Madinat Jumeirah - Mina A'Salam

100   Recommended

August 27, 2017 by

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Let me take you to an Arabian palace from times long gone. Actually it was more than just one palace, it was a whole city: the Madinat Jumeirah Resort Dubai. A recreation of an old Arabian town complete with bazaar (the souk), wind catchers and water canals.

We stayed at the Mina A'Salam, one of five hotels on the premises of the Madinat.

To read a whole report with more photos, visit my blog:


Check In

As we walked inside the impressive entrance, the marble, pillars, gold, and sublime lighting transported us directly to 1001 Nights.


Check-in was quick and friendly, while we were given wet towels and a fresh smoothie to relax. This showed yet again the middle-eastern hospitality - don't expect that in Europe...



This room was the "cheapest" the sultan had to offer and as you can see, it was really nice and spacious. The rooms have been completely refurbished in 2015 and I do like the old Arabian style. It's warm and cosy and doesn't go over the top like the Burj.  

Turndown and housekeeping service was fantastic and always left something for us in the room.







Large bathroom with shower and bathtub.


Amouage amenities, very nice.



The view from the balcony was not a direct sea view, but it was fine for us and the Burj gave us different colors every night.



The service was very professional, friendly and well-trained. From the porter, to the concierge, to the boat captain, to the restaurant and bar staff, to the beach staff.

One example: We ordered our fruit mocktails when we arrived at the beach. We decided to go swimming directly and after a while in the water I could see that the waiter brought our iced drinks. But at that moment he realized that we are probably swimming and so picked up the drinks again and returned them. Only to bring them to us when we arrived at our loungers - fresh and ice-cold. It's the little things.


Going to the beach is really one of the main attractions when residing in the Madinat. As a hotel guest you are free to use all the beach facilities on the grounds. Except for the new Summersalt Beach Club next to the Al Naseem, where you have to buy a day pass even as a guest.

We loved the clean beach with soft sand and clear water. And it was empty. We were basically the only ones there. This was of course due to the heat of Summer. I gotta say though, the heat was not as bothersome to us. I rather lie on an empty beach at a dry 111° F (44° C) than at a humid 93° F (34° C) Italian beach where I can't walk around without stepping on people.





As with the beaches you are also eligible to use all the pools in the Madinat and we did try two of them: Mina A'Salam and Al Qasr. The water in both pools seemed to have been cooled down, which was refreshing coming from the sea water temperature of 93° F (34° C).

We liked the Al Qasr pool a little better for it being larger than Mina A'Salam's. Both were not that busy, but slightly more than at the beach.



Wild Wadi Waterpark

We used our free access to the Wild Wadi Waterpark only once. We have been a little bit disappointed. After the fantastic surroundings of the Madinat, this waterpark came across as dirty and cheap. Too many children, changing and shower rooms are a joke. We saw cockroaches. The rides are great though.


To complete the illusion of an old Arabian town, a souk was re-created in the middle of the Madinat. While the hallways were nicely done, we didn't really like the things on offer at the various shops. 


Abra Boats

Taking a boat in the Madinat is really a fun and relaxing experience and comes with the room.

The captain of our very own abra (traditional Arabian boat) was very nice and gave us a tour through the Madinat's waterways with a stop for shopping and tea at the souk.





We tried several restaurants in the Madinat and it had always been very good, but we wished for more casual, cheaper options at times. For this we had to go to the Dubai Marina or the Mall of the Emirates. More about the dining in my blog.


The advertisement states that the Mina A'Salam is actually a family resort, while the Al Qasr and the new Al Naseem are designated as luxury resorts and the Dar Al Masyaf as a boutiqe hotel. I haven't noticed any difference though, since all the beaches were empty anyway (low season) and children have also been in the Al Qasr pool and the small children's swimming area was directly next to it. I also didn't feel any luxury missing from our experience.

Granted, the Al Masyaf villas have their own butler service included and the Al Qasr seems to offer even nicer rooms and a has a very impressive drive-way to the entrance, but the overall standard of the Madinat resort is real 5-star luxury all the way. There might be more difference in winter, when the hotels are probably more occupied and you will be happy to have your own small pool only shared with one or two other Al Masyaf villas.

The Madinat is really unique and it provides a real five star holiday feeling. 

While I love those sumptuous Dubai Buffets(tm), I can't have it every day. It's just too much food! I don't want to eat that much and still feel I missed a lot. I just want to enjoy and not feel stuffed afterwards. It seems this stems from the otherwise fantastic hospitality of this culture: offer the guest everything, even if it is too much and most of it goes to waste. 

I want to see it in winter though. Does it still feel exclusive then or does it feel like Rimini beach with every inch occupied by people? Because for that, the price would be too high in winter. My idea of luxury always includes less people than the cheaper options. In summer this was definitely the case here.

Personally, I didn't mind the dry heat that much. What I didn't like though was that all the outdoor seating areas of the restaurants were closed. And there were some very nice terraces there. (In a restaurant in the Dubai marina they solved the problem with movable AC units :D alright alright, not the most energy efficient thing)

I can't comment on the Talise Spa, since we didn't have time for it - I know, sounds odd, but 6 nights is not enough to experience the whole Madinat (and marina). I would recommend to go for about 10 nights. If you can spare the moneys, that is.

More photos on my blog:


This review lives in the Madinat Jumeirah - Mina A'Salam (Dubai) thread.
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