Which area of Dubai are you best suited to?
Want to chill by the beach, shop till you drop or fancy some history; we have your perfect location figured out for you
If you're planning a staycation or recommending areas to visiting friends and family...look no further. Here's a guide to the perfect holiday havens in Dubai...
1. If you want to chill at the beach: JBR
Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR to the cool kids), is the ultimate spot to stay if you fancy some sun, sand, sea and (surprisingly) shopping. A brand spanking new outside mall offers designer boutiques and cool cafes, minus the air-con, while camels wander the shoreline just metres away. There's even wifi in the palm trees...so you can Instagram and Snapchat away to your heart's content.
2. If you want to spend your nights on the town: Dubai Marina
Mega-yachts, swanky clubs and delicious cocktails – these are just a couple of the reasons why many of Dubai's young professionals make the Marina their home. With over 4km of pretty palm-strewn walkways and a great number of new trendy restaurants this is a super convenient place to both see and be seen. Chef Jason Atherton opened Marina Social restaurant in the new InterContinental hotel there, which is worth checking out, along with Pier 7 which has seven different restaurants and bars across seven floors; from pan-Asian and Mexican food to French and Lebanese; literally every taste bud is catered for.
3. If you're a culture vulture: Al Fahidi
For a truly different way to see Dubai visit the historic Al Fahidi district. Low-key, low-rise and brimming with creative authenticity, every narrow walkway is an Instagram moment, the traditional tearooms and galleries offer a slice of peace in an otherwise chaotic city. Stay at the XVA art hotel to truly immerse yourself in culture or to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre.
4. If you want to see old school Dubai: Deira
Think Dubai is all skyscrapers and supercars? Think again. Deira is the old centre of the city, and is one of the few places you can still see traditional dhows and abras sailing with purpose along the historic creek. Explore the gold and spice souks, make the most of the relatively cheap eats on offer and take an abra ride across the creek for AED1 (These boats run from 5am - midnight every day; try going after dark to catch the cities lights twinkling in the distance).
5. If you want to live the dream: The Palm
Adhering to the 'go-hard-or-go-home' ethos, The Palm is everything you expect Dubai to be, and then some. It is home to some of the most iconic hotels – Atlantis, The Fairmont, One&Only – and it's the perfect spot to do a spot of supercar watching too. Spend your days at its exclusive beach clubs, and your nights hobnobbing with celebs at the likes of Nobu or the Atlantis.
6. If you plan to shop till you drop: Downtown
The glistening new commercial hub of Dubai offers much more than the Burj Khalifa (although that's not a bad start). The Dubai Mall sits right beside it, and offers more shopping opportunities than you ever thought possible, as well as some of the world's finest restaurants and hotels. It's over 5km so we suggest you take your walking shoes if you plan to make a day of it.
7. If you're in the know: Jumeirah
This laid-back part of town is where those who have lived in Dubai for a while tend to come and hangout. It's got chilled spots aplenty (we love both Jumeirah and Kite beache) as well as a strong surf scene. The recently opened Four Seasons hotel also plays host to Coya – one of the hottest restaurants in town right now and smaller beach spots like Salt (where you'll get some of Dubai's best burgers) and a new skate park pull in a more alternative crowd.
8. If you want some serious resort-style luxury: Madinat Jumeirah
Hard to describe this amazing resort; the Madinat Jumeirah is the kind of place to stay if you want to switch off from reality, spend your time strolling around cute (pretend) souks and sailing along picture-perfect canals. Think a mixture of Venice and Morocco but with a huge splash of luxury thrown in. With two 5 star hotels (Al Qasr, Mina A Salam), over 40 restaurants and even a water park next door, you won't want for anything.