Summer in Dubai is a cloudless time full of silver linings: cheap hotel deals our favourite. We’ve found you 31 luxury experiences for less
Andrew Wagstaff and Nyree Barrett
Did you know that there are 45,398 hotel rooms in Dubai? Meaning that a very transient person could live a long life of 124 years here, spending every night in a different hotel room. If that isn’t mind boggling enough for you, then did you know that there are reportedly 45,785 rooms currently either in the pipeline or under construction? We love to explore our city, yes, but given the chance we’d stick to the five star experiences (wouldn’t you?) and, with 16,731 five star hotel rooms in Dubai, we could spend just over 45 very swanky years room hopping.
It’s clear that lack of choice is not a problem, but with prices sometimes well over the Dhs1,000 mark, budget can be. Not in summer however, when hotels drop their prices by up to half in order to keep the customers coming: especially this year with summer coinciding with Ramadan.
So, hundreds of phone calls later we’ve found 31 five-star hotels full of fine dining options, fantastic city views, beautiful spas and luxurious pools, and, here’s the real bonus, they all have a room rate of Dhs500 or under. Here’s our run-down, starting with the cheapest.
Crowne Plaza Dubai Why stay? With Sheikh Zayed Road at one side and sea views on the other, this hotel is incredibly centrally located and is perfect for hitting both the beach and the shops. Must do: Pop into Wagamama for lunch – they’ll be open during the day for Ramadan. Staying after the Holy Month? Then head to Zinc for a night out – it’s quite an experience. Number crunching: Dhs326 room + Dhs65.20 taxes = Dhs391.20. (04 331 1111, www.ichotelsgroup.com, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Hatta Fort Hotel Why stay? This mountain retreat boasts breathtaking views of the Hajar Mountains and classic chalet style rooms. Must do: Try some archery, spend time by the swimming pool with a waterfall and then sit on the sunset terrace. Number crunching: Dhs350 room + Dhs70 taxes = Dhs420 for two people including breakfast, weekdays only. (04 809 9333, www.jebelali-international.com, email@example.com). Renaissance Dubai by Marriott Why stay? Recently renovated, this hotel brings a touch of five-star luxury to the hustle and bustle downtown Deira and has many appetising dining options. Must do:Spice Island is buffet madness with six live cooking stations and seven different cuisines. Number crunching: Dhs350.40 + Dhs70.08 taxes = Dhs420.48. Until end of September. (04 262 5555, www.marriott.com, firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Courtyard by Marriott Why stay? This hotel from the Marriott’s ‘Courtyard’ brand offers five stars, but off the beaten track in the Green Community. Must do: Tee off on the world-class courses at Jumeirah Golf Estates just next door, or head to the spa for a relaxing treatment. Number crunching: Dhs360 room per night + Dhs72 taxes = Dhs432. Minimum stay of two nights, until August 30. (04 885 2222, www.marriott.com, email@example.com).
Samaya Hotel Deira Why stay? An indie five star addition to Dubai’s skyline that’s hoping to expand across the UAE, the Samaya offers understated luxury with its minimalist and modern (although small) rooms. Must do: The rooftop pool offers views of the Burj Khalifa as well as Emirates Towers. Number crunching: Dhs375 room + Dhs75 taxes = Dhs450. Breakfast included, until September 14. (04 703 3333, www.samayahoteldeira.com, firstname.lastname@example.org). Mövenpick Bur Dubai Why stay? Although not quite as swish as its new baby brother in JBR, Mövenpick’s offering in Bur Dubai is somewhat of a hidden gem. Must do: The weekend brunch at The Fountain has its own raclette station. Number crunching: Dhs400 room + Dhs80 taxes = Dhs480. Until September 10. (04 336 6000, www.moevenpick-hotels.com, email@example.com).
Regency Hyatt Why stay? Located on the Deira corniche, the Regency Hyatt provides a base in old Dubai with views over the Arabian Gulf. Must do: You have to hit up the hotel’s very own pitch and putt golf course! Number crunching: Dhs400 per night + Dhs80 taxes = Dhs480. Minimum stay of three nights. Until end of September. (04 209 123, www.dubai.regency.hyatt.com, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach Why stay? A relative newcomer to the Dubai hotel scene, this French hotel is effortlessly stylish and has gourmet restaurants and laidback bars. Must do: Head to Plantation and sit out on the terrace where the seemingly endless JBR complex looms over you. Number crunching: Dhs417 room + Dhs83 taxes = Dhs500. Breakfast included, until end of September. (04 448 4848, www.sofitel.com).
Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa Why stay? With a prime setting at the east end of Beach Road, this hotel is across the road from the tourist must-do Jumeirah Mosque. The endless choice of pools, lush gardens and private beach, however, makes you feel truly away from it all. Must do: Visit the hotel’s many lively nightspots – we love Loca for Mexican fare and a great selection of brews, as well as Malecon for salsa and Sho Chos for unabashed people watching. Number crunching: Dhs433.40 room + Dhs86.60 taxes = Dhs520. Until September 8. (04 346 1111, www.dxbmarine.com, email@example.com).
Al Bustan Rotana Why stay? This newly renovated hotel is conveniently located just 15 minutes by taxi from both the airport and downtown Dubai. Must do: Dine at Thai restaurant Blue Elephant: think traditional huts, waterfalls and lush greenery: a taste of Thailand in the heart of Dubai. Number crunching: Dhs450 room + Dhs90 taxes = Dhs540. Until September 8. (04 282 0000, www.rotana.com, firstname.lastname@example.org).
BurJuman Arjaan by Rotana Why stay? Conveniently nestled between old and new Dubai, the BurJuman Arjaan is great for exploring the Creek and Jumeirah’s beaches alike. Must do: This hotel is actually part of BurJuman Mall and so has a range of luxury shopping and casual dining venues literally on its doorstep. Number crunching: Dhs450 room + Dhs90 taxes = Dhs540. Until September 8. (04 352 4444, www.rotana.com, email@example.com).
Le Méridien Dubai Why stay? A beautiful hotel that’s perfectly situated for teeing off at Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club. Spa facilities are world class and dining options are great. Must do: Go on a culinary journey in the hotel’s extensive restaurant area, in fact it’s so extensive it’s called a ‘village’. Choose Long Yin for fantastic Friday dim sum, Warehouse for revelry or the Italian spot Casa Mia for a stupendous cellar. Number crunching: Dhs450 room + Dhs90 taxes = Dhs540. Offer until September 10, prices can fluctuate depending on hotel occupancy. (04 217 0000, www.starwoodhotels.com, firstname.lastname@example.org). Media Rotana Why stay? This quiet hotel is in the middle of a worker’s hub and has a business-like feel, meaning that you can enjoy some summer peace and quiet without the hassle of infantile cacophony. Must do: Eat at Prego’s for reliable and delicious Italian cooking. Number crunching: Dhs450 room + Dhs90 = Dhs540. Until September 8. (04 435 0000, www.rotana.com, email@example.com).
Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers Why stay? This hotel has views over the creek and is great for business travellers. If you’re worried about being away from the office for too long, there’s a fully-equipped business centre at your disposal from 7am-1am. Must do: Wander around Deira and soak up some of that Old Dubai charm. Number crunching: Dhs450 room + Dhs90 tax = Dhs540. Internet bookings only. (04 228 1111, www.starwoodhotels.com/sheraton, firstname.lastname@example.org).
JW Marriott Dubai Why stay? Located at the very heart of Deira and just minutes from the airport, this hotel is a stone’s throw from the Gold, Spice and Textiles Souks, some of the most atmospheric parts of Dubai. Must do: A visit to the German restaurant Hofbrauhaus for hearty food and a good selection of brews. Number crunching: Dhs460 room per night + Dhs92 = Dhs552. Minimum stay of two nights, until September 9. (04 262 4444, www.marriott.co.uk, email@example.com).
Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa Why stay? This coastal haven offers views over the Arabian Gulf and feels a million miles away from the city. Must do: The 10 different restaurants and bars, the 9-hole golf course, the spa, the shooting club, the infinity pool… the list is endless. Number crunching: Dhs520 per person in sharing basis so the total will be Dhs1,040 per room including breakfast and lunch or dinner (rates are inclusive of taxes) (04 814 5555, www.jebelali-international.com, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Taj Palace Why stay? This luxurious Indian hotel is the only one of its kind in the Middle East and offers huge rooms. Must do: The fitness centre is open 24 hours a day, and Handi, the Indian restaurant, is a previous winner of our Best Indian Restaurant award. Number crunching: Dhs475 room + Dhs95 taxes = Dhs570. Until September 10. (04 223 2222, www.tajhotels.com, email@example.com).
Amwaj Rotana Why stay? At the heart of Jumeirah Beach Residence, this hotel offers unspoiled views of the Arabian Gulf from its luxurious rooms. Must do: Unwind by the pool with a cocktail from the Sun Deck bar or head out onto The Walk to relax over a lazy lunch. Number crunching: Dhs499 room + Dhs99.80 taxes = Dhs598.80. Offer vaild until September 8. (04 428 2000, www.rotana.com, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Arjaan by Rotana Why stay? Traditional Arabic architecture and design makes this hotel an opulent getaway destination, but its location in Dubai Media City (it’s also just across the road from the beach) means that you’re still at the centre of the action. Must do: Visit the connecting souk’s luxury beauty salon and men’s spa. Number crunching: Dhs500 room + Dhs100 taxes = Dhs600. Weekdays only, until September 8. (04 436 0000, www.rotana.com, email@example.com).
Shangri-La Why stay? This hotel, which overlooks the main artery of Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, offers beautiful accommodation just minutes from the city’s malls and financial centre, as well as fantastic service. Must do: Relax in The Spa, which offers treatments inspired by traditional Chinese medicine, visit iKandy, their cool, poolside bar, or dine in the atmospheric Moroccan restaurant Marrakech. Number crunching: Dhs500 room + Dhs100 taxes = Dhs600. Until end of September. (04 343 8888, www.shangri-la.com, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Dubai’s hotel occupancy by nationality
UAE 770,000 UK 714,877 (200,000 went home sunburnt) India 529,536 Iran 476,000 Saudi Arabia 414,482 USA 395,390 Germany 283,319 (50,000 spent 40% of their holiday reserving sun loungers) Pakistan 204,115 Russia 183,308 Kuwait 173,959 Oman 154,477 Australia 150,011 France 141,759 Egypt 131,030 Italy 124,121 Philippines 118,000 China 107,000 Total (including other nationalities): 7,583,079 100 per cent fact. Probably.
Elsewhere in the UAE
Mirimar Al Aqah Beach Resort, Fujairah This cozy spot is known for being a romantic haven, although it is getting a little rough around the edges. Weekend rate: Room: Dhs470 + Breakfast for two: Dhs180 = Dhs650. Weekday rate: Room: Dhs270 + Breakfast for two: Dhs180 = Dhs450. Until the end of September, however the hotel reserves the right to change rates. (09 244 9994, www.iberotel.com).
Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort and Spa This resort’s huge beachside pool is truly impressive, and if you stay in a beachside villa you’ll see the sea from the comfort of your bed. Weekend rate: Room: Dhs479 + Breakfast for two: Dhs220 = Dhs699. Weekday rate: Room: Dhs279 + Breakfast for two: Dhs220 = Dhs499. (07 228 8844, www.hilton.com).
The Cove Rotana Resort, Ras al Khaimah This huge resort feels like Greece – and their pools are well chilled, a key attribute at this time of year. Weekend rate: Room rate inclusive of taxes and breakfast: Dhs250 per person. Weekday rate: Room rate for two inclusive of taxes, breakfast, a buffet dinner or lunch, a 20-minute massage and a 30 minute kayak ride: Dhs399. Both offers valid from August 8 until September 30. (07 206 6000, www.rotana.com).
Hotels feed a lot of people, here’s what they go through. Every day Renaissance Dubai Hotel in Deira consumes: 30 litres of fresh milk 375 onions 600 heads of garlic 4 lambs 2,722 bananas 6,500 eggs 20 watermelons 3,125 tomatoes 180 chickens Fancy tucking in? Book a buffet at the hotel’s Spice Island (04 262 5555).
Also, every week The Talk restaurant at Mövenpick JBR uses: 4,200 eggs 80 litres of oil 300 kilograms of rice 100 kilograms of cheese 1,000 kilograms of fruit and vegetables Want to eat one of those 4,200 eggs? Give them a call (04 449 8888).
Huge new beach district opening in Dubai on October 15
Meraas’ La Mer to bring 130 cafés, licensed restaurants, hotels and a water park to Jumeirah
Dubai Police self-service stations to open at Last Exit
One of Dubai’s most popular food stations now offers smart police services
Dubai launches fire-fighting drones
Drones to help with support and operations for tackling tower fires
Art & Culture
Avatar Cirque du Soleil show coming to Dubai
Huge theatrical spectacular at Dubai World Trade Centre in January 2018
Tee O Jun 30, 2011 06:08 am
I've been checking out these offers on-line but the prices are soooo different???? This is booking in advance too??
Mr Vrenning Dec 17, 2010 03:06 am
We arrive to Dubai at 6th january 2011. We have not booked a hotelroom yet. The 6 th january is also my wifes birthday. She like music, playing golf and beaches. What is on this day in Dubai that I can celebrate her with?