As a center of regional transportation and commerce, and as a self-made tourist destination, Dubai attracts travelers of all stripes and enjoys one of the most vibrant hotel scenes in the world. While opulent and incredibly expensive hotels such as the Burj al-Arab grab the headlines, Dubai's hotel industry offers more than just conspicuously over-the-top lodgings, and visitors to Dubai will find options in the city to fit just about any budget.
One of the quirks of life in Muslim Dubai is that only hotels are allowed to have liquor licenses. As a result, much of the city's western dining scene and almost all of its bars and nightclubs are found in hotels. Because of this, determining whether a hotel is in a good location or not is a little different in Dubai than in other cities. To check on dining and nightlife options, travelers should choose a candidate hotel to stay in and then examine what is in the hotels near it.
This outpost of the Holiday Inn chain offers its guests mid-range lodgings within walking distance of Dubai Creek and the Bur Dubai. The guestrooms come decorated in a traditional American style with wood furnishings, and would not be out of place at a Holiday Inn back in the United States. Among the amenities offered are a rooftop swimming pool and free shuttle transfers to both the airport and Dubai's public beach. In an added family-oriented plus, kids eat for free in the hotel restaurant.
This hotel is part of a predominantly French chain of budget-oriented hostelries. The Ibis is part of Dubai's trade and convention center complex, a location that makes it a logical choice for business travelers on a tight budget. The rooms are clean, simple, small and efficient, with comfortable mid-range furnishings and space-saving features like shower stall-only bathrooms. As the hotel caters to business travelers and the work week is the busy period, weekend rates are sometimes sharply discounted. Amenities at the Ibis are few, but the hotel does offer a free, 24-hour airport shuttle.
The Jumeirah Beach Hotel is an example of a Dubai getaway spot that is "upscale" in the normal sense of the word. Described by Frommer's as "the ultimate Dubai beach vacation," the resort fits in with Dubai's reputation for avant garde architecture, as its buildings are designed to resemble the rise and fall of an ocean wave. Even the basic guestrooms at the hotel are spacious, tastefully decorated and feature floor-to-ceiling windows, and the Jumeirah has even larger suites and rental villas. Among the vacation amenities, the hotel's compound includes its own private beach, a scuba diving center and a marina.
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