Hotels in Dubai
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Dubai – Progressive Arabian Oasis Rising from the Desert Sands
For far too many travellers, Dubai means little more than “DXB”, the airport code for Dubai International Airport, where they change planes and maybe do a spot of duty free shopping before quickly heading off to their actual destination. But, grand as it is, the city is much more than its airport, having developed over the last 40 years or so from a sleepy trading port to the Middle East’s Alpha City, with a skyline to rival New York’s and a range of attractions and tourist facilities that would impress even Walt Disney World’s CEO.
From Clocktower to Creek
In a city as modern and forward looking as Dubai, visitors would nonetheless do well to start their exploration in its historic centre. The Deira Clocktower is as good a place to start as any. It is situated in the heart of Deira and is just minutes from the airport. While the tower itself, like almost everything else in Dubai, is unabashedly modern, it is situated at a historic crossroads near the first bridge to span across the Dubai Creek. A short walk to the creek itself will bring into view the dhows and other commercial vessels that have been unloading precious cargo here for hundreds of years. It is possible to board a dhow day-cruise here and escape the hubbub of the city for a short sojourn in the Gulf.
Souks, both Grand and Routine
Deira is also by far the best place in Dubai, and possibly the best place in the UAE, to experience an authentic Arabian souk. The Naif Souk is one of the city’s oldest, and originally traded mostly camels. It has been completely modernised and visitors will now find everything from knock-off handbags to high-tech electronics. But of all the souks in Deira it is the Gold Souk that draws the most attention, and for good reason. Aside from Fort Knox and a couple of other central bank vaults, it has to hold the greatest amount of gold in one place in the world. Most of the traders specialise in jewellery, rather than bars or gold coins, but serious buyers should research the current London Fix gold price in order to make sure they do not over pay.
The Burj Khalifa and the Glittering Modern City
Head over the Dubai Creek from Deira and one enters the futuristic districts and developments that have come to define the modern city. Avid shoppers and those looking for a bird’s eye view over Dubai, and parts of the rest of the UAE, should head for Downtown Dubai. This fully developed area contains all the shopping one could possibly need in the massive Dubai Mall, a variety of entertainment, popular musical water fountains and the Burj Khalifa. Until very recently this striking tower was the tallest building in the world. It contains an incredible eight hotels, private residences and an open air observation tower on its 124th floor. Like many of the city’s major attractions, this area is accessible via the new, and thankfully fully air conditioned, Dubai Metro. Another area that attracts both visitors and residents alike is the Dubai Marina. Not only does it house watercrafts from mega-yachts to modest sailboats, it also features a gorgeous sandy beach lined with glitzy hotels and resorts. An incredible number of high-rises crowd the marina, giving it an urban buzz that draws cosmopolitan visitors to its waterfront cafes and restaurants. Families should not miss out on a trip to Wild Wadi Water Park. The park offers incredible slides, private cabanas and a welcome chance to cool off - all within view of Dubai’s iconic Burj Al Arab.
Beyond the City’s Edge
The UAE, and even the Emirate of Dubai itself, is much more than just a glittering post-modern city. After spending a while in the city some visitors yearn for a different and perhaps more authentic experience. They dream of the silence, endless landscapes and traditional Bedouin hospitality to be found in the desert just beyond the city limits. A safari is the perfect way to satisfy this yearning, and there are several outfits that will transport their guests deep into the desert to experience the hospitality that is the hallmark of desert communities everywhere. Sometimes the trip to the accommodation is half the fun, with off-road vehicles cresting the dunes found along the way. Dinner is typically a feast fit for a sheikh and often includes entertainment like belly dancing and live music. A popular daytime activity in the desert is sandboarding – just as much fun as snowboarding, but requiring good fitness to walk back up the dune after each run. The safari companies that arrange these trips typically collect guests from hotels in the city before heading off.
Price rangefrom R158to R81,041
Hotel Atlantis The Palm Dubai
Situated on an amazing private beach and man-made peninsula, Palm Island, Atlantis The Palm is a five-star hotel offering travellers a vacation experience of a lifetime. Needless to say, basic provisions such as TVs and en-suite bathrooms come standard, as do gulf or island views and a balcony. Extras vary between rooms and suites and can range from small comforts like brand-name toiletries to opulent separate lounges and bedrooms. Guests are spoilt for choice when it comes to ways to relax: have a spa day, enjoy the water park, spend time in the salon. Break a sweat at the tennis courts, or stroll through the aquarium. The day (and night) is yours. Atlantis The Palm has a diverse collection of 23 restaurants on site that are open to all guests staying at this resort. If you have time to spend outside of the resort, the mainland can be reached in 12 minutes by car, where the rest of Dubai lies in wait. more
Hotel Hotel Dusit Thani Dubai Dubai
Hotel Dusit Thani Dubai is a glamorous Thai-themed hotel set in two connected towers in the heart of Dubai’s financial district, and a ten-minute drive from the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa. Accommodations boast stunning Thai decor with a host of modern amenities like large flat-screen TVs and complimentary Wi-Fi. Upgraded suites feature access to an executive lounge, while apartments add magnificent hand-crafted artworks and the very latest technology. Conferences, meetings, and lavish balls can all be hosted at Hotel Dusit Thani Dubai, with no end to the line-up of leisure activities either. A rooftop pool with spectacular skyline views, a children's playground, and around-the-clock concierge is just a sneak preview of the featured amenities. With three on-site restaurants, an outdoor terrace with skyscraper views, and a Japanese whisky bar, it's no wonder guests sometimes wish they could stay longer to sample all the mouthwatering cuisine that's on offer. Downtown Dubai and the world-famous Dubai Mall are a ten-minute drive from Hotel Dusit Thani Dubai. more
Hotel Hotel Grand Hyatt Dubai Dubai
The 5 star Grand Hyatt Dubai in located in the Bur Dubai district overlooking the creek. It is set in 37 acres of landscaped gardens and nearby is the Wafi City Shopping Mall and Dubai Creek while Dubai International Airport is only 7 kilometres away. The hotel has 674 guest rooms and suites plus 186 fully serviced long stay apartments, all are en-suite. They come with air-conditioning, a safe, hairdryer, coffee maker and mini bar as standard. There are a large number of eating places including the Manhattan Grill (American cuisine), Andiamo’s (Italian), Peppercrab (seafood), iZ (Indian), Sushi (Japanese), Wox (Asian), the Market Café (self service) and Awatar’s (Lebanese). Lounges and bars include Vinoteca, Al Nakheel (light snacks) ,Cooz, Panini (light snacks and ice cream) and the Pool bar (light snacks). The hotel boasts 11 meeting rooms, 2 ballrooms and 2 boardrooms. The Grand Spa is a leisure and exercise complex containing two squash courts, a high-tech gymnasium and a 20-metre indoor lap pool. Also available are a number of beauty treatments and massages. There is also an outdoor pool. more
Hotel Hampton By Hilton Dubai Airport Dubai
Hampton by Hilton Dubai Airport is the first of the brand located in the Middle East. With its 420 rooms, the property is the world's biggest Hampton by Hilton in the world. Situated nearby the Dubai Airport, the hotel provides a great place for business and leisure travellers. The property provides different room types with queen and twin beds as well as accessible and smoking rooms. The outdoor pool is great for relaxation and the free breakfast, parking and WiFi will make your stay complete. The location offers great access to Dubai Airport Freezone, Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa and La Mer Beach. T more
Hotel Wyndham Dubai Marina Dubai
Located only two kilometres from Dubai Marina Mall, Wyndham Dubai Marina boasts a rooftop pool with a poolside bar as well as free high-speed Wi-Fi throughout the modern interiors. The luxuriously-fitted rooms come standard with an en-suite bathroom including a bath, shower and free toiletries. In-room amenities include heating and cooling, a flat-screen TV, a seating area and a writing desk. Wyndham Dubai Marina features complimentary on-site parking and a fitness centre with a sauna. Guests can also get a massage on site, as well as make use of the business centre and meeting facilities. Al local cuisine can be enjoyed at one of the two on-site restaurants, while Cafe Azur offers drinks and snacks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. This hotel is 25 minutes away from Dubai International Airport, while nearby attractions include Dubai Marina Yacht Club and Splash Pad Dubai, both of which are less than ten minutes away. Aquaventure Water Park is 18 minutes away by car. more
Hotel Auris Inn Al Muhanna Dubai
Located in Al Barsha, the four-star Auris Inn Al Muhanna is situated within a few miles of Ski Dubai and shopping at the Mall of the Emirates. Amenities available to guests include an outdoor pool and free valet parking. Air-conditioned rooms feature private bathrooms along with conveniences such as minibars, desks and safes. For entertainment, there’s cable TV as well as free Wi-Fi. Upgraded quarters feature balconies while suites add separate living areas. Facilities at Auris Inn Al Muhanna include a 24-hour front desk, tours and ticket assistance, a business centre and meeting space, laundry services and complimentary newspapers. Guests can also use the fitness room and enjoy on-site spa services. Airport transfers are offered for a fee. Dining options at the hotel include the Ucci Sushi Restaurant, Didon Restaurant, The Lounge Cafe and The Terrace. In-room dining is available courtesy of a 24-hour room service menu. This hotel is a ten-minute drive from Palm Jumeirah and 25 minutes from Downtown Dubai and Dubai International Airport. more