Hostels are a way for budget-conscious travellers to experience destinations that would normally be beyond their means. This is particularly true of Dubai, where there are hostels in locations to rival many luxury hotels, perfect for those who prefer to spend their money on experiences rather than pricey accommodation.
At The Top Hostel
At The Top Hostel is on the 66th floor of Elite Residence Tower | Courtesy of At The Top Hostel / Hostelworld
As the name would suggest, At The Top Hostel is very high up. Located on the 66th floor of Elite Residence Tower, this is one of the highest hostels in the world and has become popular with visitors for its views across Dubai Marina and the artificial islands that dot its coastline. The reception is staffed 24/7 and a large continental breakfast is included in the price. Twin single-sex rooms include either bunk beds or regular single beds, each with large windows overlooking Dubai’s golden beaches. A fully equipped kitchen and luxury toiletries are included as standard, and the on-site cleaners keep the hostel spotless at all times. A free walking tour of the local area is available, and the property is just steps away from the Palm Jumeirah islands and the DAMAC Properties metro station.
Just a stone’s throw away from Palm Jumeirah and Dubai Marina, Marina Dream has premium bunk beds in single-sex rooms, each fitted with two USB ports, a universal power plug and reading light. Every room has a balcony that overlooks the glistening waters of the Arabian Gulf, and guests are given access to a locker and a shared bathroom. The main draw of Marina Dream is its three swimming pools and free entry to the Jumeirah Public Beach.
Across the street from the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, you’ll find The Solo Traveler. Stay here if you would like to be in the heart of Dubai with sweeping views of the city. This adults-only hostel has 10-bed mixed dorms and guests have access to a pool, gym and Jacuzzi, all included in the price. They are also welcome to use the communal kitchen, living space and terrace. The Solo Traveler is situated in one of the world’s most exclusive areas, so it’s difficult to find a place like this at a budget-friendly price.
Nestled in the up-and-coming area of Barsha Heights, near the luxurious Dubai Marina, Backpacker 16 Hostel is a popular choice for travellers from around the world. There are mixed and single-sex dormitories and double rooms, as well as a shared bathroom, fast Wi-Fi and a kitchen with a washing machine, kettle, toaster and hob; a continental breakfast is available at an extra cost. For business travellers, it’s worth noting that the world-class Dubai Internet City, with its digital working spaces, is only a short walk from the hostel, as is a metro station. Exposed brick walls and wooden tables in the communal areas add to the laid-back vibe.
Housed in the exclusive Jumeirah Beach Residence, Aiza Luxury Hostel is surrounded by plush five-star hotels and apartments. This adults-only hostel is conveniently located above a 24-hour supermarket and just metres from Dubai’s top bars, nightclubs and restaurants. Guests at the hostel can choose from a mixed or female dorm of six beds, each with brightly coloured bedding and luxury bunks, and a communal space with a plasma TV, comfy white-leather sofas and a dining bar area. A continental breakfast is available for an extra fee, and the views from the windows are perfect for watching the Dubai sunset.
Right on the doorstep of Dubai’s most exclusive seaside area, Jumeirah Beach Resort, the adults-only hostel Dubai Beach Host offers guests mixed-sex and female-only dorm rooms with shared bathrooms. The hostel is surrounded by a number of shops, restaurants, cafés, nightclubs and bars. Only a three-minute walk away you’ll find Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach Residence, a buzzy waterfront promenade. Every room overlooks the beach and guests have access to an outdoor terrace, a communal space and shared kitchen area. Guests also have use of a gym, basketball court and swimming pool.
The 7 Capsules hostel is located in the up-and-coming neighbourhood of Barsha Heights, not far from Jebel Ali Racecourse and indoor ski resort Ski Dubai. Housed in a residential tower block, this no-frills hostel is modest and simple with three six-person dorm rooms. Guests are welcome to use the communal living space, microwave and fridge. There is also a rooftop terrace with magnificent views across the city and a fitness centre.
Well placed for exploring the old side of the city, just a short taxi ride away, Dubai City Hostel on Amman Street is a modest adults-only hostel. Each bed in the female-only dorm rooms includes a private locker, nightlight and power point. The rooms are furnished with comfy sofas, tables and chairs, and there is a shared shower room, toilet, living room and fully equipped kitchen with hobs and an oven. The price of the room includes access to a large swimming pool, gym and billiards room. There is a café, supermarket and shisha bar nearby. This no-frills hostel is the perfect base from which to explore Downtown Dubai, home to the city’s main attractions.