Madinat Jumeirah - Venice of Dubai

Page update - Sep 21, 2022

Madinat Jumeirah is a luxury resort in Dubai, and also a tourist attraction. There are 100 acres (40 hectares) of parks and gardens around luxury hotels, villas, summer houses. The resort is considered one of the best places to stay in Dubai, if not the best. How expensive is it to vacate there? How can you see this brilliance without booking a room? Read on this page.

As of September 2022, Madinat Jumeirah Resort is open. Souq Madinat marketplace is open for outside visitors. Boat tours for all comers are running again as of January 2022. But prices and schedules have changed. More details below on this page.

Brief description

Madinat Jumeirah Resort occupies one kilometer of a coast in Jumeirah to the southwest of the famous Burj Al-Arab hotel, Jumeirah Beach and Wild Wadi Water Park. The resort occupies 100 acres (40 hectares) of parks and gardens and consists of three hotels Jumeirah Al Qasr, Jumeirah Mina A'Salam, Jumeirah Al Naseem with a total capacity of 1000 rooms, 29 Jumeirah Dar Al Masyaf summer houses, and 7 luxury Jumeirah Malakiya Villas.

Jumeirah Madinat is also called the "Venice of Dubai". There are more than 5 kilometers (3 miles) of water channels, on which Arabian abra boats transport the guests. It is also called the "Arabian resort", because the style of all buildings, parks, gardens, and decor imitate an old Arabian city.

It is a "city within a city" with 50 restaurants, cafes, and bars. There is a wonderful private sandy beach a kilometer (3,300 feet) long. There is a large Souq Madinat market with 90 stores and boutiques in the center of the resort.

There is also a large amphitheater for 1,000 spectators, a theater for 400 spectators where concerts are held, several conference halls and two huge assembly halls. The Madinat Arena with a capacity of 4,500 spectators is used for biggest events.

Madinat Jumeirah is a resort not only for people, but also for turtles! The water channels at the resort are used to rehabilitate injured sea turtles before they are released back into the wild.

How much is the stay in Madinat Jumeirah?

A room in any of the hotels at Madinat Resort costs from USD 450 to USD 650 a night.

There are discounts, when you can book the room for USD 300-350, but it's rare. You have to "catch" such an occasion.

Tours (7 nights, 2 people) - from USD 3000.

Find your flight

Are outside tourists allowed inside?

Outside tourists are allowed in some parts of the resort. Some parts are only for the guests.

Souq Madinat (market)

Everyone is allowed, otherwise all the traders would simply go bankrupt. The market is stylized as a traditional Arab bazaar, a total of more than 90 stores and boutiques. They sell everything from small souvenirs to expensive carpets and jewelry, and even designer furniture. The market is very civilized and most of the vendors are local Arab citizens.

Within the market are 25 of 50 cafes and restaurants in the resort. The selection is huge, but all the establishments are expensive. An interesting point is the local restaurants (not all) serve alcoholic beverages, and there's even a restaurant called "The Belgian Cafe-Pork Ribs" that serves pork! How does this relate to the "Arabian resort" concept? It's not very clear.

Water channels

As of January 2022, boat tours for outside visitors are available again.

Anyone can take an Abra boat ride through the canals. The price for a 20 minute trip is AED 100 for an adult, AED 50 for a child. See the current exchange rates of dirham against dollar, pound, euro in the review "Money in the UAE". The administration recommends buying tickets in advance on the official website

The boat leaves from the market station every 20 minutes from 1pm to 9pm (Monday through Thursday) or 12pm to 9pm (Friday, Saturday, Sunday). This is the new schedule due to the introduction of a 4½-day work week in the UAE. See our review "Weekends and Fridays in the UAE" for details.

On this trip you will see many of the beauties of the Madinat Jumeirah resort, but not all. Most of the canals serve only guests of the resort hotels, and outside people are inaccessible. As you ride, look out over the water and you'll probably come across some sea turtles resting there.

Madinat beach

The magnificent beach is a kilometer (0.6 mile) long and is only for the hotels guests. However! If you are not the guest then you can bathe and sunbathe on this beach for a fee of AED 295 per day for adults and AED 195 per day for children.

The use of beach umbrellas and sun loungers, toilets, showers, changing rooms, waiter service right up to the sun lounger are included. Also, if paid, you can walk around all the parks and gardens of Madinat Jumeirah resort.

Another option

It is possible to see many of the beauties for an outside tourist if booking a table at one of the restaurants. You need to choose a restaurant in the back of the resort, not in the market area. The best restaurant is Pierchic, which is located on the pier, 150 meters (500 feet) from the shore.

In this case, you can walk to the restaurant, and the boat ride is free.

Find your hotel

How to get there

The first option is by cab. The price depends on where you are going from, it can be from 12 to 80 dirhams. For detailed the fares see our review "Taxis in the UAE".

The second option - subway + cab. Go to the nearest for the Madinat resort metro station Mall of the Emirates (distance about 3 kilometers, 1.8 miles). Then take a cab, the trip will cost 12 dirhams, unless the cab driver will not take a detour and tweak the counter.

For the subway scheme, fares, rules read our review "Metro Dubai".

The third option - subway + bus. This is the cheapest option. Take the subway to the Mall of the Emirates station, then take bus 81. Get off at the "Burj Al Arab Hotel" stop, you will need to walk about 400 meters (1,300 feet) back from the direction of the bus.

Don't forget about the "30 minutes" rule to take the bus for free, we talked about this in the review "NOL Cards".

Working hours

Market hours are from 10am to 11pm.

The restaurants work each on their own schedule, some work around the clock.

The beach is open 24 hours, but swimming is allowed only during daylight hours.

Tips for tourists

- There is the Al Ansari currency exchange in the market. We remind you it is better to change currency into dirhams for shopping. Read our review "How and where to change currency in the UAE";

- If you tell a cab driver the phrase "Madinat Jumeirah", he will bring you to the main entrance of the market. The Al Naseem and Mina A'Salam hotels have separate entrances, and the Dar Al Masyaf villa complex also has its own entrance. If you are going to these hotels, be sure to tell the driver the name of the hotel;

- Madinat Resort has a dress-code, but not strict. Same as in all public places in Dubai. Read about the dress code in our review "What you can't do in Dubai";

Have a good time in Dubai and read our interesting pages about the UAE (see list of the pages below).


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