It’s not an exaggeration; “where to stay in Dubai” woes are definitely real. With over a thousand properties — that’s approximately 140,778 room options — the sheer number of choices can be overwhelming. If you’re seeking for something unique, a more personalized level of service, or a creative-focused environment, Dubai’s upscale boutique hotels might simplify the decision.
We went on a journey through every nook and cranny of the city to find best boutique hotels in the city. From a cinema-themed property and a charming little B&B located by Dubai Creek to the region’s first member of Design Hotels, and more, we think we’ve found a boutique hotel that’s just perfect for you – regardless of what you’re into.
Scroll down to discover the best boutique hotels in Dubai that offer a truly unique and customized experience.
Al Seef Heritage Hotel
Perfect for: The History Buff
Stepping into Al Seef Heritage Hotel is like stepping back in time – so much so that even the SuitePad in your room will feel out of place. Then again, nothing at this local heritage-inspired property feels typical. Here, wooden chests hold everyday hotel amenities, dolly light switches and rotary-style phones add an element of yesteryear, stone floors and palm beams offer architectural authenticity, sadu fabrics enrobe the floor cushions of the majlis outside your room, and dinner at onsite restaurant Saba’a embodies the true essence of a home-cooked meal. And get this: even the exfoliating soap uses sands from each of the seven emirates.
Opened in 2018, the property has created yet another reason to (finally) explore Al Seef, a leisure destination located on the south bank of Dubai Creek. The vicinity is still very much a trade hub, with bustling souks and weathered dhows full of merchandise guaranteeing many opportunities for exploration. Jaded residents and first-time tourists alike will love boarding an abra for a bargain AED 1 to cross the creek, walking over to Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood, photographing the barjeel wind towers that form the Al Seef skyline, and getting lost in the seemingly endless alleys of the area. Our hope is that you stumble upon Dukan Namlet to discover Namlet, an Emirati soda dating back to the 1920s, before returning to your beautiful bayt for the night.
Perfect for: The Modern-Day Minimalist
Not only is Form Hotel the region’s first member of Design Hotels, but it’s also beautifully minimalist – just think of it as the hospitality equivalent of an all-black ensemble. The Art Deco-inspired rooms aren’t trying to be trendy because they don’t need to. Instead, timeless design elements and neutral color palettes are complemented by subtle splashes of color, courtesy of custom art photography. Taking center stage are the things we value in life and on holiday: a good night’s sleep, guilt-free indulgences, and technology that makes life easier. That translates to an absurdly comfortable bed, wholesome cuisine at Roots Kitchen, and a perpetual state of hyper-connectivity. Through digital concierge ‘ROB’, you can order room service, get instructions on using the pour-over coffee kit, and ask just about anything.
ROB also links to ‘weForm’, allowing guests to do everything from purchase designer pajamas to request a curated art tour, a private butler, a personalized yoga session, and more. Wellness dominates the hotel’s philosophy, which is why you’ll notice organic snacks in the minibar, Elemental Herbology bath products, and even a sanitized TV remote. This mindset takes the elevator up to the rooftop, where a gym, a pool, loungers, and light bites collide at Salūs Housetop. Back on ground level, take a closer look at the wooden beams that are collectively entitled The Deconstructed Dhow. Sleek and towering, this installation pays tribute to Al Jadaf’s boat-building heritage and represents the ribs of an Arabian dhow. The lobby is also where you’ll find Concept Boutique by Form, well worth a visit for its nostalgia-centric perfumes by Arcadia and cool souvenirs by Dubailove. Love.
Perfect for: For the Work-Hard-Play-Harder Urbanite
Which hotel has the best views in Dubai? That is probably the most Googled question. Currently, there are numerous properties that offer some sort of view, but none are as fun and playful as the newly opened Hyde Hotel in Business Bay. Proudly sitting between Downtown Dubai and the glittering waterfront of Dubai Canal, this five-star property is perfect for those searching for a relaxed but stunning hideaway. Chic and intuitively designed, all guest rooms here have access to private balconies and are equipped with luxurious amenities like smart TVs, Malin+Goetz bath products, and a premium Nespresso coffee machine. But, really, you’re here for the view. The floor-to-ceiling windows and spacious balcony show off the Dubai skyline in its best angle, overlooking the Burj Khalifa and other iconic city landmarks against the gleaming Dubai Canal and beyond. Although Hyde Hotel is an ideal spot to party and live the high life, one can still easily retreat into a tranquil space at Cinq Mondes Spa. Nothing feels better than treating yourself to any of its holistic treatments for that much-needed deep regeneration of the mind and body. For a more idyllic experience, a dip in the infinity pool will do wonders for calming your soul.
Hyde Hotel is also a culinary destination in its own right. From the dynamic Levantine menu of Cleo and Katsuya’s contemporary take on Japanese flavors to the lively, New York-style speakeasy Hudson Tavern and the quaintly elegant The Perq cafe, the hotel fulfills every craving and caters to every type of taste. At daytime, the atmosphere is laid-back, enhanced by a worldly charm. Come sunset, the place comes alive with whimsical and vibrant energy, live music, and sundowners. Don’t worry if you can’t decide on just one vibe — there’s always next time.
Perfect for: The Traveler-Not-Tourist
Yes, parking in the area is a nightmare and, yes, you’ll almost certainly have to ask someone for directions after walking around in what feels like a maze, but that’s what makes Mazmi Casa the definitive hidden gem on this list. Located in Bur Dubai, this intimate (read: three rooms) B&B serves up a truly honest snapshot of the city, what with Textile Souk, Shiva Temple, and Grand Mosque in the vicinity – you’ll find the scurry of tourists, shoppers, and worshippers downright exhilarating. The backstory here is as charming as the people behind it; Mazmi is owned by an Italian woman named Ilaria and her Emirati husband Mohamed Al Mazmi, so adding further diversity to the property is their collective backgrounds.
Ilaria’s aesthetic sense is reflected in all three rooms, but ‘Samaa’ (with its bathtub located inside an original wind tower) is the one to beat. But regardless of where you end up, you’ll love the Afghan fabrics, black-and-white photographs depicting fishing scenes, and coffee table books that share your space. The pièce de résistance is the eponymous restaurant that sits right at the edge of Dubai Creek, translating to killer views and the ultimate sunset spot. Mohamed’s heritage is palpable in the menu that promises regional favorites with a twist – and delivers. ‘Mazmi Hummus’ in infused with basil and sun-dried tomatoes, ‘Shawarma Our Way’ is done with paratha instead of pita, and ‘Umm Ali’ comes with a side of ice cream. And speaking of: checking out without giving the homemade saffron ice cream a try would be sacrilege.
Perfect for: For the Glamorous A-Lister
Forget about celebrity sightings. At Paramount Hotel, you are the center of attention and the world is your stage. From your grand entrance to every minute of your bespoke experience, you will be treated like a VIP at every turn. Start your day with a little self-indulgence at PAUSE Spa with its signature ‘California Dream’ facial to help you get ready for your close-up. Once you have settled into your suite, it’s time to dim the lights and soak in true cinematic-style living. Exuding quintessential Hollywood glamor, each unit is furnished with classic comforts, vintage Hollywood memorabilia, and a vanity fit for a leading lady. The suite’s floor-to-ceiling windows also offer panoramic views of the Dubai skyline, because every A-lister deserves a spectacular backdrop for a photo-op.
In addition to its visual delights, Paramount Hotel is also a theater for the tastebuds. Embrace the West Coast way of life at Pacific Groove that serves the freshest surf and turf menu in town, before making your way to The Cheat chocolate lab to enjoy truffles, macaroons, and pastries. In the mood for something a little more nostalgic? Put on your heels and pearls, locate the secret entrance to Flashback speakeasy, and get transported back to the 1920s prohibition era with an immersive style of musical theater and a side of murder mystery. Once you’re ready to unwind and relax, the plush suite also allows you to enjoy a classic movie night. Simply turn off the lights, close the blackout curtains, yell “Quiet on set!”, and let the suite’s high-tech entertainment console and superior sound system do the rest.
XVA Art Hotel
Perfect for: The Evolved Aesthete
Putting art hotels worldwide to shame is XVA Art Hotel, which hosts XVA Gallery and regular talks led by leading art historian Rose Balston alongside 15 unique rooms themed around cultural motifs. One is inspired by the ancient Hand of Fatima talisman, another boasts an original wind tower and curtains made with upcycled burlap from abra boats, yet another is inspired by the traditional attire worn by local men. The hotel is situated deep in the aforementioned Al Fahidi neighborhood, so even if you get lost, you’ll encounter public art, authentic souvenir shops, and scenic alleys along the way. And because the area is a proposed UNESCO World Heritage Site, you’ll find yourself immersed in architecture dating back to the mid 19th century.
But back to the riad-like property and its breathtaking public spaces. There’s three tree-shaded courtyards that exude tranquility, one of which houses XVA Café, where the dishes are primarily vegetarian and the mint lemonade has achieved cult status. We also loved the rather romantic rooftop and contemporary artworks displayed throughout – all of which are for sale. More practical purchases (think: scented candles and statement rings) await at the concept store that is discreetly tucked away, but worth discovering. XVA Art Hotel even has its own tailors if you need fabrics sourced from the nearby Textile Souk fashioned into clothing or cushion covers! Other recommended experiences in the area? A stop at Dubai’s oldest art space The Majlis Gallery, a meal at Arabian Tea House, and a walking tour with Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding.
Zabeel House The Greens
Perfect for: The Social Butterfly
The vibe at Zabeel House The Greens is a reminiscent of an ongoing party – and everyone’s invited. From the youthful neighborhood it calls home to the communal tables at aptly named eatery Social Company, from fitness-studio-meets-spa Native Club that welcomes both guests and residents to its countless #instaworthy nooks and crannies, this is the definitive pick for the social butterfly. Equal parts trendy and easygoing, the hotel houses New York loft-style rooms, but for the ultimate splurge, book ‘The Apartment’ suite for plenty of space, plenty of art, a luxe bathtub, a slick Smeg fridge, and frosted glass rife with inspirational lines.
Even the hotel lobby is sensory overload, but in a good way. Between the large-scale murals, quirky sculptures, and works by locals artists for sale awaits the Give & Take installation that encourages guests to share advice on places and experiences with their fellow travelers. Another must-see is the pop-up store that stocks local lifestyle brand Georges of Dubai alongside the likes of Leif and Tobago. However, our pick of the property’s many highlights has to be the always buzzing Lah Lah, which serves Pan-Asian favorites cooked to perfection – and devoid of culinary gimmicks, thankfully – alongside vegan options aplenty. Foodies will find continued joy in specialty food stores 1004 Gourmet (Asian) and Pure South (Australian), both of which are located at the hotel’s doorstep in Onyx Tower 1.