Where is Better to Stay - Dubai Marina or JBR | The Vacation Builder

Dubai Marina or JBR – Where is Better to Stay?

Dubai is home to some fantastic and innovative districts, two of the most popular being neighbouring Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Beach Residence! Having the sunny weather, warm beaches and dazzling attractions, today we will be comparing the two hotspots for locations, things to do, hotels and costs to determine which is the best area to stay – Dubai Marina or JBR?

Dubai Marina or JBR – The Best Location

You want to find a location that best caters for what you value in a holiday, so we will first take a look at where the two areas lie.

Firstly, Dubai Marina is a fairly new area, just coming up for 20 years old! The manmade marina was built in 2003 and has since become a hotspot for stunning night-time views and attractions to enjoy.

Dubai Marina is located next to the Dubai Internet City and neighbours the famous manmade Palm Jumeirah Island.

Here, you can enjoy a walk or a visit to the various cafés along the Dubai Marina promenade or a visit to the Dubai Marina Mall where you can find an assortment of luxury brands. There’s a whole range of restaurants for you to indulge yourselves at across this district, so it’s a great one to visit in the evening where you can enjoy the glimmering skyline and Dubai Marina Towers whilst enjoying a meal and a drink.

Dubai Marina is also known for its yacht cruises where you can snake through the luxury city by the water and enjoy other water sport activities too. The only real downside to Dubai Marina is that there aren’t as many big attractions to enjoy without venturing to other areas and neighbourhoods.

Just a stones throw away from Dubai Marina and we have Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR). JBR is also a new area of the city having been completed in 2007. The neighbourhood is a waterfront community, directly overlooking the Persian Gulf, so it’s a great option if you predominantly want to stay close to the beach!

JBR directly neighbours Dubai Marina and is situated beside Bluewaters Island.

JBR heavily features an incredible 1.7km long golden beach with distant views of the Bluewaters Island and Ain Dubai. You can also enjoy ‘The Walk’ which is a great shopping area with some incredible and varied restaurants &shops to suit all tastes. Due to the beachfront focus, most attractions take place right on the sandy shores, so you can expect to find plenty of inflatable water activities and water sports to try your hand at. There are also outdoor gyms and parks for children on the beach!

The beachfront is also home to the Flying Cup which is a great way to take some incredible snaps of the city. The only downside to JBR are that it can get quite busy and you may get bored if you are not wanting to spend much time at the beach.

Verdict: As the pair border each other, there isn’t too drastic of a difference between Dubai Marina and JBR’s location. However, simply because you do have the beach access directly on your doorstep and the convenience of The Walk promenade, we’ll give the edge to JBR!

Dubai Marina vs JBR – Things to Do

Dubai Marina or JBR - Where is Better to Stay - Things to do | The Vacation Builder
The Walk @ JBR

We’ve briefly touched on what there is to do at each location, but we will dive deeper into what attractions and activities there are at Dubai Marina and JBR.

Firstly, Dubai Marina has a fair amount of restaurants and shopping facilities to enjoy whilst still being set against the urban skyline. However, perhaps the biggest standout against JBR is the Dubai Marina Mall where you can find plenty of dining and shopping facilities as well as being able to unwind at Reel Cinemas.

Next, JBR has a lot of different attractions to enjoy as well as the shopping and dining, including escape rooms and arcades. With the big bonus of the beach right beside you.

Below are some of the main attractions in each area:

Things to do in Dubai Marina

  • Dubai Marina Mall
  • Yacht Tours
  • Dhow Dinner Cruises
  • Skydive Dubai
  • XLine Ziplining
  • Sport Fishing
  • Marina Promenade
  • B/Attitude Spa
  • Various Restaurants & Rooftop Bars
Dubai Marina or JBR - Where is Better for Things To Do? | The Vacation Builder

Things to do in JBR

  • Flying Cup
  • The Walk – Promenade
  • Aquafun
  • Blacklight Golf
  • Escape Rooms – TEPfactor Dubai and Countdown Challenge
  • The Beach
  • Water sports
  • Stereo Arcade
  • Naturelife Spa
  • Various Restaurants & Cafes

Verdict: Both places offer some great things to do and see, but JBR just edges it with all the beach activities available.

Where Has The Best Value Hotels?

Now we will take a look at hotels and compare them for cost, key features and variety of choice. For both JBR and Dubai Marina, we will look at some of TripAdvisor’s top ranked 4* and 5* hotels to see which comes out with the better result!

From our findings, Dubai Marina is ever so slightly cheaper than JBR, but due to the proximity between the two, you are bound to find hotels in the same price range. Facility-wise, there are a good variety amongst the hotels with each offering something different.

Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites – Dubai Marina

Dubai Marina or JBR - Where Has The Best Hotel? - Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites | The Vacation Builder

Star Rating – 4*
Trip Advisor Rating – 4.5 / 5
Average Price – From 683 AED per night
Website: Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites

Key Features: Boasts views over Dubai Marina. Here, you can find an outdoor pool, a coffee shop, three restaurants, a fitness centre, and a sauna.

Grosvenor House – Dubai Marina

Dubai Marina or JBR - Where Has The Best Hotel? - Grosvenor House | The Vacation Builder

Star Rating – 5*
Trip Advisor Rating – 5 / 5
Average Price – From 679 AED per night
Website: Grosvenor House

Key Features: Views of Dubai Marina and makes up part of the iconic skyline. Has a gym, a terrace pool, a spa, and a total of ten restaurants and lounges.

The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina – Dubai Marina

Dubai Marina or JBR - Where Has The Best Hotel? - The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina | The Vacation Builder

Star Rating – 5*
Trip Advisor Rating – 4.5 / 5
Average Price – From 929 AED per night
Website: The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina

Key Features: Views of the Persian Gulf and the Palm Jumeirah. Has an outdoor amphitheatre, seven restaurants and bars, and five outdoor pools.

DoubleTree By Hilton Hotel Dubai – JBR

Dubai Marina or JBR - Where Has The Best Hotel? - DoubleTree By Hilton Hotel Dubai | The Vacation Builder

Star Rating – 4*
Trip Advisor Rating – 4.5 / 5
Average Price – From 707 AED per night
Website: DoubleTree By Hilton Hotel Dubai

Key Features: Located on The Walk promenade, with views of the Arabian Gulf. The facilities include table tennis, an outdoor pool, a poolside bar, a fitness centre, golf, and five restaurants.

Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach – JBR

Star Rating – 5*
Trip Advisor Rating – 4.5 / 5
Average Price – From 705 AED per night
Website: Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach

Key Features: Directly opposite to The Walk, with stunning views across the Persian Gulf. There’s an infinity pool, a poolside bar, a lounge, a fitness centre, three restaurants, and a sauna.

Address Beach Resort – JBR

Dubai Marina or JBR - Where Has The Best Hotel? - Address Beach Resort | The Vacation Builder

Star Rating – 5*
Trip Advisor Rating – 5 / 5
Average Price – From 1260 AED per night
Website: Address Beach Resort

Key Features: Views of the Arabian Gulf and Dubai Marina. Has an infinity pool, an adult pool, a family pool, and a splash pad. There’s also a fitness centre, bars, five restaurants, a coffee shop, and activities available.

Verdict: Both of these sets of 4* and 5* hotels offer stays in Dubai at its finest. However, due to price, Dubai Marina wins this round.

Average Cost of Things to Do

The next most important aspect to consider when deciding on which area to stay is the cost of things to do. Below we take a look at some of the main attractions from both area’s and their prices.,

Dubai Marina Activity Costs

  • Yacht tours – From 189 AED for 2 to 3 hours excursion
  • Skydive Dubai – Tandem skydive from 1,599 AED when strapped to an instructor
  • XLine ziplining – Adult tickets from 650 AED for approximately 90 minutes
  • B/Attitude Spa visit – 575 AED for a 60 minute Freestyle Deep Tissue Massage

JBR Activity Costs

When you compare the thrill excursion for Dubai Marina which is the ziplining, it is better value for money than JBR’s flyboarding experience. Likewise, the spa treatment which is the same duration at both spas is cheaper at Dubai Marina’s B/Attitude Spa.

Verdict: After comparing the two, generally Dubai Marina results as being the most cost friendly.

Pros and Cons of Staying in Each Area

To conclude the comparison, we will look at the pros and cons of both offerings, with an emphasis on accessibility. With the transport links, we will compare how long travel takes from three different locations around the city, including Downtown Dubai, Palm Jumeirah, and Al Barsha.

Firstly, we will look at Dubai Marina’s transport links:

  • To get to Dubai Marina from Downtown Dubai, it takes 24 minutes by a direct subway link.
  • From Palm Jumeirah, it is 43 minutes by catching the monorail then the tram, or 45 minutes by the monorail and then by bus.
  • From Al Barsha, the trip will take approximately 22 minutes by bus and then subway, or 30 minutes by the 84 bus.

Next, we will look at JBR’s transport links:

  • To get to JBR from Downtown Dubai, it will take around 41 minutes by the subway and then walking.
  • From the Palm Jumeirah, it will take 51 minutes by monorail and tram, or 55 minutes by monorail and bus.
  • To get to JBR from Al Barsha, it will take approximately 38 minutes by tram and bus, or 40 minutes by the 84 bus.
Dubai Marina or JBR - Where Has The Best Transport? - Dubai Marina | The Vacation Builder

Now we will look at the pros and cons of each, starting with Dubai Marina:

ProsCons
A great selection of hotels for numerous budgetsQuite far from big attractions
Good transport connectionsCan get busy from tourists
Good nightlife optionsNot on the beach
The Marina promenade has a great selection of restaurants & bars to look over the skyline

Next, we will look at the pros and cons of JBR:

ProsCons
Easy beach accessCan get very busy
The Walk is conveniently on your doorstepQuite far from key attractions such as the Burj Khalifa
Plenty of attractions and activitiesNot as many easy transport connections
A great variety of restaurants & bars

Verdict: After looking at the pros and cons of each area, we will say that Dubai Marina just about edges it for the better transport connections.

Conclusion

This was certainly a close call as both areas are direct neighbours and offer their own share of great qualities. Overall, JBR finished with 2 points and Dubai Marina ended with 3.

Dubai Marina generally offers cheaper or better value for money things to do, as well as cheaper hotels, and better transport links. That being said, JBR has a convenient location with stunning views. However, you can quite easily walk down to spend a day at the beach whilst staying in Dubai Marina, as they are only around a 15 minute walk apart.

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