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Almost every luxury hotel brand now has a presence in Dubai, from Four Seasons, Waldorf Astoria and Raffles to Grosvenor House, Park Hyatt and Fairmont.
Alongside these names, of course, there’s also an increasingly strong selection of four-star and three-star hotels in Dubai, with cheap hotels in Dubai fairly easy to find at quieter times of the year.
This being Dubai, more and more new hotels open each year, with the recent arrival of the world’s tallest hotel, the JW Marriott Marquis, just one of many luxury Dubai hotels to make headlines.
For first-time visitors, the sheer choice of Dubai beach hotels in 2016 can make it hard to know where to start. It therefore makes sense to know a little about the different neighbourhoods.
Jumeirah Beach is one of the most popular spots, thanks to its long sands and its often-glamorous Dubai beach hotels.
Further west is the celebrated Palm Jumeirah island complex, with Atlantis The Palm at its apex. The island is linked to the mainland by road, so is easy to reach.
Elsewhere, the so-called Downtown area has become one of the most in-demand destinations for those looking for city centre hotels in Dubai.
There’s no beach, but the neighbourhood is loomed over by the towering Burj Khalifa and is also home to the colossal Dubai Mall, as well as a Las Vegas-like fountain show.
The area around the Mall of the Emirates is fast becoming a hub for mid-range hotels – the Citymax al Bersha comes recommended for those on a budget.
One of the area’s best hotels, the Address Downtown Dubai, was partly engulfed by fire on the eve of 2016, but work is well underway to have it open again. Other options in the vicinity include the five-star Armani Hotel and the Arabian-themed Palace Downtown Dubai.
Other areas to be aware of, whether you’re looking for a cheap hotel in Dubai or something swankier, include the souk-lined neighbourhood of Deira, the historic district of Bur Dubai and the smart developments around Dubai Marina.
For a touch of ultra-stylish desert living, meanwhile, try heading out of town to the Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa.
For those who value their pampering sessions, it’s worth noting that a large number of Dubai hotels and higher-end resorts now have spas of their own. Most also have swimming pools and other leisure and water sports facilities.
It makes sense to compare the facilities at each Dubai hotel before deciding on which one to book, particularly as the majority of the city’s leading restaurants are actually based in hotels or resorts.
You can read more about the hottest dining spots in town on our page dedicated to eating out in Dubai.