Exploring Dubai’s neighbourhoods
Where do the hipsters go? Where should you? Discover which areas of Dubai deserve your attention, from the Marina to The Palm, and pick the best hotel for each region.
Decadence in the desert
Height of the Burj Khalifa
Dubai holidays from
In the rooms at the Burj al Arab
Have a superb holiday in a city that glitters with marvels. Whether you’re after Dubai city breaks, a relaxing stopover or an all-in, high-octane holiday, there are more than enough distractions to keep you entertained for days.
With three direct flights to Dubai daily from London Heathrow, its fantastic weather and enterprising culture, it's no surprise that people flock to Dubai in their thousands to experience life in the emirates. The expat community have become a big part of the city, you can join them for a taste of the good life. Amongst the city's sparkling spas and fast cars you’ll find thousands of things to do.
Shop (or even ski) in the world’s most extravagant malls, enjoy water parks and theme parks in year-round sunshine and be seduced by the sands of the desert on your doorstep. When you visit the heritage centres, the Jumeriah Mosque and the city’s modern art galleries, you’ll see that this city in the middle of the wilderness is far from a cultural vacuum.
Luxury means something a little different in Dubai: the sky's the limit when it comes to service and it's not uncommon to find gold in vending machines and designer bags by the pool. Atlantis The Palm is famous the world over for splendour that's family-friendly, whilst the 4-star Hilton Garden Inn is enviably central, at the Mall of the Emirates.
Make sure your trip is truly unforgettable by talking to one of our Middle East travel specialists.
Are you looking for a blowout break or are you sticking to a budget? Better decide before you get seduced by this city's many indulgences. Here's how to see Dubai on a budget – no matter what that budget is.
Operation: Falafel lets you enjoy traditional street food on a budget near the beach. Try their spicy potatoes.
Oil barons be damned: you can see Dubai on a budget. Spend a morning on the beach – JBR is free to visit, and retreat to the Dubai Museum when it gets too hot. Catch the Dubai fountains in the evening – the shows are every 30 minutes from 6pm.
Eat at the popular Social House in The Dubai Mall. It’s busy and bustling, and great for families, and serves cuisine from all over the world. You can see the nightly fountain show from your table.
Take your time shopping in the malls – The Dubai Mall has one of the world’s largest aquariums whilst the Mall of the Emirates has that famous indoor ski slope. Spend an afternoon keeping your cool on the slides and in the lazy rivers of the Wild Wadi Waterpark.
You don’t have to venture far on The Palm for food. A Michelin-starred chef devised the dishes for the restaurant Stay, set within One & Only The Palm. Yannick Alléno, the French chef in question, is behind the lavish project, which features an exquisite Black Truffle Menu.
Drag yourself out of bed before dawn – it will be worth it once you get in a hot air balloon and experience sunrise over the desert.
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Like any city, Dubai can seem overwhelming at first. But once you’ve got your bearings you’ll find it a rewarding place to visit, and exceptionally open to tourists. With 85% of the population expats, Dubai is a city which you can make your own.
There are plenty of places that make great bases once you arrive in Dubai. The most popular locations are Jumeriah Beach, Dubai Marina and The Palm Jumeriah. With good reason – the hotels here often have private beaches and five stars to their name. There are plenty of places to stay in downtown Dubai, right by the famous Malls and the Burj Khalifa. But if you’re prepared to stay further out, you’ll be richly rewarded with gorgeous views and stunning resorts: head north to Sharja, Ajman and Ras al Khaimah. Read our Dubai neighbourhood guide to find out more.
Get to know the city by starting at its roots – at Dubai Creek you can delve into the heart of the old town and visit the Al Fahidi Historical District and the Bur Dubai Souq. The massive, impressive Jumeirah Mosque is an essential sight and you can easily visit it before a trip to the nearby Jumeirah Beach and a stroll along The Walk at JBR, a popular new hangout. Then it’s time for dinner, dancing fountains outside Burj al Arab, and a rooftop bar.
Dubai has everything you’d ever need to remain endlessly entertained for months. But, just in case you want to extend your trip, why not discover the other delights of the UAE? Take a twin centre holiday that combines the excesses of Dubai with the cultural attractions of Abu Dhabi. Less than two hour’s drive away, in the UAE capital you can visit the brand new Louvre and take a spin in Ferrari World. For something calmer, you can spend a few days on the beach in the quieter resorts of Ras al Khaimah.Customise your trip