While the hotels at the higher end of the market offer superb surroundings and facilities, those at the cheaper end vary – you get what you pay for. There are dozens of the world’s leading hotel brands to be found here, many of them housed in some of the city’s most iconic buildings.
The Dubai Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (DTCM) oversees a hotel classification system that gives an internationally recognised star rating to hotels and hotel apartments. This is being updated to include a budget hotel category, and Gold and Platinum Accolades for outstanding hotels and resorts.
Dubai’s penchant for showing off has resulted in some stupendously extravagant places to stay. From one of the most expensive hotels in the world, the Burj Al Arab, to the tallest hotel in the world, the JW Marriott Marquis. Then there’s The Meydan Hotel, which hosts the richest horse race in the world, the Dubai World Cup, and the Armani Hotel, nestled at the base of the tallest man-made structure in the world, practically every inch of which has been personally designed by Armani himself, one of the most famous designers in the world. And that’s before you head out to Atlantis on the Palm Jumeirah – once the world’s largest man-made island.
Bur Dubai and Deira have plenty of notable hotels for guests staying in this buzzing end of town, and they won't blow the budget. The Crowne Plaza Dubai Deira is home to legendary buffet restaurant Spice Island, and the JW Marriott Hotel Dubai is known for its theme nights and brunches. The Dhow Palace Hotel and the Park Regis Kris Kin Hotel also offer great facilities with rooms available at competitive prices. Radisson Blu, Novotel, Rotana, Sheraton and Holiday Inn all have various branches around the main areas of the city, each with its own popular brunch options and bars.
While not hugely common in Dubai, guesthouses are becoming more popular. Smaller in size, B&Bs offer a homely feel and are ideal for guests who want to see more of the ‘real Dubai’. Located in residential areas, they won’t have access to private beaches, but there is no shortage of good public beaches to enjoy. Some will have their own pool, while owners will be only too happy to give personal recommendations on what to see, and things to do. Villa 47 (04 286 8239, villa47.com) has only two guest rooms, but is located close to the airport in Garhoud. It’s also just a stone’s throw from the Irish Village, which has ample dining and drinking venues. You can book through the usual online portals.
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