Page update - Sep 29, 2022
Bur Dubai is one of the districts of Dubai city known for inexpensive hotels and real estate. The second such inexpensive district, Deira, is very close by, on the other side of the Dubai Creek Canal. Bur Dubai and Deira are often compared to each other.
This page will talk in detail about the district, hotels, prices, beaches, and entertainment. Prices and other information on this page were updated in September 2022.
In August 2022, the transport statistics for the first half of 2022 were published. In six months, the Burjuman metro station in Bur Dubai district became the busiest in the entire subway, with 6.2 million passengers. Burjuman is the interchange between the red and green metro lines.
Bur Dubai is still the center of the city, at least as far as transportation is concerned.
The Bur Dubai district is the historic center of Dubai, but not geographically. It is now in the eastern part of the city, on the west bank of the Dubai Creek Canal. See the map near, click on the map to enlarge to full screen.
The name "Bur Dubai" translates as "the main land of Dubai". Once upon a time in the pre-oil era of UAE history, this was the center of the city. There were fishing villages on the site of Jumeirah, was a wasteland on the site of modern Downtown.
There is still Al Fahidi Fort In Bur Dubai, where the sheikhs ruled the emirate until 1971. The houses of sheikhs and the rich citizens of the city have been preserved. All these buildings are now museums. There is also the Great Mosque - the main mosque in the city.
Bur Dubai district remained the administrative center until nowadays. There are the government offices, the administration of the emirate, the consulates of foreign countries there.
Bur Dubai is considered the most disadvantaged area in terms of traffic management. There is an awful traffic jams during rush hours in the morning and evening. At this time, we don't recommend tourists to use cabs, but take the subway.
There's not much space in the neighborhood, and many of the buildings were built in the 1970s, when there weren't many cars and no one gave parking a serious thought. Parking spaces are in shortage and the prices for paid parking are exorbitant. If you plan to travel by rented car, book a hotel with free parking for guests.
One more thing about transportation. There is a toll of AED 4 on the bridges over the Dubai Creek channel. Prepare to pay as well if you take a cab to Deira, Sharjah or Ajman. See our review "Currency of the UAE" for the current exchange rate of the dirham.
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There are about 60 hotels of all stars and prices in Bur Dubai. These hotels have a total of 10,841 rooms (exact statistics at the end of 2021). By Dubai standards, this is not much, it is the 6th place among all the city districts. In terms of the number of rooms, Bur Dubai is comparable to the small district of Dubai Marina.
There are only 10 five-star hotels (with 1,127 rooms) in the district. The most expensive and luxurious are: Raffles Dubai, Grand Hyatt Dubai, Palazzo Versace Dubai. The rates range from USD 250 to 350 per night. The most colorful is Raffles Dubai, the building is stylized like a pyramid, in the photo near, click on the photo to enlarge to full screen.
Bur Dubai is known as a concentration of inexpensive hotels. Most local hotels can be booked for USD 60-80 per night. There are even options for USD 40-50, and these are hotels with good quality service and clean comfortable rooms.
There is a record number of apartment hotels there - 3,303 rooms, 30% of the total room stock. This is the highest percentage of all city districts. By the number of rooms in apart-hotels, it is the 3rd highest place only to Al Barsha and Deira districts.
The main advantage - transport is well developed. Two subway lines (red and green) run through the area, and almost all hotels are within a 10-minute walk of subway stations. There are 9 subway stations in the area.
The stations of the red (first) line are: Max Fashion (before 03/09/2021 called Al Jafiliya), ADCB (Al Karama), BurJuman (pictured near, click to enlarge). Green (second) line stations: Creek, Al Jadaf, Dubai Healthcare City, Oud Metha, BurJuman, Sharaf DG (called Al Fahidi until 11/25/2020), Al Ghubaiba. For the Dubai subway map please see our review "Metro Dubai - map and fares".
By the subway, you can quickly reach the main attractions of the city. You will reach the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Fountain, and the Dubai Mall in 10-15 minute. You will be at the Mall of Emirates in 15-20 minutes and a 10-minute cab ride to Wild Wadi Waterpark.
You can reach these attractions quickly and cheaply by cab, because the district of Bur Dubai in the west borders with Downtown, the distance is 6 miles (10 kilometers) only, the cab price is 25 dirhams. Read more about the cab fares in our review "Taxi prices in UAE".
The second advantage is the proximity to the airport. It takes 15-20 minutes from the airport to the hotels of the area by subway, 10-20 minutes by cab, depending on the location of the particular hotel.
The third advantage is the composition of the population. It is no secret that some European tourists are afraid of the Indians, Pakistanis, and Iranians, and they feel better if they are surrounded by European faces.
In Bur Dubai, many more Europeans either live, or work, or stay in hotels. European faces are seen there several times more often than in neighboring Deira. Don't forget, however, that Oriental faces are still in the majority, as everywhere else in the UAE. Read more in our review "The population of the UAE".
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The main disadvantage is the problem with the beaches. There are NO beaches in Bur Dubai at all, accordingly, there are no beach hotels.
If you stay at a local hotel, you have to ride to public beaches in Jumeirah. If the hotel has a free shuttle to a beach, it will save a lot of vacation money, time, and nerves. We recommend looking for such a hotel.
The second disadvantage is that it is always noisy. Life is in full swing in Bur Dubai 24 hours, it can be noisy even at night. About a quiet walk along the streets of the city, forget. From the noise of the city you can hide only in the local parks.
Bur Dubai has a lot of attractions. There are especially a lot of museums. We will try to tell you first of all about the entertainment venues as they are more interesting for tourists.
This is not just a dolphinarium, but a large entertainment complex. In addition to dolphin and seal shows, you can watch exotic bird shows, wander through a 10,000 sq.feet (1,000 sq.meters) mirror maze, jump in the trampoline park and watch a 5D movie.
The dolphinarium arena capacity is 1,280 people and it is filled to full capacity only on weekends.
The dolphins live in their own 158,500 gallons (600 cubic meters) pool. Despite this, the Dubai Dolphinarium is constantly criticized by animal advocates.
Dolphin shows are held at 11 am, 2 pm, and 6 pm. Ticket prices range AED 50-140 depending on time and tribune, children under 2 years old are free. The show lasts 45 minutes.
By the standards of the UAE, the prices for the show are very low as the dolphinarium is financially supported by the government. Tickets are cheapest at 11am on Friday, Saturday, Monday. Tickets are best purchased on the official website.
You can swim with dolphins in groups of up to 8 or 3 people. The price ranges from AED 450 to 2500.
The easiest way to get there is by subway - Dubai Healthcare City station. After leaving the subway station, walk along the subway overpass, reach Creek Park, turn left and reach the entrance to the park. You have to pay 5 dirhams for the entrance, the dolphinarium is easy to find inside the park according to the signs.
Read more about it in our review "Dubai Dolphinarium".
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The third largest shopping mall in the Emirate of Dubai. There are 300 stores, 55 restaurants, cafes and fast food outlets, children's center "Magic Planet" and an interactive entertainment center "12D RIDES".
It is also convenient to book a ride around the city on a double-decker bus "City Sightseeing". The tour desk is located at the main entrance to BurJuman Mall.
The BurJuman Mall is convenient to get to by subway - BurJuman station in the red-green lines crossing. Exit 3 leads directly to the entrance of the shopping mall. Operation hours are from 10 am to 10 pm.
Zabeel is a large park of 120 acres (48.5 hectares). It has 10,000 trees, a 2.6 miles (4.3 kilometers) jogging and biking track, a skateboard and BMX park, a barbecue area and much more. Entrance to the park costs 5 dirhams.
The most interesting things for tourists are the exhibitions: Dinosaur Park with 100 figures of dinosaurs, The Glow Park with the glowing figures and Ice Park with 150 ice sculptures. Admission to each park is 60 dirhams.
But the main attraction in Zabeel Park is the now-famous Dubai Frame building, which is designed as a gilded picture frame 490 feet (150 meters) high. There is an observation deck for visitors on the top floor. For more details, read our review "The Dubai Frame building".
You can get there by subway, the Max Fashion station (before 09/03/2021 called Al Jafiliya) will take you directly to the park.
Al Fahidi Fort is the former residence of the Emirate's sheikhs and the city's oldest building, built in 1787. It is one of the oldest museums in the UAE, founded in 1971.
You can see ancient weapons, cannons, dhow boats, decorations, household items, and much more inside. The museum perfectly reflects the history of the United Arab Emirates over the past 300 years.
Admission is 3 dirhams for adults, 1 dirhams for children.
Opening hours are from 8-30 am to 8-30 pm all days except Fridays. On Friday from 2-30 pm to 8-30 pm.
To get there by subway - Sharaf DG station (before 11/25/2020 it was called Al Fahidi).
Read more in our review "Al Fahidi - Dubai Museum".
This mosque is located right behind the Al Fahidi fort. Its minaret 230 feet (70 meters) high is the highest in the city. The mosque can accommodate up to 1,200 worshippers. It was built in 1900, rebuilt in 1960, and again rebuilt in 1998.
Non-Muslims are not allowed inside, but the mosque is worth seeing outside if you go to Al Fahidi Fort anyway. If you want to see UAE mosques inside, go to Jumeirah Mosque, Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, or Al Noor Mosque in Sharjah.
When going to Al Fahidi, remember that you must be appropriately dressed to enter the museum and other cultural attractions. We talked about the dress-code in detail in the review "What not to do in the UAE".
- If you are going to vacation in Bur Dubai and choose a beach to go to, then read our review "The Best Beaches in Dubai";
- If you are flying independently (not by package tour), it will be useful to read our review "How to get from Dubai airport to the city";
- To use transportation in Dubai cheaply and without the risk of fines, read our review "NOL Cards".
Have a great vacation in Bur Dubai, and read our interesting pages about the UAE (find the list of the pages below).
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