Hotel insider: Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa, Jumeirah Beach, Dubai

Checking in to the newly renovated Habtoor Grand on Jumeirah Beach.

Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa in Dubai. Courtesy Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa
Powered by automated translation

The welcome

When travelling from Abu Dhabi to Dubai Marina, road signage is less than specific, so after turning off into the southern part of the marina, I’m left with no option but to head onto the E11 back towards Abu Dhabi and make a U-turn at Discovery Gardens, and after following signs to JBR, waiting in lines of traffic and making a U-turn again on Al Sufouh Road, I’m finally heading up the steep ramp to the twin-tower Habtoor Grand. The entrance is crowded but staff unload the car and deftly unpack my stuff as I check in. The hotel has been newly refurbished and the lobby is fresh, with a mostly holiday atmosphere.

The neighbourhood

The Habtoor Grand sits at the northern end of Jumeirah Beach Residence, next to Le Meridien and Skydive Dubai. It has its own landscaped grounds and beach access, a swimming pool and numerous restaurants. From the hotel you can walk the entire length of Jumeirah Beach Residence, with the newly opened The Beach mall about 10 minutes away.

The scene

The hotel was busy with holidaymakers from various countries. The outside areas were more relaxing, and the hotel comes into its own in the evening, when most of the other guests disappear indoors and you can watch the sunset by the beach, followed by a swim in the pool (heated in winter). The outside of the hotel has a quirky, almost retro feel, which I liked.

The room

The rooms and corridors are freshly refurbished, with a nautical feel. The balconies are small and a bit vertigo-inducing, but I have a good view over the beach and Skydive Dubai. The back of the towers face the northern end of the marina.

The service

Very good – staff are generally well trained and proactive.

The food

The hotel has a variety of good restaurants. At Luciano’s, the Italian restaurant, the burrata cheese with a sweet balsamic tomato salad (Dh75) was fresh, tasty and authentic; the parmigiana di melanzane (Dh75) was also good and generously portioned. At Al Basha, the Arabic restaurant, the fattoush (Dh38) and hummus with meat (Dh44) were good, and the freshly baked Arabic bread was appreciated. At Fish Bazaar, which is a fish restaurant combined with a Thai restaurant, the batera tuna (Dh55) was a kind of fish cake, with tuna, avocado, rice, spicy sauce and radish salad, and good value. There is an impressive array of fresh fish and other seafood cooked to order.


The evening swim and the Elixir spa, which was low-key but fairly large, with obliging staff. The hour-long therapeutic massage (Dh495) was by a skilled Filipino therapist and left me feeling like I could take on the world. The adjacent gym is large and well-equipped.


There were three lifts in my tower but there was always a fairly long wait to get in any of them, especially at check-out time when one was out of service. Late at night in my room, I could hear other guests and staff going in and out of rooms and banging doors. There is a charge for the Wi-Fi and only two devices can be connected at once, with a login code.

The verdict

A self-contained destination for a mini, almost Mediterranean-style holiday in Dubai away from Dubai, away from roads, traffic and driving.

The bottom line

Double rooms at the Habtoor Grand (

; 04 704 8888) cost from Dh1,078 per night including taxes.

Follow us

Follow us on

for discussions, entertainment, reviews, wellness and news.