Why you should visit Dubai in summer for amazing deals
Do you want to do Dubai on the cheap?
If you’re not that bothered about doing the outdoorsy stuff (hot air balloon rides, desert safaris, walking around Marina, breathing outside…), then think about visiting Dubai in the summer.
Thanks to the overwhelming heat, the city grows quiet. Expats flee to cooler climes. Travellers don’t visit. And as a result, hotels slash their prices while adding in perks. There’s still plenty you can do (here’s looking at you, theme parks / Dubai Mall / underwater aquariums / Ski Dubai / reclining seats in movie theatres / a thousand other things). It’s just all indoors.
As for where to stay? You’ll see a more comprehensive list of some hotels I recommend over on The Times, but here are three on my radar recently.
Just act quickly. Summer starts slinking away come early October — and prices, unsurprisingly, shoot up as the heat drops down.
Where: The Dubai Marina, a part of Dubai filled with the city’s media and tech crowd. This hotel is flush against the Marina itself, meaning you can see yachts from your window. Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR), a pretty beachfront development with restaurants and walking tracks, is only a 10-minute stroll away.
The vibe: This hotel is city slick. Its done in modern lines and crisp contours. Rooms are airy, with floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies over the water. Downstairs there are some of the city’s trendier restaurants, including Marina Social and gin-focused Ginter.
Good for: Business types or folks who like their wifi with a side of premium coffee. The InterContinental has an impressive working lounge on its top floor. Like most business lounges, here you’ll find snacks, meals at certain hours and endless coffee — all included in some of the rooms’ prices. Yet this lounge adds glamour with its wrap-around balcony, one that provides lovely views of the city.
Where: Oceanfront, between downtown Dubai and the Dubai Marina. This super-lush villa-only property is part of Madinat Jumeirah. Wild Wadi is just next door, while the Burj Al Arab perches on the other side. Souk Madinat, a souk-inspired mini mall, is just a five-minute wooden boat ride away.
The vibe: Lush. I’ve done plenty of hotels all around the world, and can say this with complete honesty: when it comes to luxury, Jumeirah Group knows its stuff. It’s not so much the plush settings — although let’s be honest, Jumeirah Dar Al Masyaf is exactly that, with decadent villas in their own summer house clusters, with their own private pools and private fountain-filled courtyards. It’s more about the way the staff float around, discreet but friendly. There’s even a private receptionist sat at the base of your summerhouse. Because, well, Jumeirah.
Good for: Families who want luxury. This property is definitely the most expensive on this list, but it’s also the most decadent. The massive summerhouses and private riads suit families who want a shared space. Also, if you’re a gym nut (aka me), the access to the massive Talise Fitness gym is definitely a bonus.
Where: Opposite Dubai International Airport, in a part of the city I don’t often visit (because #MarinaGirl), but is amazing before or after a flight. Or if you want to do an early morning shoot on the nearby Dubai Creek.
The Vibe: This is definitely a business hotel by night and brunch spot at weekends. The business lounge here is on the ground floor and busier than that of the InterContinental. A buffet is set out for breakfast and evening snacks, and spirited drinks seem popular once the sun sets. On that note… The brunches here are definitely a draw. I didn’t go (loud noises definitely not my scene), but I’ve got it from several sources.
Good for: Anyone flying in and out. It’s also handy if you feel like exploring old Dubai, given its airport location. Also the gym here is impressive. It’s been recently redesigned and refurbished, now acting as a standalone gym where folks can buy memberships. Think multiple rooms, a functional training area, an outdoor pool… Right, enough of that.
And as an aside… We woke up at 5am to catch the sunrise over the Dubai Creek before heading to Bastakiya to take some fun photos. Unfortunately we were sort of ushered out of the latter (something about concerns over our photos being for a commercial purpose, which they weren’t, because Instagram, but it didn’t help that I had a model and a fitness babe with me). But it’s a great way to start the day.