A great affordable and central accommodation choice for families visiting Dubai
Miss Z and I have been plotting this one for a while; a sneaky girls trip to Dubai! No brothers allowed, no Daddy. Just some good old-fashioned Mummy-Daughter time in the capital of family-fun!!!
An opportunity came up for us to check out the Novotel World Trade Centre Dubai, and knowing this hotel’s superb location we jumped at the chance to pack our rolly bag and drive to Dubai. Will it suit you and your family? Let’s take a look.
This post is part of our Family Accommodation Review series – Come and see our other worldwide family friendly hotel recommendations
Novotel World Trade Centre Dubai – The Hotel
Situated on Happiness Street in Dubai, Novotel is attached to the giant Dubai World Trade Centre building, a really central point for visitors to Dubai, and only 15 minutes by taxi from DXB.
The hotel has a really vibrant and welcoming foyer, a quick and efficient valet and concierge service and plenty of smiling faces to greet you. Miss Z was delighted to receive a little bag of kids goodies in partnership with Hotel Transylvania 3.
We are checked in in no time (unusual for a UAE hotel on a Thursday evening, the busiest point in the week) and ready to start our weekend adventure.
(A note for UAE Staycationers – you always need an Emirates ID card for everyone in your party when staying in a UAE hotel!)
Novotel World Trade Centre Dubai – The Rooms
We stayed in a Suite that included a dining and living area, fold out sofa bed for Miss Z, and separate master bedroom with bathroom for Mum (yes ALLLLL too myself!!!).
You also get a separate powder room with the Suites, and we loved the Fair Trade bathroom products – part of the AccorHotels Sustainable Development program across their worldwide hotels.
The Suite could have comfortably fit a family of 6, even with sofa beds folded out (though we note it’s only advertised as a 4 bed – you may need to enquire directly if trying to book a larger group).
There were plenty of extra little touches that we enjoyed such having a minibar fridge in the room (in fact, 2!) plus tea and coffee making, free wifi throughout. For longer term stayers it does not have any sort of cooking facilities, but with the dining room, you can easily have in-room dining at an actual table. We also loved having plentiful plugs and international sockets!!
The Superior and Executive rooms at Novotel World Trade Centre are very similar in appearance and can comfortably fit 3 with a king size bed and sofa bed. Interconnecting options are available for families, or cots can be requested for infants. The difference with Executive rooms is they have the fancy coffee machine and discounts on dining and spa treatments which may work out more economical for a family (and who doesn’t love freshly brewed coffee in your room!)
Our corner room was east and south facing which gave us a pretty view over to Zabeel Park and the Dubai Frame. Do note though, being situated over the World Trade Centre, not all rooms will have the most glamorous views of Dubai. And lucky for the top-notch blackout curtains, there are some rather vivid flashing neon signs about.
Location, Location is what makes the hotel stand out!
Ibis World Trade Centre and Ibis One Central
All part of the AccorHotels groups, there are two other hotels in relatively close vicinity to the 4 star Novotel World Trade Centre property; Ibis World Trade Centre (2 star) which also sits within the World Trade Centre building, closest to the Metro end, and Ibis One Central (3 star), which is just a short hop across the road.
Ibis is AccorHotels budget chain, but you certainly won’t be disappointed with their Dubai offering; comfortable, clean and modern rooms are available at either of these Ibis hotels, including interconnecting rooms and some with self-catering facilities.
We had the opportunity to dine at both of these hotels which we’ll describe in more detail below. You can also for a small fee access the Novotel’s leisure facilities and dine at the Novotel restaurants while staying at Ibis.
Meal times at Novotel World Trade Centre
There are plentiful dining options across the three hotels to choose from.
The main all-day dining restaurant in the Novotel itself is Entre-Nous. A pleasant setting catering to a broad-ranging international audience and lovely service. Breakfast we found there was more than enough choice, though an extra staff member helping with the freshly prepared eggs would have helped in peak times.
For those dining with young children, you can not only request high chairs but plastic plates and cutlery.
On a Friday, they run a special BBQ Brunch at Entre-Nous which includes drinks and one of the prettiest displays of desserts I have seen in a long time! It lacked a little of the ambience we have experienced at other brunches in Dubai with only a small crowd and no live entertainment, but certainly, it makes a pleasant setting for families with a focus on the delicious food.
With the cooler winter weather, we loved being able to dine outside poolside for brunch.
Café Cream – Novotel
If you need flexibility in your dining, Café Cream in the foyer of Novotel is just what you need. A pleasant setting, bathed in sunlight inside and out. They offer breakfast for early and late comers outside of Entre-Nous breakfast buffet hours – a super addition for international travellers with unusual flight times out of DXB or jet lag. Their outdoor cafe is a welcome touch of green on a big city visit (and did I mention Haagen Dazs ice cream!!?)
Wok & Co – Ibis One Central
The all-day dining restaurant at Ibis One Central, Wok & Co really impressed. From the funky room layout (yes, of course, Miss Z chose to eat in a circular booth!) through to the pleasant service and extensive menu, it’s hard to believe this hotel is only classified as 3 star.
It certainly exceeds expectations and made for a fun evening, Miss Z boldly trying new foods without pressure from her brothers. Outside you will also find a courtyard garden, perfect for the cooler months. My only suggestion, if you like your food with some heat, remind them to make it spicier!! (a common issue in the touristy parts of Dubai).
Cubo Restaurant – Ibis World Trade Centre
Another real treat that completely exceeded expectations for a hotel classified as 2 star is Cubo Restaurant at Ibis World Trade Centre. A modern Italian restaurant theme with lots of menu choices and bursting with flavour. Staff are happy to recommend a matching wine for mum – and again another wonderful sustainability step seeing the introduction of paper straws. Meal serving sizes were very generous – and I’m still dreaming above that lovely bruschetta…
Other dining options staying at Novotel
Although we did not have time during our stay, the international cuisine room service menu operates 24/7 giving travellers a great deal of flexibility. We noticed the menu had highlighted a number of healthy dining options which are always great when you’re on the move.
I also couldn’t check out for obvious reasons some of their late night venues for over 21’s only including Blue Bar at Novotel, a Jazz bar which offered nightly live entertainment and Headlines at Ibis WTC which certainly had a great buzzing early evening vibe to it with light snacks, music and sports on the big screens.
If it’s just a quick snack you are after, walking through the attached WTC conference halls you will find plenty of smaller sandwich-style outlets and grab and go supermarkets, as well as a pharmacy – always handy to know when travelling.
The Pool & Other Guest Facilities
Novotel has a heated outdoor swimming pool which provides for a refreshing space to take a dip year-round (always check when booking a hotel with a pool in Dubai that it is heated – despite any notion that the country is always hot, trust me you don’t want an unheated swimming pool in winter!)
There is nothing over fancy about the Novotel pool being in quite an urban setting, but nonetheless, it’s a welcome urban retreat after a hard day of conferences or exploring around the area. There are a few private cabanas you can nab or lounge chairs, or sit around Chills Pool Bar which has plenty of happy hour specials.
In Balance – Spa, Salon & Gym
For those who like to keep fit and keep up appearances on the go, you will find In Balance Wellness Spa which includes a fitness centre sauna & spa, as well as Dreamworks Spa offering massages and facials. Or, pop in and see Dani the Hairstylist in the Salon. He gave Miss Z and I a wonderful blow dry treatment ahead of our evening out making us both feel very special on our girl’s weekend treat in Dubai.
There is a small children’s play area attached to the cafe inside the foyer but it’s really aimed at your toddler crowd and relatively limited – enough to keep them busy while perhaps you’re waiting for the bus. You’ll also find a small gifty shop for those last-minute purchases, and a business centre and meeting facilities for business client.
What to see and do in the area near Novotel World Trade Centre
The main reason we chose Novotel World Trade Centre for a weekend away is its superb location.
On Happiness Street, attached to the World Trade Centre it’s an excellent choice for not only business travellers but those looking to explore deeper into urban Dubai, such as heading to Downtown and the Dubai Mall. The Metro is only 5 minutes walk away through the air-conditioned World Trade Centre Building or around 6-10 minutes in a cab or by shuttle from the hotel depending on traffic.
The hotel also offers a free shuttle bus to many of Dubai’s top tourist attraction locations including The Mall of the Emirates, Mirdif City Centre, Outlet Mall and Kite Beach.
Nearby – Dubai Mall Family Attractions
At Dubai Mall you will find soooo much to do with the kids! It’s honestly a mini vacation in itself. The main tourist attraction is, of course, the iconic Burj Khalifa. Don’t forget to catch the dancing fountains every lunchtime and evening too.
As we’ve been quite regular visitors to Dubai Mall ever since our first babies (wow, we’ve lived in the UAE how long now?!) we’ve seen a lot of the star attractions over the years. On this occasion, as Miss Z is a little older and well past the little kid phase the two attractions we really wanted to explore were Kidzania and the VR Park.
Kidzania Dubai is a children’s edutainment theme park. Much like others in popular cities around the world, it allows kids to be transported (literally, you go through a boarding lounge!) into a replica city made just for kids. They are given an allowance and can try their hand at earning money in different jobs, or spending their money to make food, crafts or enjoy sports. We’ll be back soon to report on our full Kidzania experience.
VR Park Dubai is really unique. The largest Virtual Reality park in the world, it’s ideal for your tween to teen crowd (and a fair few adults in there enjoying it too!). With a combination of more sedate games to thrilling moving rides, most involve wearing a VR Headset for a truly immersive experience.
We went to the future and Dubai 2050 when everyone is travelling around in drones, absolute heart-pumping action – and reminded me I suffer severely from motion sickness, urgh! Our poor Miss Z had to then take on the much more sedate Geminose carousel which she completely loved and giggled her way through, and a few slots games instead. We will be back at a later date with a far more robust Mr Globetrotter to complete our review!
More kids activities in Dubai? Check out this bumper post of 100+ family-friendly UAE activities.
Heading in the other direction from the hotel, we love that you are only a 10-minute walk to popular Zabeel Park (very do-able in the winter months). Over the winter they run Dubai Garden Glow from gate 6, an outdoor phenomenon which also includes a dinosaur park and ice sculpture park.
You can read more about Dubai Garden Glow here.
Crossing to the other side of the freeway (so you might want a taxi for this) still in Zabeel Park, gate 4 is the iconic Dubai Frame. Open in January 2018, the Frame is a gateway between old and new Dubai. You take a lift up the 48 floors for some of the cities most panoramic views -and watch out for the see-through floor below! A fun and iconic way to experience Dubai.
The one thing a Downtown hotel in Dubai sadly cannot deliver on is having its own beach front. Fear not! With the Novotel’s free shuttle service, residents can easily access Kite Beach.
If you are looking for a great urban hotel with a good selection of restaurants and conveniently located to the cities top attractions, Novotel World Trade Centre will deliver.
For us, it’s proximity to everything families could need in Dubai was a huge selling point. Whether you are attending attached to a conference or simply looking for a great mid-range value stay in clean and comfortable surrounds with great service and facilities, we can highly recommend this hotel.
Fast facts & booking Novotel World Trade Centre
Rooms: 412 executive rooms, superior rooms (twin & double), as well as Suites.
Price: Starting from $108USD for a superior room that can fit up to 4 (plus local taxes).
Booking: We always recommend you compare price options first using comparison tool Hotels Combined.
NB – The hotel can sell out well in advance over popular conference dates at the World Trade Centre.
Location: Happiness Street in Dubai is 15 minutes from DXB and only minutes to Downtown Dubai by taxi or Metro.
Other inclusions: Free valet, wifi & shuttles to malls and beach
Looking at more Dubai hotel options? Pop over to our sister site Little City Trips where we have a great range of Dubai hotels to suit all family budgets.
Thanks to all the staff at Novotel World Trade Centre for their warmth and hospitality during our stay
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Disclosure: We were provided with complimentary accommodation and meals at Novotel World Trade Centre Dubai and associated hotels for the purpose of conducting a fair and impartial review. All opinions as always remain our own. This article also contains affiliate links that may earn us a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase. Our full disclosures policy can be found here.
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