introducing a few of the best neighborhoods in Dubai that you can stay in!
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