With more than 1,300 properties, the Holiday Inn hotel chain is the world’s largest. At last count, six of those were in Dubai and this Barsha branch could be considered the flagship for the UAE (four of the others being the low-frills Holiday Express model). The hotel’s main attraction is its proximity to the Mall of the Emirates and adjoining leisure facilities (ski slope, cinema, bars and restaurants). Just two minutes walk away, it is reachable on foot in even the hottest months of the year. Stay in the hotel, however, and you can enjoy a small swimming pool with fantastic views of the Burj Al Arab and a pleasant café area. Get out there early though because this is just big enough for a handful of guests. Considering the relatively low cost of rooms we’re impressed by the quality of the six restaurants and two bars.
• Free beaches at Umm Suqueim and Jumeirah Beach Residence are both less than a 10-minute taxi drive away
• Proximity to Mall of The Emirates and Sharaf DG Metro stations as well as easy access to Sheikh Zayed Road mean this is one of the most accessible and well-located hotels in the city
• The pool and coast-facing rooms have good views of premium priced hotels such as the Madinat Jumeirah, Atlantis Dubai and Burj Al Arab. Check into the Holiday Inn Al Barsha on New Year’s Eve and enjoy the city’s best firework displays from a convenient and budget-friendly location.
• The foyer/reception area has two bars. Sports bar The Q is busy and brimming with character while the Mojito bar is duller and lacks atmosphere.
• One of the few budget hotels we’ve come across to offer a ‘pillow menu’. Be sure to check out the options available to you before settling down for a night’s sleep.