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Maldives, Seychelles, Mauritius, UAE, Safaris

For most of the last decade THE area to stay in Dubai was along the beach. The beach area developed the best resorts, facilities, restaurants, and activities. Previously, the hotels in the city largely concentrated on business travelers so leisure travelers didn’t enjoy staying in the city as much as by the beach.

Jumeirah Beach Area in Dubai
Jumeirah Beach Area

Times have changed! The World’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, opened two years ago. Burj Khalifa is located in Downtown Dubai which is an area that is home to a number of nice hotels, the Dubai Fountains, Dubai Mall (one of the largest and nicest in the region), Souk Al Bahar (another shopping area), At The Top (highest observation deck in the World) and numerous restaurants, bars, and activities all within walking distance of each other. It’s a great, safe, and fun area for leisure travelers.

Burj Khalifa in Dubai - worlds tallest building
Burj Khalifa

The question that we now get asked is where should travelers stay? The answer, of course, depends on individual travel plans and desires but on my recent visit to Dubai, I decided to stay in both the beach area and in the Downtown Dubai area so that I could report back with my observations and thoughts.

The Jumeirah beach area does have some very nice beaches. Resorts such as Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Burj Al Arab, and Madinat Jumeirah have great beaches and views. On this trip, I first stayed at One&Only Royal Mirage, located a bit further down the beach at the base of the Palm. We stayed in the Arabian Court section of One&Only Royal Mirage which a 4-story structure with an Arabic flair to it.

One and Only Royal Mirage Beack
One&Only Royal Mirage Beach

The rooms at Arabian Court at One&Only Royal Mirage all face out towards the beach. The rooms don’t all have views of the water though. We were on the 4th floor (highest floor) and the palm trees between our room and the water largely block the water views. The views are still very nice, but you don’t get unobstructed ocean views. One&Only Royal Mirage is a beautiful property. The gardens and grounds are perfectly landscaped. The pool offers great service. The restaurants are very good. Our room didn’t show any sign of wear and looked to be in great condition. It is a great setting. The views from the beach look out over Palm Jumeirah, a magnificent engineering feat.

Deluxe Room at Arabian Court at One and Only Royal Mirage in Dubai
Deluxe Room at Arabian Court at One&Only Royal Mirage

I then moved on to the Armani Hotel located inside Burj Khalifa in the Downtown Dubai area. Being able to walk to the Dubai Mall (home to facilities such as one of the most amazing aquariums in the World, an ice skating rink, a gold souk, and tons of shops), the Dubai Fountains, and tons of restaurants and bars makes it really convenient and fun. Other sites of Dubai are close by.

Armani Hotel in Dubai
Armani Hotel Entrance

Dubai Fountains and Souk Al Bahar in Downtown Dubai
Dubai Fountains & Souk Al Bahar – Downtown Dubai

What I really like about the Downtown Dubai area is the value for money. A 5-star hotel on the beach depending on the time of year can easily cost somewhere from $600-$1000 a night for an entry level room. My Classic Room at Armani Hotel – which is a spacious 1-bedroom suite – was about $300 a night less than the Deluxe Room at One&Only Royal Mirage. The room at Armani Hotel was larger than the room at One&Only Royal Mirage. The Classic Room at Armani Hotel Dubai is excellent! In addition to the stunning design of the Armani Hotel, included in the room rate is complimentary Wi-Fi and mini-bar.

Armani Hotel Classic Room Bedroom in Dubai
Armani Hotel – Classic Room – Bedroom

Armani Hotel Classic Room Living Room in Dubai
Armani Hotel – Classic Room – Living Room

Armani Hotel Classic Room Bathroom in Dubai
Armani Hotel – Classic Room – Bathroom

Other hotels in Dubai can charge up to $25 per day, per device (in some cases). I love hotels that include complimentary Wi-Fi and a hotel that includes complimentary mini-bar is a really nice touch. I had a nicer room in Downtown Dubai, great views, and more included, all for less money than staying along the beach. Being able to stroll around the Downtown Dubai area is also really nice and easy. It’s such a pretty area!

Aquarium in the Dubai Mall
Aquarium in the Dubai Mall

If combining a stay in Dubai with the Maldives or Seychelles, I’d opt for the Downtown Dubai area as I’d be getting beautiful beaches for the Indian Ocean portion of the trip. Other nice hotels at even less expensive price points in the Downtown Dubai are The Address Downtown Dubai, The Palace The Old Town, Al Manzil, and Qamardeen. Contact us for details and special rates.

  1. Gail Shemin said,

    I am staying in Dubai for the 1st time. I usually like to stay in downtown areas but because of the weather i would rather be near the beach. I am looking for something for under $200 per night (US dollars). Looking for a pristine environment
    What do you think? How far is downtown from the beach?

  2. Lindsey said,

    Hi Gail,

    Thank you for your comment. The Downtown Dubai area and the Jumeirah Beach area are close to each other. The drive often takes 15-20 minutes depending on location and traffic.

    We’ll have one of our team members get in contact with you regarding your trip and help make suggestions. It’s often less expensive to stay in the city area versus the beach area but there are ususally some deals in both areas.

    Best regards,
    Linara Travel

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