Dubai is a really huge city. To give you an idea, the shortest distance between the Gold Souk (in old Dubai) and Dubai Marina is 33 kms. It’s not really a very walkable city like the ones in Europe and Asia. So, it becomes imperative for you to determine the best area to stay in Dubai according to your itinerary.
Despite the are you select, you shall be spending a considerable time commuting if you wish to do everything in our highly recommended, detailed 7 day Dubai Itinerary.
Choose a place that is close to most of the activities you wish to participate in and you shall save a lot of commute time. The following are the best areas to stay in Dubai according to varying budgets and area attributes.
Best Area to Stay in Dubai: Deira
Ideal For: Tourists visiting between flights or are on a super tight budget.
Not recommended for: You wish to see a lot of Dubai as the commute time is very high
Deira is the most budget friendly place to stay in Dubai. The area is located between the Dubai airport and the Dubai creak. Deira has a host of decent accommodation options at prices you shall not find in the rest of Dubai. Moreover, It also houses some of the best free things to do in Dubai like the Gold souk and spice souk.
Locally run superstores and historic souks dominate this age old business center rather than the glitzy malls in the rest of Dubai. The area also houses the famous gold and spice souks along with other bazaars like the textile and food grains markets.
You shall see a lot of Indians here who run their business here in Dubai’s first business district. Expect very night life except for the dhow dinner cruises taking place in the Dubai Creek. However, Deira is slowly getting modernized and some pretty cool things are sprouting up in the area.
Moreover, It is located just a 15-minute metro ride away from the airport. Hence, it’s an ideal destination for someone who wishes to explore old, traditional Dubai between flights.
Expect to pay around $60/night for a decent hotel in Deira. Click here for latest prices for your dates.
Best Area to Stay in Dubai: Bur Dubai
Ideal for: Budget Travellers wishing to stay close to Modern Dubai
Not recommended for: You’re interested in modern shopping and nightlife
An area similar to Deira but a little less business-like and on the other side of the Dubai creek. This is the cheapest area to stay in Dubai without feeling like you’re outside the city. Bur Dubai has a good number of hotels with decent amenities and great metro connectivity. It also has a good collection of cheap restaurants to eat in. The area is dominated by people from the Indian sub-continent who have their businesses in Deira.
If you are on a budget and don’t wish to be disconnected from modern Dubai, this is the best area to stay in Dubai. While you can reach every other location in Dubai via public transportation, Bur Dubai is also very close to Old Dubai and the Dubai Bus Terminal for your trip to Abu Dhabi.
It’s easy to reach Old Dubai and visit the cultural attractions of Dubai if you stay in this area. The area is not very happening as shops and restaurants close by 10 o clock and nightlife is absent. However, recently there has been a little improvement in that culture with more and more clubs opening in the area.
Expect to pay around $80/night for a decent hotel near the metro station. Click here for latest prices for your dates.
Best Area to Stay in Dubai: Downtown Dubai
Ideal For: Tourists and young couples
Not recommended for: You’re on a tight budget
This area is ideal for our detailed Dubai itinerary for 7 days, as it is close to most of the attractions listed in it. The Dubai Mall, The Dubai Opera and the tallest building in the world – The Burj Khalifa, are located in this area.
Downtown Dubai is well connected to the metro, is between Old Dubai and Dubai Marina and has a plethora of things to do. The place is always lively and has the most glamourous night clubs and fine dine restaurants in Dubai.
It also has some of the best Dubai hotels with the most amazing views of the Dubai skyline. Downtown Dubai is our most recommended area to stay in Dubai for Tourists. If you live in this area, you can do justice to your visit to the majestic Dubai Mall. Refer our post on the best things to do in Dubai Mall to get a better idea.
Due to its popularity, it is not a very budget friendly area to stay in.
Expect to pay at least $150/night for a decent hotel room. Click here for the latest prices during your travel dates.
Best Area to Stay in Dubai: Jumeirah Beach Residences (JBR) and the Marina
Ideal For: Tourists with family
Not recommended for: Couples and people visiting Dubai for Shopping
This is a relatively new area of Dubai where all the European expats live. As a result, the place is very happening as it is littered with amazing cafes and bars.
The area has mostly expats or tourists and is right behind the famous Dubai Marina. It offers a very lively scene as most of the new restaurants and clubs are located here and there are no strict restrictions like the way women dress at the beach, for example.
JBR is also the most child friendly area to stay in Dubai as most of the hotels here have children friendly amenities like a children pool and a kid’s play area. It is also the closest area to a majority of things to do in Dubai with kids! On top of that, it is close to Skydive Dubai if you were inspired by our guide to Dubai Skydiving.
However, the area offers no shopping experience except for the Ibn Batuta Mall. Moreover, it is really far way (around 23 kms) from downtown Dubai and even farther away from Old Dubai.
Also, as the area is a hot commercial bed, it is probably the most expensive to stay in after the Palm. But the Airbnb game is pretty strong in this region as most people traveling with families choose to stay here because of the superior quality of family-friendly apartments.
Expect to pay upwards of $200/ night for a good hotel room. Click here for the latest prices during your travel dates.
Most Luxurious Area to Stay in Dubai: The Palm Jumeriah
Ideal For: Honeymooners and luxury travelers
Not recommended for: People wishing to explore Dubai extensively
The most opulent area in Dubai if not the Middle east, everyone dreams about living on the Palm. Palm Jumeirah is the man-made Palm tree shaped island that has become synonymous with Dubai.
The iconic island has some of the poshest and the most luxurious hotels in all of Dubai, including the splendid, Atlantis The Palm.
If you’re looking for an ultra-luxurious stay in Dubai, complete with the best amenities that money can buy and wish to stay where the affluent live, book a hotel in The Palm Jumeirah.
These qualities make the Palm Jumeirah the best area to live in for couples on a honeymoon. The uber-luxury, the spa sessions and the couple’s activities that the hotels located here provide make for an ideal romantic getaway.
However, if you wish to explore the rest of Dubai, The Palm is not an ideal destination. Although it is well connected to the rest of Dubai via Dubai’s first monorail, it is still a pretty long commute to all the other glitzy monuments of Dubai.
Expect to pay upwards of $400/night in The Palm. Click here for the latest prices during your travel dates.
In A Nutshell
So, those were our recommended areas to stay in Dubai. Here’s a quick recap of all the best areas to stay in Dubai for tourists:
- Best Area to stay in Dubai for visiting the Souks: Deira
- Ideal Area to stay in Dubai for budget travelers: Bur Dubai
- Best Area to stay in Dubai for Nightlife and shopping: Downtown Dubai
- Perfect Area to stay in Dubai for Tourists with kids: Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Beach Residences
- Best Area to stay in Dubai for Luxury Travel and Romantic Vacations: The Palm Jumeirah
We hope this article helped you choose the best location for your trip to Dubai. If yes, drop us a comment below and tell us which area you would stay in! Also, if we missed anything, let us know so that we can help our readers further!