DWC – Holiday Inn
The DWC layover is at the Holiday Inn on Sheikh Zayed Road. It is down near the Barj Al Arab (sail hotel) and The Palm. It is an expensive cab ride from either airport, if you are deviating. However, the Metro stop just SW of the Mall of the Emirates is just two blocks from the hotel. The easy access of the metro allows you to get around Dubai.
This is a typical Holiday Inn with minor enhancements. Rooms are nice but basic. A/C works great (needed in Dubai). Amenities are good. The pool (top level) is nice, but noisy due to highway traffic. It is basically a lap pool (4 lanes). The gym is ok and not crowded. The TV is small (maybe 23”), but gets all the channels necessary to satisfy most all crew members (CNN, BBC, FoxNews, and Al Jazeera).
Restaurants in the hotel are good—expensive but good food. The main restaurant for breakfast provides a nice assortment (free). The Thai restaurant is very good, but expensive. Appetizers cost as much as the entrée! I did not try the Indian restaurant. The bar (main floor) is great. Lots of beers and many tv screens to watch sports. They will be broadcasting all the FIFA World Cup games. However, they strictly observe Islamic rules so there are time restrictions. With Ramadan starting June 28, 2014, I doubt they will serve any alcohol during the day games, and may not even be open for the finals except in the evening.
The ATM is right outside the hotel. For nearby restaurants, go out the hotel and turn left down the side street. Turn left at the first block. You’ll pass several assorted outdoor restaurants and mini-markets. Midway down the block is a Lebanese restaurant and the Pizza restaurant. Both are not bad (no alcohol). They are outdoor seating only, but in the evening in the shade it wasn’t bad. A little further down on the right is a Baskin & Robbins.
If you go out the hotel and again hang a left down the side street, but this time go two blocks, there is a lamb restaurant. It’s like a McDonalds but for lamb, serving kebobs, lamb burgers, and more. Across the street is a Green Chili Pepper restaurant (I didn’t try this). Turning left and going down the block is a good size grocery store.
Of course for a plethora of food selections, the Mall of the Emirates is just a few blocks away. Go down the main drag and turn into the revolving doors of the Kenski Hotel. Go straight through and you’re in the mall, right at Ski Dubai. Lots of restaurants in the mall with two food courts. I never did find the one that serves alcohol, but was told there is one in the mall.
Also nearby is the Wadi Water park, plus the water park at Atlantis. There are other nearby activities and the hotel has a tour desk for your desert excursions, helicopter tours, and more.
Overall, the location isn’t bad at all. I think it is better than the Crowne Plaza location. Maybe it’s not as nice, but there is a lot more to do in the area.