Burj Al Arab aerial view

9 Truly Unique Hotels to Experience in Dubai

by Dubai Travel Planner

Sleep at Dubai’s most unique & unusual addresses

Dubai is a city that exudes the wow factor from the second you step off the plane. Many of the sights, though, really do need to be seen to be believed – among them, some of the most awe-inspiring hotels in the world.

In our search for the most incredible places to stay in Dubai, we’ll be taking you from the acclaimed “7-star” hotel on the Arabian Gulf to a prestige cruise ship and a hidden desert camp.

The Most Unique Dubai Hotels to Experiences in 2023

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We’ve summarised our top picks here – or read on for all the details!

Hotel NameLocationKey Features & PerksPricing
Burj Al ArabJumeirah Beach RoadAn all-suite hotel with Arabian Gulf views
Floor to ceiling windows
Unlimited access to the water sports activities at Wild Wadi Waterpark™
8 signature restaurants
Full-service spa
Indoor & outdoor pools
Check Here
Gevora HotelSheikh Zayed Road Trade Centre AreaTallest hotel in the world
5 restaurants offer a variety of ambience and cuisines
Pool Bar
Restaurant offers exceptional panoramic views of the entire city
Health Club
Check Here
Atlantis, The PalmPalm JumeirahProvides an underwater aquarium and complimentary access to the Aquaventure water park and the Lost Chambers Aquarium
Arabian and oceanic décor inspired rooms feature a balcony with scenic views
Kids Club
Zone
ShuiQi Spa
Check Here
Queen Elizabeth 2 HotelPort Rashid, Al Mina, Bur DubaiDocked permanently at the Mina Rashid marina
Events center
Heritage site showcasing a glimpse into maritime history
Check Here
FIVE Jumeirah Village CircleJumeirah Village Circle DubaiPrivate pool in every room
Offers a continental or buffet breakfast
Check Here
Palazzo Versace DubaiJaddaf Waterfront, Bur DubaiHigh ceiling entrance Landscaped gardens
Range of well-crafted Italian furnishingsFree WiFi and 24-hour front desk service
Tea/coffee maker in all rooms
3 outdoor pools are decorated with mosaic tiles
Check Here
Al Seef Heritage HotelAl Seef Street, Dubai CreekOverlooking Dubai Creek
Buffet breakfast and dinner
Menus are packed full of seasonal
Check Here
Jumeirah Dar al MasyafKing Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street, Al SufouhArabian-styled houses
Access to Wild Wadi Waterpark™
Kids Club
Golf
Resort Private Beach
Talise Spa and J Club
Indoor and outdoor pools
Check Here
Al Maha Desert Resort & SpaDubai Al Ain Road, MurquabFree roaming wildlife and desert views
Bedouin style tentswith private pools
Spa, gym and large pools
Check Here
Dubai's most unique hotels and places to stay

Hotel guests be aware! Always look out for the ++ when booking Dubai hotels. We talk more about tourism and hospitality taxes in Dubai here


Sensational “7-star” Luxury Burj Al Arab

It’s hard not to start our journey at one of Dubai’s most iconic landmarks and well-known hotels in the world – the Burj Al Arab. Situated on its own exclusive man-made island, the distinctive “sail” is nothing short of exquisite.

Often touted as the most luxurious hotel in the world, Burj Al Arab is a real architectural feat. Both from the outside and in, everything about the hotel is truly unique.

Burj Al Arab aerial view

Despite bold claims of being “7-star” (there is no such rating, no matter what system you use!), the 5-star luxury hotel is situated on its own island, and its stunning outdoor terrace holds two outdoor swimming pools surrounded by luxury cabanas. Alternatively, enjoy the most sensation indoor pool in Dubai with commanding views over the Arabian Gulf.

Each of its luxury suites is fitted with an iPad, free WiFi, a widescreen interactive HD TV, a 21-inch iMac, an iPhone docking station and a media hub. It is perfect for luxury vacationers, honeymooners and families looking to experience the grandeur of luxury hotels in Dubai.

Read TripAdvisor Reviews | Check current deals on Expedia

Not sure you can afford a night at Burj al Arab? You can still get a sneaky peek inside the hotel and enjoy the hotel’s fine dining and recreation facilities – here’s our detailed guide to visiting the Burj Al Arab

Wake up in the world’s tallest hotel Gevora Dubai

Another unique and record-breaking hotel in Dubai is this 356 meters tall, 4-star boutique hotel Gevora. When the hotel opened in February 2018, it stole the crown from neighbour JW Marriott Marquis Hotel (by 1 metre) as the tallest hotel in the world – and the eighth tallest building in Dubai.

Spread over 75 floors, each of its 528 spacious and luxuriously fitted rooms include a kitchenette, smart TV, high-speed internet and other premium amenities for personal care. The rooms are generously sized, and the hotel sits just 1.6 kilometres away from Dubai Mall and the conveniences of Downtown Dubai – with utterly superb views of Burj Khalifa from south-facing rooms.

Gevora Hotel - the tallest hotel in the world - recently opened on Dubai's Sheikh Zayed Road
The distinctive gold peak of the World’s tallest hotel

Housing five restaurants offering unparalleled dining experiences and amazing city views, this is one of the best hotels in Dubai. Its health club, kiddies pool, Jacuzzi, fully equipped gyms, fully serviced business centre, and boardroom makes it perfect for families, long-stay guests, and those simply seeking the wow factor.

A sleek, tall and slim building along the city’s main arterial Sheikh Zayed Road, the building itself is rather unassuming among its towering neighbours. However, its record-breaking status and glistening gold pyramid roof, at a very affordable price, make it an attractive option for visitors to Dubai seeking out something truly unique and memorable.

Read TripAdvisor Reviews | Check current deals on Expedia

NB – for any of you trivia buffs out there, there are higher hotel rooms situated at 424m above ground level in the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong, however, as a mixed-use building, not just a hotel, they are unable to nab the title, leaving Dubai with the current top 3 tallest hotels!


Spend a night underwater at Atlantis the Palm

One of the most luxurious hotels in Dubai, Atlantis the Palm has it all for a vacation in Dubai, from its own aquarium, The Lost Chambers, to the largest water park in the world right on its doorstep and complimentary for guests. But what makes this hotel next level? Their Ambassador Lagoon Presidential Suites!

Imagine flinging your curtains open to discover you are actually sleeping in an aquarium. Surrounded by marine life, this underwater hotel room is truly one of the most unique suites in the world.

Dubai Atlantis the Palm

If the Presidential Suite doesn’t quite meet your budget, plenty of more affordable accommodation options at the Atlantis suit families through to romantics.

Atlantis is also blessed with its beautiful beachfront and many dining options for guests to choose from across the resort, holding the crown position on Palm Jumeirah.

Read TripAdvisor Reviews | Check current deals on Expedia


All aboard the QE2

Queen Elizabeth 2 is the world’s most celebrated ocean liner converted into a hotel. Offering passengers and guests the best culinary and nightlife experiences, the 4-star hotel has gained popularity as one of the most unique hotels in Dubai. 

The QE2 in Port Rashid Dubai

With free Wifi all over the premises, free parking, an ATM and currency exchange services, it also houses an events centre and a heritage site for guests interested in having a glimpse into maritime history.

Each room is fully furnished with modern luxury amenities, offers city and seaside views, and is perfect for a one-night stay in a truly unique Dubai venue.

Read TripAdvisor Reviews | Check current deals on Expedia


Your own high-rise pool at FIVE Jumeirah Village Circle

A high-rise hotel where every single room has its own private pool? What could be more uniquely Dubai?

The ideal opportunity to relax and unwind in complete privacy, you’ll never want to leave your room staying at FIVE JVC (Not to be confused with its seriously fun sister hotel on Palm Jumeirah, FIVE the Palm).

Five Jumierah Village Circle Lit up at night
Yup, every single one of those rooms has its own balcony swimming pool

Oozing with stylish design features across its 60 floors, add-on amenities for guests such as an on-site spa and wellness centre, and complimentary shuttle and access to their beach club, FIVE undoubtedly delivers a one-of-a-kind Dubai experience.

Read TripAdvisor Reviews | Check current deals on Expedia


Prepare to be dazzled at Palazzo Versace Dubai

When an entire hotel is built by a designer, you know you’re in for a real treat! A chic designer hotel in Dubai, Palazzo Versace is designed like a 16th-century Italian Palace with exquisite Arabian touches.

Its high ceiling entrance, well-crafted luxury Italian furnishings and impeccably landscaped gardens speak of grandeur at its finest. Only minutes away from the airport and Burj Khalifa in the modern new Jaddaf Waterfront district, its entire interior is exclusively designed and tailor-made by the House of Versace.

Each of its eight restaurants and bars is designed to have an alfresco terrace typical of ancient Palazzos. Its three pools are tastefully decorated and are all flanked by palm trees and flowers. The entire décor and ambience of the hotel make it a perfect spot for luxury weddings and social events.

If there’s a place in Dubai to be seen, this is it!

Read TripAdvisor Reviews | Check current deals on Expedia


Embrace tradition at Al Seef Heritage Hotel

Al Seef Heritage Hotel embodies traditional Emirati hospitality by housing an indoor pool, table tennis court, gym, sauna, and children’s playground. Its rich traditional Arabian style décor is inspired by Dubai’s rich culture and heritage.

The hotel in Al Seef, adjacent to the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, offers 97 fully furnished, traditionally furnished guest rooms. Think ancient Arab but with modern amenities like a mini-fridge, water kettle, flat-screen TV, hairdryer, complimentary drinking water, private balcony and lounge area.

Guests get to enjoy delicious seafood, traditional European delicacies and Russian dishes at the two onsite restaurants. This hotel is perfect for older couples and tourists who are interested in experiencing the rich Arabian culture whilst enjoying modern conveniences.

Read TripAdvisor Reviews | Check current deals on Expedia


Stroll an Arabian Village at Jumeirah Dar al Masyaf

Surrounded by pools, beautifully tended gardens and serene waterways, Jumeirah Dar al Masyaf simply has to be included among the most unique hotels in Dubai.

canals around Madinat Jumeirah

Each of its summerhouses/villas offers an intimate experience with large terraces open to fresh seawater ways. All rooms are fully fitted with high-tech modern amenities.

The hotel complex, attached to Souk Madinat Jumeirah, has over 40 onsite restaurants, bars and lounges; each offering a variety of fine dining experiences for every kind of guest. Want to get around within the resort? Why not try a traditional abra to navigate the waterways?

Guests get to enjoy complimentary access to Wild Wadi Waterpark, Sinbad’s kid’s club, indoor and outdoor pools, golf course, tennis court, luxury yacht and other leisure and health facilities.

Read TripAdvisor Reviews | Check current deals on Expedia


Enjoy a private desert oasis at Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa

Looking to enjoy intimate luxury away from the noise of the city? This incredible tented desert resort can be found just 45 minutes away from the bubbling Dubai City.

Guests at Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa can absorb all of nature’s finest in this 5-star desert resort with free-roaming wildlife and guaranteed desert views. Be sure to join the early morning falconry, dune drive or nature walks.

Al Mada Luxury Desert resort in Dubai

Each of its 42 private suites has its own private temperature-controlled swimming pool, a large bedroom and lounge area, private sun decks, a spacious bathroom with a tub and separate shower and a Nespresso coffee machine.

The on-site restaurant offers a wide variety of menu options to pick from, including a partial buffet, a la carte breakfast, 3-course lunch and 5-course dinner. The brilliant bar is set on a terrace overlooking the desert landscape. Best suited for couples and romantic retreats as they have a no under 10s policy.

Read TripAdvisor Reviews | Check current deals on Expedia


Want more Dubai hotel & resort ideas, or still not sure of which area will be best to stay in? Check out our complete guide on where to stay in Dubai


Before you go… More important things you should know when planning a trip to Dubai

  • Don’t forget to pack your travel insurance!!!

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Please note we are not a travel agency. This site is a travel blog to help newcomers to the UAE and transit passengers self plan their trip, we cannot book your flights, hotels, visas or connections for you. We may make a small commission if you click on any of our recommendation links.

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