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Jumeirah - pros and cons for tourists


Page update - Feb 22, 2022

The Jumeirah district in Dubai has gained fame as an elite place to live and vacation. But is it so interesting and comfortable to spend vacation there? What are the hotels in Jumeirah? What interesting things to see within walking distance? Let's answer these questions.

Latest important news

Several metro stations along the Jumeirah district have recently been renamed. Stay alerted!

In August 2021, three renames were announced. Among them, Dubai Marina station (nominally located in the Jumeirah district) was renamed Sobha Realty.

In 2020, First Abu Dhabi Bank station became Umm Al Sheif, Noor Bank became Al Safa, Damac became Dubai Marina, Nakheel became Al Khail. Sharaf DG metro station has been renamed Mashreq.

See our review "Dubai subway" for the subway map with all the updates.

Where is Jumeirah and what is it

Officially, the Jumeirah district in Dubai City does not exist. The word is commonly used to refer to the part of Dubai between the coast and the Sheikh Zayed road, bounded by Rashid Port to the east and Dubai Marina to the west.

See the location of the Jumeirah area on the map below. Click on the map to enlarge. Jumeirah under number 4, highlighted in green.

The Jumeirah area commonly includes the districts of Al Badaa (Al Bada'a), Al Manara, Al Safa 1, Al Safa 2, Al Wasl, Jumeirah 1, Jumeirah 2, Jumeirah 3, Satwa (Al Satwa), Trade Center 1, Umm Suqeim 1, Umm Suqeim 2, Umm Suqeim 3.

This area is 13 miles (21 kilometers) long and 0.6 to 1.5 miles (1 to 2.5 kilometers) deep. The total area is about 15.5 square miles (40 square kilometers).

The area is very large by Dubai standards, and most importantly, long. Do not think that staying at a hotel in Jumeirah, all the attractions and the best beaches of Jumeirah will be within walking distance. It may be 12 miles (20 kilometers) from the hotel to the beach of interest.

Name, Figures, Facts

Back in the 1960s, there were only fishermen's villages in the place of today's Jumeirah hotels and skyscrapers. Back then, the small city of Dubai was to the east, on the site of today's Deira and Bur Dubai.

When these fishermen returned home at night or at dusk, they saw the lights in their houses. This is where the name comes from, from the phrase "smoldering lights" in Arabic. There is also a second version - from the Arabic word "beautiful", which is also consonant with the word "Jumeirah". Naturally, the second version was instantly picked up by advertisers, realtors, real estate developers and hoteliers, and now this version is much more common on the Internet.

Fishing and pearl diving has been practiced there for a very long time. Archaeological finds of everyday objects date back to the Umayyad Caliphate era (660-750). Probably the name "Jumeirah" is already 1300 years old. It is impossible to determine which of the versions is correct.



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Jumeirah is now called "The Beverly Hills of the Middle East". Most of the area is built up with expensive villas. In some areas of Jumeirah, villas can be bought by UAE citizens only. Foreigners can only rent, the prices are "cosmic". Read more about the citizens and foreigners in our review "Citizens and guest workers in the UAE".

Accordingly, the composition of the local population is very different from the rest of Dubai. There is no abundance of Indians, Pakistanis, Iranians as in Deira. There are of course foreign workers from these countries. Someone has to work in the hotels, stores, fast food outlets, to clean the streets, and they are obviously not UAE nationals.

Famous sites in Jumeirah are: the Burj Al-Arab Hotel (pictured left, click to on the photo enlarge), artificial islands Palm Jumeirah and Atlantis The Palm Hotel, Jumeirah Mosque, Wild Wadi Waterpark, Mercato Mall (the Little Italy), Union House and the flagpole, Madinat Resort. We will talk about these places in detail later in this review.

Advantages of Jumeirah for tourists

The first advantage is that there are no problems with transportation. The red line of Dubai Metro is located along the entire area of Jumeirah (along the Sheikh Zayed Road).

You can walk from most of the Jumeirah hotels to the metro station within 15 minutes. If you're too lazy to walk then take a cab, it will cost you 12 dirhams from your hotel to the subway station. See our review "The UAE dirham" for the current exchange rates, and read about cab rides in the review "Taxis in the UAE".

You can reach the main attractions of Dubai in 10-20 minutes by subway.

For example, even if you get on the westernmost station in Jumeirah, Dubai Internet City, it will take you 17-20 minutes to get to the Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall station where the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Mall, and the Dubai Fountain are located. See our review "Dubai subway" for the subway map with all the updates.

The second advantage is the best public beaches in Dubai. Even if you choose a hotel not on the coast, there are many great beaches in Jumeirah, including free. Read the details in our review "Beaches of Jumeirah".

Disadvantages of Jumeirah

The main disadvantage - high prices for everything. Jumeirah is an expensive area, and you can not find a hotel there with a price cheaper than 100 USD per night. For a cheap stay, you have to go to Deira or Bur Dubai.

The prices in the stores, restaurants, cafes, and bars are 20-50% higher compared to other areas of Dubai. When they say the phrase "Dubai is one of the most expensive cities in the world", they do so on the basis of prices in Jumeirah or Downtown.

If you take the arithmetic average of the prices in all areas of Dubai, then Dubai is not even in the TOP-10. In the latest ranking of the most expensive cities from Mercer (for 2021), the city of Dubai was not in the TOP-10, and took a modest 42nd place.

The second disadvantage - far from the airport. You will have to go 30-50 minutes by car or 40-60 minutes by subway from the airport to the most western Jumeirah hotels. It is far and long by the standards of Dubai. For example, the trip to a hotel in Deira by car or subway will take 10-15 minutes, to Bur Dubai - 15-20 minutes.

The third disadvantage is that hotels with their own beach are very expensive. According to the experience of Turkey, Egypt, or Tunisia, many tourists are used to hotels with their own beach, free sunbeds and umbrellas, bars and snacks on the beach. Jumeirah has it all, but prepare from USD 300 per night in such a hotel.

The fourth disadvantage - long, expensive and difficult to go to other emirates. If you want to go to Abu Dhabi to see the Sheikh Zayed Mosque or to Sharjah to see the mosques and museums then it is difficult to do from Jumeirah. It is very expensive to take a cab, and there are no bus stations in the area.

From Dubai to Abu Dhabi, buses leave either from Al Ghubaiba Bus Station (bus E100) or Ibn Battuta Bus Station (bus E101). These bus stations are located in Bur Dubai and Jebel Ali, which is far from Jumeirah. Read more in our review "How to travel between Dubai and Abu Dhabi".



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To the emirates of Ajman and Fujairah, buses leave from Union Square Bus Station in the Deira area, which is far away. To Sharjah, the buses leave directly from a few Dubai Bus Stations, but all of them are in Deira. The subway ride through the city is a dubious pleasure.

The only comfortable option to go from Jumeirah to other emirates is to rent a car.

The fifth disadvantage - very high prices for souvenirs. Hardly any of the tourists want to return from a holiday without souvenirs and gifts. In Jumeirah, the prices of souvenirs and gifts are too high. Read our review "What to bring from the UAE" to know what to bring from the UAE.

To buy gifts it is better to allocate half a day and go to the markets and shopping malls in Deira. That half of the day is a pity.

Hotels

There are about 100 hotels and hundreds of villas and apartments for rent in Jumeirah. Many European tourists prefer to rent accommodation, especially if they go in company.

In these hotels, there are 16,440 rooms (according to official statistics 2021) totally. And the main interesting point - 50% (8,200 rooms) account for 5-star hotels. This is almost a record for Dubai, and only the Downtown hotels have even more rooms in the "fives" (9,100).

Jumeirah is a concentration of large 5-star hotels, which are located mainly on the coast. 2-4 star hotels and apart-hotels are located mainly in the Sheikh Zayed Road area.

The most famous and expensive hotel is the Burj Al-Arab. The price starts from USD 1,000 per night.

The best value for money is Jumeirah Beach Hotel. The price can seem high - from USD 300, but the hotel guests have free entrance to Wild Wadi Aquapark. The hotel has a private beach, free WiFi, 6 pools, and even a rock climbing wall. See this hotel in the photo above, click on the photo to enlarge.

Another interesting place to stay in Jumeirah is the Madinat Resort, which covers a kilometer (0.6 mile) of coastline. This is a large garden, where among the palm trees and shrubs are four hotels, a few luxury villas and summer houses. A network of canals runs through the garden, and visitors to the resort travel by boat. Anyone can see this marvel. Read all the details in our review "Madinat Resort".

There are three dozen hotels (7,300 rooms totally) on The Palm Jumeirah Islands, of which eight are big "fives". These hotels are good for relaxing on the beach, but inconvenient for trips to places of interest.

The most famous hotel on the Palm Island is Atlantis The Palm (pictured right, click to enlarge). This is where Aquaventure Waterpark and The Lost Chambers Aquarium are located. Room rates start at USD 250.

All relatively inexpensive hotels in Jumeirah are located away from the coast - along the Sheikh Zayed Road. Room rates at these hotels are quite affordable - USD 100-150 per night.

Attractions

There are many places worthy of attention and time tourists in Jumeirah. Let us tell you about the most interesting ones.

Wild Wadi Waterpark

It is considered the most interesting water amusement park in Dubai, but also the most expensive. There are about 30 water rides, 1,200 feet (360 meters) long artificial river, wave pool, and the only Master Blaster slide in the UAE, where visitors not only roll down, but climb up.

Read more in our review "Wild Wadi Waterpark".



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Aquaventure Waterpark

Located in the hotel Atlantis The Palm, which can be reached by special monorail line. Among the unique attractions are an enclosed glass slide in an aquarium with sharks, a water roller coaster and a dolphinarium.

Read more in our review "Aquaventure Waterpark".

The Lost Chambers Aquarium

Also located in the Atlantis The Palm hotel. The composition of marine fauna there is more modest than in the Dubai Mall Aquarium, but the stylization and atmosphere are pleasing. For a fee, you can interact and swim with dolphins.

Read more in our review "The Lost Chambers Aquarium".

Jumeirah Mosque

The traditional Arabic style mosque - high domes, round minarets, spacious courtyard. It was built in 1976. Thanks to the "Open Doors. Open Minds" program, the mosque is open to non-Muslims.

Open to tourists at 10 am on all days except Fridays. The tour costs 35 dirhams, children under 12 years old are free. You should be appropriately dressed to visit the mosque, as you can see in our reviews "What tourists can and can't in the UAE" and "What to take to the UAE with you".

Tours are conducted in English. The cost of the tour includes water, tea, coffee, dates and oriental sweets.

Read all the details in our review "Jumeirah Mosque".

Etihad Museum (aka Union Museum) and the flagpole

The museum building is stylized as a manuscript, indicating it as a source of knowledge. In this museum, learn about the past of the United Arab Emirates. The museum opened on January 7, 2017.

Ticket price is 25 dirhams. It is open from 10 am to 8 pm daily.

Next to the museum is a flagpole 123 meters (403 feet) high. It is one of three such high flagpoles in the UAE. The second is in Abu Dhabi near the Heritage Village, and the third is in Sharjah in the Al Jazeera Park.

Mercato Shopping Mall

The malls in Jumeirah are not very interesting as they are small and expensive. If you want to see a big and interesting mall, go to Dubai Mall. If you want low prices, go to Deira.

But among them there is one exception that is worth seeing. It is Mercato, a small mall with about 120 stores. It is completely made in the style of the Italian Renaissance, it is also called "The Little Italy".

There is a large Spinneys supermarket, a Fun City children's center, and a cinema. Mercato often hosts festivals, a photo from one of them is nearby, click on the photo to enlarge.

It is open from 10 am to 10 pm daily.

Good to know

- If you're going to the amusement parks and water parks, read our review "How to get tickets to Dubai parks cheap";

- For the best way to plan your leisure time, read our review "Excursions in Dubai";

- For independent travelers, we suggest our review "How to get from Dubai airport to your hotel".

Have a great vacation in Dubai, and read our interesting pages about the UAE (see the list of the pages below).

TIPS

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