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The Palm or Dubai Marina – Best Place to Stay?

The Palm or Dubai Marina - Where is Best to Stay | The Vacation Builder

When you’re considering visiting Dubai you will find that you’re spoilt for choice on area’s to stay.

Whether you’re looking at JBR, Downtown Dubai, Jumeirah, The Palm or Dubai Marina; each place has it’s own advantages and is so very different from the other.

That’s why we put together comparisons of each area to stay in Dubai to help travellers make the best decision based on their needs.

Today we face off Palm Jumeirah & Dubai Marina to see which is in the best location, where has the best beaches, things to do, hotels, accessibility & nightlife.


The Palm or Dubai Marina - Best Place to Stay | Locations | The Vacation Builder

As you can see from our map, The Palm & Dubai Marina are quite close together. Palm Jumeirah takes no describing as one of the largest man made islands in the world. Dubai Marina is situated just behind Jumeirah Beach Residence.

Both area’s are just 30 minutes away from Dubai International Airport and so there’s no advantage for either there. Another advantage for both area’s is the close proximity to Jumeirah Beach Residence. A ten minute walk from Dubai Marina or a 10 minute taxi ride from The Palm will have you there.

JBR is probably one of the best area’s to visit as a tourist with the beach, shops, restaurants, hotels and plenty of things to do along The Walk.

When it comes to scenery, Palm Jumeirah overlooks the Arabian Gulf and allows its visitors incredible sunrise and sunset views. On top of this, the further you stay at the top of The Palm the better the view is of the city skyline of Dubai too.

Over to Dubai Marina and you will be wowed by the incredible architecture of many of the hotels, shops and offices which surround the water. Dubai Marina comes alive at night when the lights from the towering buildings reflect off the water.

When it comes to which has the best location, both offer something different, but for us, Dubai Marina edges it due to the close proximity to JBR and the Dubai Metro for getting around the rest of the city.

Verdict: Dubai Marina


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

When we think about beaches for these two it’s obvious to see that Dubai Marina doesn’t have a beach. However, for the purpose of this comparison we will use The Beach at JBR which is just a ten minute walk away.

The Palm Jumeirah has just one public beach (Palm West Beach), as the other areas of beach are privately owned by the hotels.

Even though most hotels at Palm Jumeirah have their own private stretches of beach, you cannot look beyond JBR as one of the best beach destinations in Dubai. The Beach at JBR has something for everyone and every age.

Verdict: Dubai Marina

Things to do

One of the most important aspects of choosing your area on vacation are the things to do there.

Top 5 Things to do on Palm Jumeirah

Aquaventure Water Park110AED
Lost Chambers Aquarium110AED
The Pointe Mall N/A
RIVA Beach Club From 75AED
Brunch at Anantara 365AED

Top 5 Things to do in Dubai Marina

Dubai Marina MallN/A
Dhow Dinner CruisesFrom 125AED
Visit The Walk @ JBRN/A
Yacht RentalVaries
Drinks & Dinner at many Rooftop BarsVaries

The Marina is great for evening strolls, dinner cruises and drinks from the many choices of rooftop bars with a view. However, unless you take a walk into JBR there aren’t too many things to do. Palm Jumeirah has more of a pull when we compare the two.

Verdict: The Palm

The Palm vs Dubai Marina – Hotels

The Palm or Dubai Marina - Where is Better to Stay? Hotels - Dubai Marina | The Vacation Builder
Dubai Marina – Hotels at Night

The general standard of hotels all across Dubai is very high. There aren’t many in the city which have a bad rating.

Let’s first have a look at hotel prices in both areas by choosing the top 3 ranking hotels according to Trip Advisor and their average nightly rate.

Hotels on Palm Jumeirah

HotelTripAdvisor RatingAverage Cost Per Night
Sofitel The Palm 4.5/5 1,315AED
Rixos The Palm 4.5/5 2,520AED
Fairmont The Palm 4.5/5 1,415AED

Hotels in Dubai Marina

HotelTripAdvisor RatingAverage Cost Per Night
Address Dubai Marina5/52,115AED
Rove Dubai Marina5/5555AED
Crowne Plaza5/5970AED

When we look at TripAdvisor ratings and average prices, Dubai Marina presents the best value hotels out of the two areas.

However, there is another aspect to consider which is facilities. The hotels in Dubai Marina do not have their own private beaches like the hotels on Palm Jumeirah. Another thing to consider would be things to do. Many of the hotels on The Palm have a variety of things to do for all ages. Whereas hotels in Dubai Marina are mainly targeted around cost effective rooms with rooftop pools and bars.

If you’re looking for budget city skyscrapers with incredible views then look no further than Dubai Marina. However, Palm Jumeirah is home to some of the best beach hotels in the world with incredible facilities.

Verdict: Tie

Accessibility & Proximity to Other Areas

Both area’s have good transport links and are within half an hour from Dubai International Airport.

Dubai Marina’s main advantage is that it is closer to JBR than The Palm, whereas The Palm boasts an advantage of being close to the main Jumeirah Area, featuring Jumeirah Beach, Souk Madinat & Wild Wadi Water Park.

Although The Palm has less transport links than Dubai Marina, The Palm Monorail is a great way to get around and also gives its passengers some fantastic views of the island too. For those staying at Dubai Marina, the metro is just footsteps away.

Verdict: Tie


When it comes to nightlife, Dubai Marina is one of the best places to stay. The area features tens of rooftop bars and swanky restaurants all within walking distance of one another.

Over to The Palm and you will get some fantastic beach clubs which party on well into the sunset; however, you’re going to need a taxi to jump between them as they can be quite spread apart. Furthermore, most of the places you will need to pay an entry fee as they’re mainly featured at hotels.

Dubai Marina on the other hand has many options where walk-ins are available so less need to plan your night and just go with the flow!

Verdict: Dubai Marina


When you consider staying at Palm Jumeirah you can be easily blinded by the luxury hotels and incredible private beaches, and rightly so! However, when you take a deep dive into all of the important aspects of a vacation you can see that Dubai Marina in fact presents the best option of the two!

Ultimately the choice is your own depending on your requirements but we hope our comparison has helped you make the right choice! Overall, any vacation to Dubai is bound to be a good one!

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