The Best Hotels in the United Arab Emirates for Every Traveller

A dream destination for every traveller, the United Arab Emirates has something for everyone
A dream destination for every traveller, the United Arab Emirates has something for everyone | Courtesy of One and Only The Palm / Expedia
Nicholas Grantham

The UAE has experienced a cultural transformation over the past decade, with its two main cities blossoming into magnificent international metropoles. Now holding a skyline of stunning hotels, choosing somewhere to stay can be a little daunting in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Discover the best hotels in these two bustling cities, and beyond, that stand out for their design, architecture, dining and culture.

Jumeirah Al Naseem

Resort, Chain Hotel

An indoor sitting area with chairs and loungers, with open windows looking out to Burj Al Arab at the Jumeirah Al Naseem in Dubai
Courtesy of Jumeirah Al Naseem / Expedia

Overlooking the gorgeous white sands of the hotel’s pristine private beach, Jumeirah Al Naseem is the perfect option for guests looking to truly relax during their time in Dubai. Styled with a contemporary design and traditional Arabian motifs, the rooms are filled with modern amenities, including Smart TVs and luxurious open-plan bathrooms. Focused on their guests’ rest and recuperation, the hotel has its own Talise Ottoman Spa, with a range of facilities such as Thalassotherapy pools, Turkish hammams, and even snow rooms available to book.

Zaya Nurai Island


A stylish sitting room, with a marble table and chic chairs, in a room at Zaya Nurai Island
Courtesy of Zaya Nurai Island / Expedia
A unique option for visiting the UAE, Zaya Nurai gives guests a private island to explore just a short boat ride away from Abu Dhabi. A perfect choice for a romantic getaway, Zaya Nurai has a wide range of luxury and boutique facilities available for guests to enjoy, including an opulent oceanside spa, a private beach club and five separate eateries to choose from. On top of that, it has plenty of excellent activities for its guests to take part in, from guided fishing tours to windsurfing, and bike rides to badminton, all available to book through the resort’s 24-hour help desk.

Anantara Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort

Resort, Hotel

The interior with antiques, artwork on the walls, and lamps in the center of the ceiling in a room at Anantara Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort
Courtesy of Anantara Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort / Expedia

Surrounded by the ‘Empty Quarter’, Anantara Qasr Al Sarab offers guests a secluded oasis just an hour and a half away from Abu Dhabi. Every one of this five-star hotel’s guest suites comes with a mesmerising view over the desert sands from a private terrace, and is furnished with several thoughtful features such as oversized bathtubs, Nespresso coffee machines and king-sized beds. Outside of the resort’s extraordinary accommodation, Anantara Qasr Al Sarab is home to a number of appetising eateries, like the Suhail rooftop bar & grill, the Ghadeer poolside Mediterranean restaurant and Al Falaj, a traditional Bedouin dining experience.

Golden Tulip Sharjah

Boutique Hotel, Chain Hotel

The indoor pool, facing a semi-circle window, at Golden Tulip Sharjah
Courtesy of Golden Tulip Sharjah / Expedia

Based along the serene Khalid Lagoon & Al Majaz Waterfront, this four-star hotel is a top option for those wanting to explore the city due to its central location and excellent transport links. Ideally suited for longer stays in the city, each of the 264 guest rooms are carefully designed with a plethora of contemporary amenities and feature a small kitchenette, with microwave, mini-fridge and coffee machine included as standard. A popular choice for guests visiting Sharjah on business, the Golden Tulip has a dedicated business centre, as well as an indoor pool and sauna, offering a great way to relax after a busy day.

72 Hotel

Boutique Hotel, Hotel

A bed, desk, TV and floor-to-ceiling windows with a view of city skyscrapers and the water at 72 Hotel
Courtesy of 72 Hotel / Expedia

A luxury five-star hotel in central Sharjah, 72 Hotel offers guests sleek, modern accommodation and classic Arabian hospitality, sure to give you a truly memorable stay. The hotel’s rooms are all bright and open with a contemporary design, spacious bathrooms and remarkable views across the city, while the hotel’s team offers a personable service and has a great knowledge of the local area. If you fancy a bite to eat, be sure to stop by the in-house restaurant, the Equation, serving a delicious menu of Arabian and classic international dishes throughout the day.

Ayla Hotel


Loungers and a drink on a table around the indoor pool at the Ayla Hotel in Abu Dhabi
Courtesy of Ayla Hotel / Expedia
As the Al Ain edition of the opulent Ayla brand, this hotel gives guests the same luxury, excellent service and relaxing stay that has made the group so popular. Each of the hotel’s 153 rooms is expertly designed with a classic aesthetic, yet includes many of the amenities associated with a contemporary stay. The perfect option for first-time visitors to the oasis city, this five-star hotel is just a short trip away from Al Ain International Airport and is in close proximity to many of the city’s biggest highlights, including Al Ain Mall, the National Museum and the striking Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Grand Mosque.

Danat Jebel Dhanna Resort


The large outdoor pool, with striped sunbeds and palm trees, at Danat Jebel Dhanna Resort
Courtesy of Danat Jebel Dhanna Resort / Expedia

Not far from the remarkable Sir Bani Yas Island, one of the world’s leading eco-friendly tourism destinations and along the western coast from Abu Dhabi, Danat Jebel Dhanna is an excellent choice for guests looking to try out some of the more adventurous activities the UAE has to offer. The resort’s accommodation is made up of a selection of spacious guest rooms and lavish suites, with daily housekeeping services, satellite TV and spectacular views of the Arabian gulf included in every one. Popular with thrill seekers, the resort’s team will happily book any of the many activities available, including paddle boarding, diving and wildlife tours to name just a few.

Telal Resort


Chairs with fur backs around tables set for dining in a stylish room at Telal Resort
Courtesy of Telal Resort / Expedia

Surrounded by the red tinged sand dunes of the Remah Desert and just a short trip outside of the oasis city of Al Ain, the Telal is a breathtaking five-star resort that highlights the area’s rich cultural heritage. The resort has a choice of private villas, traditional guest rooms and luxury suites available to book, each with a traditional Emirati design and carefully curated furnishings. Unique to the resort, and one of the many highlights, is the Zaman Lawal village, giving guests the opportunity to experience a piece of living Emirati history with a collection of buildings celebrating the local culture, including Khattar, a traditional Arabic restaurant, an authentic souk retail market and an example of a jalibut, a boat that was used for pearl diving, available to visit.

One&Only The Palm

Resort, Chain Hotel

The grand facade of the One&Only The Palm reflected in the outdoor pool, lined with blue sunbeds and palm trees

An extravagant five-star resort found on the world famous Palm Island in Dubai, the One&Only is definitely one of the top places to stay during your time in the UAE. Surrounded by the sun-drenched beaches and clear waters of the island, One&Only has three separate accommodations available to rent, from the grander Manor House, the tranquil Palm Mansion or even your own private beachside villa. Although it has plenty of fantastic facilities available to guests, one of the true bright spots has to be the resort’s in-house restaurants, each styled and curated by renowned French chef Yannick Alléno, who has no less than eight Michelin-starred restaurants in his resumé, and brings that same expertise to the island’s enticing eateries.

Have your every whim catered for by staying at one of the best resorts in Abu Dhabi, UAE, bookable with Culture Trip. Fancy getting closer to nature? Check out the best places to go camping in the UAE.

This is an updated version of an article originally written by Melissa Pearce.

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