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Review of Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai

Posted By Gary Whelan and Julie Smith on 15 September 2013


Julie added in September 2013

Popped in on the Madinat Jumeirah  - its vast on arriaval but loved the Arabic in design, feeling so much more authentic than some of the other hotels I visited which had a bland 'international' feel.



Gary's full review, September 2012

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In the land of relative excesses it is hard to differentiate from one luxury hotel to another but the Madinat Jumeirah is unique, being surrounded by rather lovely and cooling waterways. The main way to travel between facilities and the hotels is along the waterways on simple boats called Abra which have designated stopping points much like bus stops.

It took me a while to get my head around the 3 different hotels but fundamentally the Mina A’Salem and the Al Qasr are very similar. Each has just under 300 rooms and suites and even the room names and categories are the same, as appeared to be the price.

This is looking across the water - you can see the style of boats that ferry you around - to the Al Qasr Hotel.

Choosing between the two hotels for a family holiday? Both offer luxury and it probably doesn’t matter but perhaps for families with younger children who intend to use the kid’s club might be better staying at the Al Qasr as Sinbad’s the children’s club is located here. Mina A’Salem on the other hand is slightly closer to the Wild Wadi Waterpark, all guests staying at the Madinat Jumeirah get complimentary entry, and so it probably depends what your family holiday priorities are!

The third hotel, the Dar Al Masyaf is totally different. It is collection of buildings or ‘traditional summerhouses’ each built around a courtyard with perhaps 6-8 rooms or suites in each with its own reception and small bar. They are luxurious and the service can be more personable but I wasn’t sure for family holidays how well it would work. It did feel quieter and the ambience would probably largely depend on other guests staying in your building.

This is a top class hotel as you would expect – the food was delicious and the breakfast buffet is probably excessive, the rooms are lavish, the facilities of course including Wild Wadi plus the health centre are all exceptional. There is even a central Souk with over 70 outlets, not your usual few boutique shops in a hotel.

I didn't warm to the Madinat Jumeirah as much as I did to some of the other family friendly hotels. Perhaps it was just overwhelming and I did have a slight reservation that the novelty of getting around by boat with kids might wear off quickly. It is hot and like a taxi or a bus you have to wait if the first one is full, plus a bit of a hassle with a buggy but otherwise, apart of course from the lack of individuality that is Dubai, I am not sure why as it is hard to fault the Madinat Jumeirah.

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