The Al Qasr is part of the Madinat Jumeirah complex, an enormous Arabian-themed souk surrounded by manmade waterways and just a hop from the beach. While the hotel is connected to the Madinat Jumeirah via the less Arabic, more Venetian means of a charming gondola, it is separated with its own grand and imperial driveway, lined with trees and glittering sculptures of horses. Sat on the Jumeirah coast, it’s next to the famous Burj Al Arab and just a couple of minutes drive from the Mall of the Emirates. The airport is about 20-25 minutes away in a taxi.
The standard Arabian Deluxe Room is a light and spacious affair, with antique regional wooden furnishings and views across the rest of the resort. Each comes with a private balcony and its own dressing area, along with less traditional offerings such as free WiFi. If you’re into comparisons, the rooms are bigger than those of Al Qasr’s sister hotel, Mina A’Salam.
The huge lobby is resplendent in Arabian lanterns and plump cushions, leading down towards a cigar lounge kitted out in similar opulence. Out around the front of the hotel, there are lush and well-kept lawns, while out back there are various pool and dining areas leading down towards the beach.
Eating and drinking
The Al Qasr’s restaurants are as highly regarded as the rest of the hotel, most considered among the city’s best in their category. Pierchic, sat at the end of a lengthy private wooden pier leading out into the water, serves some of the best fish in town in an unbeatable setting. Pai Thai, commonly regarded as Dubai’s finest South East Asian restaurant, sits by one of the (manmade) waterways and has a near flawless selection of dishes served amid suitable Thai-style designs and entertainment. Just over the waterway (in fact, you can only get their via gondola), Magnolia is an incredible and beautifully set vegetarian restaurant, with a slightly daunting menu that goes way beyond the usual nut roast. As you might imagine, all of the Al Qasr’s eateries are priced higher than most in Dubai.
The 2km private beach at the back is laden with deck chairs and staffed with attendants happy to fling towels in your direction. There are games such as table tennis available, alongside more water activities such as windsurfing, waterskiing and kayaking. The Madinat’s Talise Spa is equipped for all of your pampering needs while the Quay Healthclub offers an extensive gym plus 25-metre indoor pool. For a bit of peace and quiet, Sinbad's Kids Club should keep the little ones entertained.
The hotel is designed to look like a Sheikh's palace, and the service is of a similar standard. Each room comes with a private butler (well, you share him with 11 other rooms).
Who stays there
Both Arabian and Western visitors enjoy the Al Qasr. It's not the cheapest resort, making it often more popular with couples who still might enjoy each other's company.
The price for a standard Deluxe Room is for two adults and two children under 12, not inclusive of 10 per cent municipality fees and 10 per cent service charge. A cheaper option might be the Summer Break Package (available between May 15 and October 8), for two adults and two children under 16, with breakfast and all charges included and kids eating for free in selected restaurants if with dining adults. Alternatively, the Jumeirah Summer Board offer (not including charges), for two adults and two children under 16 includes breakfast, lunch and dinner in any of 32 restaurants. All prices include free access to Wild Wadi Water Park for all guests.
- Families with younger children
- Special occasions
Pros & Cons
- Luxurious setting
- Incredible service
- Great dining options
- Not inexpensive