Where to Stay

Bur Dubai

For

Value-priced hotel apartments cluster behind BurJuman Mall, international budget and midrange chains hug the main streets, and heritage boutique hotels are near the Creek.

Against

Can be soulless away from Meena Bazaar (the souq area), lacking the atmosphere of Deira and the glitz of modern Dubai.

Deira

For

Atmospheric area near the Creek and souqs. The nicest places overlook the Creek; those closer to the airport often have excellent rates. Easy Dubai Metro access.

Against

Noisy and chaotic. Budget choices can be brothels. Heavy traffic and nightmare parking during busy times of the day.

Downtown Dubai

For

In the midst of major sightseeing and shopping magnets, superb luxury hotels, excellent restaurants and trendy nightlife.

Against

Horrendous rush-hour traffic; some distance from the sea. Expensive.

Dubai Marina & Palm Jumeirah

For

Super-ritzy beach hotels around the Marina and on the Palm; midrange places in Dubai Media City and Dubai Internet City. Terrific views, nightlife and food scene.

Against

Cookie-cutter international chains can seem anonymous and don't provide a sense of place. Resorts on Palm Jumeirah are a long way from anywhere. Paucity of budget options.

Jumeirah

For

Good for beachfront hotels and Burj Al Arab views. Hotel apartments cluster next to Mall of the Emirates.

Against

Many hotels are a taxi ride from the nearest metro station. Shortage of budget options on the beach.