Madinat Jumeirah is a huge residential, hotel and commercial complex, one of the largest in the United Arab Emirates thanks to its 40 hectares, and was conceived, designed and built to recreate a typical Arab city.
The entire complex is home to two boutique hotels: Al Qasr, which literally means “the palace” and Mina A’Salam, which instead means “the harbour of peace”, and a structure consisting of 29 holiday homes called Dar Al Masyaf with gardens and a private beach, as well as more than 40 bars and restaurants to suit all budgets.
The design of the Madinat Jumeirah was the work of Creative Kingdom, a studio born out of an American and Emirati collaboration. The project became reality in 36 months of hard work, and the inauguration of the complex took place in September 2003.
The architects’ basic concept was to recreate life as it was for the inhabitants of the Creek area before Dubai became what it is today. Hence the reason why Madinat Jumeirah is built on canals and ponds, where some of the abra make the tourists, especially the more lazy ones who do not care to reach the real Creek, experience a typically Arabian experience.
Madinat Jumeirah comprises three luxury hotels but the thousands of tourists who visit the complex every day are certainly not guests of these establishments. There are numerous attractions for all, first and foremost the numerous shops: Madinat Jumeirah can in fact be seen as ‘just’ a shopping centre, in which a typical souk has been recreated and where there is certainly no shortage of shopping opportunities.
The ambience has been built with maniacal attention to detail, in full Arabian style, the shopping arcade runs both indoors and outdoors and the goods on sale are often very valuable: they range from fabrics to perfumes, from jewellery to prints and books.
The different areas of Madinat Jumeirah are connected by no less than 5.4 kilometres of canals, rivers and bodies of water, and a number of water taxis, fake abras designed as a tourist attraction – but taking a ride is very expensive – allow guests to reach all areas of the complex. The water arrives directly from the sea, is pumped at one end of the resort and flows back into the sea at the other.
In these canals there is also a sea turtle hospital, set up for the purpose of housing injured turtles before returning them to the open sea.
The walk along the canals is lined with numerous bars and restaurants: the outdoor tables give the whole complex a truly delightful atmosphere, although eating here is rather expensive. But dining with a magnificent view of the Burj Al Arab towering majestically between the wind towers, palm trees and waterways is truly an unforgettable experience.
As mentioned, there are three hotels in the entire Madinat Jumeirah complex. The first to be opened was the Mina A’Salam, which has 292 rooms and suites, while Al Qasr has 294 rooms and was designed inspired by a sheikh’s summer residence.
Both are luxury hotels equipped with all comforts, the rooms are furnished with care and attention to detail and the services provided will satisfy even the most demanding guests.
The Dar Al Masyaf holiday home complex, on the other hand, consists of 29 independent two-storey villas, inspired by typical Arabian summer houses. Each of the 29 accommodations has between 9 and 11 rooms and is surrounded by a lush garden; some of them are located directly by the sea, and wealthy guests have the option of a private butler 24 hours a day.
Madinat Jumeirah is located in the Jumeirah district along two kilometres of private beach, adjacent to the Burj Al Arab, the Jumeirah Beach Hotel and the Wild Wadi Water Park. It is about 30-40 minutes’ drive from Dubai International Airport, although at peak times the journey time may even double.
To get to Madinat Jumeirah by public transport, it is possible to use the number 81 bus that connects it with the Mall Of The Emirates and then with the red metro line. The most convenient and practical alternative is the taxi, a very efficient means of transport in Dubai, and also very cheap.
City Card allow you to save on public transport and / or on the entrances to the main tourist attractions.