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Half board worth it?

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Cardiff, United...
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Half board worth it?

Hi,

My husband and I are off to Dubai in August. We haven't booked yet, but have decided to stay in the Jumeriah beach area. At the moment the two hotels we've narrowed down are the Sheraton and the Habtoor resort. We have never visited before and therefore have no idea about the cost of food and drinks. Just wondering if anyone has any advice on possibly spending more for a hotel to include half board option? Or did anyone opt for it and then regret it? If we book without half board we're looking for the hotel to cost no more than £1000 between us for 10 nights, or up to £1700-1800 between us including half board (all excluding flights!).

Many thanks in advance for any advice!

Here and there
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for Dubai, Pissouri
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1. Re: Half board worth it?

Of the two hotels then Habtour is in a marginally better location for moving around the city. It is at the city end of Jumeirah Beach Walk and you also have the marina just across the road.

It's important to understand that in August walking for more then a few hundred yards is very uncomfortable and so you will need to take taxis, even if it is just to the nearest metro station - which is around 10 minutes walk from Habtour or 20 mnutes walk from Sheraton.

Have a look at this map of the city. It's not to scale and distances are further than they appear but everything is on one page, you can zoom in and out and you can see where the main attractions are.

…bigbustours.com/UploadedFiles/DUBAI_DAY_TOU…

The Sheraton is as far as you can up to the top right of the map and still be on the beach, the Habtour is close to the entrance to the marina just above the palm island.

Dubai is not expensive to eat out and there is so much choice (from cheap to high end) that for me it is a shame to tie yourself to the buffet in the same hotel for 10 nights - I would only ever do half board in Dubai if I got it free and that way I wouldn't mind missing it to eat out on several nights. I definitely would pay for it so it may be worth searching some of the agents that are offering it free - August is also low season in Dubai so often agents have deals to entice guests.

Alcohol is expensive in Dubai but not much more so than drinking in a 5* hotel in the UK - you will find that restaurants in hotels are licensed but those outside hotels or in malls are not.

Edited: 01 April 2014, 21:41
Cardiff, United...
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2. Re: Half board worth it?

Thanks for your detailed reply, very helpful! One reason I'm reluctant about half board is because I don't want to be tied to one hotel.

Are you able to visit any hotels and use their restaurants, or are some for guests only?

We have stayed in Vegas a few times in August. Has anyone done both Dubai and Vegas to compare the heat? We were fine in Vegas, although admittedly didn't walk far in the days, so hoping we will be ok in Dubai.

Thanks!

Here and there
Destination Expert
for Dubai, Pissouri
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3. Re: Half board worth it?

You are free to go in any hotel you want to use their restaurants and bars. For some of the higher end restaurants, especially on Thursday or Friday night you will need to book. Bars are busier on those nights too.

If you want to go in any restaurant or bar in Burj al arab then you definitely have to book as you can't get past the security gates without a booking.

I have been to both Dubai and Vegas, although neither in August so my only comparison month is May.

The heat in Vegas is dry and in Dubai it isn't the 40+ oC heat that is the issue but the 100% humidity that makes it uncomfortable in August. All restaurants have their outside terraces closed in August so you'll be eating indoors.

Cardiff, United...
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4. Re: Half board worth it?

Thanks for your help. Hopefully we'll cope with the heat: August is the only time we can go so I guess we'll have to! In the days we are only planning on lounging by the pool anyway. We'll bear it in mind not to plan to walk far in the evenings either.

Thanks again :-)

England
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5. Re: Half board worth it?

Hi we stayed at the Habtoor a couple of years ago and had Breakfast only included and I have to say was not the best breakfast Ive had in Dubai, so judging on that I probably would'nt opt for the Half board option, we are actually coming to Dubai in June but staying at the Le Royal Meridian next door and we are doing half board, but my partner has stayed here before and done HB and he said was very good. We found it very busy at the Habtoor everywhere at Breakfast and around the pool, it was search the sunbed, so I hope its not as busy when you go if you choose to stay here.

Cardiff, United...
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6. Re: Half board worth it?

Thanks for your reply. We are now thinking about staying at the Zabeel Saray half board instead. Anyone have any thoughts on this? It has very good reviews on trip advisor :-)

Staffordshire...
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7. Re: Half board worth it?

The Zabeel Saray is on the palm so not really very convenient for commuting.

If you're specifically looking for the Jumeirah group of hotels then look at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel or the Mina A Salam. They are next door to each other and in a much better position. For a photo opportunity the Burj Al Arab is opposite and you have the Souk Madinat to wander around during the evening with lots of places to eat at. If you take this option I'd only go for B&B. You can always opt to have a meal in the hotel and just pay extra which will save you tieing yourself down and feeling as though you have to eat there if you pay for half board.

southampton u.k
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8. Re: Half board worth it?

We are off to the Zabeel Saray again in October. It's a fantastic hotel and the half board option should be 'free' if you book via ba or other airline holidays. True it's about a 20 minute ride into the city but there is a courtesy bus which takes you to other hotels in the group to eat.

A tip when booking- look at the ba overnight flight out. You get to the hotel by 9 am, dump your bags and straight into the beach.I know you lose a night there but its cheaper (over £300) because of it. You miss your meals anyway on the day flight. Being an evening flight out of London means you can have a lazy half day in bed before you leave home.

Enjoy your holiday.

DxB
Destination Expert
for Dubai
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9. Re: Half board worth it?

B&B deal is better than half board or AI. Dubai has an outstanding range of international cuisine it would be a shame not to take a advantage of it.

Some restaurants in JBR and Marina Walk will still have their terraces open during the summer. Many have mist fans and some have outdoor, portable ACs.

U.K
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10. Re: Half board worth it?

Le Royal Meridien is good for Half Board as you can eat in any of their restaurants and have an allowance or free to eat in buffett, but...I'd only do it if free. Too many fab places to eat out at.