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The best areas of Dubai for a tourist holiday

Лучшие районы Дубая для туристического отдыха

Dubai is considered a unique metropolis and one of the most expensive resort destinations in the world. The city is filled with lively business districts, tourist quarters, as well as authentic old streets with a distinctive atmosphere of the East. 

Luxury properties are concentrated here, so there will be no problems with housing. Among the best areas of Dubai for recreation, everyone will be able to choose an option according to their preferences and wallet. 

Dear neighborhoods

Many who are planning to visit the emirate for the first time expect to see luxury. And their expectations are justified. There are really a lot of high-rises, multi-star hotels here. At the same time, something new appears every year.

Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Beach Residence

Dubai Marina

The Marina area is considered relatively new. It includes the Jumeirah Beach Residence zone, which stretches for 1.7 km. The coastal area is localized in the western part of the city. These are the main areas of Dubai that allow you to walk any distance.

JBR – an area with a beach area, an embankment, buildings along the first line of the coast. Marina is located behind this zone and has concentrated high skyscrapers with a city canal. 

You won’t find the main attractions here, but walking along the long embankment will bring pleasure – the view of the twinkling skyscrapers and yachts bobbing on the water will definitely impress.

There are catering establishments around the canal where you can sit and enjoy the view of the water.

This is a place for lovers of nightclubs, because here is the largest bar cluster, popular nightlife. In addition, both administrative units are distinguished by convenient localization, developed infrastructure facilities, good transport interchange, and a nearby beach area. At the same time, there are also disadvantages – there is an increased price tag, there are not enough parking spaces and there are often traffic jams.

Many tourists from Europe like these zones as the most convenient for life. There are no strict restrictions on beach women’s clothing. 

For whom

Lovers of beach holidays and entertainment will like it. A great beach, a large number of restaurants, bars, beautiful views of the canal and Dubai skyscrapers – that’s what vacationers will get. In addition, you can go to any other place from here by metro. Visitors with an unlimited supply of funds will especially appreciate it.

Who doesn’t like

Those who go on a trip to buy clothes. Dubai Mall of the Emirates is located 7 kilometers away, so shopping is not an option.

It is quite expensive here, but you can find several budget facilities.

Another significant disadvantage is the distance from the sights: 23 kilometers away is the highest skyscraper in the world.



Despite the high prices of Downtown, relatively inexpensive apartments are gradually appearing here. Therefore, it is becoming more accessible for vacationers.

Most tourists are attracted to the city center, namely, the tallest building in the world – the Burj Khalifa skyscraper. Next to it is another interesting local element – singing fountains.

The largest Mall is located here. More than 1,200 different shops are concentrated under its roof.

It will definitely appeal to connoisseurs of haute cuisine who would like to visit a luxury restaurant. For lovers of active nightlife Downtown can also offer establishments. And everyone who chooses art can visit the opera and Avenue Al-Sercal with a fully formed art quarter.

For whom

The area will be appreciated by everyone who wants to live near famous landmarks of the city, and also loves fashionable shops, exclusive nightclubs. It is also suitable for connoisseurs of haute cuisine.

Who doesn’t like

If your goal is a beach holiday, then this option is not for you. There are no beaches here – the nearest one is 23 km away. Also, the zone will not be appreciated by those who have a small budget.

Palm Jumeirah

Palm Jumeirah

Jumeirah Island is known for its appearance resembling a large date palm. In its creation, natural materials were used – stone and sand, which are retained due to the subtle calculations of the builders. In addition, the entire “structure” is protected by an almost three-meter breakwater made of the same raw materials.

The trunks and branches of the island are surrounded by a belt of stones, which protects them from erosion. This is the main attraction of this place for tourists.

Prestigious apartments, villas, hotels are concentrated on the territory. It is not for nothing that the area has received the status of the most glamorous in the whole emirate.

Visitors are always surprised by the Atlantis resort complex. It is here that you can stay in exclusive underwater apartments, visit the Underwater world Museum, dolphinarium, and ride inflatable slides in the giant Aquaadventure Waterville water park. In addition, the complex has a private beach, which will be appreciated by lovers of basking in the sun.

Another attraction is The View. The observation deck and the lobby are located on the 52nd floor. You can get there by elevator, which will lift to a 240-meter height in a couple of minutes.

The island is also rich in theme parks, which is more often appreciated by family tourists. There is also good news for shopping lovers – Nakheel Mal shopping center is located on the territory.

There is no private metro station on the island, but you can get to other places by monorail tram, buses, taxis. But there is a fairly developed infrastructure and excellent appearance.

For whom

The territory will interest connoisseurs of real luxury or those who want and can relax on this island.

Who doesn’t like

There is no monotonous rest in the form of a beach and a hotel, so if you came for this, you will be disappointed. In addition, some may be confused by the distance from the main Dubai attractions.

New Dubai

New Dubai

The area is not intended for a beach holiday. There is a large number of residential apartments, space for sports, golf courses. There is also a quarter of hotels where guests of the city can stay. 

Most of all, this territory is liked by foreign investors who come to buy real estate.

The peculiarity of this part of the emirate is its picturesque places, namely meadows, lakes. If in some countries people buy separate cottages to be closer to nature, then here near such an area they live right in the city.

For whom

It will be appreciated by lovers of nature and a good transport interchange. Also, the place will appeal to those who want to invest their money in housing.

Who doesn’t like

If you want to go to the Emirates to relax on the beach, then this option is not for you. There are no beach areas here at all. There are also quite high prices for everything.

Sheikh Zayed Road

Sheikh Zayed Road

It is considered the longest street – 55 km and is part of the main route of the UAE – E11. It consists of 12 lanes for traffic. If you are going on a trip as part of a tourist program, you will most likely be passing through here. There are many unique buildings located in relative proximity – from skyscrapers and hotels to offices. An incredibly beautiful fountain stands out from the interesting objects.

Tourists, entrepreneurs, and investors come to Sheikh Zayed Road. The street is equally removed from the main Dubai centers.

Among other objects along the highway, it is worth highlighting:

  • skyscrapers of the International Shopping Center;
  • Dubai Mall;
  • Burj Khalif;
  • Mall of the Emirates;
  • Ibn-Batuta Mall.

The motorway is considered to be a fairly busy road among other urban ones. During rush hour, you can stumble upon a multi-kilometer traffic jam, from which even a toll road or the global financial crisis will not be able to help. Nevertheless, the situation has improved slightly in recent years, the “red” metro line, which has been operating since 2009.

Tall towers are not the only interesting objects. There are also parks where everyone can relax, escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

For whom

The business district will be appreciated by business people – lawyers, entrepreneurs. Also, luxury architectural objects will appeal to lovers of wealth, glamour. There are different hotel apartments here. 

Who doesn’t like

If you like a quiet relaxing holiday, then this is not for you – it is quite noisy here most of the time. Also, it is not suitable for connoisseurs of a variety of entertainment and lovers of sunbathing on the beach. 


If you are wondering which area of Dubai is better to choose for a budget holiday, consider several options.

Dubai Creek Bay is surrounded on both sides by inexpensive tourist parts of the emirate. The oriental flavor is especially felt in this territory. Before the oil boom, they were not separated from the emirate, but now everything has changed.

There is also Al Barsha. Let’s focus on each one in order.

Bur Dubai

Bur Dubai

It is called the heart of the old part of the city. The territory is “strewn” with narrow streets, a noisy oriental bazaar. Here you can take a walk and enjoy the views of ancient architecture.

If you are thinking about which area of Dubai is better to stay in for a cheap vacation, then this option is for you. People live here who have a limited budget and for whom luxury is not so important. In addition to inexpensive housing, there are many budget authentic restaurants on the territory where you can taste Indian and Asian cuisine. The place is popular mainly among Indian, Pakistani, Filipino and Bangladeshi expats.

From interesting places you can visit the Dubai Frame and the Museum of the Future. If you plan to go to the last one, take care of buying tickets in advance – 14 days before the trip. Otherwise, you can not get there. However, even in this case, you can come to the building just to see it and take a picture.

If you want to feel the flavor of the old town, go for a ride on a wooden boat with a local along the Creek Strait.

There are also localized hotels that are available to every tourist with an average income. Most hotels offer rooms for $ 70-90, but there are cheaper options – $ 50-60. For this price you get good service and a clean room. Cons – traffic jams and difficulties with the parking area.  

For whom

It will be appreciated by tourists with a small budget, as well as those for whom the main goal is to get acquainted with traditional culture, historical heritage. There are low receipts for apartments, food.

Who doesn’t like

It will not appeal to those who like to stay near famous neighborhoods, as well as connoisseurs of bars. There are practically no first-class bars here, and local establishments are not at all like fine restaurants with high cuisine. In addition, the place will not be appreciated by those who like to have fun. 

There are no beaches here, so there are no beach hotels. If you are going to relax at a local hotel, you will have to constantly go to the public beaches in Jumeirah. In this case, it is better to find a hotel with a free transfer to the beach, which will save the vacation budget and nerves.  



Deira is a more modern alternative version of Bur Dubai, and is also considered a historical zone. Here you can walk through atmospheric markets, buy various goods – from spices and perfumes to gold jewelry and all kinds of souvenirs. New modern buildings and large shopping complexes rise in the neighborhood.

Deira is located near the airport, the noise from which does not interfere in everyday life. Hotels have fairly low prices for accommodation.

Among the architectural masterpieces here are:

  • the “Etisalat” tower. It is topped with a ball that looks like a golf ball;
  • the building of the National Bank of Dubai, the design of which is inspired by the sailboats of Arab ships;
  • Dubai CCI with a bright blue facade;
  • the building of the Department of Economic Development with professionally designed window grilles.

For whom

For lovers of bars and fine dining establishments. It is also worth coming to those who have a small budget, because there is inexpensive housing and food.

Who doesn’t like

Those who do not like to live near the airport, away from the beaches, will not appreciate it. Despite the fact that transport allows you to get to any part of the city, for many this situation can be a big disadvantage. There is also a lack of entertainment, difficulties with the parking area, traffic jams.        

Al Barsha

Al Barsha

A large residential area was built not so long ago. Mostly emigrants come to Al Barsha due to its convenient location – from the area you can get to the Marina and Downtown. At the same time, the cost of renting housing will be several times less.

Couples with children also like to come here, as there is a quiet atmosphere compared to the central areas.

While Al-Barsha is not considered particularly tourist, but there are still interesting places to visit here.

You won’t find much entertainment here, but they are still there. Mall of the Emirates is responsible for them. There are shopping galleries, restaurants, a large cinema with fourteen halls.

It also includes a variety of slot machines, a children’s amusement park and ski resort Ski Dubai.

The snowy descent is located 400 meters in the middle of the sandy-concrete Dubai world. It is worth visiting here, at least, to see the greatness of this building. The ski complex is open all year round.

Two more main attractions are the pond park with the purest lake and alleys for walking, as well as an autopoligon for those who want to ride mini-copies of racing cars. If you manage to assemble a company, then you can arrange competitions. But to participate, you will have to provide an international driver’s license.

From the architecture of Al-Barsha offers the famous Al-Salam Mosque. Architects inspired by the Ottoman and Andalusian cultures worked on the pink building with gold trim. 

For whom

Al-Barsha will be appreciated by everyone who wants to rent a house near the main attractions, while not giving all the money for an apartment. It is also suitable for visitors to shopping malls, entertainment centers, restaurants with national cuisine. 

Who doesn’t like

One of the best areas of Dubai for recreation will not be appreciated by those who are looking for a cheaper place to stay and stop near interesting architectural places. Also, do not come if you are confused by traffic jams, ongoing construction and an insufficient number of green areas.

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Vladimir Sviridov
Vladimir Sviridov
General Manager RLC Consulting
With a Postgraduate Masters in Finance from The, Moscow State University, Russia. Vladimir started his professional career as an auditor of the financial sector of EY. After that, he worked for several years in senior positions in corporate banking. In 2018-2021, he managed the finances of a large agricultural holding, and is currently responsible for strategic planning, corporate partnership and financial management in the role of General Manager of RLC Consulting GROUP in the UAE.

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