While completely off the map 10 years ago, Dubai is slowly emerging as a backpacker destination.

No, it’s still not cheap, but it is developing a decent hostel scene, and because of that, Dubai has become a bit more affordable.

I wrote this list of the 10 best hostels in Dubai to give you an idea of where the best places to stay in Dubai are.

I organized the different hostels into different categories, so you can book a hostel that fits your style, saves you money, and gets you exploring this fascinating Middle Eastern city!

So whether you are a solo traveler looking to party or a couple looking for some privacy, this list of the best hostels in Dubai will help you find the hostel that best fits your personal travel-style.

Let’s jump into the best hostels in Dubai…

Quick answer: The best hostels in Dubai

What to Expect from Hostels in Dubai

Dubai is one of those cities that is truly a wonder to behold. It has the world’s largest building, the Burj Khalifa, luxury shopping at the Dubai Mall, and adrenaline-inducing desert safaris for the adventure junkies. But because there is so much to see and do, plus it’s one of the richest countries in the world, Dubai can get pretty expensive.

But contrary to belief, Dubai doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. In fact, there are many affordable hostels across the city that allow you to save some pennies on accommodation. But as you might expect from Dubai, budget hostels don’t mean scrimping out on luxury either.

Many hostels in Dubai come with high-end facilities, including swimming pools, fitness centers, and sometimes rooftop terraces and balconies. I’ve listed a few of those in my guide below. There are many types of hostels in Dubai, cheap hostels, luxury hostels, and family-friendly hostels. So whether you’re travelling with friends, family, or a solo traveller, you’ll find a hostel for you.

If you’re looking for party hostels, you won’t find them here. Alcohol is only legal in specially licensed venues such as hotels and bars, so you can’t have a raving party in your dorm room. Sorry!

If you are backpacking Dubai, you’re going to want to keep costs down. This is why a hostel is such a good idea.

Generally speaking, the more luxurious penthouse hostels are more expensive than a Dubai youth hostel, but you can still find a few good deals around. When looking for a quality hostel in Dubai, there are a few things to take into consideration:

  • Location – Dubai is quite a large city and it’s scorching hot throughout most of the year. Because of this, you’ll want to stay near the sites you want to see. Do you want to see the Burj Khalifa, or perhaps have a beach day on Jumeirah Beach, or if it’s a short layover, maybe you’ll want to stay near Dubai International Airport? Choosing a hostel near the metro is always a good idea if you want to explore the whole city. 
  • Price – As mentioned, Dubai is great, but it’s going to cost you. Spending less than $50 a day in Dubai is tough, but dorm rooms in hostels are a great way to keep costs down. One thing to keep an eye on is…
  • Amenities – There aren’t a huge number of hostels in Dubai, but some of them offer more amenities than others. Often, hostels are of high quality and have tons of freebies, including free breakfasts and of course free internet access. 

Speaking of things adding up, let’s talk about money. Dubai’s hostels normally have three options: dorms, private rooms and family rooms. The general rule here is the more beds in a room, the cheaper the price.

Obviously, you won’t have to pay as much for an 8-bed dorm as you would for a single-bed or private room. To give you a rough overview of Dubai’s prices, I’ve listed the average numbers below:

  • Dorm room (mixed or female-only): $30-$80 USD/night
  • Private room: $35-$150 USD/night

When looking for hostels, you’ll find the best options on HOSTELWORLD. This platform offers you a super safe and efficient booking process. All hostels are displayed with a rating and previous guest reviews. You can also filter your personal travel needs easily and find the perfect place for you.

When looking up Dubai hostels, you should consider where to stay in terms of neighborhood. Jumeirah is one of the most popular districts as it’s close to the beaches and also world-famous shopping. Old Dubai and Deira are the places to go to see the more historical attractions in the city. But if you’re travelling as a family, Downtown Dubai is a popular district.

Best Hostels in Dubai

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The 5 Best Hostels in Dubai in 2021

Travelling to Dubai on a budget is possible. What you can’t expect is super cheap prices like in South East Asia, but with the right tricks, you can spend quite a while in the UAE on a budget.

Before you start booking your accommodation, find out the places you want to visit in Dubai. The different neighborhoods have quite a bit price range, so you probably don’t want to end up in the most glamorous area if you want to keep some money in your account.

Once that’s clear, you can have a look at Dubai’s best hostels.

Downtown Dubai

Green Sky Apartment – Overall Best Hostel in Dubai

Green Sky Apartment

Green Sky Apartment is located in the heart of Dubai in Marina Crown Tower and offers its guests an exceptional view of the sea and lake. It is close to the Financial Centre metro, so you can get around the city with ease.

You can choose between private rooms or dorm rooms, though the dorm rooms are cheaper and the ideal place for solo travellers to meet with like-minded individuals. The best features of this hostel though, are the gym and temperature-controlled swimming pool, which are perfect for cooling off in after a day of exploring.

There are also kitchen appliances, laundry facilities, and free internet access. All linens and toiletries are provided, so you can just bring your suitcase. They also have a delightful common area and dining with entertainment for guests to enjoy, including a mini pool and football table. If you want to sip your morning coffee with a view, head to the cool balcony overseeing the sea.

California Hostel Dubai – Best Hostel for Solo Travellers in Dubai

California Hostel Dubai

One of the best Dubai hostels is undoubtedly the California Hostel Dubai Beach. This adults-only hostel comes with a mix of dorm rooms and private rooms, plus has fantastic facilities to enjoy including a seasonal outdoor swimming pool, a fitness centre and a spacious common area. The fully-equipped kitchen allows budget travellers to save some money on eating out, and there is also a delightful terrace for you to enjoy your morning breakfast on.

Other awesome amenities include free WiFi and private parking can be arranged at an extra cost, perfect for those staying for a weekend in Dubai and need to hire a car to see all the sites. Each morning, an American breakfast is available for guests to enjoy. It is also ideally located near to Marina Beach (one of the safest parts of Dubai) and The Walk at JBR. The nearest airport is Al Maktoum International Airport, which is just 13 miles from the hostel.

Wondering how big your Dubai Travel Budget should be? The city is known for its over-the-top restaurants, lifestyles, and attractions, but that doesn’t mean the city isn’t visitable for backpackers. There are plenty of ways to keep money in your bank account while exploring Dubai!

Travelers Backpackers – Best Located Hostel in Dubai #5

Travelers Backpackers

Located in central Dubai, just a short metro ride from The Dubai Fountain and Dubai Mall, this is one of the best-located hostels in the city, Travelers Backpackers provides private rooms and dorm rooms, plus it has amazing facilities including an outdoor swimming pool, free private parking and a communal lounge for meeting other guests. The hostel has many modern luxuries including nice bathrooms and modern furnishings. There is also a shared kitchen and room service for guests.

BackPacker – Best Cheap Hostel in Dubai #3

BackPacker best hostels in Dubai
BackPacker is the best cheap hostel in Dubai: have a look!

BackPacker is hands down the best cheap hostel in Dubai. Offering super comfy beds within a bright and welcoming hostel, BackPacker is a simple but pretty darn-perfect youth hostel in Dubai. The Burjuman Metro Station is just a 5-minute walk from BackPacker and from there you can connect seamlessly to the Dubai Marina, the Burj Khalifa, Golden Souk – you’ll have all of Dubai’s best attractions on your doorstep (well, almost…). For travellers wanting to experience a more authentic side of Dubai be sure to book a bed at BackPacker as they are based in the heart of historic Dubai.

Is This the Best Backpack EVER???
Aether Backpack

We’ve tested countless backpacks over the years, but there’s one that has always been the best and remains the best buy for adventurers: the broke backpacker-approved Osprey Aether and Ariel series.

Want more deetz on why these packs are so damn perfect? Then read our comprehensive review for the inside scoop!

View on Osprey View on REI

Royal Plaza Apartments – Best Cheap Hostel in Dubai #3

Royal Plaza Apartments best hostels in Dubai
If you are traveling as a big group, Royal Plaza is certainly one of the best cheap hostels in Dubai!

Royal Plaza Apartments may not sound like a backpackers hostel but is truly a top-budget hostel in Dubai. Simple, clean and just 200m from the nearest Metro Station Royal Plaza Apartments is a dream for a shoestring traveller to Dubai. They do not have mixed dorms, rather two dorms for the guys and one for the girls. There are limited common areas at Royal Plaza but being in the heart of historic Dubai means you’re never too far from a traditional tea shop to join in with new found friends and fellow backpackers.

Saffron Boutique Hotel – Best Hostel for Couples in Dubai #4

Saffron Boutique Hotel best hostels in Dubai

Frustratingly none of the hostels in Dubai offer private rooms for backpackers, not at the moment anyway. As such the best hostel for couples in Dubai isn’t a hostel at all rather a boutique hotel, Saffron Boutique Hotel to be precise. It’s luxurious yet still within a flashpacker’s budget. As a highly recommended hostel (sorry, hotel!) Saffron Boutique offers backpackers unlimited use of their fancy fitness centre and gorgeous pool. With their own bar and restaurant on the ground floor, couples have plenty of opportunities to meet their fellow travellers and explore Dubai together.

Travel with peace of mind. Travel WITH a security belt.
Active Roots Security Belt

Stash your cash safely with this money belt. It will keep your valuables safely concealed, no matter where you go.

It looks exactly like a normal belt except for a SECRET interior pocket perfectly designed to hide a wad of cash, a passport photocopy or anything else you may wish to hide. Never get caught with your pants down again! (Unless you want to…)

Hide Yo’ Money!

More Epic Hostels in Dubai

Haven’t found the right hostel for you yet? Don’t worry, I’ve got more coming your way! There aren’t a huge amount of hostels in Dubai to choose from, but I do think I have found you the best. Enjoy!

Dubai Beach Host

Dubai Beach Host best hostels in Dubai
Another one of the best cheap hostels in Dubai is Dubai Beach Host!

One of the best budget hostels in Dubai is Dubai Beach Host overlooking the Marina complete with its own pool and astro-turf terrace. If you’re looking for a Dubai backpackers hostel at JBR Beach you can’t beat Dubai Beach Host, you can see the sea from your dorm bed!

Thankfully there is A/C in all the rooms to help keep you cool in the sweltering Dubai sun. If you’re on a budget be sure to make use of the guest kitchen to avoid forking out tonnes of Dirham for a fancy feed.

Best Location Hostel – Best Hostel for Digital Nomads in Dubai

Marina Dream best hostels in Dubai

The best hostel for digital nomads in Dubai has to be Marina Dream. Right in the heart of the action, offering super-fast and unlimited free Wifi, digital nomads can tip-tap away while dangling their feet in the Marina Dream pool.

For digital nomads who like having a sense of ‘normality’ on the road then Marina Dream is the best hostel in Dubai; they offer free access to their fitness centre and have a great guest kitchen too meaning digital nomads can create a sense of routine while in the Middle East. Train, work, eat…repeat! What about exploring? No worries, after the work is done for the day digital nomads staying at Marina Bay are just 3-minutes to the Metro and 5-minutes from the beach!

Abidos Hotel Apartment Dubailand – Best Hostel with a Private Room in Dubai

Abidos Hotel Apartment Dubailand best hostels in Dubai
Great solo or to share with your mates, The Abidos Hotel Apartment is the best hostel with a private room in Dubai.

Abidos Apartments are another of Dubai’s flashpacker hostel options. Not officially a top hostel in Dubai, the Abidos Apartments are perfect if you’re traveling as a couple or a group of friends. Their luxury apartments are not outside a flashpacker’s budget in Dubai and offer complete comfort and relaxation.

The beds are super comfy and the A/C keeps you at just the right temperature. The pool and outdoor terrace area give you a taste of the extravagance in Dubai, why not experience how the other half live during your stay in Dubai? YOLO!

Fortune Classic Hotel Apartments

Fortune Classic Hotel Apartments best hostels in Dubai

If you’re heading to Dubai with your crew and want to stay in a top hostel in Dubai but equally want a bit of space for yourselves then Fortune Classic Apartments may be just the ticket. With apartments housing up to four people a night you can create your own Dubai backpackers hostel vibe in your own luxury apartment, for a super reasonable cost.

Fortune Classic Apartments offer travellers a taste of the highlife with access to their huge pool and fitness suite. Although each apartment has its own kitchen, with countless restaurants on the same street why would you want to cook?!

Wonder how to spend a weekend in Dubai? Head over to our insider’s Weekend in Dubai guide!

What to Pack for your Dubai Hostel

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

Sea To Summit Micro Towel

Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

Make Some New Buddies…
Make Some New Buddies…

Monopoly Deal

Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

Grayl Geopress Water Bottle

Always travel with a water bottle! They save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. The Grayl Geopress acts as a purifier AND temperature regulator. Boom!

Check out our definitive Hostel Packing list for even more top hostel packing tips!

FAQ about Hostels in Dubai

Here are some questions backpackers ask about hostels in Dubai.

How much does hostels cost in Dubai?

Hostels in Dubai can go as low as $15 a night. While not necessarily cheap, your wallet will thank you a ton for not crashing at a hotel!

What are the best hostels in Dubai for couples?

Saffron Boutique Hotel is our pick for the best hostel for couples in Dubai. It’s comfy, has a fitness centre and a gorgeous pool.

What are the best hostels in Dubai near the airport?

Royal Plaza Apartments, an ideal hostel for big groups in Dubai, is 5 km from Dubai International Airport. It’s just 200m from the nearest Metro Station.

Travel Safety Tips for Dubai

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

Final Thoughts on Hostels in Dubai

So that’s the end of my epic guide to the best hostels in Dubai. I hope it has helped you choose the perfect hostel for your adventure! Remember, location is key because of the extremely hot weather and it’s a large city to get around. I would think very carefully about the best time to visit Dubai before you book your stay.

However, once you’ve decided to go you won’t be disappointed! If you’re ever stuck for where to stay, I would always go for my overall favourite hostel, the Green Sky Apartment. This high-rated hostel has all the luxury amenities you could ask for and a reasonable price to match. What more could you want?

If you think I’ve missed anything or have any further thoughts, hit me up in the comments!

Looking for more info on travelling to Dubai and UAE?