A Selection of Extremes
The UAE has one of the most dramatic ranges in hotel possibilities. It is most well known for some of it's outlandishly impressive and expense resort hotel facilities. Perhaps most famous is the lavish Burf al-Arab, The Tower of the Arabs. This is the famed sail shaped resort in Dubai that is also one of the city's most famous landmarks. It's commonly referred to as the "7-star hotel," despite the fact that this is not an official category. Although not as famous, and not nearly as expensive, The Emirates Palace is in Abu Dhabi and attempts to emulate its more famed neighbor.
If you're not among the rich and famous, there are many other options throughout the UAE. You can make yourself comfortable in some mid-range accommodation and there is also a nice selection of budget accommodation. Like elsewhere, the quality can be dramatically variable so make sure you understand what you're getting into before you commit.
Looking Beyond the Luxurious
The United Arab Emirates is most known for its extravagantly expensive hotels and resorts, but it also has a good selection of budget accommodation for those not ready to spend their life savings on a room. If you're looking for the best deals do some research ahead of time. The rooms and facilities are of variable quality, so read reviews before you commit. Booking in advance is a great way to get the best deal as well. Consider finding accommodation that comes equipped with a kitchen and you will be able to save some money on your food expenses. While you may pay a little more for the room, you'll cut costs that accrue from eating out and if you are going to be in the UAE for any extended period of time you'll be happy to have the opportunity to have a home cooked meal.
From the Famous to the Affordable
The most famed accommodation in the United Arab Emirates is in Dubai. Burj al-Arab is located on an artificial island near Jumeirah beach and is connected to the mainland by a bridge. It is the world's fourth tallest hotel, standing at over 1000 feet tall and is designed to look like the sail of a ship. In Abu Dhabi there is The Emirates Palace, which opened in 2005. It is a more "affordable" option to its Dubai counterpart.
Elsewhere in the United Arab Emirates you will find many different hotel options. It is possible to find budget accommodation, but realize that the quality can vary dramatically. There are also many mid-range hotels that are comfortable but not extravagant. And of course, for the luxury traveler, there are many options besides the Burj al-Arab and The Emirates Palace. Anybody should be able to find a place that meets their needs.
In the past there was a much greater demand for hotels than there was supply. This lack of competition drove prices up dramatically, but in recent years the supply has increased and the price has dropped as well. Now you can find five star hotels for less than US$150 during the low season. In the UAE the peak months of travel are between September and May while the low season is between June and August. This is when prices will be at a minimum.
Most of the budget options in Dubai come in the form of small hotels. They offer basic rooms, some with little more than a bed. Some places include breakfast in the price, while others do not. These modest hotels will cost you about US$75 dollars. There are a small handful of hostels available as well that are slightly cheaper.
Mid-range hotels in Dubai can be quite nice. You can choose from apartments to boutique style hotels and even some major western chain hotels. If you're hoping to splurge a little during your trip you will have plenty of opportunity to do that as well, even if you don't wish to stay at the Burj al-Arab.
While the price of hotels in Dubai seems to be falling, the price in Abu Dhabi is climbing. In the past you could expect to pay about half as much for a room in Abu Dhabi as you did in Dubai, but no more. There are still deals to be found, but you can expect prices to be almost as much as they are Dubai. Still, you can expect a high quality of accommodation throughout the city. Many of the hotels have nice and elegant restaurants attached where you can enjoy a fine dining experience. Some also have nice, resort like pools, and the rooms are often quite lavish.
If you're looking for a more simple and budget style hotel, there are a few of those around as well. Some of the older hotels offer rooms at a fraction of the cost of the newer options. If you're in the area during the low season, summer months you can expect to find some good deals as well. Do some research online and you'll be surprised at the wide range of options that are available to you. Whether you're looking for the most basic budget hotel or the most luxurious five star resort, you will find that the owners take great pride in the condition of their facility.