The year-round sunshine and warm golden beaches, combined with the clear blue sea is a big draw for tourists going to Dubai each year. The Palm and JBR (Jumeirah Beach Residence) are two of the most visually striking locations around the city, both offering very different experiences and catering to different audiences.
But which is better for location, beaches, hotels, eating out, and nightlife? The Palm or JBR? Read on to find out!
Where is Better Located?
Both JBR and The Palm have beautiful ocean-view locations, but which is better?
JBR has the luxury of being situated at the sea’s edge of the city, with golden warm beaches overlooking the Persian Gulf. It is no wonder that it’s such a hotspot for family holidays! JBR is easily accessible from all angles of the city and is only a short 10 minute walk from the neighbouring Dubai Marina.
In terms of attractions, the JBR is home to ‘The Walk’, containing lots of shops and eating establishments, the Flying Cup, spa facilities, and of course – the beach and all of the activities that come along with it! JBR is popular for its variety of water sports to take part in too, there’s something for anyone, first timer or seasoned traveller.
The Palm is the manmade island located off the shore from Dubai. This is where you’ll find most of the renowned luxuries of the city! The backdrop is the tranquil Persian Gulf and the city located on the horizon, it’s stunning in the evening time. However, as you may have guessed, with such a peaceful isolated island, comes the downside that it’s not as accessible as the JBR. The Palm is located a 10 minute drive from the nearest inland location, Dubai Media City.
For attractions, The Palm has plenty! The most notable would probably be at the world famous Atlantis Hotel, with its various attractions including Aquaventure, The Lost Chambers Aquarium, and Dolphin Bay. There are also various malls and spa facilities around the island too, but most are located on the central trunk rather than close to many of the hotels.
This round is a close call, but we’d say The Palm wins for the isolated and peaceful scenery. However, JBR wins the round for its accessibility as it is closer to the city and there is a good range of accessible attractions.
To find out more about Atlantis and all of its things to do, see our guide specifically on Atlantis!
Where Has Better Hotels?
To judge the hotels, we will look at a top rated and best value 4 star and 5 star hotel from each area.
The top rated 4 star hotel for JBR is the perfect family retreat, the JA Oasis Beach Tower which features an outdoor pool, a poolside bar, a fitness centre, and a spa. A standard room for 2 adults will cost around 447 AED.
The top rated 4 star hotel for The Palm is the trendy The Retreat Palm Dubai MGallery which features pools, a fitness centre, a poolside bar, and a spa. A standard room per night costs approximately 462 AED.
The best value 4 star hotel for JBR is the classy Hilton Dubai The Walk, which features an outdoor pool, a games room, a poolside and rooftop bar, a children’s playground and pool, and a spa. A standard room costs on average 846 AED per night.
The best value 4 star hotel for The Palm is the modern and vibrant, Aloft Palm Jumeirah which features a pool, the beach, a poolside and rooftop bar, a snack bar, and a fitness centre. A standard room costs 324 AED per night for 2 adults.
The top rated 5 star hotel for JBR is the trendy and scenic Rixos Premium Dubai whose facilities include an outdoor and children’s pool, a swimup and poolside bar, a beach, a sauna and fitness centre, a children’s playground, and a spa. A standard room will cost around 1,900 AED per night for 2 adults.
The top rated 5 star hotel for The Palm is the classic and romantic One&Only The Palm which features outdoor and private pools, the beach, a fitness centre, a poolside bar, and a spa. A standard room costs 2,700 AED per night for 2 adults.
The best value 5 star hotel for the JBR is the serene JA Ocean View Hotel whose facilities include an outside pool, a beach, a sauna and fitness centre, a poolside bar, a children’s play area, and a spa. A standard room will cost about 411 AED per night for 2 adults.
The best value 5 star hotel for The Palm is the Royal Central Hotel The Palm which features the beach, a pool, a poolside bar, and a spa. A standard room will cost on average 462 AED per night.
Overall, it is clear to see that hotels around JBR cater more towards families whereas The Palm tends to be more about luxury appearances. However, just by looking at prices and the types of facilities, we would say that JBR tends to offer more variety at a lesser cost, but they both provide different experiences.
Where Has a Better Nightlife?
To assess where has the best nightlife, we shall have a look at what types of nightlife each offers, and which has the best reviews.
For Jumierah Beach Residence, there is a nice range of different nightlife spots depending on your preferences. There are classy lounges, energetic nightclubs, peaceful sky bars, and classic bars. What we particularly love about the JBR bars is that they each have their own characters, from a street style to Irish pubs. We feel that there is enough variety here to please most tastes. Generally most establishments hold between 3.5 and 4.5 star reviews.
As for The Palm, the nightlife tends to be more extravagant and high class with there generally being lounges, bars or nightclubs. This is perhaps pleasant if you’re looking for a quieter get-together or to celebrate a special occasion. But, as you’d expect, the prices are quite high so be prepared for a costly night! We’d say there isn’t as much variety on The Palm as there is at the JBR as it tends to be more luxurious than characteristic. Reviews for nightlife across The Palm tend to vary between 2 and 4 stars.
Overall, we’d say that JBR has the better nightlife due to the variety of places and the character to the different establishments.
Where Has Better Beaches?
Beaches are where so many of us love to relax by the sound of the crashing waves upon the shore, so which has the better beaches, Jumeirah Beach Residence or The Palm?
JBR‘s most well-known beach is literally called “The Beach”. Here you’ve got all sorts of activities going on plus distant views of the fabulous Ain Dubai (largest Ferris wheel in the world). The seawater in particular is often well praised for being kept clean and clear, with the beaches being well looked after. Across the beaches, you can find all sorts of water sports to have a go at including flyboarding, jetpacks, parasailing, snorkelling, and jet skis! If you’re really feeling up to it, there is the AquaFun inflatable water park for you to spend hours of entertainment on! There are always plenty of cafes and restaurants nearby too for a quick lunch or a dinner to unwind with.
On the other hand, The Palm is home to some equally stunning beaches. But one thing to note is that there are a lot of private beaches owned by the hotels. Even more, you can enjoy a day at the Aquaventure Waterpark and hang out on the beach there afterwards! Around The Palm, you can take part in water-based activities including sailing, kayaking, speedboats, and jet skis. As always, there are all sorts of bars and restaurants located around the beaches, especially as there are hotels all around.
Overall, we would say that JBR offers the best beaches in terms of accessibility, activities, and for concerns over privately owned beaches.
JBR vs The Palm for Eating Out?
According to TripAdvisor, there are 211 restaurants within 0.3 miles of JBR and 62 restaurants within 0.75 miles of The Palm. We are going to take a look at what variety of restaurants and places to eat there are, and how their prices differ.
JBR has a great range of restaurants including American, European, Brazilian, barbecues, pubs, Moroccan, Mediterranean, Asian, Lebanese, Arabic, Vietnamese, and Italian cuisines. These eateries also have a good range in prices from inexpensive up to fineries. We’d say if there could be any improvements, maybe a few more cheap basic places due to the family area.
On the other hand, The Palm also has a good selection of cuisines including Italian, European, Indian, Steakhouses, African, Mediterranean, Chinese, Asian, Brazilian, French, Lebanese, Mexican, and Australian. The eateries follow on suit and have a good range of prices from inexpensive up to fineries. We’d say if there were any improvements, maybe some more pub-style places to eat or barbecues.
Overall, we feel that there is a good variety of restaurants and prices at both locations. We feel that JBR could have some more Indian style cuisine and The Palm could have more pub-style menus. Because of this, we will call this round a tie.
To conclude, we have a clear winner when it comes to Location, Hotels, Eating Out, Nightlife and Beaches. JBR takes the crown comfortably!
Although The Palm offers a luxury holiday and stunning beaches with a great variety of food, we felt that JBR is more accessible, has more variation in nightlife, more inclusive hotels, and better beaches overall.