The UAE is not short of luxury hotels, from iconic favourites to record-breaking wonders, there’s a hotel to suit every traveller, budget and requirement. With some many new openings gracing the Emirates’ skyline, we’ve curated a list of our top 20 hotels for 2021.
- The Address Beach Resort Dubai
2. W Dubai – The Palm
Do hotels come much cooler than this? W Dubai – The Palm made a splash onto Dubai’s hotel scene and has graced many an Instagram page ever since for its quirky decor, fantastic location on The Palm Jumeirah and laid-back attitude. With 349 rooms and suites, dreamy amenities and sizzling happenings at the WET® deck and SoBe rooftop, W Dubai-The Palm has established itself as the place to see and be seen – a private playground for the rich and famous. Oversized shades obligatory!
3. The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai
The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai epitomises everything about the Emirate: luxurious, private and set in stunningly beautiful surroundings, no list of the UAE’s best hotels would be complete without this property. Occupying prime position on JBR, long before the array of newbies broke soil, The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai offers a seamless blend of tradition and quintessential, modern luxury. Nestled on a private beach, the hotel offers total seclusion just seconds from the popular walk at JBR. Designed to emulate the low-rise buildings of the Mediterranean, the luxury resort boasts impressive rooms and suites, leisure facilities, Ritz Kids Club and an award-winning spa. It’s traditional Arabian architecture and hospitality make it a must for many an event and wedding in the region.
4. Andaz Capital Gate Abu Dhabi – a concept by Hyatt
In one of Abu Dhabi’s most striking buildings, the Andaz Capital Gate Abu Dhabi is only 15 minutes away from AUH International airport and the city’s key attractions. It’s impressive 18º leaning design stands tall as the gateway to the emirate, and with its own resident art gallery, exceptional dining experiences and those all important views it’s a real winner when staying in the area.
5. Burj Al Arab
It’s the hotel that set the standard for luxury around the world, an icon of Dubai and frequently touted as the only seven-star hotel, no list of the best properties in the UAE, make that the world, would be complete without The Burj Al Arab. It’s design oestentatious, it’s presence perched out in the gulf on its own island is unapologetic, this is a hotel that deserves to show off. Managed by Jumeirah Hotel Group, Burj Al Arab has redefined the very meaning of hospitality. It’s unique and iconic structure designed to resemble the graceful sail of an Arabian dhow, it’s one for discerning taste and deep pockets.
6. Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah
Located just 45-minutes from Dubai International Airport, the Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah is a peaceful retreat from the bustle of busier emirates. Perfect for a weekend staycation, or longer, the palatial-like hotel stands impressively on Ras Al Khaimah’s shoreline. Adjacent to an 18-hole championship golf course, and with an award-winning spa, this is a hotel that caters for everyone regardless of whether you feel active or prefer to relax in the luxury of your beautifully decorated suite. Particularly popular with families, for the array of facilities for little ones, its a welcome break from the city all year round.
7. Al Wathba, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa
An experience unlike any other, the recently opened Al Wathba, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Abu Dhabi is an intimate, romantic retreat set deep within the Arabian desert landscape. Traditional architecture, serene tranquility and natural beauty mark the experience here. With a distinct spa unlike any other, wellness is the order of the day here. Relax, unwind and let the beauty of your surroundings wash over you whether in the sanctuary of your private villa or camel riding over the dunes.
8. Bvlgari Resort, Dubai
Set on a shimmering seahorse-shaped island in Jumeirah Bay, Bvlgari Resort Dubai brings a huge dose of Mediterranean glamour to the Middle East. With unrivalled ocean views, and home to the first Bvlgari Yacht Club & Marina, the hotel oozes nautical spirit, making it an oasis of luxury just minutes from mainland Dubai. As you’d expect from a resort boosting the iconic Bvlgari name, the highest standards of service are a given. From a 24-hr butler to a Berluti shoe shine, it’s no wonder this resort plays host to a plethora of celebrity names.
9. St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi
An icon on Saadiyat Island, nestled on its turquoise blue shores long before its luxury neighbours, the St. Regis Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi is as beautiful inside as it is out. With contemporary luxury interior design, and a low-level Mediterranean style architecture, it’s an elegant, beachfront escape that may be just 20-minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport, yet feels worlds away. Home to a wealth of highly recommended bars and restaurants including the acclaimed Buddha-Bar Beach Abu Dhabi and MAZI, which serves up delectable Greek cuisine and sees diners flock here from all over the UAE, St. Regis, Saadiyat Island is much more than just a pretty face.
10. Mandarin Oriental Jumeira
Synonymous with luxury, Mandarin Oriental’s first foray into the UAE was always going to be something quite special. From its elegant interiors to its six outstanding restaurants and lounges, destination spa and kids’ club, it’s no wonder the Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai has been a hit with residents and visitors to the UAE since it opened. Boosting perhaps one of the best locations in Dubai, nestled on the Jumeirah beachfront but close to both the buzz of Downtown Dubai and the financial and business districts, Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai manages to be all things to all (discerning) people, whether you’re staying for business or pleasure.
11. Paramount Hotel Dubai
It was only a matter of time before Hollywood set its sights on the emirates, and Paramount Hotel Dubai brings a touch of movie-star glamour to the Business Bay district. Inspired by the rich history of Paramount Pictures, this quirky, yet luxury hotel takes centre stage in the heart of Dubai. Expect Hollywood-themed rooms, Californian cuisine and even a private screening cinema (would you expect anything else?). The interiors are insta-worthy, the staff are attentive and you’ll leave feeling like you stepped out of a 1950s film. A truly unique stay in the UAE.
12. Sofitel Dubai, The Obelisk
One of the UAE’s most hotly anticipated new openings, Sofitel, Dubai The Obelisk was worth the wait. A landmark destination in itself, attached to the iconic WAFI mall, this is a hotel that offers timeless elegance in abundance and a different perspective on the emirate. The building itself is spectacular, a new icon to Dubai’s already impressive skyline, it’s adorned with a gold pyramidion in the shape of an obelisk, representative of the Luxor Obelisk currently in Paris, France. Hotel rooms and suites are located on the 19th floor, offering jaw-dropping views of Dubai Creek and Harbour from floor-to-ceiling windows. Art Deco influences are in abundance here, coupled with exceptional Arabian hospitality and a dash of Fresh art de vivre for a one-of-a-kind hotel experience.
13. Jumeirah Zabeel Saray
An oldie but a goodie. Jumeirah Zabeel Saray is quite possibly one of the most beautifully opulent hotels you will ever set eyes on. Inspired by an Ottaman palace this hotel excludes luxury from its position on a far frond of Palm Jumeirah. With an air of understated sophistication, it sets the bar for luxury in Dubai. Perched on a private stretch of golden beach, the hotel is probably best known for its award-winning Talise Ottoman Spa which really is a pampering heaven. Jumeirah Zabeel Saray is also home to decadent dining – it’s not every day you get to eat your breakfast under an enormous crystal chandelier. Amara offers mouthwatering Indian cuisine; The Rib Room is a go-to for carnivores, and MusicHall is loved for its live music performances. It’s impossible to fault Jumeriah Zabeel Saray for its quietly spoken opulence and outstanding hospitality.
14. The Palace, at One & Only, Royal Mirage
Another beautiful hotel, The Palace at the prestigious One&Only Royal Mirage complex has long been a favourite of visitors to Dubai. Set upon a private stretch of beach, the hotel offers a traditional Arabic feel with peaceful surroundings and world-class facilities, making it a favourite for couples. Leisure facilities are shared with sister property, Arabian Court, and inside The Palace there are four dedicated restaurants that serve an array of international cuisine. Every room and suite here is sea-facing so you can enjoy the fantastic location of this property, although a stroll around the hotel itself proves just as jaw-dropping, with decorative arches, terracotta tiling and bespoke Arabian furniture at every corner.
15. The Ritz-Carlton, Ras Al Khaimah, Desert Resort
Another desert favourite. The Ritz-Carlton, Ras Al Khaimah, Desert Resort, is an Arabian retreat in the midst of the desert – set within a nature reserve in Wadi Khadeeja – for true escapism. Embrace your surroundings with a touch of falconry, or saddle up at the stables for some horseback riding over the dunes. Dine under a star-lit sky with dishes created by a private chef, or indulge in the Rainforest Spa which includes experience showers and a vitality pool. Don’t forget your camera as accommodation is magnificent. Al Rimal Pool Villas come with a private sundeck and swimming pool, while the larger tented pool villas are decorated with authentic Bedouin furnishings.
16. Emirates Palace
Perhaps Abu Dhabi’s most notable, and recognisable hotel, Emirates Palace is a destination in its own right. Managed by Kempinski, Emirates Palace is lavish from the moment you drive up. Think dancing water fountains, Swarovski crystal-encrusted door handles and statuesque grandeur. A stay here feels like a real treat. Enjoy a range of water sports on the private beach, from waterskiing to paddle boarding – there’s even a lazy river! 14 restaurants ensure you’ll never go hungry and Mezlai is highly recommend – the UAE’s first Emirati restaurant. Rooms come with a variety of views from the impressive Abu Dhabi skyline to sweeping vistas of the glistening Arabian Gulf.
17. Ajman Saray, A Luxury Collection Resort
Whilst Ajman may not be top of everyone’s mind when it comes to a luxury UAE break, the grand Ajman Saray, Luxury Collection Resort is well worth a visit. Located on a stretch of soft, sandy beach, the resort resembles a stately Emirati Palace. Service here is exceptional, as is the award-winning GOCO spa. Spread over 1,200sqm, relax and unwind within touching distance of the sea. Rooms and suites are lavishly decorated in rich, regal colours and come with a private balcony with fabulous views.
18. JA Lake View Hotel
The latest hotel to cause a stir on the Dubai hotel Scene, JA Lake View Hotel is the sister hotel of JA Palm Court and JA Beach Hotel. Unpretentious luxury is the order of the day here with three swimming pools, great restaurants & bars, and a rather impressive design. Unique in it’s nature, the huge W-shaped building encapsulates two separate areas – one for families and one for adults – with bars and restaurants meeting in the middle. The rooftop bar is particularly worth a visit for the views alone, and suites come with enormous wraparound balconies with views over the resort. It’s a large resort with activities galore, and its prime location to Dubai Parks & Resorts (15-minutes nonetheless) make this an ideal option for families
19. Jumeirah Al Nassem
Just look at that view. Occupying arguably the best position in Dubai, Jumeirah Al Nassem is the newest hotel at Madinat Jumeirah, and boosts a private stretch of beach directly overlooking the famed Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. As well as those iconic views, the hotel also sites next to the Wild Wadi Waterpark™ making for great family fun for all ages. There’s 10 restaurants and bars (yes 10!) with cuisines including Moroccan, Chinese and Arabic served. The Talise Spa is a treat: a tropical wellness retreat that allows for al fresco Thai massages in the Secret Garden and beachside cabanas for those moments when you simply can’t tear yourself away from THAT view. Rooms are all as you’d expect from a Jumeirah property: luxury, comfortable, spacious and with all the modern amenities you could ever need. For an extra treat, opt for a Club Lounge room where free drinks, afternoon tea and canapés are served throughout the day.
20. Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai
Another hotel where the view takes centre stage. This time we’re moving away from the beach and into the heart of the city, The Shangri-La, Dubai offers one of the best spots to view the Burj Khalifa and Downtown Dubai from anywhere in the UAE. So inexplicably spectacular is the view from the spa here, it’ll leave you overwhelmed at the sheer majesty of where you are. Found on Dubai’s Sheikh Zayed Road, this high-rise hotel is at the heart of all the action, and easily accessible for Dubai International Airport and some of the best shopping in the Emirates. Rooms are a little on the small side but the restaurants here are superb. Shang Palace and Hoi An in particular are fantastic offering authentic Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine respectively. Head upstairs to iKandy to dance the night away.