If you’ve landed on this review, then lucky you! Here we take a look at two of the best and most debated hotels in the whole of the UAE to find out which is better, Emirates Palace or Burj Al Arab. Here we take a look at everything from location & scenery to value for money in our full review of Emirates Palace vs Burj Al Arab.
However, it was a really close call, so check out our in depth face-off below…
Location & Scenery
First up, the Emirates Palace is certainly a sight of grandeur! Located along West Corniche Road in the heart of Abu Dhabi, it boasts a beach backdrop with breath-taking views of the Marina from the side.
The Emirates Palace truly does resemble a palace with extravagant gardens out the front, which look stunning when illuminated in the evening! Due to the location, it is at the edge of the land, but close to the core of the city. Emirates Palace is located right beside the beach, so you won’t have to worry about scouring for the nearest one!
It is a 30 minute walk or 5 minute drive from the Marina Mall, and a 20 minute drive from big attractions like the Grand Mosque. Abu Dhabi International Airport is just a 40 minute drive.
The Burj Al Arab is one of the most renowned hotels in Dubai and boasts a completely different appearance to Emirates Palace. Burj Al Arab has a lot more of a modern and streamlined sail appearance compared to the Emirates Palace regal and traditional look.
The Burj Al Arab is a mini island in itself, located just off the shore of the beloved Jumeirah beach, so the views can look in towards the city or out uninterrupted across the Persian Gulf. Once again, there is a beach right on your doorstep and plenty of nearby attractions, such as Souk Madinat and Wild Wadi Water Park.
The Burj Al Arab is a mere 10 minute walk or 5 minute drive from The Mall Jumeirah, and a 20 minute drive from attractions like the Burj Khalifa in Downtown Dubai. Dubai International Airport is a 25 minute drive.
Overall, both hotels offer a completely different style, but at the core they are both located right beside the beach and in a fair proximity to other attractions and the airport. Both hotels are easily accessible and each offer incredible views and scenic backdrops. However, the Burj Al Arab is taller, and offers unrivalled views of Downtown Dubai, Jumeirah Beach, The Palm and the ocean.
Price of a Standard Room
Next we compare Emirates Palace and the Burj Al Arab on Trivago to see which offers the most affordable standard rooms for 2 adults for one night throughout the year.
|Burj Al Arab
Overall, there is a clear divide in the costs between both hotels giving a clear winner.
Which Hotel Has the Best Food Options?
With luxury hotels, comes luxury dining! Here we will take a look at whether the Burj Al Arab or the Emirates Palace has the best food. We will also be looking at what their TripAdvisor rating is.
Emirates Palace has 8 different places to eat and drink:
- Le Café has a huge selection of food and drink, including breakfast food, pastries, cakes, sandwiches, salads, and milkshakes. Prices range from 29 AED to 930 AED. Rated 4.5/5 on TripAdvisor.
- Le Vendôme is an all-day dining restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Food ranges from traditional Middle Eastern to Italian and French cuisine. Prices vary between 32 AED to 1,445 AED. Rated 4.5/5 on TripAdvisor.
- Martabaan hosts delicious Indian dining. Prices are 150 AED per person for a 3 course meal. Rated 5/5 on TripAdvisor.
- Hakkasan is a luxury and contemporary dining experience featuring various Asian cuisines. Prices vary from 20 AED to 46,906 AED. Rated 4.5/5 on TripAdvisor
- Breeze Lounge is a spot offering light bites with views overlooking the blissful sea! Prices range from 32 AED to 2,715 AED. Rated 4.5/5 on TripAdvisor.
- Cascades is the Greek themed restaurant located right by the pool’s edge! Prices vary from 30 AED to 385 AED. Rated 4.5/5 on TripAdvisor.
- BBQ Al Qasr is a seaside restaurant, also voted the “Most Romantic Restaurant in Abu Dhabi”. Prices range from 26 AED to 2,715 AED. Rated 4.5/5 on TripAdvisor.
- The Lebanese as implied serves Lebanese cuisine whilst offering a range of extras. Prices vary between 30 AED and 225 AED. Rated 3.5/5 on TripAdvisor.
As for Burj Al Arab, there are 9 different places to dine:
- Sahn Eddar is an Arabic lounge to catch lunch or afternoon tea. Prices range from 35 AED to 5,800 AED. Rated 4.5/5 on TripAdvisor.
- Al Iwan serves Arabic cuisine for a casual version of dining. Rated 4.5/5 on TripAdvisor.
- Al Mahara has a view and half! Looking out at the aquarium, Al Mahara serves seafood. Prices range from 95 AED to 4,500 AED. Rated 4.5/5 on TripAdvisor.
- Bab Al Yam serves European cuisine in a casual dining environment. Rated 4.5/5 on TripAdvisor.
- Gold On 27 is a glitzy golden bar with city views. Prices vary between 38 AED and 10,500 AED. Rated 4.5/5 on TripAdvisor.
- Junsui serves an array of East Asian cuisine in a casual dining format. Rated 4.5/5 on TripAdvisor.
- Skyview Bar & Restaurant is located right at the top of the hotel, serving primarily beverages. Prices range between 38 AED and 65,000 AED. Rated 4.5/5 on TripAdvisor.
- Sal serves Southern Mediterranean cuisine whilst overlooking the Arabic Gulf. Prices vary between 35 AED and 82,000 AED! Rated 4/5 on TripAdvisor.
- Al Muntaha is also located at the top of the hotel, in a romantic fine dining atmosphere. Prices range from 38 AED to 8,900 AED. Rated 4/5 on Trip Advisor.
To determine which is the best here, we will take a look at the average rating of all of each hotel’s restaurants. Emirates Palace comes out at 4.44 and Burj Al Arab comes out at 4.39.
Which Has the Best Pools?
Next we take a look at which has more and better pools, Emirates Palace or Burj Al Arab?
Emirates Palace has 2 pools on site. The Cascades Adventure Pool is perfect for families as it has a Lazy River, two water slides, waterfalls, and an activities area for the little ones! You’ve got hours to enjoy this area as it is open from 7am until sunset.
The other pool is the Las Brisas Leisure Pool which is a great one for you to relax and unwind beside or enjoy the Jacuzzi under the gazebo, the 3 bubble pools, or treat yourself to the swim‐up pool bar!
Burj Al Arab has 2 refreshing pools on its renowned terrace overlooking the sea. The area contains a fresh water pool which has a shaded swim up bar in the middle for easy access. There is also a salt water infinity pool which borders the stunning Arabian Gulf. You’ve also got four Jacuzzis to choose from for you to relax in and treat yourself to!
This is a difficult round to determine as both hotels bring something different and individual to the table. However, due to the variation in offerings, we will say Emirates Palace wins this one by a hairline!
Which Has The Best Rooms?
Now let us take a look at the rooms on offer at both hotels to see which has the best.
First up, Emirates Palace, with 7 different room types:
- Coral Room is a spacious 55m² room and features a regal Arab interior with views of the gardens outside plus a private balcony or terrace. The Pearl Room is 55m² and contains a private terrace or balcony which overlooks the pool areas with views of Abu Dhabi.
- Diamond Room is also 55m² and offers stunning views of the Gulf from a private balcony or terrace.
- Khaleej Suite is 110m² and offers contemporary grand décor, a bathroom with your own Jacuzzi, and refreshing sea views from your own balcony or terrace.
- Khaleej Deluxe Suite is 165m² and offers wide views of the glistening Arabian Gulf.
- Pearl Palace Suite is 140m² and has a contemporary design with an entertainment centre, a presidential bathroom, a large bath, and a Jacuzzi.
- Royal Khaleej Suite is 275m² and has a stunning regal interior with gold ornaments, silks and even Swarovski crystal chandeliers. It also has a Jacuzzi and open views of the sea.
- Two Bedroom Palace Suite is 460 m² and has an opulent bathroom with an oversized bath, and Jacuzzi. There is also a hi-tech entertainment centre, a personal butler, and a large private terrace. Lastly, the Three Bedroom Palace Suite is 680m², a room made for a king or queen! It has a large living area, three bedrooms, a large private terrace and a dining room complete with a pantry. It also has a large bathroom with a Jacuzzi.
Next, The Burj Al Arab with its huge amount of room type choice, 11 in fact:
- Deluxe Marina Suite is a contemporary 170m² room with a full-size Jacuzzi and ocean views.
- Deluxe Palm Suite is 170m² with a Jacuzzi, and offers peaceful views of the Palm.
- Sky Marina Suite is a 170m² room with a Jacuzzi, perched at the top of the hotel to offer breath-taking ocean views.
- Sky Palm Suite is a 170m² room with a Jacuzzi, having high up views of the Dubai Marina and Palm Jumeirah.
- Panoramic Suite is a blissful 225m² contemporary room with a Jacuzzi, offering Dubai or ocean views.
- Club One Bedroom Suite is 330m² with a master bathroom, a Jacuzzi, an in-suite bar, and a snooker table, sporting ocean views.
- Burj Two Bedroom Family Suite is 335m² and comes with an in-suite play area, a Jacuzzi, various TVs, and ocean views.
- Deluxe Two Bedroom Suite is 335m² and comes with ocean views, two bedrooms, a private kitchen and a separate guest bathroom.
- Burj Three Bedroom Family Suite is 670m² with an in-suite bar, a private butler’s kitchen, an in-suite play area and three living areas.
- Diplomatic Three Bedroom Suite is 670m² with an in-suite bar, separate dining room, three large bathrooms and Jacuzzis with ocean views.
- Presidential Two Bedroom Suite is 667m² and comes with a piano, private library, private bar, a world class butler service, and a 3,000 AED Resort Credit!
Overall, the Burj Al Arab has more room types on offer, and we would say offer better views too. Whether you’re looking for a view of the ocean, Jumeirah Beach or Downtown Dubai; Burj Al Arab can offer it due to the location and height of the hotel.
The rooms at Emirates Palace are still fantastic, but the views cannot rival those at The Burj Al Arab, plus we would say the decor at The Burj Al Arab is more polished in comparison to that of Emirates Palace.
Things to do
Let’s take a look at what facilities each hotel has and which are better.
At Emirates Palace you can find the Lazy River at the pools as well as the water slides, which make for a great touch depending on whether you’re seeking adrenaline or a fun way to relax. The hotel also prominently features sporting activities including a football pitch with flood lighting, a cricket pitch, floodlit tennis courts, the Mexican sport Padel, beach volleyball, jogging and cycling trails, and yoga.
As well as these, Emirates Palace has complimentary access to a selection of water sports including sailing, paddle boarding, kayaking, water-skiing, wind surfing, and wakeboarding. There’s also a children’s club and playground to keep your children entertained!
At the Burj Al Arab you can find all sorts of different experiences. For animal lovers, you can find The Turtle Rehabilitation Sanctuary where you can meet rescued sea turtles before they are released back into the wild as part of the programme. For the adrenaline seekers, you can rent a supercar trip or a chauffeur service in a range of luxury cars including an Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Rolls-Royce and BMW.
Also for adrenaline seekers there is complimentary access to the Wild Wadi Waterpark which is located just opposite the hotel, so you don’t have to worry about planning your route! You can also enjoy your own private yacht experience with the charter service. There is also a Kids Club at the hotel for the little ones.
This is a tough round to judge as the Emirates Palace has more sports based activities, but the Burj Al Arab offers a lot of different types of experience based activities.
Which Hotel Has Better Value for Money?
Looking back over everything so far, the Burj Al Arab is a very expensive place to stay, so do the facilities justify it? This is difficult as despite the Wild Wadi Waterpark and The Turtle Rehabilitation Sanctuary, most of the experiences require an additional spend.
Emirates Palace stays cost in some cases 1/5th of the price to stay in Burj Al Arab. Emirates Palace offers enough to keep you interested onsite and is near to the rest of the city should you want to venture out more.
For the huge price difference, it’s hard to say whether the Burj Al Arab is truly worth it, so for value for money, there is only one winner.
Emirates Palace or Burj Al Arab?
It’s extremely close, but after comparing these two incredible hotels for Location, Price, Food, Pools, Rooms, Things to do and Value for Money, Emirates Palace wins by 4 points to 3.