Decadent, dazzling, dynamic – these aptly sum up the gilded desert oasis city of Dubai. A glass, gold, and steel splendor and deep-rooted traditions of this city make for striking alchemy. As multi-culturally diverse Dubai is, it still has harsh anti-gay laws. That being said, Dubai is still something of a gay Mecca in the Middle East and has a very vibrant, albeit on the down-low local LGBTQ scene. While LGBTQ travelers will have no problem looking for big-brand gay hotels in Dubai, men sharing beds is an absolute no-no. So, many hotels which automatically allocate twin beds without letting travelers know. The sensible thing would be to simply accept it. However, there are some large international brands that don’t mind gay couples sharing a double bed.
The one silver lining is that the country respects privacy, so there’s no one coming knocking on your door. As they rightly say, discretion is the better part of valor. As long as LGBTQ travelers remember that PDA is absolutely off-limits, Gay Dubai is an absolute blast. The extravaganza is through the roof, the spa experiences are magnificent, the dining is to die for, and the nightlife will leave you looking for more.
The Sofitel Dubai palm resort and spa
Is there any better way to stay than looking out to the blue waters of the Persian Gulf? The gay-friendly Sofitel Palm Resort and Spa is the perfect hotel for LGBTQ couples looking for a romantic getaway in Dubai.
The Polynesian-style hotel features low-rise villas and rooms set amongst verdant and lush tropical gardens. The rooms are perhaps the most spacious guest rooms in Dubai, complete with large jet tubs in each bathroom. What’s even better is that the staff treats gay couples with the utmost respect and don’t question their choice of double beds.
Sofitel has a slew of fantastic amenities lined up for its guest; just what you’d expect from a top-notch Dubai hotel. Six international restaurants and four lounges and bars are perfect for digging into Dubai’s sublime food. Gym rats will love the hi-tech fitness center, while leisure lads will love the six swimming pools. Finally, you can work off all that tension and tiredness at the So Spa, which has massage and sauna rooms, a seawater pool, and 28 treatment rooms.
the Hilton Dubai Jumeirah
The LGBTQ set coming to Dubai for their shopping fix will love the location of the gay-friendly Hilton Jumeirah. The chic hotel lies in the heart of “The Walk” shopping street, right alongside the turquoise waters and white sands of Marina Beach. The Hilton Jumeirah complex mirrors Dubai’s glitz, glamor, and posh comfort. There are a whopping 15 on-site bars and restaurants, including the award-winning Italian restaurant ‘BiCE.’ Beach bums will love the privacy and beauty of the private beach area. However, the highlight is the Sky Lounge, which is one of the best rooftop bars in the city for a romantic sundowner cocktail.
Rooms at the Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Beach are typical sea-side rooms done up in beiges and whites with patterned carpets. Furnishings and decor are functional with just a hint of art deco touch. Apart from standard mod-cons, around 75 percent of the rooms also boast of small balconies and patios with sea views. Moreover, the Hilton doesn’t raise eyebrows at gay couples sharing double beds either.
Located right along ‘The Walk’, Hilton is the perfect base for a shop-till-you-drop experience and heading back before the exhaustion hits. What’s more, the fabulous spa and a health club with its many massage treatments, and sauna and steam rooms are sure to relax all sore shopping muscles.
Aloft Me’aisam is a gay-friendly, urban-inspired design hotel ideal for young LGBTQ travelers to Dubai. It’s a great option for those looking for accommodation options without a huge price tag and without cutting back on comfort.
That being said, the hip and sassy Aloft has designed some very cool amenities and social spaces for its guests. The super-stylish WXYZ lounge is one of the coolest spots to hang out in the city. The hotel even has an international restaurant on-site and a spa for relaxation of guests. Furthermore, a sun-kissed pool and sundeck offer the best place to lounge around and people-watch. They even have live DJs playing music Monday through Thursday, turning the area into one elegant party space. Loft-inspired spacious suites and rooms are tech-savvy and feature comfortable and yet groovy designs, amplifying the guest experience. It’s no wonder that the super chic and cool hotel is okay with gay couples sharing double beds.
Travelers looking to explore and party away will find that the Dubai Marina is a mere 20-minute drive from Aloft. That’s where they’ll also find the fun-filled atmosphere of the Barasti Beach Bar.
Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach
The gay-friendly Four Seasons Resort at Jumeirah Beach is perfectly positioned to enjoy both sides of Dubai. Bur Dubai is a 15-minute drive, while the Gold Souk and Deira are 20 minutes away. The lavish Palm Jumeirah is a 20-minute ride in the opposite direction. In fact, the best way to see all of Dubai’s best sights is this fantastic 9-hour, which will pick you up from the hotel itself. It ends with wonderful eagle-eye views of Dubai from atop the Burj Khalifa.
The Four Seasons is the very epitome of luxury living. Two pools, of which one is adults-only, see complimentary refreshments like citrus shooters and blueberry muffins wafting by every hour. Sun loungers with ‘Do not disturb’ buttons allow you to lay back in peace. Foodies have 11 tempting lounges and restaurants to choose from. Tennis courts, water sports, and a 24-hour fitness center keep the fitness freaks happy. If that wasn’t enough, the treatments at the Pearl Spa are inspired by Dubai’s ancient pearl diving industry.
The resort makes lasting impressions right when you enter. Middle Eastern touches like marble floors, shimmering mosaics, and gold-lead ceilings blend beautifully with classic Four Seasons styles. Manicured lawns stretching out to the ocean, two-floor picture windows, and Murano crystal vases with freshly cut flowers leave you delighted. Rooms are some of Dubai’s largest, each of which has grand balconies overlooking Downtown or the beach. Those with Downtown views needn’t fret about not having sea views. They get to watch the sun rise behind the planet’s tallest skyscraper Burj Khalifa, which is one of the best places to see in Dubai.
Grosvenor House Hotel and Apartments
There are few hotels in Dubai with a location as alluring as the gay-friendly Grosvenor House Hotel and Apartments. Lying at the northern end of the Dubai Marina, the luxury hotel is less than 10 minutes to ‘The Walk.’ Plus, it’s a 15-minute taxi ride to the Mall of the Emirates. If that wasn’t enough, thrill-seekers will find adventure right outside the hotel in the form of Skydive Dubai. It offers thrilling tandem skydiving experiences over the spectacular Palm Jumeriah, one of the most visually exciting places in the world. Evenings are meant for enjoying breath-taking 360-degree views of the glittering Dubai skyline from the Bar 44 perched atop the Grosvenor.
Discerning LGBTQ travelers will love the sophistication and elegance of the Grosvenor. Plush carpets, mahogany furnishings, and marble floors dot the entire two-tower hotel, which has a sleek white walkway connecting them. A classy cavernous lobby is peppered with contemporary sculptures and tons of natural light. Soak all your troubles away at the Asian-themed spa with dragon motifs, lanterns, and dark wood screens. Shaded outdoor pools make swimming and lounging in the afternoon a comfy affair. In fact, the hotel even has regular shuttles to its sister property Le Royal Méridien nearby, which also has a perfect, white-sand beach.
Rooms, even the entry-level ones, feature tasteful hues, dark-wood furniture, hi-tech mod-cons, and even 24/7 butler service. Luxurious Bulgari amenities dot the spacious bathrooms, making Grosvenor the very zenith of luxury.
Zabeel House MINI Al Seef by Jumeirah
With budget no longer being an unspeakable term in Dubai, designer boutique hotels make for a great affordable option for the younger LGBTQ set. The upscale casual Zabeel House MINI is one such gay-friendly hotel, complete with an urban fun vibe that focuses on the guest experience.
A large designer lobby peppered with modernist furniture and funky artwork is perceptibly mood uplifting. Four swings hang in the middle to get guests into the ‘Dubai vacation’ mode. The creative hangout with bright pops of colors is an Instagrammer’s inspiration. Smart-chic rooms are designed for intrepid explorers and boast of subtle retro music themes. Sound mixer controls are repurposed as bathroom hangers and there are vintage telephones in each room. Plus, vibrant ceiling maps of Dubai and magazines detailing the history of 70s rock easily make it one of the coolest hotel rooms ever. Rooms at Zabeel House MINI don’t scrimp on mod cons either.
Apart from two restaurants, Zabeel House MINI has a common courtyard space, a well-equipped gym for fitness fanatics, steam room, sauna, and treatment rooms. The two-kilometer-long promenade right outside the hotel runs alongside the Dubai Creek and is a fabulous place for a stroll or run.
Rove Dubai Marina
Right beside Marina Beach lies the waterside accommodation hotspot Rove Dubai Marina. The gay-friendly luxe hotel does great on the location. It’s a 10-minute walk from the JLT tram station, from where Bur Dubai is a 50-minute tram ride. Palm Jumeirah lies 10 minutes away, while The Walk is a 20-minute walk.
For a mid-scale hotel, Rove Marina features tons of amenities. There’s a 24-hour gym that will fit the needs of gym rats. The pool and spacious sun deck is the perfect area to lounge and take a day off from your hectic Dubai vacation to relax. An all-day dining restaurant serving international cuisine is perfect for all guilty pleasures of the culinary variety.
Rooms at Rove are a tech-savvy traveler’s paradise with a slew of mod-cons like a Wi-Fi-equipped media hub, 48-inch smart TVs. Sleek bathrooms and fully stocked fridges up the comfy factor. Also, 30 percent of Rove’s rooms are interconnected, making it a great choice for larger groups of friends and families.
At The Top Hostel
Who wouldn’t want to live in a Dubai hostel on the 66th floor? The gay-friendly, and otherwise friendly, At The Top Hostel lies on the 66th floor of the Elite Residence right outside Palm Jumeirah. It boasts of million-dollar views of the Persian Gulf and the city, and that too for a fraction of what seeing such views would usually cost. It’s also the world’s first hostel to be located on the 66th floor. Trust Dubai to come up with something absolutely different.
Just like other hostels, guests have a choice between dorms and private rooms. What sets the hostel apart is that even at this height, it doesn’t fall short on any amenities. There’s a heavenly outdoor pool, which makes swimming and lounging around here a top-of-the-wold experience. There’s an amazing free breakfast on the offer which is a great way to start the day. Guests also have access to a shared kitchen for whipping up quick and cheap meals. The terrace garden is a great place to catch up with fellow travelers and maybe even make some friends. Apart from the above, the hostel even arranges for pub crawls. Plus, there are bicycles on site for guests to explore the bustling and dazzling neighborhood on their own.
The hostel is well-connected too. There’s a tram stop right outside, which will take travelers to Jumeirah in less than 10 minutes. What’s more, the residence is surrounded by some of the best bars and restaurants in Dubai.
Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa
The gay-friendly Le Royal Meridien is a sun-soaked playground perfect for an idyllic sun-sand-and-sea break in Dubai. The hotel lies at the northern end of JBR Beach, right next to Skydive Dubai. An airy, cool lobby with white hanging chairs and a feature wall with 3D Arabic calligraphy impresses you right as you step into the hotel. Funky artwork and pops of mustard complement the grey-hued walls beautifully.
It’s the array of luxurious facilities has guests coming back again and again. Extensive lawns with plants swaying in the breeze are great for walking around and taking in the property. A wonderful beach area and three outdoor pools will have water babies frolicking in the water all day long. There are plenty of watersports and land sports, and a bevy of restaurants will have foodies swooning. Finally, there’s no place better to relax than the Roman-themed Caracalla Spa with steam rooms, saunas, and five thermal pools.
Most rooms and suites have decks and balconies, and many of those boast of views of the sea. Supremely comfy beds, blackout curtains, neutral hues of mustards and greys, and fantastic floor-to-ceiling windows make sure that you love spending time in your room too.
If you’re an LGBTQ traveler interested in exploring Dubai, then the gay-friendly Hyatt Regency will serve you well. The hotel lies along the Deira Corniche and is a 10-minute taxi ride to both Dubai Gold Souk and the Al Fahidi historic district. It’s also just 20 minutes from the world-famous Dubai Dolphinarium. What’s more, the Fantasia Club, which has the closest to what can be called a gay scene, is just a 10-minute ride.
The hotel gives its guests a fitting Dubai welcome in the form of a marble-lined, high-ceilinged lobby. It is aptly peppered with potted palms, cushioned couches and chairs, dark-wood furniture, and recessed lighting. There’s a well-equipped fitness center as well as a large indoor ice rink. Sports lovers will love the plethora of sports facilities including a small outdoor pool, a running track, squash courts, and outdoor tennis courts. What’s more, Hyatt also houses Dubai’s only revolving rooftop restaurant.
Rooms at Hyatt Regency are furnished in midcentury-modern style with light-wood furniture, artwork, and recessed lighting. For those who want to splurge, there are also larger, split-level suites with separate living areas, floating glass-and-wood staircases, and dark-wood decor. Overall, for the LGBTQ set looking for a mid-range, frill-full hotel in Dubai, the Hyatt Regency would be ideal.
The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina
If you’re looking for a gay-friendly hotel with the urge to splurge, the Westin Dubai is here to pamper you to your heart’s content.
Neoclassical architecture, high ceilings, marble floors, grand pillars, and muted desert tones dot the grand property. Serious fitness enthusiasts will appreciate the resort’s water-sports center with wakeboarding, windsurfing, and water skiing, the spacious gym, and four floodlit tennis courts. Water babies can choose from five pools which also includes a decadent lagoon-style pool with a swim-up bar. Lesire lovers can head off to the sumptuous spa which is known for its soothing range of massages.
The palatial hotel is nestled along a private stretch of beach right outside the Palm Jumeirah neighborhood. If you do get out of all the pampering and decadence, Westin has a tram stop right outside. It’ll get you to Palm Jumeirah Monorail and Dubai Metro links quickly.
Suites and rooms all come with the signature and super-comfy Westin Heavenly Beds plus a bevy of other mod-cons. The private balconies with sweeping sea views are perfect for curling up with a book, some music, and a cuppa.
Just So You Know:
- Even though being gay is illegal in Dubai, the gay scene is actually uplifting. There are no official gay bars, but news about gay events usually passes around via word-of-mouth or discreet social media messages.
Get Some Culture in Dubai:
- Dubai Shopping Festival: This is easily one of Dubai’s most exciting festivals and attracts crowds from all over the world. It is usually held in January-February and sees unbelievable discounts in Dubai’s malls. Apart from shopping, there are also ramp walks, parades, game shows, concerts, and more.
- Taste of Dubai: This unofficial food festival is one of the most awaited food festivals in the Middle East. Every year, celebrity chefs headline events like live cooking demos and cookery shows. Also, this time sees signature dishes at Dubai’s best restaurants sell for a fraction of its original price.
Best Gay Bars / Clubs in Dubai:
To be clear, none of the below-mentioned spots are openly gay-friendly. Rather, they’re being recommended for their fun party and stylish vibes which the LGBTQ set is sure to appreciate.
- Fantasia – This club is probably the closest open scene that Gay Dubai gets. They see gay-popular events and parties, international acts, and fabulous music.
- Bar 44 – This chilled Dubai hangout atop the Grosvenor House boasts of spectacular views of Jumeirah Palm and Dubai. It’s popular with young crowds for their Happy Hour specials.
- Level 43 Sky Lounge – This open-air terrace lounge is swanky, stylish, and sleek to the hilt. It’s a fun pool bar during the day and a plush lounge at night.
- Miss. Lily’s – A specially curated menu and a funky warehouse-like space make this spot very popular with foodies.
- Belgian Beer Cafe – Escape the over-the-top glamor and settle for something fun at this laid-back beer bar.
- Barasti Beach Bar – One of Dubai’s coolest nightlife areas with a young crowd, reasonably priced drinks, and a fantastic indoor-outdoor venue. There are even an inviting swimming pool and a clean beach.
- Zero Gravity – The ultimate Dubai day-to-night spot with a party crowd, a stunning infinity pool, and epic DJs nights every weekend.
Best Gay Saunas in Dubai:
Dubai doesn’t have a gay sauna scene for obvious reasons. If you do want to get on to one of the hook-up apps, you need to know someone reliable, as all gay hookup apps are blocked in the country. Also, please make sure to install a reliable VPN on your phone or laptop before you search for anything remotely gay-related.