There’s no denying that summer is tough. Don’t think so? Go spend five minutes outside right now. That said, there are many benefits that come with a Dubai summer: less traffic, cheap shopping, shorter working hours for Ramadan and, yes, oodles of hotel deals. We’ve waded through what’s on offer in Dubai’s 382 hotels (which tallies up to 78,600 beds) to find the 20 best offers to book this weekend. Room rates are quoted on a twin-sharing basis.
1 Meydan Hotel The deal: Dhs525 per room per night, including breakfast, beach access at Atlantis, free Wi-Fi, one free session per stay at the shooting simulator and free shuttle buses to The Dubai Mall.
Best for: Getting away from it all.
Why go? This racecourse/hotel is often quiet off-season, but features large rooms with state-of-the-art technology. What’s more, most of the hotel, including the beautiful pool, has a panoramic view of Dubai’s skyline.
Insider tip: The hotel boasts a ladies’ only floor. Valid until August 31. Nad Al Sheba, www.meydanhotels.com (800 639 326).
2 Asiana Hotel The deal: Dhs333 per room per night, including high-speed internet access.
Best for: An affordable five-star experience.
Why go? This new five-star hotel is like a calm Asian oasis in the middle of bustling Deira. The restaurants have an authentic vibe, the service is sincere and there are five restaurants, serving Japanese, Chinese, seafood, Filipino and Korean food.
Insider tip: The spa is men-only, so don’t book in for a girly pampering weekend. Valid until August 30. Salahuddin Road, Deira www.asianahoteldubai.com (04 238 7777).
3 Hilton hotels The deal: Every Hilton in the UAE is offering 40 per cent off stays this month. Try the Hilton Dubai Creek (from Dhs396 per room including discount) or the Hilton Dubai Jumeirah (from Dhs490 including discount).
Best for: A bit of both worlds.
Why go? The Hilton Dubai Creek boasts reliable bistro Glasshouse and high-end dining favourite Verre. The Hilton Dubai Jumeirah has a beautiful beach and pool (with a cute swim-up pool bar), while dining options include high-end Italian favourite Bice.
Insider tip: Stay at the Hilton Dubai Jumeirah if you want a car-free weekend in Dubai: it’s right on The Walk at JBR, so the world – well, Dubai Marina – is at your fingertips. Until August 22. Hilton Dubai Jumeirah, (04 399 1111); Hilton Dubai Creek (04 227 1111), www.hilton.com.
4 Media One Hotel The deal: Pay Dhs428 per room per night, including free buffet breakfast, 10 per cent discount on food and drinks and a free shuttle service to Dubai Outlet Mall.
Best for: Meal deals and all-day dining.
Why go? This fun hotel is great value for money. What’s more, staff members have their finger on the pulse of the city, so can direct you to the closest busy spots.
Insider tip: Thursday night at Media One is ladies’ night, meaning three free drinks for the fairer sex, and there’s a Dhs99 all-you-can-drink deal between 8pm and 11pm. Valid until August 31. Dubai Media City, www.mediaonehotel.com (04 427 1001).
5 Desert Palm The deal: Stay one night and receive an additional night free. Palm Suites start at Dhs995 per night (so you’ll effectively pay Dhs497 per night for two nights), and Pool Villas are Dhs3,190 (so Dhs1,595).
Best for: A quiet romantic break.
Why go? This design-led hotel is home to Rare, one of our favourite steakhouses in the city, as well as the exemplary Lime Spa. The surrounding polo fields are also very calming.
Insider tip: Although more expensive, the Pool Villas are a must-try – once you’ve had your own private pool, it’s hard to go back. Valid until August 30. Al Awir Road, desertpalm.peraquum.com (04 323 8888).
Best for: Insomniacs – you’re almost guaranteed a good night’s sleep here.
Why go? The hotel has a beautiful view of Dubai’s skyline, particularly from its innovative glass-bottomed pool, which offers a glimpse of pedestrians strolling along the promenade below. It’s also home to Belgian Beer Café, which has an unmatched selection of hops.
Insider tip: The hotel has gone out of its way to ensure you get a good night’s sleep, with extra-comfortable bedding, aromatherapy kits and the like. Valid until August 31. Dubai Festival City, www.ichotelsgroup.com (04 701 2222).
7 Bonnington Hotel The deal: Dhs599 per room per night in a deluxe room including buffet breakfast and two Dubai Ice Rink or Aquarium tickets; Dhs699 per night in a deluxe room (minimum two-night stay), including two Wild Wadi or Kidzania tickets per stay and buffet breakfast.
Best for: A weekend with friends: you can party on the premises.
Why go? This five-star hotel is located in JLT, which is still under construction, but it gets our vote thanks to great bars and slick design.
Why go: This modern hotel, situated beside the Dubai Festival City Marina, has beautiful rooms with homely touches (think vases and magazines – including this very mag). The bathrooms are particularly drool-worthy, with bathtubs that fill from a rain shower in the roof.
Insider tip: Don’t forget to wander over to Dubai Festival City for a movie or a meal – we recommend French steak-specialist restaurant Le Relais de l’Entrecôte. Yummy. Valid until August 31. Dubai Festival City, www.ichotelsgroup.com (04 701 1111).
9 Park Hyatt Dubai The deal: From Dhs600 per room per night for a minimum three-night stay, including free kids’ breakfast, lunch and dinner for children under 12, use of the facilities at the other two Hyatt hotels, and 20 per cent off spa treatments, food and drinks.
Best for: Moroccan-style luxury.
Why go? This atmospheric hotel’s understated chic has made it popular with many of the celebrities that holiday in Dubai. The restaurants, from Traiteur to Thai Kitchen, are all worth a look, and Amara Spa is a Time Out favourite.
Insider tip: Make time to lounge by the pool – the most peaceful in Dubai. Valid until September 10. www.dubai.park.hyatt.com (04 602 1234).
10 Jebel Ali Resort & Spa The deal: Dhs660 per room per night, including breakfast, or Dhs860 with breakfast and either lunch and dinner.
Best for: Sunbathers.
Why go? This hotel has a palm-lined beach and three temperature-controlled pools, as well as a great ran\ge of outdoor activities.
Insider tip: The best option for dinner here is definitely White Orchid, a Far Eastern restaurant with memorable service. Valid until August 31. Jebel Ali, www.jebelali-international.com (04 814 5555).
Why go? This hotel not only boasts a beautiful beach, new pool and easy access to Barasti, but its Duxiana beds are unmatched for comfort. We would suggest you try the watersports activities, but you probably won’t want to get out of bed.
Insider tip: Save room for breakfast – the buffet here is truly extensive. Valid until August 27. Al Sufouh Road, www.starwoodhotels.com (04 399 4141).
12 Jumeirah Emirates Towers The deal: Dhs725 per room per night with free access to Wild Wadi, Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Madinat Jumeirah’s beaches, plus 30 per cent off at the hotel’s restaurants.
Best for: A mixed urban and beach break.
Why go? The slick business hotel boasts great views, is home to a chic Talise Spa (try the detoxifying Indian massage) and has a range of great restaurants: the revamped Rib Room comes highly recommended.
Insider tip: With 30 per cent off all restaurants as part of the deal, why not sample new hotspot The Ivy? Have an après-meal drink at the bar – the mixologist is from London and really knows his stuff. Valid until August 29. Sheikh Zayed Road, near DIFC, www.jumeirah.com (04 330 0000).
13 Bab Al Shams The deal: Rates start from Dhs764 per room per night.
Best for: A relaxing desert experience.
Why go? This hotel is just 45 minutes from Dubai, yet feels a world away. Surrounded by endless desert and built in traditional style, it’s a refreshing place to spend the weekend.
Insider tip: Don’t miss the heritage village, which will be open every evening throughout Ramadan – think henna tattoos, camel rides and the like. Until August 31. Near Endurance Village, www.meydanhotels.com (04 381 3231).
14 Fairmont Dubai The deal: Get a one-night stay in a suite plus an iftar buffet in a penthouse suite for Dhs775 per room per night when staying for two nights.
Best for: A luxury city break.
Why go? This hotel has a reputation as a business destination, but it has a fantastic spa that uses high-end organic products, plus a good pool, several party spots and beautiful views of the city’s skyline.
Insider tip: There are always some great deals at the hotel’s Spectrum on One restaurant, including 50 per cent off the à la carte menu all month. Valid until August 29. Sheikh Zayed Road, near Trade Centre roundabout, www.fairmont.com/dubai (04 332 5555).
16 Jumeirah Zabeel Saray The deal: Dhs899 per room per night, including breakfast, access to Wild Wadi and free in-room Wi-Fi.
Best for: Top-class luxury.
Why go? This hotel is truly opulent and has a great location on one of the Palm Jumeirah’s fronds. The rooms have balconies with spectacular sea views, as well as some of the largest Turkish marble baths you’ve ever seen (warning: they take about half an hour to fill).
Insider tip: Wake up early and start your day with a swim in the 59-metre lap pool. Until August 29. The Palm Jumeirah, www.jumeirah.com (04 453 0000).
17 The Pullman Dubai The deal: Dhs980 per room for a night in a suite, breakfast for two adults and two kids at Sanabel, a Dhs50 voucher for Sanctuary Spa, unlimited ice cream for kids at Soda Box, a Dhs250 voucher for Liali Jewellery and free transfers to Jumeirah beach.
Best for: A family shopping and eating break in a slick environment.
Why go: The relatively new hotel is located in Mall of the Emirates, so makes a perfect spot for families – send the kids off to the movies while you lounge by the rooftop pool.
Insider tip: Every Saturday from 2pm until 6pm, Soda Box offers a retro American-style afternoon tea: pay Dhs45 and feast on mini burgers, French fries, onion rings, ice cream and shakes. Until August 31. Mall of the Emirates, www.pullmanhotels.com (04 702 8000).
Outside Dubai 18 The Fairmont Bab al Bahr, Abu Dhabi The deal: Dhs939 per room per night, with iftar for two at CuiScene restaurant and a special turn-down service.
Best for: Discerning design-heads.
Why go? This is without a doubt the slickest design hotel in the capital, and it boasts beautiful views of Sheikh Zayed mosque.
Insider tip: If you’re not too stuffed after iftar then book in for a late-night meal at Marco Pierre White steakhouse. Valid until August 30. Between Al Maqta and Mussafa bridges, Abu Dhabi, www.fairmont.com (02 654 3333).
19 Le Méridien Al Aqah, Fujairah The deal: Dhs349 per person per night, including an iftar and suhoor (if you’re staying on weekdays).
Best for: A laid-back beach break.
Why go? This older beach hotel boasts the largest pool in the UAE, so beat the heat by spending the whole day in it.
Insider tip: The sizeable buffet breakfasts here are particularly good. Valid until August 30. Dibba Road, Fujairah, www.starwoodhotels.com (09 244 9000).
20 Banyan Tree Al Wadi The deal: Dhs1,395 per room per night for a stay in an Al Rimal or beachfront pool villa, which includes half-board, free-flow mini-bar and a one-hour complimentary use of the hydrotherapy spa.
Best for: Couples wanting private time.
Why go? This beautiful resort, set in the desert and on the beach, offers luxurious private pool villas, with the largest bathrooms we’ve ever seen.
Insider tip: Don’t miss the hydrotherapy spa rainforest experience: an indoor ‘circuit’ of water therapies. It’s just about the best way to cool off in summer. Valid until August 31. Al Mazraa, Ras Al Khaimah, www.banyantree.com (07 206 7605).