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Dubai 101

the must-dos for a trip to remember

hotels culture shops sights activities restaurants

kanoo world traveller 2013/14


The Meydan Hotel raises the bar for service, style and sheer indulgence and a visit to this iconic Dubai landmark will leave you breathless. Luxurious accommodation, several sensational restaurants and plenty of horse racing action make The Meydan Hotel the perfect weekend getaway.

A decision so difficult, trying both is the only option.

Situated in the heart of the Dubai desert, nestled between majestic dunes and clear blue skies, lies an exclusive traditional resort. Renowned for its traditional Arabic hospitality and unique setting, Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa is the ultimate luxury getaway.

For more information call +971 4 381 3231 or email info@meydanhotels.com www.meydanhotels.com


On Growing Success A decade has passed since Dubai first made headlines as a tourist destination in the making, and over that time it has blossomed into one of the world’s mustsee cities. An enticing mix of incredible architecture, stunning hotels and blissful blue sky, it continues to set the standard in an ever-growing region, and offers something new and exciting every time you visit. About this guide Our Dubai-based writers have selected the 101 best things about the city and placed them into simple-toreference sections, making it easy for you to plan your perfect trip to the City of Gold.

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Dubai

Contents

The Hotels – the choice picks from a line up of luxury dwellings

17

The Shopping – a retail experience unlike any other

23

The Restaurants – The city’s top tables for your must-dine list

33

The Culture & Sights– where to witness the city’s blossoming culture scene and see those famous buildings

37

The Activities – from snow to sun and much more besides

Production in whole or in part without written permission from HOT Media Publishing is strictly prohibited. HOT Media Publishing does not accept liability for omissions or errors in this publication.

Produced by HOT Media Publishing FZ LLC

Dubai 101

1


Welcome to Dubai Your must-read guide to getting here, getting around and settling in…

Getting There

both buses and metros. If you prefer

A wide array of airlines jet into Dubai

to travel by car, yellow Dubai taxis

on a daily basis, making it an easy

are plentiful and can be flagged down

destination to get to wherever you

from the roadside. Journeys have

covered slopes inside Ski Dubai.

happen to be in the GCC. Pay a visit

a minimum charge of 10 Dirhams,

That’s the equivalent of 3 football

to your nearest Kanoo Travel or

however short your journey. Those

fields

American Express Travel outlet for

who can’t cope without their own four

further information.

wheels, though, will find an expanse

Transport

of hire car options on their arrival into

Dubai is an easy city to navigate

the airport. Just a word of warning

The number of sharks and rays you

– though not on two legs. A

– roads can be chaotic and drivers

can see swimming the waters of the

combination of highways, lack of

haphazard, so be extra cautious and

pavements, on-going roadworks and

avoid peak times (7-9am and 6-7pm)

climate make it difficult to journey

when roads are at their busiest.

on foot. Instead take advantage of

Money

a plethora of public transport, all of

The official currency of the UAE is

which are reasonably priced. The

the UAE Dirham, which you will see

building on the planet, Dubai’s Burj

cheapest option is to take the bus

written as ‘dhs’ or ‘AED’. Banknotes

Khalifa (visit its observation deck on

or metro. Both make for clean and

are available in 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200,

air-conditioned modes of transport,

500 and 1,000 dirham form and there

with prices starting at just 1.8 Dirhams

are countless ATM machines citywide.

for the bus and likewise for the

For ease of reference, there is 1 Saudi

1,539

shortest journey by metro. Buy a

Riyal to 1 UAE Dirham, 1 Omani Rials

The number of rooms, including 166

‘nol’ card at either Metro or petrol

to 10 UAE Dirhams, 1 Qatar Riyal to 1

suites, at Atlantis, The Palm, which

stations, meanwhile, (priced around

UAE Dirham and 10 Bahrain Dinars to

is also home to a breathtaking and

20Dirhams) and you can use it on

1 UAE Dirham.

2

Dubai 101

22,500 The size, in square metres, of snow

400 Dubai Aquarium

830 The height, in metres, of the tallest

floor 124)

near vertical 61m long waterslide


31

4

Dates for your diary for when you’re in town... February

March

April

May

The world’s top players are in town for the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships – last year saw Roger Federer scoop his 5th Dubai title.

Gourmands will love savouring all manner of culinary creations at Taste of Dubai, a must-do festival for foodies.

Comic and animation mania explodes at The Middle East Film and Comic Con, the Middle East’s largest popular culture festival.

The Arabian Travel Market is a surefire way to feed your travel bug – make the most of tonnes of offers, plus parties and events held by regional hotels.

June

July

August

September

Modhesh World at Dubai World Trade Centre kick starts the summer months with bags of fun for little ones to enjoy.

Celebrate the holy month of Ramadan at Festival City toward the end of this month when it plays host to myriad family-friendly activities.

The largest dance event of the year, The 6th Dubai International Dance Festival 2013 is sure to get you in the summer swing with its first-rate dance and music.

Experience extreme racing at the Kartdome Endurance Challenge. It promises plenty of speed and ample adrenalin.

October

November

December

January

Calling all electro junkies. The GITEX Shopper 2013 comes chock full of worldclass electrical brands and the latest techno gadgets for you to bag and take home.

Sample the Sport of Kings at the Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club. Polo season kicks off this month, so pack (or order) a picnic and watch chukkas on the lawns.

The Dubai Rugby Sevens is a surety for fun in the sun – join the throngs who flock here in fancy dress, or just show up in your shorts to cheer on your country’s team.

Take to the streets for the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon and you can applaud the runners or don your trainers and make for the finish line yourself…

Dubai 101


The Hotels From luxury beachfront resorts to inner-city sanctuaries, Dubai serves up hotels to suit virtually every taste under the sun…

You simply can’t pay a visit to Dubai

Rooms and suites boast all manner

and suites. Get your bearings with

without casting your eyes over the

of Armani-themed goodies, too, from

a stroll around the property and

mighty Burj Khalifa. To the naked

fluffy branded robes to spectacular-

you’ll encounter plenty of stop-and-

eye, the world’s tallest building is

smelling lotions housed inside

stare sights: a sky-reaching glass

every bit the spectacle you’d hope

marble-decked bathrooms.

sculpture in the lobby, 17 restaurants

for – but to get closer still, you can’t

Another big-name hotel that’s

and nightspots (including the

beat spending the night inside its

long made its mark on tourists is

world-famous Nobu), boutiques

cylindrical walls. Enter its foot and

Atlantis, The Palm (atlantisthepalm.

showcasing fine threads and, as if

you’ll be stepping inside the seriously

com). Make a beeline up the trunk

that wasn’t enough, there’s even a

stylish environs of the Armani

of Dubai’s famous palm-shaped

fun-filled waterpark, Aquaventure,

Hotel Dubai (dubai.armanihotels.

isle and you’ll soon see the hotel’s

where you can do anything from

com). Designed by Georgio Armani

gargantuan pink archway, erupting

shoot down waterslides on a rubber

himself, interiors sport the kind of

with terracotta turrets, appear on the

ring to swimming with dolphins at

clean lines, classic colour palette

horizon. Abiding by Dubai’s ‘bigger

Dolphin Bay.

and sophisticated detailing you’d

is better’ philosophy, Atlantis, The

expect from Italian design royalty.

Palm boasts well over 1,000 rooms

If ‘wow factor’ tops your travel check list, look too to the Madinat Dubai 101

7


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Jumeirah (jumeirah.com), an

to drink in views of the sun-kissed

its splendid cafes and sprinkling of

Arabian-themed resort that

Arabian Sea.

shops. Here you’ll find the Sofitel

transports you to a faux-ancient-

Luxury-seekers will also welcome a

Dubai Jumeirah Beach (sofitel.com),

yet-luxurious world with its emerald

new addition on the Palm, Fairmont

a five-star hotel just a stone’s throw

green waterways (hop aboard

The Palm, Dubai (fairmont.com/

from the beach – venture across and

an Abra while you’re there) and

palm-dubai), the hotel group’s

hotel staff will hand you a goody bag

labyrinthine walkways which snake

second property in the city (the

with towels and water for the trip. All

between shops, restaurants, lounges

other well-regarded venue is set on

of the hotel’s rooms marry French

and three hotels – one of which is the

Sheikh Zayed Road). Here, water

and Arabic décor to elegant effect,

jewel in the resort’s crown, Al Qasr.

babes will be thrilled to find a private

but the crème de la crème has to

Meaning ‘palace’, you only need enter

beach, beach club, no less than four

be the expansive Imperial Suite – its

its majestic avenue, lined by prancing

sparkling swimming pools and, to

huge terrace bestows the best sea

gold horses, to see how it earned

cap it all, comfy cabanas where a

view in this area.

its name. Another hotel here, Mina

butler is on hand to fulfil your every

A’Salam, is a grandiose haunt with

whim – so lifting a finger is very

Walk and you’ll soon encounter the

bags of Arabic charm. Stay at either

much optional.

stylish hotel apartments of Oasis

and make sure to sample their Friday

To entrench yourself in yet more

Continue your stroll along The

Beach Tower (jaresortshotels.com). It

brunches, where you’ll be privy to a

sun, sea and sand, Dubai-favourite

offers top quality two, three and four

royal feast featuring virtually every

The Walk is a choice location, not

bedroom apartments, replete with

cuisine under the sun.

only for its golden public beach but

kitchens and dining rooms, a pool

for the fact that it’s one of the city’s

that overlooks the sea and, directly

with equal clout in the decadence

rare pedestrianised areas, where it’s

below, a couple of great restaurants

stakes; the palatial Jumeirah Zabeel

easy to while away hours meandering

– perfect if you enjoy your own space

Back on the Palm is a hotel

Saray (jumeirah.com). Taking its inspiration from the royal residences of the Ottoman era, it’s a showcase of grandiose gold pillars, red and

‘A hotel with clout in the decadence stakes is the palatial Jumeirah Zabeel Saray’

turquoise jewel chandeliers and handpainted frescos, forming the most opulent of backdrops to your stay. Rooms, meanwhile, come with huge Turkish baths and silk-draped beds in rich hues – enough to make you feel like royalty yourself. Set on the Palm’s same western crescent, you’ll find the formidable façade of the Kempinski Hotel & Residences Palm Jumeirah (kempinski.com), whose lavish lobby is very much a sign of the luxuries that await you. Choose between a suite, penthouse or villa and you’ll be immersed in plush Italian décor in duck egg blue or glittering gold. Each comes with either a sizeable balcony or terrace (complete with Corinthianstyle pillars), making it a breeze Dubai 101

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on holiday. Stay here and you’ll also

be in the thick of the city’s soaring

enjoy complimentary use of the

skyscrapers. And where better to

private beach at sister property Jebel

stay than at new kid on the block

Ali Golf Resort.

– the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel

One of the city’s perennial

Opening page: Atlantis, The Palm. Previous page: Jumeirah Zabeel Saray. This page, left: Le Meridien Mina Seyahi. Above: Address Downtown Dubai.

Dubai (marriott.com). Despite being

favourites situated aside the sea is Le

primarily pitched as a business hotel,

Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort

there’s not a hint of the ordinary

& Marina (lemeridien-minaseyahi.

here thanks to a stellar SARAY Spa

meeting room’ (shaped like a large

com). it has recently reopened

and health club, no less than 10

piece of folded paper) and the

following an extensive refurbishment,

restaurants, plus a Penthouse Suite

luminous, coloured cubes that form

and now boasts beautifully

with the kind of sprawling city vistas

drinks’ tables at its popular rooftop

designed rooms, an inviting line up

that only this, the world’s tallest hotel

Pool Bar – a great spot for a mocktail

of new restaurants and the same

tower, can offer.

with a view.

outstanding service which has made

The Radisson Royal Hotel, Dubai

Also assuming prime locations on

it such a favourite with both locals

(radissonblu.com) is also a relative

the non-stop Sheikh Zayed Road are

and tourists alike.

newcomer to the area and affords

the Shangri-La Dubai (shangri-la.

some of the best sparkling city vistas

com) and The Grand Millennium

however, urbanites should make their

over Sheikh Zayed Road. Those

Dubai (millenniumhotels.com).

way along Sheikh Zayed Road, the

with an eye for design will love its

Despite its proximity to the road,

city’s main artery, where you’ll soon

edgier elements, such as its ‘origami

the Shangri-La is a surprisingly

If a seaside view isn’t a priority,

Dubai 101

11


soothing retreat, perhaps thanks

Emirates or teeing off at Emirates

in a great, central location, these

to its top notch health and leisure

Golf Club within minutes. But, if you

serviced apartments allow you to

outlets – it would be scandalous to

prefer to stay put, there are few

create a real home-from-home in

leave without a spell in its sublime

better environs to do so than in one

Dubai. Each well-furnished abode

spa, a can’t-fail way to blast away

of the hotel’s Penthouses, which, with

comes with one, two or three

any niggling stresses. The Grand

four bedrooms, boast enough room

bedrooms (there’s also a top-floor

Millennium Dubai, meanwhile, places

for all the family – oh, and a butler

penthouse), and whichever you

you in close proximity to livelier

too. Those who prefer self-catering

choose you can make the most of the

pursuits – hop in a taxi and you can

should seek out Fraser Suites Dubai

venue’s hotel-worthy facilities – an

be shopping at the nearby Mall of the

(dubai.frasershospitality.com). Set

outdoor pool, kids’ wading pool and play room, gym, tennis and squash courts, spa and all-day café included. Another fine option for selfcatering is the Al Ghurair Arjaan by Rotana (rotana.com). This alcoholfree property offers deluxe, good sized apartments which are stocked with everything you’d need to make your stay as homely as possible, including a washing machine and appliance-laden kitchen. An additional pull is the fact that guests can also enjoy access to the interlinked, five star Al Ghurair Rayhaan by Rotana, which houses a great spa. To really get to the heart of the city, Dubai International Financial

‘Set on the Palm’s western crescent you’ll find the formidable façade of the Kempinski Hotel & Residences Palm Jumeirah’

Centre (or ‘DIFC’ as it’s termed by locals) is the place to be – particularly for the gourmands and social butterflies among you. With the cream of the city’s restaurants set right here, it’s quickly established a name for itself as Dubai’s culinary centre. The Ritz-Carlton Dubai International Financial Centre (ritzcarlton.com) plays its part with no less than six stellar eateries, most notably Center Cut for its Big Applestyle décor and prime cuts of meat. The hotel itself pays equal attention to quality décor, a fact that’s instantly apparent as you walk through its handsome limestone façade to find sophisticated interior. To edge closer to the Burj Khalifa, The Address Downtown Dubai

12 Dubai 101


(theaddress.com) is a worthy pick

300-store Deira City Centre and its

– in fact, its own impressive tower

wealth of other attractions, while

will have you craning your neck for

inside the hotel you’ll find newly

a better look. If you ask us, its 63rd

renovated rooms, great amenities

floor is the place to go to get to

(spa included) and numerous prime

grips with the hotel’s heady heights

spots from which to look on at the

(and spy the Burj while you’re at

bustling Creek.

it). It’s home to Neos, a stunning

In fact, with the opening of the

lounge which glistens thanks to a

Jumeirah Creekside Hotel (jumeriah.

mix of space-age lights and mirrored

com) late last year, there’s never

surfaces. Stays here will place you

been a better reason to venture to

right next door to another major

this part of the city, which is dubbed

Dubai attraction – The Dubai Mall.

‘the real Dubai’ on account of the city

Label-lovers should also look to

being born by the Creek. In contrast

Raffles Dubai (raffles.com) – with its

to its time-honoured environs,

pyramid structure it’s difficult to miss

Jumeirah Creekside is ahead of

– which neighbours Wafi shopping

Dubai’s current hotel crowd with

mall, a home to big name designers.

its eco-friendly philosophies and a

Back at the hotel, that distinctive

thriving arts programme that sees

façade gives way to an Egyptian

works by emerging local talent take

themed décor while, outside, the

pride of place inside. For night owls,

hotel’s Botanical Gardens are dreamy

its Cuban-inspired rooftop lounge,

enough to make you entirely forget

Cu-ba is fast becoming the city’s new

you’re in a bustling city.

go-to haunt.

But if being a stone’s throw from

Previous page, top to bottom: Kempinksi Hotel & Residences Palm Jumeirah; Crowne Plaza Dubai-Deira. This page, clockwise from below: Bab Al Shams; The Meydan.

Along the Creek you’ll also find

a shopping mall isn’t enough, how

the brilliant InterContinental Dubai

about being connected to one? The

Festival City (ichotelsgroup.com),

Pullman Dubai Deira City Centre

home to the best concierge in the

(accorhotels.com) is adjoined to the

city (ask for an idea of where to go

to experience the more traditional aspects of the city and you’ll receive a great itinerary) and what’s arguably its best restaurant too, Reflets Par Pierre Gagnaire. It’s also home to some of the best suites in the city and a fabulous spa too, while its choice location also affords opportunity for a round at the 18hole Al Badia Golf Club, or shopping at the adjacent Festival Centre. Further into the city’s original downtown, Deira, you’ll find the Crowne Plaza Dubai-Deira (ichotelsgroup.com). It’s from the same stable as the ever-popular Crowne Plaza Dubai, on Sheikh Zayed Road, and like its elder sibling this hotel’s star attractions are its restaurants, principally the alwaysatmospheric Spice Island, which draws a good mix of residents and tourists nightly. But this is also a hotel that’s perfectly located if you wish to explore places like the Gold Souk, or enjoy fantastic views across the city from a rooftop pool. In neighboring Bur Dubai, meanwhile, is another hotel that’s hoping to make a name for itself through its restaurants: Melia Dubai (melia-dubai.com). Located here are outlets under the stewardship of the Michelin-starred Sanjeev Kapoor and

14 Dubai 101


Marco Pierre White, both of which

to the constant hubbub of Sheikh

different from its sibling. Built in the

are must-tries while you’re in town.

Zayed Road, there is something very

style of an Arabic fort, it’s a low-rise

The rooms here are also a big pull for

tranquil about this five star hotel,

oasis amid rolling sand dunes, and

anyone seeking a sleek, modern and

where guests will also be charmed by

gives guests the opportunity to

very tasteful dwelling.

a great spread of restaurants – don’t

sample the calmness of the desert.

leave without trying the Royal Thai

And once suitably relaxed, you

cuisine at signature outlet Benjarong

can try your hand at the traditional

Elsewhere in Bur Dubai is the Majestic Hotel Tower Dubai (dubaimajestic.com). This

In a city of remarkable hotels,

Arabic pursuits of horse riding and

comfortable, amenities-stacked hotel

perhaps the most unique is The

provides a great base from which to

Meydan (meydanhotels.com). Aside

explore both old and new Dubai, but

a track that hosts the richest horse

and bustle of the city is the sublime

its standout attraction is The Music

race on the planet, The Dubai World

Palm Tree Court (jaresortshotels.

Room – home to live music every

Cup, the hotel spans much of the

com), a luxury beach resort that’s

night of the week, it is undoubtedly

Meydan racecourse, which means

perfectly geared towards families.

Dubai’s go-to destination for a

it simply cannot be trumped come

As such there’s a plethora of on-site

unique night out. Head here after a

race season. Want to go all out?

entertainments to keep the kids

fine feed in the hotel’s celebrated

Reserve a Panoramic Suite and you

amused – and a spectacular golf

Greek restaurant Elia, another of the

can catch sight of the action as you

course for dad.

city’s finest attractions.

ready yourself. The hotel also boasts

falconry. Another escape from the hustle

The pick of the accommodation

a dedicated Ladies’ Floor where

here can be found in The Residence,

buildings is the Dusit Thani Dubai

female guests are afforded a private

a luxurious villa comprising just 14

(dusit.com), designed to represent

butler and complimentary in-room

beautifully designed suites, each of

hands joined together in a traditional

breakfast. The Meydan’s sister hotel,

which is served by a private butler on

Thai greeting. Despite its setting next

Bab Al Shams, is something entirely

hand day or night.

One of Dubai’s most iconic

Dubai 101

15


Opening soon in Al Wahda Mall – New Extension, Abu Dhabi Kingdom of Bahrain: Al Aali Mall Tel: +973 1758 2588 • Seef Mall Tel: +973 1758 3399 • Bahrain City Centre Tel: +973 1717 9898 UAE: Mall of the Emirates Tel: +971 4 3410917 • Dubai Mall Tel: +971 4 4343113, Tel: +971 4 4341251 • Mirdif City Centre Tel: +971 4 2840123 www.devjiaurum.com


The Shopping Whether it’s international designer threads, treasures and trinkets or big brands you seek, Dubai presents limitless opportunities to shop… to get the most out of Dubai World-famous for its standout

boutiques and stores, leaving even

shopping, Dubai’s multitude of

the most seasoned shoppers spoilt

immaculate malls have become

for choice.

known as much for their generous

Speaking of footwear, inside The

sizes and head-turning features

Dubai Mall you’ll find the world’s

as the standout stores within. For

largest store devoted entirely to

visiting shopaholics, it makes for a

them, level Shoe District, where

retail experience like few others.

you can try on styles from over

The city’s pièce de résistance in

250 designer brands. In fact, it’s

the shopping stakes, though, has

flagship stores galore elsewhere

to be The Dubai Mall – commonly

inside, many of them belonging

known as the biggest mall in the

to exclusive fashion and jewellery

world. It’s essential shopping

brands. Those with a weakness for

ground for both serious buyers and

big names shouldn’t leave without

the merely curious. But, be sure to

a trip to Bloomingdale’s, which

wear comfortable shoes – its glossy

makes its first appearance outside

avenues give way to some 1,200

of America right here. In true Dubai style, Bloomie’s foray into the Middle East is a big one – you can trawl clothing, jewellery and accessories, treat yourself to a spell in its beauty salon, pick up tempting treats in its sizeable food section and, for home bods, visit a separate Bloomingdale’s Home and snap up only the very latest interior offerings. For a slice of France, meanwhile, don’t bypass Galeries Lafayette. The first ever franchise of the department store in the world, it’s been plucked straight from Paris and lands here with a bountiful array of fanciful French brands. So revered is Galeries Lafayette in its homeland that it’s serviced the French elite for some one hundred years. For yet more wow factor (on a slightly smaller scale of 520 stores), seek out the Mall of the Emirates Dubai 101

17


– set on Sheikh Zayed Road, its brightly-lit façade is impossible to miss at night. Once you’ve made your way past the super cars that often line its entrance (Ferraris, Maseratis, Bentleys…) you’ll find equal helpings of glamour inside, most notably in the form of Harvey Nichols, which makes its home here as the largest store of its kind outside of the UK. The ‘M of E’, as local residents sometimes call it, is also home to a long list of high street names – Zara, Debenhams, H&M, French Connection and Juicy Couture among them – with plenty of options for men, women and kids alike, plus plentiful home décor stores and well-priced electric outlets too. Like The Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates has plenty to keep kids (and adults) entertained between shops – from fun in the snow at the mighty Ski Dubai to fabulous food outlets at the adjacent Kempinski Hotel and a surround-sound experience at the mall’s standout cinema. If keeping little ones occupied is important to you, make for Mirdif City Centre, where its Playnation entertainment outlet is as popular as its shops: kids can let loose at Yalla! Bowling, perfect their footie skills at

‘Inside The Dubai Mall you’ll find the world’s largest store devoted entirely to footwaer: level Shoe District’

Soccer Circus Dubai and partake in interactive activities at edutainment

those after British high street names

worthy stop-off for a more tranquil

centre Little Explorers. And, with the

– Top Shop, Oasis, H&M, New Look,

pace of shopping, teamed with some

kids occupied, you’re free to make

River Island and Next are all adjacent

great food outlets. Here, high street

the most of some 430 stores…

to one another – as well as individual

stores take precedence (Mango,

finds like the eye-catching Ginger &

Reiss, Coast, Monsoon) as well as an

be had at the colourful Ibn Battuta

Lace boutique, where you’re sure to

array of quality kids’ stores (Mamas

Mall, which takes both its name and

find a one-of-a-kind dress for a night

and Papas, Mothercare), plus a

style from the Arabian explorer: each

out in Dubai. And if all that spending

bevy of quality cafes – including

shopping ‘court’ is inspired by his

is making you hungry, take time

Carluccio’s, More Café, Yo Sushi and

travels – so you can shop in China,

out at the Lime Tree Café, famous

the decadent Shakespeare & Co –

India, Persia, Egypt, Andalusia or

citywide for its delicious cakes and

where you can pep up your energy

Tunisia. But that’s not to say you

wicked chocolate brownies.

levels.

Another unique experience can

won’t recognise the store names: this manageable-sized mall is great for 18 Dubai 101

If smaller scale malls are more your cup of tea, the Marina Mall is a

Festival Centre at Dubai Festival City is also a prime pit stop for


Opening page. top to bottonm: BurJuman, The Dubai Mall. Previous page: level Shoe District: This page: Bloomindgale’s.

shoppers who like to team their retail therapy with a fine feed. After taking a turn around its 400 shops, stroll along Canal Walk, where some 50 restaurants are sure to tickle your tastebuds. If your soul aim is to splash some serious cash, look no further than BurJuman, where a sparkling array of top designer names awaits. The best of BurJuman’s high-end stores (Chanel and Valentino being just two top names among its 300 stores) has to be Saks Fifth Avenue. Straight from the Big Apple, it dominates two levels and fashion worshippers will be in seventh heaven at its Christian Dior concession, plus, the pinnacle for shoe-lovers – Manolo Blahnik. More spectacular sights await behind Wafi’s pyramid-shaped façade: statues, mosaic floors and stained-glass windows form an eye-

Road – the Dubai Outlet Mall. Here

can be assured of reputable dealers.

catching backdrop to 350 stores. Of

you’ll uncover hundreds of designer

The Souk is thought to shelter some

them, Salam is not-to-be-missed – at

fashion brands with pieces at slashed

10 tonnes of gold at any one time,

10,000 square feet it’s among the

prices (expect to pay between 30

which means you’re bound to hit

UAE’s largest stores and home to

and 90% less). A fab find for bargain

the jackpot, while at the Dubai Gold

fashion for both him and her – expect

hunters.

& Diamond Park you’ll be following

the likes of D&G, Hugo Boss and Rock & Republic.

Finally, few trips to the emirate

in the jewellery-hunting footsteps

would be complete without taking

of many a celebrity: photos of A-list

home a piece of the region’s famous

visitors dot the walls in the some of

loosen, your purse strings worry

gold. The Dubai Gold Souk and

the shops here. What better place to

not – a well-hidden secret is situated

Dubai Gold & Diamond Park are the

purchase a well-priced gem in tribute

just outside the city on Al Ain

city’s two standout spots, where you

to your glittering stay in the City?

If you need to tighten, rather than

Dubai 101

21


The Restaurants Dubai’s dining scene has come of age, with high-end restaurants now serving up style and substance in equal portions Dubai has always been a magnet for big-name chefs and renowned restaurant chains. But this isn’t to say that the city’s top eateries rely solely on the reputation of star chefs to attract customers – fierce competition has forced more established venues to raise their game, while high-profile restaurant openings continue to inject energy and imagination into Dubai’s diverse dining scene. One trend that has emerged in recent years is the rise of Dubai’s independent restaurants, helmed by chefs who would rather make a name for themselves in their own right, than come to the city to work under

‘La Petite Maison has raised the bar for new restaurant openings in Dubai’

a Michelin-star mantle. Table 9 by Scott and Nick in Hilton Dubai Creek (+971 4 227 1111) is the brainchild of Gordon Ramsay’s former protégés Scott Price and Nick Alvis, who have made it their mission to etch British-influenced, seasonal dishes into Dubai’s culinary consciousness. Likewise, Japanese restaurant TOMO at Raffles Dubai (+971 4 324 8888), has received rave reviews since opening in December 2012. The TOMO team are no strangers to Dubai, having already garnered a loyal following from their time at Kisaku in Al Khaleej Palace. Dubai has long had a taste for Japanese fare, which makes Sushi Counter a welcome addition to the scene. Though less ‘high-end’ than destination restaurant TOMO, Sushi Dubai 101

23


Opening page, top to bottom: At.mosphere; La Petite Maison. This page, clockwise from below: Nobu; The Ivy; Royal China.

Counter’s slick Media City location

will attest that DIFC has emerged as

(+971 4 375 1095) is the perfect

the city’s dining epicentre. La Petite

place for a power lunch. Meanwhile,

Maison (+971 4 439 0505) has raised

creative types wanting to spend an

the bar for new restaurant openings,

afternoon brainstorming (fuelled by

exuding the kind of ambience you’d

competently crafted Japanese fare)

expect from a London or New York

should check out the larger, artfully

eatery. Close by you’ll find 2012

appointed venue on Sheikh Zayed

newcomer Roberto’s (+971 4 386

Road (+971 4 388 8065).

0066), a sprawling, characterful

To discuss Dubai’s abundant

Italian restaurant, boasting a vast

Japanese offerings without a

menu conjured up by long-term

mention of Nobu at Atlantis,

Dubai restaurateur Roberto Rella

384 8484) has further elevated the

The Palm (+971 4 426 2626) or

and his team. Famous steakhouse

standing of contemporary Chinese

longstanding favourite Zuma in

Gaucho (+971 4 422 7898) has also

fare in Dubai. Anyone familiar with

DIFC (+971 4 425 5660) would be

found a home in DIFC and is notable

Alan Yau’s brainchild will appreciate

an injustice; the former now boasts

for its glimmering high-ceilinged

the slick setting and delectable dim

an intimate Japanese-style garden

venue, (embellished with slate black

sum; however, the restaurant’s most

for al-fresco dining, while the latter

furnishings and cowhide chairs), as

striking feature has to be its beautiful

has long wooed the city’s beautiful

has smart, scarlet-hued venue Royal

terrace, which appears to have

people with its award-winning

China (+971 4 354 5543), which

been designed with feng shui dining

business lunch deals, consistently

serves good dim sum at lunchtime,

firmly in mind. Jumeirah Emirates

excellent à la carte menu, hip

and expertly prepared Peking duck in

Towers also houses The Ivy (+971

environs and buzzing atmosphere.

the evening.

4 319 8767), the first and, to date,

Anyone keeping an eye on the

Perennial favourite Hakkasan in

dynamics of Dubai’s dining scene

Jumeirah Emirates Towers (+971 4

24 Dubai 101

only other instalment of the London celebrity magnet.


A Touch of Thai in Modern Hospitality Experience the pinnacle of Thai hospitality and traditions at the very heart of Arabic culture and cosmopolitan splendor with Dusit Thani Dubai. The iconic 5-star property is situated just a stone’s throw from the world’s tallest tower, the Burj Khalifa, and the world’s largest shopping mall, The Dubai Mall and only 20 minutes from the airport. • 321 newly renovated rooms and suites • Seven award winning food and beverage outlets • Covered and valet parking available • 24-hour front desk and concierge desk

For enquiries and reservations: Tel: +971 (4) 343 3333, Fax: +971 (4) 343 4222 Email: reservations.dtdu@dusit.com

• 24-hour room service • Fully equipped gym and roof top pool • Complimentary wireless internet access in all areas • Complimentary shuttle service to and from The Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa


Advertorial

Welcome to Paradise Desert Palm Dubai is a haven of understated luxury amid stunning surrounds Away from the constant din of downtown Dubai, and the gridlocked, skyscraper-lined roads that run though it, stands a perfect escape: an ultra chic hotel which emerges into view as you drive into the lush surrounds and pea-green polo fields which meet your arrival at the exclusive Desert Palm Dubai resort. Here you’ll find beautifully designed rooms, where Arabia marries avant-garde, a restaurant that can count itself amongst the city’s finest, six spa suites and the attentive service you only find in a hotel of just 38 rooms and suites. In fact, the only challenging aspect of a stay here comes when selecting your room. The Pool Villas are a great choice for couples that value privacy, featuring large indoor and outdoor living and dining areas, a private pool, a delightfully ‘sunken’ bedroom and al fresco rain shower. More private still are the Pool Residences, which have 9ft walls hiding the ultimate home from home: two bedrooms and a study that can be made into a third room, a fully-equipped kitchen and state-of-the-art home entertainment system, and a manicured garden housing a pool and sun deck. But the ultimate abode is Villa Layali. It’s the resort’s one-of-a-kind two-bedroom presidential villa, and is surrounded by lush grass, colossal palm trees and high walls to maintain privacy. It stands within an open-air courtyard with a large swimming pool and water features. And to enjoy the best of your surrounds while here, you need only head up to the villa’s rooftop terrace at sunset, from where you can watch polo each day before the sun slips into the dunes before you. Bliss. desertpalm.peraquum.com

26 Dubai 101


splendid One&Only The Palm (+971

where guests are invited to browse

central business district and towards

4 440 1030) resort, meanwhile,

and sample sweet treats before

the coast, the Madinat Jumeirah

which crowns the tip of The Palm’s

ordering them by the metre (yes,

complex has enjoyed a handful

west crescent, is endowed with the

really). French master Alléno has

of high-profile openings to help

sublime STAY by Yannick Alléno,

also had a hand in the menu of the

further its dining credentials. The

which, in addition to its servings

hotel’s glorious restaurant-lounge

most notable is the new Rivington

of seasonal French fare, offers a

101. Billowing sails form a canopied

Bar & Grill (+971 4 366 6464),

ground-breaking ‘dessert library’,

ceiling, under which ivory white

Moving away from the city’s

which upholds the simple yet stylish values of the Souk Al Bahar venue (and indeed the original restaurant in Hoxton, London), and offers the added bonus of a rustic-chic lounge upstairs, as well as a sizeable terrace offering fantastic views of the Madinat’s winding waterways. Rivington now offers special theatre deals, meaning that you can grab a bite before or after a performance at the nearby First Group Theatre. The Madinat also featured the cosy confines of Honyaki (+971 4 366 6730), which specialises in maki rolls (try the Dynamite variety) and features a quaint terrace. Fish fans, meanwhile, are advised to amble up the pier to Pierchic (or, in true Dubai style, hop on a chauffeured buggy) at Al Qasr Hotel (+971 4 366 6730). The renowned seafood restaurant has long attracted tourists and residents alike, with its unique setting (take a table on the balcony and gaze back at the Burj Al Arab), impeccable service and the finest imported seafood available in the emirate. As with the Madinat, The Palm Jumeirah has enjoyed something of a restaurant resurgence in recent times – the aforementioned Nobu continues to woo customers with Peruvian-Japanese fusion fare, while Atlantis’s other flagship restaurant, Ossiano (+971 4 426 2626), has been reinvigorated by the appointment of talented South African Chef de Cuisine Wesley Berghoff. The Dubai 101

27


More space to be yourself... More space to be yourself... Space, luxury, privacy. Each of our wonderfully stylish suites, penthouses and villas offers the ultimate in exclusivity, bringing a touch of European flair to Dubai, for you and your family. Space, luxury, privacy. Each of our wonderfully stylish suites, We were pleased to be presented with two awards at the recent penthouses and villas offers the ultimate in exclusivity, bringing World Travel Awards, including Middle East’s Leading Penthouse. a touch of European flair to Dubai, for you and your family. We were pleased to be presented with two awards at the recent Some are too good to keep. World Travel Awards, including Middle East’s Leading Penthouse.

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and silver furnishings constitute the effortlessly sophisticated interior. However, we recommend you take a seat out on the terrace for views of the Arabian Gulf and the twinkling Dubai skyline – a perfect setting for laidback sundowners and tapas-style dishes, as well as a romantic meal. Suffice to say, Yannick Alléno is not the only Michelin-star name above the door of a Dubai restaurant. British Chef Gary Rhodes was one of the first ‘celebrity’ chefs to open a restaurant in Dubai, and the only one to have gone on to open two: his first venture, Rhodes Mezzanine

caught the imagination of self-

worshippers of the culinary kind will

at Grosvenor House (+971 4 399

respecting carnivores with offerings

praise the light, yet spicy tapas-style

8888) remains at the forefront of

such as the wagyu beef burger.

offerings (be sure to save yourself for

Dubai’s fine-dining scene, thanks to

In addition to Rhodes Mezzanine,

dessert: the chocolate samosas are

its ethereal setting (think pristine,

Indego by Vineet (+971 4 399 8888),

all-white decor) and the menu’s

founded by India’s first Michelin-

playful twist on Great British classics.

Star chef Vineet Bhatia, also graces

twinkle as far as Festival City, where

Tapping into the city’s ongoing love

Grosevnor House. The restaurant

Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire resides

affair with steakhouses, Rhodes

offers a refreshing, not to mention

in the InterContinental Dubai Festival

subsequently opened Rhodes

rare take on Indian cuisine, served

City (+971 4 701 1111). Though the

Twenty10 (+971 4 399 5555), which

in a temple-like setting. Indeed,

restaurant is someway from the

divine). Dubai’s Michelin-star names

Dubai 101

29


hubbub of Downtown Dubai and the

eateries of Bur Dubai and Deira.

Marina, it does offer a glorious retreat

The city’s rich multiculturalism is

for those who prefer to dine without

reflected in its wealth of fantastic

distraction, focussing on the food

Indian, Pakistani, Filipino and

alone. The ever-changing menu has

Chinese restaurants. Though there

featured dishes such as L’Agneaux du

are too many to list here, they can

Quercy and the oyster Les Huitres,

be unearthed on a stroll along and

which make Reflets a must-visit

around Deira Creek.

destination for serious gourmands.

For the less adventurous, it’s

While Dubai’s dining scene is a

advisable to take in the sights and

more mature beast than it was in

sounds of ‘Old Dubai’ from the

its brash beginnings, there’s still

comfort of Bateaux Dubai (+971

room for a welcome dash of the

4 399 4994), a dinner cruise that

wow-factor. The city is fond of

meanders along the Creek, while

superlatives, so it’s no surprise that

diners tuck into three delicious

it’s home to the world’s highest

courses, chosen from a generous set

restaurant. At.mosphere (+971 4 888

menu – a perfect marriage of food

3444) is perched on the 122nd floor

and Dubai culture.

of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, and serves up steak cooked on the Josper Grill as a succulent accompaniment to the breathtaking views. It should be noted that the Burj is also home to the Armani Hotel, which in turn houses yet another high-end Japanese restaurant in the shape of Armani/ Hashi (+971 4 888 3444). With the colourful and varied array of international cuisines in Dubai, diners would be forgiven for forgetting that they are indeed in the Middle East. However, regional cuisine is generously represented by the likes of sophisticated Lebanese restaurant Al Nafoorah, with venues at Jumeirah Emirates Towers and Jumeirah Zabeel Saray (+971 4 319 8088; +971 4 453 0444), as well as the all-singing, all-dancing Khan Murjan (+971 4 327 9795) in WAFI, where, thankfully, the food matches the energetic entertainment and impressive Arabesque setting. While Dubai is bubbling over with fine dining options, it’d be folly to overlook the plentiful backstreet 30 Dubai 101

Page before previous, top to bottom: Pierchic; Ossiano. Previous page, top to bottom: Rhodes Mezzanine; Hakkasan. This page: Zuma.


The Sights and Culture Believe it or not, Dubai plays host to a vibrant and varied arts scene – you just need to know where to find it…

Saying that Dubai is a city devoid of

support of local benefactors, such as

Lahore, Pakistan to Dubai, and

culture is an all-too easy assertion

Emirati Abdelmonem Alserkal.

focuses on art from South Asia and

to make. Granted, it doesn’t have

Mr Alserkal is responsible for

Europe. La Galerie Nationale (+971

the wealth of galleries and museums

Dubai’s new art hub, the aptly named

4 380 46 52) exhibits and sells

of, say, London or New York, but

Alserkal Avenue (alserkalavenue.

contemporary and vintage furniture,

naysayers should keep in mind that

com), which features a host of

while Salsali Private Museum (+971

Dubai as we know it has only been

high-profile galleries that have

4 380 9600) is reminiscent of an

around for little over 40 years.

found themselves at the forefront

aircraft hangar and exhibits local art

Scratch beneath the surface, look

of Dubai’s budding art scene: Mojo

and video installations.

beyond the skyscrapers, malls and

(+971 4 347 7388) – part advertising

highways, and you’ll be rewarded

agency, part art gallery – and a

8545) is the epicentre of local

with a small yet vibrant arts scene

‘multifunctional space’ utilised for

and international photographic

that has flourished in recent years

exhibitions, installations and live

exhibitions, and also holds

thanks to growing interest in Middle

performances. Grey Noise (+971

workshops as well as selling fantastic

Eastern art from the West, and the

4 379 0764) has relocated from

prints.

Gulf Photo Plus (+971 4 380

Dubai 101

33


should check out the Dubomedy website (dubomedy.com) to see local comedians perform, while those wanting to chuckle along with recognised international comedians, should log onto The Laughter Factory website (thelaughterfactory. com) to find who’s in town next, and where they’re performing. More sober cultural sustenance

‘Take time to visit the Jumeirah Mosque, the city’s most famous (and impressive) place of worship’

can be found at the Dubai Museum (+971 4 353 1862), which is set in the impressive Al Fahidi Fort, built in 1787 (who says Dubai has no

Art Museum and Opera House

history?). The museum features an

Financial Centre, to give it its full

District to open in Downtown Dubai,

underground section bursting with

name) is arguably a more accessible

though completion dates are yet to

artefacts and old photographs of

place to peruse local artworks (if only

be announced.

Dubai in years gone by. Museum

DIFC (or Dubai International

because the area also features great

If your artistic inclinations are

aficionados should take a daytrip to

restaurants). Galleries of note include

more mainstream, then head to First

Sharjah (the UAE’s ‘cultural capital’),

XVA Gallery (+971 4 358 5117),

Group Theatre (+971 4 366 6546)

which is home to a slew of museums

Art Sawa (+971 4 386 2366) and

at Madinat Jumeirah, which is fast

– see sharjahmuseums.ae for details.

Ayyam Gallery (+971 4 439 2395).

becoming the go-to destination

Alternatively, head to the Al Quoz

for the city’s theatre lovers. Shows

doesn’t have to be confined to a

area where you’ll find Traffic (+971

range from stand-up comedy to

museum – anyone who takes time

4 347 0209), one of the city’s most

international ballet performances

to stroll the Creek and hop on a

famous galleries, as well as thejamjar

and to top-notch plays. DUCTAC

traditional abra (stations line the

(+971 4 341 7303) where you can

(+971 4 341 4777), in Mall of the

waterway), can get a good sense

get your hands dirty partaking in all

Emirates, is Dubai’s other theatre of

of the city’s origins as a bustling

manner of arts and crafts.

note, and stages local productions,

seaport. Alternatively, take a deeper

It’s also worth mentioning that

as well as comedy and acting

dive into Dubai’s past (literally)

there are plans for a Dubai Modern

workshops. Fans of stand-up

and spend a day pearl diving

34 Dubai 101

Discovering Dubai’s history


Opening page: Dubai Fountains. Opposite page, clockwise from left: Jumeirah Mosque; Dubai Museum. This page, clockwise from left: Burj Al Arab; XVA Gallery.

As mentioned in The Activities section of this guide, no trip to Dubai would be complete without scaling the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. Buy tickets to At the Top viewing gallery online (burjkhalifa. ae) and gawp at the city from 124 floors up (not the highest floor of the building, but who’s counting?). But remember that Dubai is a city from an authentic dhow, under the

Fountains at Souk Al Bahar. Set

of two Burjs, so be sure to swing by

supervision of real-life pearl divers.

on the 30-acre Burj Khalifa Lake,

and snap the magnificent sail-shaped

The experience includes lunch, a brief

the water jets reach a whopping

Burj Al Arab (+971 4 301 7777). The

lesson in pearl diving technique, and

150-metres high, which is the

best way to take a sneak peek at

the chance to keep any pearls you

equivalent height of a 50-storey

the splendour inside the self-styled

pluck from the seabed. For details,

building. If this isn’t enough to

‘world’s only seven-star hotel’ is to

call +971 4 406 8828.

wow you, the fountain ‘dances’ in

book an afternoon tea in advance of

Back on dry land, take time to

time with a selection of pop, opera

visiting.

visit the Jumeirah Mosque (+971 4

and Arabic classics – from the late

353 6666), the city’s most famous

Whitney Houston’s ‘I Will Always

an abundance of great public

(and impressive) place of worship.

Love You’, to local favourite ‘Shik

beaches where you can do anything

The Sheikh Mohammed Centre of

Shak Shok’ and Andrea Bocelli’s ‘Con

from simple sunbathing to myriad

Cultural Understanding runs tours

te Partiro (‘Time to Say Goodbye’).

watersports, including JBR Beach

around the mosque every Sunday,

There are two daytime shows at 1pm

(popular with the hip young things),

Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at

and 1.30pm, but we suggest saving

Jumeirah Beach Park (a relaxing,

10am. No reservation is required, but

yourself for the nightly shows, which

family-friendly and well-facilitated

visitors are asked to dress modestly.

start at 6.30pm and run every half an

beach), and Kitesurfing Beach

hour until 11pm. Toe-tapping fun for

(popular with, you guessed it,

all the family.

kitesurfers).

Of course, you can’t visit Dubai without marvelling at the Dubai

Last but not least, Dubai offers

Dubai 101

35


The Activities Whether it’s speeding across sand dunes or sliding down a ski slope, throwing yourself out of a plane or taking a tour of the city by Segway, there are countless unique ways to get the most out of Dubai

Sun and sea – two great reasons to

Rink (+971 4 448 5111), an Olympic-

without being soaked, then tickets

visit Dubai. But while lounging by

sized ice rink that offers public

start at Dhs50.

the pool and beach are favourable

skating throughout the week, as

pastimes, there are many more ways

well as group and private lessons,

isn’t enough of a thrill, take a trip to

besides to enjoy this ever-changing

and even a disco on ice. The mall is

the flashing, frenetic world of Sega

and fast-growing city.

also home to the Dubai Aquarium &

Republic (+971 4 448 8484) – an

Dubai’s huge, air-conditioned

Underwater Zoo (+971 4 448 5200),

indoor themepark (complete with

shopping malls are a good

where visitors can marvel at 85

indoor rollercoaster) and a haven for

starting point for all-year round

species of sea life, including over 400

videogame aficionados. Equally, a

entertainment. As well as being

sharks and rays. Anyone wanting to

trip to KidZania (+971 4 448 5222)

packed with the latest and greatest

take a closer look can don scuba gear

is a must for families with little ones

retail outlets, they’re home to an

and take a dip with the aquarium’s

in tow – the centre offers children a

array of mind-boggling attractions.

inhabitants. However, if you’d prefer

chance to role play in a number of

The Dubai Mall features the Dubai Ice

to enjoy a tour of the aquarium

different ‘real-life’ scenarios, whether

If gawping at sharks and stingrays

Dubai 101

37


it’s fire fighting or serving food aboard a downside Emirates flight. What’s more, kids are rewarded for their graft with KidZania currency, which they can deposit at the KidZania bank, ready for their next visit (a clever ploy to lure you back, perhaps), or spend on snacks. The Dubai Mall is also the starting point for a trip to the viewing gallery of the world’s tallest building. Book your tickets for At the Top online (burjkhalifa.ae) and take the highspeed elevator to the 124th floor – not technically ‘at the top’ of the Burj Khalifa, but high enough to marvel at some stunning views. But for all its aquariums, ice rinks and rollercoasters, The Dubai Mall lacks one thing: an enormous indoor ski slope, complete with ‘real’ snow.

‘A trip to KidZania is a must for families with little ones in tow – the centre offers children a chance to role play in a number of different ‘real-life’ scenarios’

Thankfully, Mall of the Emirates fills this gap in the market with Ski

behind-the-scenes tours, scuba

and features a trapdoor that drops

Dubai (+971 800 386) – the 22,500

lessons, the chance to feed stingrays,

foolhardy thrill-seekers ten metres,

square-meter slope facilitates skiing,

and swim with dolphins.

ensuring they reach speeds of

snowboarding, tobogganing, Zorb

Atlantis is also home to one

80kph. There’s ample opportunity to

balls, and, if this wasn’t enough,

of Dubai’s biggest water parks,

real-life penguins (yes, really). The

Aquaventure. The waterpark

keep the adrenaline pumping –

Penguin Experience (+971 4 409

features a sprawling network of lazy

Skydive Dubai (+971 50 153 3222)

4090) gives visitors the chance to

rivers and rapids, as well as The Leap

offers tandem jumps over The Palm

get up close and personal with these

of Faith, a hair-raising 27.5-meter

Jumeirah, and landing budding Felix

remarkable creatures, which were

near-vertical drop. Keeping with

Baumgartners back at its Dubai

flown in from SeaWorld in Texas.

aquatic thrills and spills, Wild Wadi

Marina base. Those less inclined to

(+971 4 348 4444) in Jumeirah

throw themselves out of a plane

no means confined to its malls. With

is another generously endowed

can enjoy the sensation of skydiving

65,000 marine animals, The Lost

waterpark – the main attraction

while remaining only a few metres

Chambers at Atlantis, The Palm

being the recently re-opened

in the air at iFly in Mirdif (+971 4

(+971 4 426 0000) is another hugely

Jumeirah Sceirah, which stands at

231 6292). Keeping two feet (or,

impressive aquarium, which offers

32 metres-high, 120 metres long,

in this case, four wheels) firmly on

Dubai’s animal attractions are by

38 Dubai 101


KARTING

AUDI TT

SUBARU IMPREZA

SINGLE SEATER

INDOOR LASERTAG

AUDI R8 V10

CALL 04-367-8700 OR VISIT:

www.dubaiautodrome.com


‘Head to the uniquely brilliant Dubai Autodrome where myriad driving experiences are offered’

40 Dubai 101


meanwhile, embraces its desert setting, with native plants and sand dunes beautifully incorporated into the 18-hole course. The Majlis course at Emirates Golf Club (+971 4 380 2222) is considered as one of the top courses in the world, and features unique design aspects. The Faldo, the club’s second course, was redesigned by Nick Faldo and is popular for its rugged terrain and the natural wadi (valley) running through it. The course at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club (+971 4 380 1234) is a water-lover’s dream, with several artificial lakes complementing the views of the shimmering Dubai Creek. The 17th and 18th are flanked on one side by the Creek and the 18th is made even more challenging by a long bunker on the right. Al Badia Golf Club (+971 4 285 5772), designed by golf course architect

Opening page: Ski Dubai. Previous page: Kidzania This page, clockwise from far left: Dubai Kartdrome; Dune bashing; Emirates Golf Club; Dubai Autodrome.

Robert Trent Jones II, leads players around lakes, waterfalls, ponds and ‘sand rivers’. Four sets of tees are provided on each hole, so professionals can tackle the full 7,303 yards while casual golfers can stick to 5,398 yards. If trawling around a golf course

the ground, try your hand at dune

an Audi sports car, make like Lewis

isn’t your idea of fun, then book into

buggying or dune bashing (romping

Hamilton in an F1 style single seater,

one of Dubai’s luxury spas. Talise

over sand dunes in a 4x4). Oasis

or race your friends into submission

Spa & Wellness (+971 4 366 6818)

Palm (+971 4 262 8889) facilitates

at the Kartdrome.

at the Madinat Jumeirah provides

a number of desert-based activities

Luckily, Dubai does offer some

a reprieve from the city the minute

(as well as more sedate camel tours

more relaxing pastimes: the city is

you enter the green, tranquil gardens

and Bedouin experiences). Dubai is

home to some of the world’s top

and wander towards your treatment

certainly a good place for petrol-

golf courses. The Montgomerie

room. At Atlantis, The Palm ShuiQi

heads – if you get a taste for dune

Dubai (+971 4 390 5600), which, as

Spa & Fitness (+971 426 2000) is an

bashing, you can learn to drive in

its name suggests, was designed by

astoundingly peaceful space, offering

the desert yourself with Nomad 4x4

Colin Montgomerie (and Desmond

treatments such as deep-cleansing

(+971 4 450 2429) or, alternatively,

Muirhead), is arguably one of

back massages for men and four-

head to the uniquely brilliant Dubai

Dubai’s most attractive, but don’t be

hour Japanese rituals. Aroma Spa at

Autodrome (+971 4 367 8700)

fooled by the scenery: this course

Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa,

where myriad driving experiences

features some pretty tricky holes.

Jumeirah Beach Road (+971 4 304

are offered. You can take a spin in

Ernie Els’ Els Club (+971 4 425 1010),

8081), meanwhile, offers cleansing Dubai 101

41


experiences, like the ‘marine mud

The Westin’s Heavenly Spa (+971

which boasts elaborate, marble

envelopment body treatment’, which

4 511 7901) is worth visiting for its

crafted interiors, and The Spa at The

exfoliates and ‘re-mineralises’ your

regular deals, such as aromatherapy

Palace Address Downtown Dubai

skin, while The Spa at The Address

massages and facials, which often

(+971 4 428 7888), which features

Dubai Marina (+971 4 436 7424) has

include a healthy (not to mention

traditional, relaxing treatments in an

a range of alternative treatments, as

tasty) lunch. While two more

intimate setting (head outside to the

well as wonderful facilities (namely

atmospheric spas of note are the

pool once your done and marvel at

the outdoor pool overlooking the

Talise Ottoman Spa at Jumeirah

the Burj Khalifa looming overhead).

glistening Marina).

Zabeel Saray (+971 4 453 0455),

For visitors who want to get a sense

Dubai 101

43


of the city beyond its fabulous golf courses and serene spas, there are

effort of any actual walking. Since Dubai is a coastal city,

a number of tours available – some

many of its sites can be enjoyed by

conventional, others not so much.

boat. One way to do this is aboard

Those who want the chance to gaze

a Yellow Boat (+971 800 8044),

down at Dubai’s skyscrapers, rather

which tours Dubai’s impressive

than crane their neck up at them,

coastline (including landmarks

should tour the city by seaplane

such as Burj Al Arab and Atlantis,

(finishing with a spot of afternoon

The Palm) at break-neck speeds

tea at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club

(great fun, but resign yourself to

(+971 4 807 0708). Otherwise, enjoy

blurred photos). Alternatively, head

all that Dubai has to offer from an

down to Dubai Creek and hop on

open-topped bus – Big Bus Tours

an abra – a traditional form of water

(+971 4 340 7709) run daily tours

transportation that has been ferrying

of the city, and passengers are at

locals from one side of the creek to

liberty to jump on and off the bus

another for centuries. Stroll alongside

at designated stops around town. If

the water until you come to an abra

buses aren’t your bag, then sidle onto

station (effectively a water-based bus

a Segway for a guided tour of the

stop) and take a ride for just Dhs5 –

Downtown Dubai area, courtesy of

who said that holidaying in Dubai had

The Pavilion (+971 56 146 4093) – it’s

to be a costly affair?

like a walking tour, but without the 44 Dubai 101

Previous page: Aquaventure. This page: Talise Ottoman Spa at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray.


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Dubai101_February2013  

A guide to holidays in Dubai

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A guide to holidays in Dubai

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