Shangri-La, Dubai Hotel

The shangri-la is another solid business hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road, although it suffers slightly by being at the wrong end – to make it to the DIFC, you have to do a bit of a complicated loop back round on yourself, often encountering quite heavy traffic. As the crow flies, it should be a short journey to the Downtown area too, but again it involves going round the houses a bit because of the counterintuitive road system. Having said that, the stop for the DIFC Metro can be accessed via a covered walkway across Sheikh Zayed Road and is a five-minute walk away, although you’d be mad to tackle this in a suit during summer.

The lobby is grand and the restaurants decent, although some are awkwardly located on balconies jutting out over the lobby. Hoi An is one of the only Vietnamese joints in town, but often its pretty, low-lit room is totally empty. There is also a Moroccan restaurant, Marrakech, and Shang Palace, which serves among the best dim sum in the city (and the crispy beef is to die for). The small fourth-floor swimming pool underlines the fact that it’s not really geared up for leisure tourism, but it does come into its own at night when the DJ cranks the music up at the outdoor I-Kandy cocktail and shisha lounge. Luckily, the double glazing is hefty enough to keep the noise out of the rooms above.

As the large gym accepts outside members and also services the hotel’s long-term rental apartments, it can get a bit busy at peak times. A spa is also on the same floor. The rooms are gentleman’s-clubby, with a large desk, and there is a separate bath and shower. Pay a premium for a Horizon Club room on floors 40-41 and you get your own check-in desk, free suit pressing, health club with infinity pool, gym and sun deck, complimentary breakfast, soft beverages all day and alcoholic drinks during happy hour.

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