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 R150to R77,260
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 Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa Dubai
Surrounded by beautiful turquoise water of Palm Jumeirah, Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa is a 5-star property known for its luxurious accommodation, spectacular views and exceptional customer service. Designed in soothing hues, the guest rooms feature a flat-screen TV, plush bedding, mini-bar and tea/coffee maker. The en suite bathroom offers deluxe bath amenities. The So Spa at Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa features sauna, treatment rooms and seawater pool for ultimate relaxation. With state-of-the-art equipment, The So Fit is a treat for fitness enthusiasts. The property also boasts tennis courts, kids club, 24-hour front desk and multi-lingual staff. Guests can relish a Chinese a la carte menu at Hong Loong or indulge in International buffet at Manava. An exquisite seafood menu is served at Moana whereas Porterhouse Steaks offers amazing steak in the perfect setting. Maui Beach is ideal for mini meals and drinks. In a ten minute drive, guests can get to Dubai Marina while Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall are accessible in a twenty-minute drive. more
Hotel Novotel Dubai Al Barsha Dubai
Novotel Dubai Al Barsha is set in a stylish high-rise tower just 400 metres from Sharaf DG metro station. As well as two swimming pools (one outdoors), this polished four-star hotel boasts several on-site dining and drinking venues. Light, contemporary guest rooms with chic colour bursts provide flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges and tea/coffee-making equipment. Upgraded rooms feature iPod docking stations. Spacious suites with separate lounge and dining areas are also available. Guest can make use of a spa with gym and sauna, as well as a free daily shuttle to nearby malls and beaches. Other amenities include a ballroom, business centre and ten state-of-the-art meeting rooms. Parking and Wi-Fi are both free. In addition to an a la carte restaurant (365 All Day Dining) and 24-hour cafe (Cafe Java); there's a stylish cocktail bar (Bubbles Bar) and a seventh-floor poolside bar (Deck Se7en) with rooftop views. Novotel Dubai Al Barsha is a mile from the Mall of the Emirates and three miles from Wild Wadi water park. more
Hotel Holiday Inn Dubai - Al Barsha Dubai
Situated just steps from Mall of the Emirates, Holiday Inn Dubai - Al Barsha boasts a fantastic location that is convenient for both visiting the beach and exploring the Dubai city centre. The hotel boasts a rooftop terrace, a nightclub, and offers free Wi-Fi and free parking. All rooms feature air conditioning, a minibar, coffee/tea maker, electronic safe, and a sitting area with a flat-screen TV. Some rooms also have an iPod dock and Nespresso maker. Club upgrades include lounge access. Wellness facilities include an outdoor pool and fitness centre. For convenience, the hotel has a 24-hour reception and a business centre. Shuttle service is complimentary to local attractions. There are three restaurants and bars/lounges at the hotel, including a Thai, Indian, and international eatery. Room service is available upon request. Holiday Inn Dubai - Al Barsha is about a mile from Al Barsha Pond Park and about four from Madinat Jumeirah, while Downtown Dubai is approximately ten miles away. more
Hotel Studio M Arabian Plaza by Millennium Dubai
Studio M Arabian Plaza Hotel & Hotel Apartments by Millennium is a three-star lifestyle hotel located 300m from Al Qiyadah Metro Station. The hotel features both modern and posh hotel and hotel apartments, along with facilities, such as outdoor lap pool, fitness center, meeting rooms, and food and beverage outlets. The hotel offers 24-hour reception service and daily continental breakfast served at Level M restaurant, the hotel's all-day dining outlet. The hotel rooms feature Smart LED TVs, free high-speed WiFi connectivity, and free coffee and tea facilities. Meanwhile, the hotel apartments feature fully furnished and serviced suite with equipped kitchen, spacious living area, and comfy bedrooms. The hotel is the perfect jump-off point to Dubai's main leisure attractions and business destinations, giving access to Sheikh Zayed Road, major Dubai malls, and parks via Dubai Metro, more
Hotel Dukes The Palm Dubai
Situated on the Palm Jumeirah, DUKES DUBAI, a Royal Hideaway Hotel opens its doors in the UAE. Enter a world where you get the best of both leisure and luxury for a truly memorable stay. Sister hotel to the award-winning DUKES LONDON in Mayfair, this elegant Dubai hotel reflects its sister property’s flair for understated sophistication, and unrivalled attention to detail Access to the hotel’s impressive collection of restaurants and top-notch leisure facilities means there’s plenty to keep you occupied for weeks on end. Make the most of the private beach and soak up the winter sun before floating along the lazy river and taking a dip in the infinity pool. Dukesy Kids Club, for ages 5 to 12, welcomes little holidaymakers with a focus on edutainment (the bookable cooking classes are very popular) along with a special menu full of healthy and nutritious food. And while they’re being taken care of, you can focus on your own wellbeing by catching a yoga class by the indoor pool. Reunite for dinner at the award-winning Great British Restaurant (GBR), which is a firm favourite for its classics with a twist, from hearty roasts with all the trimmings to dark chocolate fondant. For an evening full of entertainment, food and fun, West 14th steakhouse never fails to deliver, with excellent cuts of prime beef and delicious seafood to feast on, sports on the big screens and a live band, ramping up the ambience. Alternatively, make your way to the 15th floor to experience authentic North Indian flavours at Khyber, which is a winner among A-list foodies and promises a memorable evening full of sleek service, good music, and stunning Marina skyline views. We look forward to welcoming you on your next visit to Dubai. more