7 tips for booking your hotel in Dubai

Guide to Hotels

If you’re planning a visit to Dubai and have already done your hotel homework, you know that the city has plenty of options of where to stay. Over 680 to be exact. Therefore, picking a hotel or place to stay is no easy task, can be overwhelming, and one which may also take ample time. Luckily, I’m here to solve your decision dilemma, and share a few tips you should factor in, when narrowing down that list. You can thank me later by booking an awesome tour with me in the old city. Just saying.


1) Location

This one might seem a bit obvious, but really means many things. Many hotels near the Dubai Mall/ Burj Khalifa are fantastic, but are distant from the beach. Many hotels by the beach or the Palm Jumeirah are phenomenal, but are distant from the malls. So in many cases, visitors will have to hop in cabs to get around, which can rack up. So, the way I see it is, pick your hotel based on the area you plan to spend most time and activities in. If you’re not much of a shopper, stick to the beachy resorts. If you plan to shop and dine out daily, stay closer to the commercial spots. Keep in mind though, there are plenty of hotels with no near attractions in sight, so whatever you may get in hotel savings, you may make up for with accumulating cab fare.


2) Views & Noise

Hotels often post fantastic photos on their websites which are not regularly updated or are taken from specific vantage points. So while the view you may be looking at is a gorgeous skyline, construction may have followed and you may find yourself looking at scaffolding instead. Noise pollution is another key factor which could pretty much make or break your stay if your room is facing a main road or near a construction site. So it’s crucial to ask your hotel in advance, if there’s anything that may even potentially impact your experience. Formal communication is key to guaranteeing an impeccable experience.


3) Transportation

Some hotels around the city offer their guests complimentary transportation to designated stops. Some of these stops are typically Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, Deira City Center, and metro stations. This is fantastic because you of course save on cab fare, so you should definitely ask the hotel or concierge for the bus schedules. Keep in mind though that these schedules do not always run precisely on time, so if you’re planning a visit to an attraction (I.e Burj Khalifa) at a specific time, then leave a buffer. Also, most hotels typically charge for airport pick-ups and drop-offs, but there are a few 5* hotels that do provide it for free.  


4) Internet

Many hotels will list ‘Free High Speed Internet’ aka WIFI as an amenity offered to guests. What they sometimes fail to mention, is that the free WIFI is confined to the lobby and not the hotel rooms. So if you’re looking to connect from your room, you will often have to subscribe to one of their packages which will allow connecting multiple devices. I would definitely clarify this from the hotel before booking, as it could mean incurring additional charges if needed.


5) Value

Another obvious one, but what I specifically mean is getting the most bang for your travel buck, or in this case, dirham. Your hotel pick does not need to be limited to having for example, an affordable rate. I would recommend not to fixate on a particular figure or area as different hotels may offer hidden benefits such as convenient locations next to popular sights or transport systems, or great restaurants nearby if one opts to eat out. 


6) Breakfast

Many hotels offer various room rates which can include or exclude breakfast. The average additional charge for some nice hotels is around AED 125 per person per night which essentially covers the standard buffet breakfast plus coffee/tea. The alternative is grabbing a meal outside from one of Dubai’s many cafes, restaurants, or foodcourts. So if you’re a traveler who likes to have their meals as soon as they wake up, the buffet breakfast is a close but maybe expensive choice.


7) Complimentary Benefits

This kind of goes hand in hand with value. But I’m citing this separately for hotels that go that extra mile and offer that extra little something. Some hotels, for instance, which are in the main city areas don’t have beaches around. So they may offer guests access to sister hotels’ beaches and pools, as well as transportation to these hotels. Other perks could include complimentary access to water parks such as the Wild Wadi access granted by Jumeirah Group hotels. So the idea is to ask in advance and reap the benefits so you can make the most of your vacay here!


Hope these tips came in handy! If you have any questions about your hotel pick in Dubai, feel free to drop me a line here and I'll happily share my 2 fils :)

Hi! I'm Nada. A Dubai bred expat & founder of Wander With, a tour guide company in Dubai. I want to show you just why, I and many others who live here, love this city.