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January 2016 The insider's guide to Dubai's must-have visitor experiences


Welcome Note

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DXB City Expert

ediTorial Editorial Director John Thatcher Contributing Editor Lara Brunt Contributors Andy Buchan, Oliver Robinson, Tracey Scott

arT

A WA R M

Senior Designer Andy Knappett Designer Emi Dixon Illustrator Andrew Thorpe

commercial Managing Director Victoria Thatcher Group Commercial Director David Wade Commercial Director Rawan Chehab Business Development Manager Rabih El Turk Sales Manager Lisa Price

ProdUcTion Production Manager Muthu Kumar

To

DUBAI We know it can feel a little overwhelming when you first set foot in Dubai. How exactly do you explore this ultra modern metropolis? Where do you start? We love Dubai and we want to ensure that you feel the same, so that’s why we decided to create this handy-sized, helpful guide to help you on your way. Rather than present you with a long list of recommendations which would take you the duration of your holiday to read, our Dubai-based team of in-the-know writers have cherry picked the city’s best bits – leaving you free to simply enjoy it. Inside this guide you’ll find insider knowledge on everything from the best restaurants with a view and the must-shop stores of local fashion designers, to the coolest clubs and the finest entertainment. We’ll also tell you which of the many organised tours are the best to take to see all of this city’s ample attractions. And with the annual Dubai Shopping Festival taking place throughout January, we've asked three of the city's best known fashionistas for their top shopping tips. All that remains is for us to wish you the holiday of a lifetime. Go get it...

John ThaTcher Editorial Director DXB City Expert

Cover Image : Dubai Shopping Festival By Andrew Thorpe


Contents

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The

CONTENTS 5

On ArrivAl All you need to know when you touch down in Dubai.

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SO ThiS iS DubAi A little local knowledge to help you ease your way into the city.

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TOp Of The TOurS Let the experts take the strain out of sightseeing.

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Where TO eAT From fine dining and ‘only in Dubai’ eats, to family favourites and best budget options, this chapter comes stuffed with our recommendations.

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Where TO ShOp There’s more to Dubai’s shopping scene than merely the world’s biggest mall. Credit cards at the ready…

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WhAT TO DO Underwater, on the water, in the sand and in the snow: there are myriad ways to enjoy yourself in the city. We’ve selected the best.

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Where TO GO We hope you’ve packed your dancing shoes – you’re going to need them.

Produced for dnata Travel by HOT Media Publishing FZ LLC. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from HOT Media Publishing is strictly prohibited. All prices mentioned are correct at time of press but may change. HOT Media Publishing does not accept liability for omissions or errors contained in DXB City Expert.


feeling like a VIP that’s Kilban’s marhaba effect The difference is the staff. So caring. I’m just an ordinary traveller but marhaba makes me feel like a VIP. With people like this, there is only one way you can go—up, up and up! Kilban

Breeze through all the airport formalities with our meet & greet services in Dubai and Bahrain. Whether you’re arriving, departing or transferring, marhaba meet & greet makes your time at the airport something to look forward to. You can also relax in style, no matter what your airline or class of travel, at our lounges in Dubai and Bahrain. Find your marhaba effect at marhabaservices.com

meet & greet | family packages | marhaba lounge | citystop | transfer service


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On Arrival

DXB City Expert

On

ARRIVAL You’re almost there now, but before you head off to your hotel here’s a little something to help you on your way

Leaving The airporT There are ample public taxis available at the airport, though there’s every chance you’ll have to queue to get one. As you do so, you may notice a line of estate-sized pink-roof taxis. These are exclusively for women and families, and are helmed by female drivers only. There are also taxis specifically for special needs travellers. Both can be requested from the taxi line attendant once you’re at the front of the queue. Your fare will include an airport pickup fee of Dhs25, which is the amount the meter will start from. Dubai International Airport is also serviced by the Dubai Metro. However, each passenger is restricted to two pieces of luggage, one of which shouldn’t be bigger than hand luggage. Trains run approximately every 10 minutes and depart from Terminals 1 and 3 – just follow the signs. Trains start at 5.50am (5.30am on Thursday), and stop at midnight (1am on Thursday and Friday). But be aware that trains start at only 1pm on Fridays. There are just two lines, so it’s easy to work out your route, and you’ll likely find taxis at each station to take you to your specific address. See ‘getting around’ for further information. If you’re intending to hire a car on arrival in Dubai, you’ll find all the major operators are present at the airport.

Chief amongst them is Hertz, which is available at both Terminal 1 (+971 4 224 5222) and Terminal 3 (+971 4 220 3013) of Dubai International Airport. Drivers must be aged 21 or over and be in possession of a valid driving license from their home country. Remember that driving in Dubai is on the right hand side of the road.

hire a heLping hand from marhaba If you’re reading this before you travel to Dubai, or if you haven’t yet planned your return journey to the airport, it’s well worth checking out the services of Marhaba (+971 4 389 8989, marhabaservices.com). On arrival, their always-smiling staff greet you as you come off the aircraft, before ferrying you by buggy to passport control and whizzing you past the queues (which can be long) to their dedicated counters and beyond, where a porter will collect your luggage. Services are tailored to suit individuals, families and those with specific needs. Fast-tracking through airport procedures is also a feature of any return journey you make with Marhaba, while you can also book a chauffer pickup from anywhere in Dubai and enjoy the hospitality of their airport lounge as you await boarding.

have a word Although English is spoken and understood pretty much everywhere you'll go in Dubai, it's polite to try a little Arabic when you show your passport on arrival. If Arabic’s not your native tongue, here are a few helpful words… Marhaba : Hello Sabah al-hayr : Good morning As-salaam alaikum : Peace be upon you Ma’assalama : Goodbye Minfadlik : Please Shukran : Thank you

geT connecTed Before departing the airport you may wish to buy a sim card that’s designed for visitors to use while in the UAE. It costs Dhs35 and provides you with The Visitor Mobile Line (VML), allowing you to make calls – or text – while in Dubai at a fraction of the cost you’ll pay for roaming. You can buy it from the ‘du’ shop in the arrivals hall of both Terminal 1 and Terminal 3. Once purchased you can top it up by buying pre-paid cards at various convenient locations across the city, including du shops. See du.ae for a list of locations.


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So This Is Dubai

DXB City Expert

show some respect

IS

Dubai is a very warm and welcoming city, but like anywhere else you travel in the world you’ll want to show respect for local sensibilities. Here are a few things to keep in mind while enjoying your holiday…

DU B A I Chapter oNe

You’ve read about it, seen the pictures and marvelled from afar. Now you’re here. But before heading off to enjoy the holiday of a lifetime, here are a few things to put you in the know

A little bit About this greAt city of ours… With a skyline dominated by towering skyscrapers and now-iconic structures like Burj Al Arab and Burj Khalifa, it’s hard to imagine that Dubai was once little more than a fishing village. The Bani Yas tribe settled next to Dubai Creek in 1833, and the area soon became a hub for fishing, pearling and trading. The discovery of ‘black gold’ in 1966 triggered Dubai’s remarkable transformation into the glittering city of today. In 1971, Dubai joined with six neighbouring emirates – Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah and (in 1972) Ras Al Khaimah – to form the United Arab Emirates, and this union is celebrated each year on December 2. Under the late Sheikh Zayed, the first President of the UAE, the country has developed into one of the world’s most prosperous, while still remaining true to its rich heritage of Bedouin, Islamic and Emirati cultures. Today, Dubai is home to over 200 nationalities that are attracted by its opportunities and lifestyle. Such has been the city’s rapid expansion beyond its Creek origins

that residents now commonly refer to ‘old’ and ‘new’ Dubai, with the old part encompassing Dubai Creek and the wider Bur Dubai area in the north of the city, and the new part featuring the strictly modern superstructures – Downtown Dubai, Dubai Marina and all – which spread for miles into the south of the city.

the bAsics, iN No more thAN 140 chArActers The Climate Expect daytime temperatures around the 26°c mark but don’t be surprised if there’s an overcast or – shock, horror – rainy day in January. The Currency The UAE Dirham is what you’ll use. Notes come in 1,000, 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 and their value is pegged at Dhs3.67 = US$1. The Weekend The UAE’s weekend is Friday/Saturday. There’s a public holiday this month on the 1st as the city celebrates New Year's Day.

Be sure to refrain from over-the-top public displays of affection, even when in nightclubs.

Do not succumb to the urge to make rude hand gestures to other people – doing so could land you in hot water.

Dress modestly when outside the confines of your hotel, particularly if you’re heading to a mall, where women shouldn’t leave their shoulders bare.

Taking photos of some government buildings and all military sites is strictly prohibited. Stick to the tourist attractions when you’re choosing a background for selfies.

Don’t drink alcohol, or be seen to be overly intoxicated, outside of licensed premises. Unruly behaviour isn’t tolerated.


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DXB City Expert

sheikh ZAyeD roAD

and entertainment complex). Jumeirah is known for boutique shopping along Jumeriah Beach Road, as well as trendy shops, cafés and restaurants at popular new developments such as The Galleria Mall, Box Park and City Walk. Jumeirah Mosque, the only mosque in Dubai open to non-Muslims, is another reason to visit.

So This Is Dubai

Get Your Bearings

Downtown Dubai, as seen from Burj Khalifa

Throughout this guide we’ve referenced areas of Dubai, which to the first-time visitor may mean nothing at all. To help, here’s the skinny on the city’s districts you’ll most likely encounter...

DowNtowN DubAi Home to the largest mall, tallest tower and biggest fountain, Dubai’s showpiece city centre is as glitzy as it gets. Lined with palm trees that twinkle with thousands of fairy lights, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard boasts five-star hotels, restaurants, a San Francisco-style tram and a constant flow of supercars. Another popular spot is Souk Al Bahar (‘market of the sailor’), a waterfront entertainment and dining hub overlooking the Dubai Fountain and Burj Khalifa.

DubAi mAriNA AND Jbr In the south of the city, this buzzing district includes a man-made marina and a forest of skyscrapers that stretch from Sheikh Zayed Road to Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR). Brimming with hotels and restaurants, there are two beachfront promenades, The Walk and The Beach at JBR, packed with family-friendly eateries. You’ll also find the more manageable Marina Mall and the new Dubai Tram, which connects to Palm Jumeirah monorail and will eventually extend to Burj Al Arab.

bur DubAi AND DeirA Flanking the southern side of Dubai Creek, Bur Dubai is the oldest part of the city. Here you’ll find the majority of the city’s historical sites, including Dubai Museum and Sheikh Saeed al Maktoum House, as well as restored wind-tower houses and a textile souk. Over the water, Deira is a melting pot of Arab, Asian and African cultures and a great spot for cheap street eats, as well as shopping in the Gold Souk and Spice Souk.

The 8km stretch of the main highway between Business Bay and the World Trade Centre roundabout is popular with tourists, expats and locals alike, thanks to the clutch of five-star hotels including the Fairmont Dubai, The Conrad and H Hotel, which are easily reached by metro (stations line Sheikh Zayed Road). Continuing past the roundabout, you’ll find Zabeel Park, which hosts the outdoor Ripe Food and Craft Market every Friday from 9am to 3pm.

JumeirAh Home to sprawling villas and excellent beaches, this low-rise suburb overlaps with Umm Suqeim (where you’ll find Burj Al Arab and Madinat Jumeirah, an Arabesque-inspired hotel, dining

pAlm JumeirAh Even if you’re not lucky enough to be staying here, you can still visit the manmade island that’s become a symbol of Dubai. A monorail runs along the length of the trunk to Atlantis, The Palm, where you can spend the day at Aquaventure water park or book a table at one of the resort’s many restaurants. Meanwhile, the 11km-long crescent has a string of hotels with restaurants and spas open to non-guests.


So This Is Dubai

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DXB City Expert

10 of the best ways to do Dubai

Cove Beach

best for… shAkiNg off your JetlAg Who needs a hotel treadmill when you can jog beside the sea? The 14-kilometre spongy track that runs parallel to Jumeirah Beach from Dubai Marine Beach Resort to Burj Al Arab is the perfect place to stretch your legs.

best for… wAtchiNg the suN rise The world’s tallest tower is open for sunrise viewings during the cooler months. Half-hour sessions for the observation deck on the 124th floor of the Burj Khalifa (advance bookings via +971 4 303 4992, arabian-adventures. com) start at 5.30am and run until 8am on Fridays and Saturdays only.

best for… sAmpliNg ArAbic sweets Indulge your sweet tooth with honeydrizzled, pistachio-topped Middle Eastern treats like baklava and kunafa from one of Dubai’s many bakeries. Al Samadi Sweets (+971 4 269 7717, alsamadisweets.ae) in Deira is a favourite with locals.

best for… thAt ‘oNly iN DubAi’ momeNt Downhill skiing in a desert? Ski Dubai (advanced booking via +971 4 303 4888, arabian-adventures.com or City Sightseeing Dubai kiosks at all major malls +971 4 316 7506) has five runs, including the world’s first indoor black run, along with a freestyle area for snowboarders and kids’ play area.

best for… iNDuciNg iNstAgrAm eNvy A selfie on a sunlounger with the Burj Al Arab in the background is bound to make your mates back home green with envy. Head to Cove Beach (+971 50 454 6920, covebeach.com), a chic beach club with white sand and a South of France-style vibe.

best for… AN iNtroDuctioN to islAm Jumeirah Mosque is the city’s only mosque open to non-Muslims. Join a guided tour (+971 4 353 6666, cultures.ae) followed by a no-holdsbarred Q&A session, every Saturday to Thursday at 10am (Dhs10, free for under-12s). Modest dress is required.

best for… free ANimAl eNcouNters The Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project rescues, rehabilitates and releases sick sea turtles back into the wild. Pop along to the free turtle feeding experience at Mina A’Salam hotel at Madinat Jumeirah (+971 4 301 7198, jumeirah. com/turtles) every Wednesday at 11am.

best for… ogliNg DubAi’s Architecture The view of the Dubai Marina skyline sparkling like a Middle East Manhattan from the 101 Dining Lounge & Bar

at One&Only The Palm (+971 4 440 1030, oneandonlyresorts.com) is one of the most memorable in town. Arrive in style aboard a water taxi from sister hotel, One&Only The Palm.

best for… pArtyiNg oN A buDget Thursday marks the end of the working week in Dubai. 360° (+971 55 500 8518, jumeirah.com), a stunning circular bar at the end of Jumeirah Beach Hotel’s Marina walkway, has unlimited selected beverages, dim sum, sushi and bar snacks from 7pm until 10pm for Dhs295 per person.

best for… bAggiNg A Jewellery bArgAiN Made up of around 300 stores, the Gold Souk in Deira has a dazzling variety of jewellery. The gold rate is fixed, so check the day’s rate on the electronic boards and haggle on craftsmanship cost and retailer’s margin.


So This Is Dubai

What’s on this month

Shop up a storm and enjoy a whole host of cultural events

1st New yeAr's DAy Keep the party going, or recover from the night before, with a lively, or leisurely, brunch. Two that caught our eye are the Amazing Amazon brunch at Frevo (+971 4 457 3457, fairmont. com) with Brazilian churrasco and samba dancers for Dhs395 per person, while Casa de Tapas (+971 4 4161 800, casadetapas.ae) has tapas and makeyour-own Bloody Marys for Dhs299

1-31st DubAi shoppiNg festivAl Kicking off every January, DSF is the biggest shopping extravaganza in the Middle East. There’s amazing promotions and sales across the city’s malls and souks, plus fashion events, concerts and activities. See visitdubai. com for more details

4-9th

Al fAris (the kNight) Inspired by the poems of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, this one-act play provides a fascinating introduction to Arab musical theatre. Staged at Dubai World Trade Centre, it tells the story of a knight who must rescue his love from her kidnapper. Buy your tickets at platinumlist.net

6-7th russiAN christmAs The festive season is not quite over for Orthodox observers. On Christmas Eve, Imperium (+971 4 453 0444, jumeirah.com) has a lavish buffet featuring Russian classics like borsch and zrazy (from Dhs200 pp). Meanwhile, on December 7, Crescendo (+971 4 567 8304, dubai-palm. anantara.com) has a buffet, live music and entertainment (from Dhs275 pp)

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So This Is Dubai

DXB City Expert

clockwise from below: Simple Minds; Paris Opera Ballet Gala; Russell Peters

6-9th beAuty AND the beAst

22-23rd QuoZ Arts fest

Disney comes to Dubai as the original Broadway musical that has won the hearts of over 35 million people worldwide takes to the stage at Dubai World Trade Centre. Expect lavish sets and costumes and enchanting songs. Get tickets for matinee and evening performances from tixbox.com

The galleries of Alserkal Avenue – Dubai’s vibrant arts quarter – throw open their doors for this free arts festival. Open from 10am until 10pm, it features exhibitions and street art by local artists, plus workshops, gallery tours, film screenings, live music, food trucks and pop-ups. alserkalavenue.ae

7-8th pAris operA bAllet gAlA

28th simple miNDs

Dancers from the world-renowned Paris Opera Ballet bring the beauty of ballet to Madinat Theatre. The third annual gala will feature solo performances from prima ballerina Dorothée Gilbert and the next generation of talent under director Benjamin Millepied. Book online at madinattheatre.com

Fronted by Jim Kerr, Scottish rock band Simple Minds play a greatest hits show at Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium tonight. The band has over 30 hits including Don’t You (Forget About Me), Alive and Kicking, and Promised You a Miracle. Buy your tickets at virginmegastore.me

19-20th russell peters After the success of his sell-out Notorious World Tour in 2012, IndoCanadian comedian Russell Peters is back. A master of cultural lampoons, his Almost Famous World Tour at Dubai World Trade Centre promises sidesplitting laughs and plenty of crowd interaction. Tickets at ticketmaster.ae

22nd stANDArD chArtereD DubAi mArAthoN

Making the most of the city's pleasant winter temperatures, this annual marathon attracts runners from across the globe, including some of the world’s best long-distance athletes. You can register to run the full race or the popular 10km or 4km events at dubaimarathon.org, or just join the crowds to cheer on the competitors as they make their way across town.

28-30th DubAi showJumpiNg chAmpioNship

This three-day equestrian event sees Olympic medalists and the UAE’s brightest showjumping stars compete for huge prizes. Entry is free and there’s family entertainment and kids' activities including pony rides. Visit emiratesequestriancentre.com

28-30th DubAi iNterNAtioNAl kite fest

As one of the main events of Dubai Shopping Festival, this colourful event takes place at Jumeirah Beach behind Sunset Mall. The three-day festival features kiteboarding, kitesurfing, kite buggying and synchronised flying, and is one of Dubai's most popular family days out. For more events happening this month, visit dubaicalendar.ae


So This Is Dubai

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DXB City Expert

An Insight Into Emirati Culture The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (+971 4 353 6666, cultures.ae) was set up in 1998 to realise the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who sought to educate expatriates and visitors in the traditions and customs of the UAE. To that end, SMCCU seeks to answer visitors’ questions about Emirati culture, its religion, politics and customs, and does so through it’s policy of ‘open doors/ open minds’, meaning that no question is considered too silly or offensive. In short, it’s a must-visit for tourists. In this series of question and answer sessions with SMCCU we’re conducting to provide you with an insight into Emirati culture, we talk Arabic coffee with the centre's guide, Dahlia.

cAN you explAiN the sigNificANce of coffee iN ArAbic culture? Traditionally, in the old days, we honoured guests by serving them Arabic coffee, together with dates to balance out the bitter taste. Arabic coffee tastes very different to what you get at Starbucks. Saffron is always added to give it a darker colour and to relax you – that’s why we don’t add sugar – along with cardamom to settle your stomach. Both cardamom and saffron are not grown in the Arabian Peninsula, so why do we call this Arabic coffee and why do Arabs claim they invented it? Whenever you go to any coffee shop around the world you’ll always get Arabica beans, and Arabica beans originated in the Gulf. Around 2,000 years ago, Bedouins first discovered coffee beans in Yemen, the only country that has the elevation high enough to grow this type of plant.

so how DiD the beDouiNs Discover coffee? After their animals ate the plant and started acting very weird, the Bedouins thought ‘we’ll try some of that’. They added coffee beans to their food, but it

tasted bitter so they threw the beans into the fire. As the beans started to roast and give off a nice aroma, they thought ‘maybe this is what we’re supposed to do with it’. They lightly roasted the beans, ground them, boiled them with spices for around 15 minutes, and let the ground beans settle to get ‘gahwa’. Gahwa is any drink that changes the way you feel. What’s another drink that changes the way you feel? It’s OK to say alcohol; we’re not going to arrest you! Wine was part of Bedouin culture and this was what we initially honoured guests with before the concept of coffee was invented. We switched to coffee when Islam was revealed around 1,400 years ago. In Islam it says no intoxicants are allowed, so we got rid of wine and switched to a different kind of gahwa – coffee.

how DiD coffee spreAD ArouND the worlD? As Islam spread all over the world, so did this kind of gahwa. When the Islamic Empire ruled it was known that King Louis IV got his hands on coffee beans and wanted to keep them from the rest of Europe and use them as a war tactic to keep the soldiers awake. The Italians took it, although they took it to another level with cappuccino, espresso, latte – we stayed very boring! But we also celebrate coffee’s Arabian origins by naming a coffee drink – mocha – after the village of Mokha in Yemen in which coffee was

first discovered. And the actual word ‘coffee’ originates from the Arabic word ‘gahwa’. In fact, there are around 200 words in the English language that originate from Arabic.

how is ArAbic coffee serveD? Typically, the way we serve the coffee is very important. If you go to any hotel in Dubai that serves Arabic coffee, you’ll notice that a male serves the coffee. Females never serve according to Bedouin culture because it’s considered disrespectful to the women in the family to have to serve the guests. Women sit with the guests and the youngest male of the household is trained to serve guests at the age of around eight or nine. He has to remain silent because he’s listening to the conversation, as this was part of the education system in the old days, and he’s not supposed to interrupt conversation because it’s considered very rude to interrupt at the majlis, or sitting area. Instead, he will read your body language. If you keep your cup extended, he’ll pick up your cup, refill it, and put it back in your hand. If you don’t want any more coffee, give the cup a small shake and he’ll take the cup away as you’re talking. Also, you’ll notice that we serve you very little coffee in the cup, so it stays hot and you can hold it comfortably from the top and don’t burn yourself. If you go to any household and they serve you coffee to the top it means drink and get out of here – it’s not a good sign!


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So This Is Dubai

Shopper's Paradise Credit cards at the ready: the annual Dubai Shopping Festival (mydsf.ae) takes place this month. From Jan 1-31, you’ll be able to hunt out bargains galore by day and see the city’s skyline aglow with fireworks at night. And that’s on top of the raft of the entertainment the Festival lays on across town (see pages 10-11 for further information). To help you plan the perfect spree, we asked three Dubaibased fashionistas to dip into their little black books to share their shopping secrets with you…

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because then we know they will wear it with confidence and our dresses will look good.

My top tIp for shoppIng the sales at dubaI shoppIng festIval Is… Mix high street with high fashion. Get the deals on designer brands from Harvey Nichols – Dubai and Bloomingdales Dubai, and then combine with pieces from Zara and H&M. Again, it’s not about following a trend blindly and wearing one brand top to toe. You should always look to mix and match pieces that showcase you in your best light.

local brands that vIsItors should look out for are… Fashion designer Meher Mirchandani (meherandriddhima.com) on where to shop for her feminine style

I would descrIbe dubaI’s style as… Unique, fashionable and on trend. Dubai is a melting pot of international cultures and therefore its style is quite unique. Whether it’s casual or at a gala event, Dubaians are generally on trend.

My own style Is… Feminine and sophisticated. The best place to shop for my style is Bloomingdales Dubai and Meher & Riddhima of course. My design partner Riddhima Whabi and I both aspire to be feminine, romantic, happy, soft and beautiful (inside and out), and I think that translates into each of our collections in one way or another. Our current SS16 collection, Sister’s Melody, is the perfect epitome of this.

My foolproof stylIng advIce Is… To create your own style and be comfortable in your own skin. Anyone who exudes confidence and happiness will automatically make anything they wear look stylish. Always choose clothes that show your personality. We love it when clients tell us how they want to personalise a piece

Jewellery designer Nadine Kanso (bilarabi.ae) and fashion designer Essa (iloveessa.com). I love how some of us homegrown designers are going international with our labels, but at the end of the day the talent in this region is phenomenal.

dubaI’s best-kept shoppIng secret Is… Definitely the old souks in Deira. You can find unbelievable treasures at bargain prices for your home and your wardrobe, as well as unique gifts.

DXB City Expert

for InternatIonal fashIon brands In dubaI head to… Harvey Nichols – Dubai (its range across the board is incredible); Bloomingdale’s Dubai (they’ve really tapped into the desire for designer workout gear); Saks Fifth Avenue (for high-glam evening wear); and homegrown multi-brand powerhouse Boutique 1 (for an intelligent edit of contemporary labels and luxury brands).

there’s a nuMber of new shoppIng destInatIons openIng In dubaI so Make sure you… Head to BoxPark, which boasts quirky gadget, stationary and fashion brands all housed within artfully decked out shipping containers; and The Galleria Mall, home to s*uce Rocks (sister boutique to s*uce fashion boutique and jewellery emporium), Cities (for retro home furnishings) and Tashas (for seriously good coffee and cake after all of the shopping).

MIx faMIly fun wIth fashIon at… The Dubai Mall really does have it all, including indoor theme parks, a cinema, ice rink and one of the world’s biggest sweet shops – the aptly named Candylicious – so in between shopping for designer threads there’s enough to keep the kids entertained without having to trek across town.

In dubaI wIth your gIrlfrIends, head to… Fashion stylist Claire Carruthers (clairecarruthers.com) reveals how to shop the city's chicest addresses when embarking on a full-day shopping tour

when It coMes to stylIng, My foolproof fashIon stops are… Reem’s Closet in the Mazaya Centre (a treasure trove of vintage finds); The cARTel (thecartel.me) and IF Boutique (ifboutiquedubai.com) for avant garde designs from left field designers including Comme Des Garcons and Ann Sofie Madsen; and The Dubai Mall, home to every high-street and international designer store imaginable.

SOH (soh.ae) – a beauty-salon-meetsart-gallery-meets-boutique. Get your nails done then muse the latest artworks which line the walls.

don't leave dubaI wIthout… Trawling the tailors and fabric stores of Satwa. Buying new is all well and good but there’s nothing quite like the thrill of merchandising or creating your own clothing from scratch. Luckily, this city is blessewd with an abundance of small shops selling feathers, buttons, brooches, ribbons, threads and embellishments, and all can be found in the thriving suburb of Satwa, in the north of the city.


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Personal shopper Kelly Lundberg from StyleMeDivine (stylemedivine.com) on how to make the most of the Dubai Shopping Festival

when It coMes to navIgatIng the sales durIng dsf, My advIce Is… Shop early in the morning when the stores are at their quietest (the major malls open at 10am) – shelves will be stacked neatly and rails well stocked. Better still, sales staff won’t be frazzled and more available

DXB City Expert

to help you. Time is precious when you are bargain hunting, so footwear should always be easy to slip on and off. And beat the fitting room queues by wearing layers that you can easily slip something over to check it fits.

the advantages of usIng a personal shopper In dubaI are… You will save time and money – yes, you really do! Choices are endless and a personal shopper will always make sure our clients get the best deals. If you are in doubt, then check out our reviews on Trip Advisor. One of our clients couldn’t believe it when we found an amazing dress for just US$15 in Bloomingdale’s Dubai.

local brands that vIsItors should look out for are… Emirati designer Huda Al Nuaimi’s (hudaalnuaimi.ae) collection is rooted in Middle Eastern traditional style, but channels a western contemporary aesthetic style. I love the attention to detail, fit and colours she chooses. Meher & Riddhima (see opposite page) celebrate femininity with an exclusive collection of sophisticated eveningwear that balances Western with Eastern fashion. Accessories designer Nathalie Trad (nathalietrad.com) has a unique signature style that I love. I have a real passion for her clutches; the attention to detail and quality is second to none.

If you only buy one thIng In the sales… For women, it would always be either a good bag or a pair of statement shoes. For men, a quality pair of shoes or a leather jacket is always a great choice. Cost per wear, these purchases translate very well.

the best thIng about shoppIng In dubaI Is… Without a doubt, it has to be the abundance of choice and ease of getting it all in one location, while still being able to shop wearing fabulous footwear! Cobbled streets and unreliable weather in Europe have proved less than kind to my shoe collection over the years. I don't have such problems in Dubai.


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Top OF THE

TOURS Chapter T WO

Bags unpacked, sunblock slathered on, it’s time to get out and see what this city is all about. But with its climate dictating a dearth of paved walkways, Dubai isn’t a city that you can easily explore on foot. Luckily, our friends at Arabian Adventures and City Sightseeing have just the answer…

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LIVE MUSIC and dInnEr Not just a theatre venue and so much more than a club, Beirut’s famed Music Hall has been a huge hit since opening in Dubai in 2013. Enjoy fine food, premium beverages and cabaret-style entertainment from an eclectic mix of musicians, ranging from Middle Eastern to Latino, gypsy to jazz. A memorable night of live music awaits. dayS Of OpEraTIOn: Tuesday (evening) WhaT’S InCLUdEd: More than 10 music

acts; food and beverages as per menu option LOCaTIOn: Jumeirah Zabeel Saray prICIng : Premium Ticket including 4-course menu and 2 beverages: Dhs595; Lounge Ticket including mini bites selection and 2 beverages: Dhs495; Drinks Ticket including 4 beverages: Dhs250 To book this tour, call Arabian Adventures on +971 4 303 4992 or visit arabian-adventures.com


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TradITIOnaL dUbaI CIT y TOUr While the modern city has only existed for little more than 40 years, Dubai has a rich history that blends Bedouin, Persian, Islamic and Emirati culture and traditions. This fascinating tour explores the atmospheric old quarter of Al Fahidi with its wind towers and historic fort, as well as the bustling Creek area and exotic souks. InCLUdES:

• Photo stop close to Burj Al Arab • Photo stop at Jumeirah Mosque • Drive by Zabeel Palace • Walk through Al Fahidi Cultural Neighbourhood • Visit to Dubai Museum • Traditional abra crossing over Dubai Creek • Walk through the spice and gold souks dayS Of OpEraTIOn: Twice daily (half-day,

morning /afternoon); Friday (afternoon only) WhaT’S InCLUdEd: Guided tour; hotel transfers gOOd TO knOW: Modest clothing and walking

shoes are recommended LangUagES: English and German OThEr LangUagES: French and Italian tours operate on Sunday and Wednesday afternoon; Russian tours operate on Saturday morning and Tuesday afternoon. Mandarin tours operate on Monday and Thursday mornings. Japanese tours operate daily. Portuguese and Spanish language tours operate on Monday and Thursday and comprise a full-day tour of ‘old’ and ‘new’ Dubai, including Burj Khalifa, At The Top. prICIng fOr EngLISh/gErMan; frEnCh/ ITaLIan and rUSSIan TOUr OpTIOnS:

Adult: Dhs165, Child: Dhs110 (Dhs120 English/ German) prICIng fOr MandarIn:

Adult: Dhs175, Child: Dhs110 prICIng fOr JapanESE:

Adult: Dhs180, Child: Dhs140

prICIng fOr pOrTUgESE and SpanISh:

Including At The Top, Burj Khalifa ticket Adult: Dhs495, Child: Dhs395 To book this tour, call Arabian Adventures on +971 4 303 4992 or visit arabian-adventures.com

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DXB City Expert

CIT y SIghTSEEIng and ShOppIng See the sights and snap up bargains during Dubai Shopping Festival with City Sightseeing, the world’s leading open-top bus tour operator. There are four colour-coded sightseeing routes to choose from, which take in all of Dubai’s sights including Burj Khalifa, Jumeirah Mosque and the gold and spice souks. Plus, the hop-on and hop-off tour stops at the city’s most popular malls including The Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates and Al Ghurair Centre. This fabulous tour also allows you explore the boutiques of Atlantis, The Palm and Souk Madinat Jumeirah and shop for unique handicrafts at Global Village. InCLUdES:

• All 4 sightseeing routes connecting 7 major malls • Audio commentary in 12 languages, including commentary for kids in Arabic and English • Over 25 shopping and dining discounts • Complimentary water on board buses • Cost effective, stress-free transportation dayS Of OpEraTIOn: Daily from 9am - 6pm dEparTUrE: From any City Sightseeing kiosk

including The Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, BurJuman Centre, Al Ghurair Centre, Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Deira City Centre, Atlantis, The Palm and Cruise Terminal 2 and 3 LangUagES: English, German, Spanish, Russian, French, Hindi, Chinese, Arabic, Turkish, Japanese, Italian, Persian WhaT’S InCLUdEd: The 24hr ticket also includes a night tour, Arabian dhow cruise, RTA Waterbus ride, Dubai Museum entry, entry to Sheikh Sayeed Al Maktoum House, VIP Global Village ticket, Al Ghurair Centre shopping discount card and entry to 5 other museums. The 48hr ticket additionally includes entry to Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo and the City Sightseeing Sharjah Tour gOOd TO knOW: Before your 24hr ticket has expired you can upgrade to a 48hr ticket for an extra Dhs55 prICIng: 24hr ticket: Family (2 adults, 2 children): Dhs580, Adult: Dhs240, Child (aged 5-15): Dhs100 48hr ticket: Family (2 adults, 2 children): Dhs720, Adult: Dhs295, Child: Dhs130 To book, call 800-CSDUBAI (800 273 8224), email info@cs-dubai.com, or visit citysightseeing-dubai.com


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CIT y Of LIghTS TOUr Dubai is the new 'city that never sleeps' and you should experience it by night too. This evening City Sightseeing bus tour features two routes that showcase Dubai as it transforms into a sparkling city of lights. The first route takes in the enchanting lights of Dubai Creek and the neon-lit commercial hubs of Deira and Bur Dubai, the oldest parts of the city, before heading into the heart of 'New Dubai'. The second route passes some of the city's most strikingly illuminated modern buildings, taking in the Dubai Marina skyline in all its futuristic glory and the distinctive silhouette of Atlantis, The Palm. InCLUdES:

• 2 sightseeing routes showcasing Dubai by night • Drive past all the big sights including Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai and Atlantis, The Palm • Audio commentary in 12 languages, including commentary for kids in Arabic and English dayS Of OpEraTIOn: Daily from 6pm - 9pm WhaT’S InCLUdEd: Hop-on and hop-off access to all

City Sightseeing buses on 2 routes for 3 hours gOOd TO knOW: Both routes are included in the

ticket price and there is enough time to do both LangUagES: English, German, Spanish, Russian, French, Hindi, Chinese, Arabic, Turkish, Japanese, Italian, Persian prICIng: Adult: Dhs145, Child: Dhs75, Family (2 adults, 2 children): Dhs325. Free when purchasing a 24hr or 48hr City Sightseeing Dubai ticket (see opposite) To book, call 800-CSDUBAI (800 273 8224), email info@cs-dubai.com, or visit citysightseeing-dubai.com

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'nEW' dUbaI CIT y TOUr With its man-made islands, audacious architecture and futuristic skyline, Dubai has more than its fair share of iconic landmarks, and you can tick them off your list during this tour. Ride the monorail to Atlantis, The Palm; explore the buzzing Dubai Marina area; window shop at The Dubai Mall; and admire the view from the world’s tallest tower. InCLUdES:

• Visit to The Lost Chambers aquarium at Atlantis, The Palm • One-way ride on The Palm Jumeirah monorail • Drive through Dubai Marina and the Jumeirah Beach Residence area • Afternoon visit to The Dubai Mall • Visit to Burj Khalifa (with option to include the observation deck ticket) • Free pickup; tour ends at The Dubai Mall dayS Of OpEraTIOn: Daily, except Fri (half day,

morning); Wed, Fri (half day, evening) WhaT’S InCLUdEd: Fully-guided tour gOOd TO knOW: Operates year-round;

modest dress recommended LangUagE: English and German OThEr LangUagES: French/Italian and Russian

tours operate on Monday and Thursday mornings. Portuguese and Spanish tours operate on Monday and Thursday and comprise a full-day tour of ‘old’ and ‘new’ Dubai, including Burj Khalifa, At The Top prICIng fOr EngLISh/gErMan; frEnCh/ITaLIan and rUSSIan TOUr:

Including At The Top, Burj Khalifa ticket Adult: Dhs350, Child: Dhs300 Excluding At The Top, Burj Khalifa ticket Adult: Dhs225, Child: Dhs175 prICIng fOr pOrTUgUESE/SpanISh TOUr:

Including At The Top, Burj Khalifa ticket Adult: Dhs495, Child: Dhs395 Excluding At The Top, Burj Khalifa ticket Adult: Dhs395, Child: Dhs320 To book this tour, call Arabian Adventures on +971 4 303 4992 or visit arabian-adventures.com


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Sundowner dune dinner Safari When it comes to the quintessential desert experience, this best-selling tour is hard to beat. Venture into the enigmatic Arabian desert and watch the sun set over endless dunes; enjoy an Arabic feast under the stars at a traditional Bedouin-style camp; and sample Emirati culture with camel riding and henna painting. includeS:

• Dune driving through the desert • Sunset photo stop in the dunes • Arabic-style, three-course buffet with unlimited hops and grape beverages • Camel rides, sand-boarding, henna painting and aromatic shisha • Belly dancing performance • Stargazing • All inclusive - no hidden costs • Camel milk chocolates and photos are available for purchase • Sundowner Dune Dinner Safari and City Sightseeing combo tickets are available optional upgradeS: Book a private 4x4 vehicle or add a sandboarding experience before the Sundowner Dune Dinner Safari dayS of operation: Daily (late afternoon until evening) what’S included: Food, soft drinks and beverages; guided tour; hotel transfers good to know: Operates year-round; a portion of your fee supports local conservation pricing: Adult: Dhs375, Child (aged 5-11): Dhs300

To book this tour, call Arabian Adventures on +971 4 303 4992 or visit arabian-adventures.com

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DXB City Expert

DUBAI SHOPPING TOUR From traditional souks and tailors to hip independent boutiques and one-stop-shop mega malls, Dubai is a shopper's paradise. Whether you're looking for unique handmade souvenirs or a vintage designer handbag, Arabian Adventures can arrange a personalised shopping itinerary with an experienced guide to help you uncover the city's best retail gems. FULLY CUSTOMISABLE BUT CAN INCLUDE:

• Browse traditional souks for spices, silks, gold, jewellery or art • Peruse chic boutiques stocking local and international labels • Visit tailors for bespoke and made-tomeasure clothing DAYS OF OPERATION: On request (half

day or full day) WHAT’S INCLUDED: Private guided tour GOOD TO kNOW: Modest dress

recommended; available in a variety of languages PRICING: Varies according to requirements To book this tour, call Arabian Adventures on +971 4 303 4992 or visit arabian-adventures.com


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dUbaI WaLkIng TOUr Wander down narrow cobbled sikkas and admire the historic architecture and boutique art galleries of the Al Fahidi district. Learn about the origins of coffee and sample an aromatic cup at Dubai Coffee Museum. Then catch an abra across the Creek and stroll through the spice and gold souks, before exploring Heritage House, the one-time home of a wealthy pearl merchant. InCLUdES:

• Guided tour of historic creekside neighbourhoods • Abra (water taxi) across Dubai Creek dayS Of OpEraTIOn: Mon, Wed

(morning) WhaT’S InCLUdEd: Guided tour; hotel

transfers gOOd TO knOW: Modest dress and

walking shoes recommended LangUagE: English and German prICIng: Adult: Dhs165, Child: Dhs120 To book this tour, call Arabian Adventures on +971 4 303 4992 or visit arabian-adventures.com

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DXB City Expert

Desert Dune Buggies Those looking for the ultimate off-road experience will love this exhilarating adventure tour. After leaving Dubai in the morning or afternoon, you’ll head into the empty desert where the off-road dune buggies will be waiting. Then it’s a rollercoaster of a ride over the dunes in the fully automatic, fourseater vehicles that were built for fun. incluDes:

• Fully guided tour along the dunes • Driving and safety instruction provided • All dune buggies are four-wheeldrive, fully automatic with seat belts, roll cages and off-road suspension • Driver experience and passenger experience options are available • Shared buggy or private buggy option • Fantastic desert photo opportunities Days of operation: Daily (half day,

morning/afternoon) What’s incluDeD: Soft drinks; guided

tour; hotel transfers gooD to knoW: Sports shoes

recommended; operates yearround; drivers must be minimum 18 years of age and carry a valid UAE or international driver’s licence; passengers must be aged six and above pricing: Per person (sharing); 30-min driving time: Adult/Child: Dhs695 Per person (sharing); Passenger: Adult/Child: Dhs300 Private buggy (for up to 4 pax): Dhs1,500 per buggy To book this tour, call Arabian Adventures on +971 4 303 4992 or visit arabian-adventures.com


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fLaVOUrS Of dUbaI A great way to understand a culture is through its food, and this tour takes you into the heart of one of Dubai’s most historic streets, 2nd of December Street. Hear about the culture of the Middle East and sample regional street foods, then sit down to a traditional Emirati meal. Be sure to arrive with a big appetite. InCLUdES:

• Guided walk through this old neighbourhood • Knowledgeable guide • Stop for a traditional Arabic fruit cocktail and Middle Eastern bites • Take a short drive into Jumeriah for a traditional Emirati meal dayS Of OpEraTIOn: Sun, Tue (late

afternoon to early evening) WhaT’S InCLUdEd: Food and soft

drinks; guided tour; hotel transfers gOOd TO knOW: Modest dress and

walking shoes recommended LangUagE: English and German prICIng: Adult: Dhs399, Child: Dhs300 To book this tour, call Arabian Adventures on +971 4 303 4992 or visit arabian-adventures.com

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DXB City Expert


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Where To Eat

DXB City Expert

Chapter THREE

Eat

Dubai’s cultural diversity is reflected in its culinary mosaic of fantastic restaurants – from the best Indian food this side of the subcontinent to sleek Japanese eateries and authentic Arabic mezze. It’s little wonder that world-renowned chefs are falling over themselves to open venues in the city. There is something for every taste in Dubai, so it’s time to tuck in…

A TASTE OF ARABIA Considering all of the colourful cuisines Dubai has to offer, it might come as a surprise that good Emirati food is not easy to come by, to say the least. One place, however, which has started to pull in its fair share of local Emiratis (always a good sign) is Essor at Damac Maison – Dubai Mall Street (+971 4 270 0700, damacmaison.com). Here, the authentic Emirati dining experience extends from the food right through to eating while sat on the floor. The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (+971 4 353 6666, cultures.ae) also offers authentic Emirati cuisine, but with a welcome twist. The interactive ‘cultural meals’

they serve – so named because guests are encouraged to ask questions on anything that relates to the Emirati culture – are prepared by local chefs in order to preserve the traditions and customs of the Bedouin culture. They offer cultural breakfast on Mondays and Wednesdays, cultural lunch on Sundays and Tuesdays, cultural brunch every Saturday and a cultural dinner every Tuesday. Advance booking is essential for every meal. While Emirati food may be thin on the ground, wider Arabic isn’t, thanks to the city’s abundant selection of Arabic and Lebanese eateries. The best high-end option can be found at the always outstanding Al Nafoorah in Jumeirah Zabeel Saray (+971 4 453

0444, jumeirah.com). It offers its own take on traditional dishes like mouthwatering mezze, lamb shish kebabs, and grilled sea bass. Olea (+971 4 341 0000, kempinski.com) at Kempinski Mall of the Emirates prides itself on authentic cuisine, thanks to its 14-strong team of chefs from Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Palestine. Highlights include the lamb kofta served on a 1.5-metre-long skewer and smoked mutable. Emiratis, meanwhile, are very fond of Burj Al Hamam (+971 4 434 1424, binhendi.com), the best branch of which you’ll find within The Dubai Mall, and the always packed Saudi Kitchen (+971 4 385 5077), which you'll find along Beach Road in Jumeirah 2.


Where To Eat

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ABOuT THIS CHApTER Where possible we've included a website, should you wish to look at menus and prices before heading out. And, of course, a phone number if you wish to book ahead. While only including those places we know and recommend, we’ve also included a range of options price-wise, from restaurants that will cause your bank manager’s heart to skip a beat, to the too cheap to be true – and all that falls in between.

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Where To Eat

CElEBRITy-CHEFS' RESTAuRAnTS Michelin-starred chefs have long been coming to Dubai to hawk their wares. One of the most anticipated openings in 2016 is Enigma (enigmadxb.com) at the new Palazzo Versace Dubai at Dubai Creek. The restaurant will change its concept and chef every three months, with Quique Dacosta, whose eponymous restaurant in Spain holds an impressive three Michelin stars, kicking things off on January 10. Dinner will be served six days a week from 6.30pm-10.30pm, although the menu is kept secret until you sit down. Having been one of the first celebrity chefs to open a restaurant in Dubai (the now defunct Verre by Gordon Ramsay, back in 2001), firebrand Gordon Ramsay has recently returned to the emirate with Bread Street Kitchen & Bar (+971 4 426 2000, atlantisthepalm. com) at Atlantis, The Palm. Here, the menu, though for the most part international, makes more than a nod

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to Ramsay’s homeland, but the fact that it has a bit of everything makes it a never-fail option for families. Don’t be swayed by Ramsay’s name into thinking that this is a fine dining and, by extension, expensive restaurant. It’s more gastro pub, good value, and nearly always buzzing. Another Brit chef to cause a stir in Dubai’s bubbling pot of great restaurants is Jason Atherton, who recently opened Marina Social (+971 4 446 6777, ihg.com) at InterContinental Dubai Marina. Atherton’s Social concept has won an army of fans in London, including food critics, and while this Dubai offshoot hasn’t yet hit the same dizzy heights it is still a great spot. Expect to feast on perfectly prepared British-Mediterranean dishes and receive outstanding service. Nobu in Atlantis, The Palm (+971 4 426 2000, atlantisthepalm.com) meanwhile, offers a Peruvian twist on dishes that have made the Japanese master chef’s restaurant chain the toast

DXB City Expert

of celebrities the world over. This Nobu boasts a unique garden, which is a great place to dine under the stars. Also on Palm Jumeirah is STAY by Yannick Alléno, at One&Only The Palm (+971 4 440 1010, thepalm.oneandonlyresorts.com). The restaurant’s interior drips with opulence, which is matched by the elaborate, indulgent dishes on offer – try the roasted milk-fed veal tenderloin or the spit-roasted whole sea bass for two. For a luxe contemporary dining experience from the subcontinent, head to Rang Mahal by Atul Kochhar at JW Marriott Marquis (+971 4 414 3000, jwmarriottmarquisdubailife. com). Here, the menu sings with a cacophony of flavour and creativity, and we heartily recommend the very well-priced grazing menu. Every bite is a delight. CUT by Wolfgang Puck at The Address Downtown Dubai (+971 4 888 3444, wolfgangpuck.com) is the latest instalment of Austrian-born American chef’s chain of high-end steak houses. Expect the very best cuts of prime dryand wet-aged beef with sides such as creamed spinach with fried organic egg and polenta with Parmesan. Lastly, Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire (+971 4 701 1111, pierre-gagnaire. com) remains one of the longestrunning and most renowned restaurants in Dubai. The Frenchman makes a point of visiting his restaurant at least once a year (more than most), and the chefs onsite have all been trained by him personally. It shows. The ever-changing menus are exquisite examples of fusion fare.

dISCOunTEd dInInG Who doesn’t like saving a little money? Dubai is awash with great dining deals that can take you from breakfast through to post-dinner drinks. Starting off with the most important meal of the day, Frioul Bistro de Luxe (+971 4 567 0011, frioul.ae) at Souk Madinat Jumeirah, has a French-Mediterranean menu including organic juices, gourmet coffee, and French toast topped with


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Where To Eat

berries and crème fraiche from Dhs120 per person. Service is charmingly polite and the setting, tucked away beside the canal in Madinat Jumeirah, is perfect. For a Brazilian-inspired lunch that won’t break the bank, head to Spirito Lounge & Kitchen (+971 4 421 2679, spirito.ae) at Media One Hotel. The set menu has a selection of Spirito’s most popular dishes, including ceviches, salads, fish stew and marinated steak, for a very reasonable Dhs65 for two courses or Dhs100 for three courses. Available from 12pm–4pm, Sunday through to Thursday. If you’re after something a little more fancy, Vivaldi by Alfredo Russo (+971 4 207 1717, vivaldidubai.com) offers Italian food with a Michelin star pedigree overlooking Dubai Creek at Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers. Dishes include saffron risotto with Parmesan foam and beef sirloin Tagliata with rocket and cherry tomatoes and one, two or three-courses costs Dhs60, Dhs85 or Dhs99 respectively. Available from 12pm–3pm, Sunday–Thursday. Dubai has a number of cool dinner theatre concepts, including the new Ziya show at Pacha Ibiza Dubai (to book, call +9714 316 6666 or email contactcentre@dnata.com). Inspired by the travels of world-famous explorer Ibn Battuta, an incredible cast of aerialists, contortionists, acrobats and dancers from across the globe strut their stuff while you dine on a four-course Mediterranean meal from executive chef Renaud Olivier (from Dhs350 per person). Afterwards, pop up to Pacha’s rooftop terrace for shisha accompanied by a soundtrack of soul and deep house (Dhs350 per person, including two drinks). It’s your last chance for truffles, as the season draws to a close this month. Atop one of Downtown Dubai’s most iconic buildings, Alta Badia (+971 4 432 3232, jumeirah.com) at Jumeirah Etihad Towers has a five-course degustation menu featuring highlycoveted Alba white truffles for Dhs499 per person. You can even add extra shavings to your fillet of veal or panna cotta al tartufo for an additional Dhs60 per gram. Go on, be a devil.

pERFECT pIzzAS For a quick and casual meal, you can’t look past a pizza. Dubai has plenty of places serving up crisp crusts and superlative sourdough bases with nary a pineapple in sight. The open-air terrace at Bussola (+971 4 511 7136, bussoladubai.com) at The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi is particularly pleasant at this time of year. Crusts are thin and crispy and toppings generous, with over 30 varieties to choose from. The open kitchen, complete with chefs tossing dough into the air, adds to the familyfriendly atmosphere. The wood-fired oven takes centre stage at Ronda Locatelli (+971 4 426 2626, atlantisthepalm.com) at Atlantis, The Palm. Pizzas are cooked Neapolitan-style (thin crispy crusts and an almost soggy centre) and topped with traditional and gourmet ingredients including around a dozen varieties, with imported Italian meat products like prosciutto and salsiccia.

DXB City Expert

For a crisp, yet foldable New Yorkstyle pie that pays homage to its Neapolitan roots, say hi to The Pizza Guys (800 843 4897, thepizzaguys.ae) at Bay Avenue in Business Bay. There are five signature pizzas, all of which are hand-tossed and finished with Italian extra virgin olive oil, fresh basil and parmigiano reggiano, or you can make your own. Our tip? Pull up a stool at the communal counter and order The Godfather (Dhs60) with wagyu beef meatballs and melted fior di latte mozzarella. Bellissimo. If you still want to squeeze into your swimsuit, Nonno (800 696 66 66, nonnopizza.com) is a chic pizzeria, also in Business Bay, specialising in paper-thin crusts with no sugar or salt. Sauces are made from scratch and go straight from blender to base, toppings are super fresh and some pizzas come in at less than 400 calories. That doesn’t mean they’re boring, though. Try the Absolutely Fabulous (Dhs48) with slow-roasted free-range chicken.


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Where To Eat

DXB City Expert

pREVIOuS pAGE, FROm lEFT: Bread Street Kitchen & Bar; STAY by Yannick Alléno; Pacha Ibiza Dubai ClOCkwISE FROm RIGHT: Inka; TOMO; Enigma; La Petite Maison

Down in JLT, Jazz@Pizza Express (+971 4 441 6342, pizzaexpressuae. com) remains one of the city’s most popular pizza joints. For anyone familiar with the UK brand, there are no surprises in store but the pizzas are fresh, flavoursome and a cut above your average chain. With good-value deals like 2-for-1 on Mondays and live music seven nights a week, this busy restaurant wins on atmosphere too.

dInInG AT THE mAll With Dubai Shopping Festival in full swing this month, you’ll most likely be looking for somewhere to refuel in between bouts of retail therapy. The good news is Dubai’s many malls boast some excellent dining options if you don’t fancy the food court. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by The Dubai Mall, but when shopping fatigue kicks in, make a beeline to Eataly (800 328 259, eataly.ae) and you won’t be disappointed. Beyond the small café area and market selling fresh Italian goodies, the restaurant serves authentic dishes from across Italy and traditional thin-crust pizzas. Social House (+971 4 339 8640) is another crowd-pleaser, with an outdoor terrace overlooking the Dubai Fountain and menu divided into flavours from East and West. Choose from soups, sushi, salads, small plates or more substantial meals like the excellent Thai green curry or osso busco. Meanwhile, Lafayette Gourmet (+971 4 345 5444, galerieslafayettedubai.com), a posh food hall on the second level of French department store Galeries Lafayette, has individual stations serving everything from

Mediterranean salads and Moroccan tajines to oysters and caviar. Spanning over 36,000sqm, the new third-floor extension of the Mall of the Emirates has some of its best casual restaurants. Leading the way is Taiwanese steamed dumpling chain, Din Tai Fung (+971 4 265 1288). The chicken xialongbao (soup dumplings), red bean sticky rice dessert and Chinese Oolong tea – with free refills – are worth the inevitable wait at this popular spot. Next door, Omnia Baharat (+971 4 264 1848) is local chef Silvena Rowe’s latest take on healthier fast food with organic, wholesome dishes such as homemade chicken nuggets and Emirati-spiced lobster mac and cheese.

Tucked away near the Vox cinema, Common Grounds (+971 5 0478 1094) is the third cool café from Dubai foodies Tom Arnel and Serg Lopez. Head here for top-notch coffee, superfood salads and delicious burgers and baguettes. Highlights at some of the city’s smaller malls include Taste of Italy (+971 4 343 8292, tasteofitalybyheinzbeck.com) at The Galleria Mall on Jumeirah Beach Road, a contemporary bistro from multi Michelin-star toting chef Heinz Beck, and Taste Kitchen (+971 4 344 4161, tastekitchen.ae) at Mercato Mall, further along the same road, which dishes up yummy mains such as spiced lamb couscous and homemade pasta with expertly grilled prawns.


Where To Eat

Gut-bustinG brunches In the bigger-is-better city of Dubai, the word ‘brunch’ takes on a very different meaning. Here, brunch is not a laidback mid-morning meal with a friend in a nice café; it is an all-you-can-eat, all-you-can-drink Friday lunchtime feast that involves cuisines from every corner of the globe, live music, and sometimes even acrobatics. A Dubai brunch isn’t just a meal; it’s an experience, and something everyone needs to try at least once during their holiday. We could devote an entire chapter to brunch, such is the broadness of the offering, but you will have to settle for a few of the quirkier and family-friendly options instead...

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One of the loveliest alfresco options is the picnic brunch at Al Badia Golf Club (+971 4 701 1127, diningdfc. com) close to InterContinental Dubai Festival City hotel. Kick off your shoes, pull up a beanbag and tuck into a picnic hamper overflowing with salads, baguettes and dips, followed by barbecued meats, grilled seafood and shish kebabs. There's also a mouthwatering dessert station, while kids are well-catered to with entertainers, face painters and bucketloads of sweets. Younger children are best served at Friday brunch at Al Bahou (+971 4 444 0000, movenpick.com), within the Mövenpick Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel, not least because it’s free for them if aged six and below. Here they’re

DXB City Expert

treated to their own room comprising entertainers, face painters, movies on the big screen and buffet (lots of savoury options, lots more of the sweet stuff). You’ll have to be at your eagleeyed best to stop them from sneaking into the chocolate room. Urban Picnic (+971 4 888 3444, vida-hotels.com) is the name given to the relaxed brunch at Vida Downtown Dubai, which takes place every Friday and now Saturday, too. Instead of roaming amidst a mind-boggling spread of food, plate in hand, wondering where to start (as is the case at the majority of Dubai brunches) here you’re given a picnic basket to top up with what takes your fancy and a blanket to sit on outside by the hotel’s pool.


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Where To Eat

With spectacular Burj Khalifa views and exceptional Asian fusion cuisine served to your table, Zeta Restaurant/ Lounge (+971 4 888 3444, theaddress. com) offers one of the classiest brunches in town. There's signature cocktails and a staggering 20 dishes to munch your way through, from sushi and sashimi to miso-marinated black cod and wagyu beef. Just remember to leave room for the mochi ice-cream.

dInnER wITH An InCREdIBlE VIEw One of the most striking spots in Dubai to enjoy outdoor dining is on the westernmost tip of Palm Jumeirah – from here you get to drink in pictureperfect views of Dubai Marina and Burj Al Arab. Just off a jetty that juts out into the azure waters of the Arabian Gulf, lies 101 Dining Lounge and Bar at One&Only The Palm Dubai (+971 440 1010, thepalm.oneandonlyresorts. com). This sparkling, shimmering venue serves sublime contemporary European fare from a menu that has been rubber-stamped by French superchef Yannick Alleno – here we enjoyed the softest squid we’ve ever tasted. The whole experience can be heightened by catching a boat to the restaurant from sister hotel One&Only Royal Mirage. Booking is essential, as is a preboarding drink in the Jetty Lounge. If you want a fine vantage point to see the Dubai Fountain dance its way toward the night sky – and believe us, you do – book a table on the terrace at Rivington Grill at Souk Al Bahar (+971 4 423 0903, rivingtondubai.ae). Coming a close second to the view is the always-great British-themed fare. How about dining as if under the sea? Of course it’s possible: this is Dubai. The Burj Al Arab has the renowned seafood restaurant Al Mahara (+971

4 301 7600, jumeirah.com), which is both over the top and under the water – a huge, floor-to-ceiling aquarium full of sea creatures is at the restaurant’s centre. Equally spectacular is the whole-wall aquarium which forms the backdrop to a meal at the excellent Ossiano (+971 4 426 2000, atlantisthepalm.com). Your credit card will enjoy a good workout at both, but hey, you’re on holiday.

FOR SOmE FAmIly Fun As mentioned elsewhere, The Beach at JBR is a great place to head for a family dinner. But there are other places worthy of your attention, particularly if your kids are that little bit older. You’ll find Crab Tavern (+971 4 420 7489, crabtavern.ae) at Media One Hotel in Dubai Media City. Crab, you’ve guessed it, is the house speciality here, and it comes served many ways – in pasta, as a fish cake, or, best of all, the soft-shell variety comes in a burger laced with red pepper jam. Of the same ilk is Claw BBQ (+971 4 432 2300, clawbbq.com) in Souq Al Bahar, although it’s a tad more raucous than Crab Tavern thanks to its eating competitions and live band. They’ve been known to queue out of the door to snag a table at Slider Station (600 544 005, sliderstation. com) in the Galleria Mall on Al Wasl Road, which proudly claims to be the world’s first conveyor-belt burger joint. It’s much more than that, offering a fun American tapas menu (the likes of sticky red onion rings and Coca Colabraised short ribs) to complement décor based on a 1940s American petrol station. Grab a gourmet slider from its unique, if small, conveyor belt – we say reach for the so-called Dangerous, featuring buttermilk fried chicken, jalapeno and chimichurri aioli.

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Where To Eat

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GRApE EXpECTATIOnS Alcohol is only served in restaurants based within licensed premises, which basically means a hotel. A handful of exceptions include restaurants based at DIFC. Where sold, you'll likely find wine expensive.

SO yOu CAn SAy yOu’VE BEEn THERE If you know only one thing about Dubai, chances are it will be that it’s the home of Burj Al Arab, that most famous of hotels. You’ll doubtless leave Dubai with a picture of yourself posing against a backdrop of it, but why not go the whole hog and dine there? After all, the only way you can get inside for a nose around is by pre-booking. The best way to experience the culinary offering of the Burj is via its brilliant Culinary Flight: your dinner begins with a drink at Skyview Bar before you embark on a journey through five courses and five different restaurants. Memorable. You’ll also need to book ahead should you wish to dine at the world’s highest restaurant, which spans much of level 122 of the Burj Khalifa, but you’ll be glad you’ve done so. You arrive at At.mosphere (+971 4 888 3828, atmosphereburjkhalifa.com) via a fabulously fast elevator, before settling down in the swankiest of settings to take your pick from the finest meat and fish to grace a menu.

FOR duBAI’S AnSwER TO STREET FOOd With gourmet food trucks rolling out across Dubai at an astonishing rate, there’s bound to be one on the tarmac (or sand) near you. Stalwart Ghaf Kitchen (+971 4 443 0355, ghafkitchen.com) was the first restaurant-on-wheels concept in the city and serves a variety of British classics with a decadent twist, all supplied from a lovingly restored

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retro Citroen H van. The truck travels to various events across the city so keep an eye on its Facebook and Twitter accounts to discover where it's at. Shiny new truck Calle Tacos (+971 55 171 5712, calletacos.ae) dishes up street-side tacos, nachos and burritos complete with utterly delicious salsa – handmade from a secret family recipe. Look out for the bright orange truck at Ripe Market, Dubai World Trade Centre, and many of the city's big festivals – it's hard to miss. Another one to add to the list is the hugely popular Salt (instagram.com/FindSalt). Serving gourmet burgers packed with flavour, you can usually find it parked beachside in Jumeirah. You’ll have to follow it on Instagram to get the exact location - but trust us, it’s worth the effort.

SuCCulEnT STEAk Most high-end hotels in Dubai are endowed with a high-end steakhouse offering premium beef staples like wagyu that are far from cheap. But, budget aside, there are some brilliant steaks to be had in this city. Seafire (+971 4 426 2000, atlantisthepalm. com) at Atlantis, The Palm is a case in point. Meat for its own brand beef comes from the hotel’s own cattle farm in Australia (yes, you did read that right). As such, take our tip and go for the Atlantis beef - it’s the cheapest on there but is second to none. One newcomer already winning fans is J&G Steakhouse (+971 4 435 5577, stregisdubai.com) at the stunning new St. Regis Dubai. Set within elegant dark wood surrounds, the focus is on high quality cuts of meat (as well as seafood and raw bar selections) cooked, as you'd expect, to perfection, including dishes inspired by Michelin-starred chef JeanGeorges Vongerichten. For somewhere lighter on your wallet, go to Soho Grill (+971 4 286 8520, sohogrill.ae) at Century Village, Garhoud (one of four branches in the city). The meat here hails from Australia and New Zealand (two of the world’s finest suppliers), and you can bag a grass-fed fillet for just Dhs100.


Where To Eat

dInInG AT dIFC You may want to check in with your bank manager back home before heading to DIFC for dinner (especially with the whole family), but your reward for blowing your budget will be a truly memorable meal. Within DIFC is Gate Village, where amidst the high-end galleries and auction houses are some of Dubai’s – and the world’s – best restaurants. Listed at number 88 in Restaurant Magazine’s 2015 list of the World’s Best Restaurants is the ever-popular Zuma (+971 4 425 5560, zumarestaurant.com), where the outstanding Japanese food is best ordered to share. In fact, what always works well here is to ask your waiter to order for you. It may have slipped from that same list of best restaurants this year (it was placed at 81 in 2014) but La Petite Maison (+971 4 439 0505, lpmlondon.co.uk/dubai) is still great. It uses produce from local UAE farms in a number of its sublime dishes, all of which have their roots in French Mediterranean cooking – dishes like the burrata with basil and tomatoes and the salt-baked seabass are legendary amongst Dubai gourmands. Another good reason to visit LPM is the atmosphere: the place buzzes throughout the entire week. Many will know the Gaucho brand (+971 4 422 7898, gauchorestaurants. ae) – the high-end steakhouse serving the finest Argentinean beef cuts money can buy. The setting for its Dubai outpost is instantly eye-grabbing (shiny and sparkly things offset by cowhide – lots of cowhide) and the steak, as you’d expect, is seared to perfection. Fine dining Italian style can be had at Roberto’s (+971 4 386 0066, robertos. ae), where you’ll want to snag a table on the open-air terrace to enjoy expertly executed traditional fare – the citrusmarinated black cod is superb. If you’ve ever been to Monaco you’ll be aware of the celebrity-swamped Sass Café (+971 4 352 7722, sasscafe-dubai. ae). Its Dubai offshoot also attracts the in-crowd, while its southern France inspired menu doesn’t disappoint.

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SOmEwHERE SImplE wITH yOunG kIdS Eating at your hotel can be expensive – especially if you have a whole family to feed – but fear not: Dubai has plenty of options for good value, great quality fare. Ideal for tiny tots is bookstore-slash-café BookMunch in Al Wasl Square (+971 4 388 4006, bookmunchcafe.com). It serves up tasty treats (try the blueberry pancakes) and stocks plenty of children’s books, ensuring your kids get food for thought as well as the belly. Bystro (+971 336 8056, bystrodubai.com) on Sheikh Zayed Road offers a special kids’ corner featuring mini tables and chairs, as well as toys and books. The food will please kids and adults alike; choose from sandwiches, great breakfast options, weekend roasts, and – intriguingly – dinosaur ribs. Baker & Spice’s (+971 4 362 4686, bakerandspice.com) Marina Promenade location in Dubai Marina is arguably the pick of the chain’s four venues in the city – the weather now is perfect for you to take a table on the terrace, and enjoy views of the yachts while eating tasty home-style dishes, the ingredients for which are often drawn from local farms. There’s no dedicated kids’ menu here, but on offer are smaller portions of main dishes, including a fine spaghetti and meatballs. Over at Italian restaurant Sapori Di Bice (+971 4 344 2550, saporidibice. com) at City Walk, kids get to create their own pizzas, with multiple funshaped bases on offer. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for somewhere to eat with your baby, try Pantry Café (+971 4 388 3868, pantrycafe.me) on Al Wasl Road. While you enjoy wholesome, locally-sourced food, your baby will get messy sucking on free veggie puree. Also free here are kids’ meals on Friday nights, providing you’re also eating and your children are aged under 12. Lastly, if you have budding gourmands in your family, give their tastebuds a workout at Atisuto (+971 4 343 6303, atisuto.ae). This great little Japanese restaurant, housed in the Galleria Mall, serves up mochi ice cream and miso caramel sauce. Yum.

ASk A TOp CHEF Rosalind Parsk, Pierchic I've been to Thailand several times and fell in love with the food. Pai Thai (+971 4 432 3232) at Madinat Jumeirah does an amazing beef massaman. The beef melts in your mouth and the sauce is rich and creamy.

lOVEly lATIn AmERICAn Just like other major cities across the world, Dubai is currently in love with Peruvian food. In fact, a few of the city’s hot-right-now restaurants serve authentic examples of this fabulous cuisine, which puts meltin-your-mouth meat to good use as much as the freshest fish. While you’ll be right to love Coya (+971 4 316 9600, coyarestaurant.com) at the Four Seasons Dubai, we adore Garden (+971 56 224 0956, jwmarriottmarquisdubailife.com) at JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai. Here the chef is Peruvian, the staff are fully knowledgeable of what they’re serving, and the vibe relaxed. Save room in your affections though for the equally impressive Inka (+971 4 346 9295, inkadubai.com) at the Sofitel Downtown Dubai. The intimate dining room is complemented by super nice staff and a lounge area that’s perfect for pre- or post-dinner drinks (and fine views of Burj Khalifa), while their chill-laced rocoto ceviche and chicken anticuchos are divine. Dubai’s love affair with Latin American fare started with Toro Toro (+971 4 317 6000, torotoro-dubai. com) at Grosvenor House Dubai. It bears the name of renowned Mexican chef Richard Sandoval and serves ‘pan-Latin’ cuisine, which basically translates to the best of Peru, Argentina, Brazil, and beyond.


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Where To Eat

dInE AT THE BEACH The Beach at JBR – a brilliant pedestrianised area mere metres from the sand and sea – is the perfect place to head for a good-value feed with your family in tow. Your best bet is to simply stroll the length of it, stopping to peruse the menus at places that catch your eye – there are myriad cuisines to choose from. But were you to twist our arm we’d heartily recommend the following. Pots, Pans & Boards (+971 4 456 1959, thebeach.ae) is one of Dubai’s more interesting recent openings. Helmed by Tom Aitken, who remains the youngest UK chef to have scooped two Michelin stars, the concept here is sharing dishes (make sure you get the lion’s share of the lobster mac and cheese), which you’ll enjoy in a relaxed, informal (even the chairs are mismatched) vibe. Almaz by Momo (+971 4 551 6247, momoresto. com) is one place that will definitely catch your eye. Here you can look out to the sparkling sea while enjoying your pick from a menu of North African and Levant-inspired dishes. Think piping hot tagines, slow-cooked meats and grilled fish. Busaba Eathai (+971 4 428 1421, thebeach.ae) is a Thai restaurant with roots – and multiple branches – in the UK, where it was founded by Alan Yau, the man responsible for the brilliant Hakkasan. You’ll find the food here is every bit as tasty, particularly if you order one of the spice-laden curries (ask for it hot), yet a great deal lighter on your wallet. Breathing in the sea air may well put you in the mood for the ocean’s finest catches. If so, crack open a crab at Aprons & Hammers (+971 4 456 7888, apronsandhammers.com). Crab and shrimp are served by the bucketful – along with a dollop of family fun – with diners having to work for their meal by crushing crustaceans with hinged crackers and (you guessed it) hammers.

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DXB City Expert ClOCkwISE FROm TOp lEFT: Coya; Zuma; Frioul Bistro de Lexe; Garden

dInE dOwnTOwn In addition to The Beach, Downtown Dubai is one of the few areas in the city where you can walk along the street or, in this case, wide boulevards lined by trees and lit by tiny, twinkling lights at night. You’ll pass an array of goodvalue independent restaurants as you saunter past the skyscrapers, serving up everything from gourmet burgers and American classics at Ashton Kutcher-owned Ketchup (+971 4 363 8595, ketchup.ae) to the menu mash-up at Loui’s (+971 4 457 2411, louisrestaurant.net) where Lebanese, Mediterranean and Japanese dishes all vie for your attention. Trust us, Loui’s identity crisis matters less when you’re eating al fresco in the shadow of the glorious Burj Khalifa. The al fresco terrace is also a major draw at Fümé Neighborhood Eatery (+971 4 456 8784, fume-eatery.com) at Manzil Downtown Dubai, but its homestyle cooking is the real crowd charmer. At the other end of the scale, on the lower floors of Burj Khalifa you’ll find Armani Hotel Dubai. This landmark property is one of those places you can boast about visiting. Do so for dinner and head to Armani/Ristorante (+971 4 888 3888, dubai.armanihotels.com) – it would be remiss not to go Italian, after all. Expensive but excellent, this is fine dining in stylish surrounds – just as you’d expect from Mr. Armani. However, if you’re coming to Downtown Dubai on the hunt for a meal you’ll remember long after your flight home has left the runway, it has to be La Serre (+971 4 428 6969, laserre.ae). Great service, even better food, and an atmosphere rarely bettered anywhere else in the city, this is another place where you should let the waiter order for you – just hope they mention the tagliatelle with black prawns and smoked duck. Its downstairs boulangerie is also a great place to head for an al fresco breakfast.


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ASk A TOp CHEF Alexander Stumpf, Sass Café 101 Dining Lounge & Bar (+971 4 440 1030) at One&Only The Palm is a great place to relax and enjoy the sunset. Try the sautéed baby spinach and chorizo salad - the raisins and pine nuts add an additional crunch and sweetness.

BIG, BEAuTIFul BuRGERS Brilliant burgers aren’t confined to the menus of Dubai’s hotel-based restaurants. In fact, the city’s best burgers are served in stand-alone venues. This is certainly true of Burger Fuel (+971 4 445 8220, burgerfuel. com), which has various branches across the city – the best of which, due to it being beside the sea, is at The Walk, JBR. The concept is 100% New Zealand grass-fed beef, a 1/3 pound patty of which is chargrilled to perfection and placed within a wholemeal bun. Thereafter, you can pick multiple extras to stuff inside. 100% organic, free-range beef is the pledge of Elevation Burger (+971 4 338 7055, elevationburger.com), which has three locations across Dubai, including one in The Dubai Mall. If you’re planning to upload a YouTube video of your trip to Dubai, you may wish to include a scene in which you attempt to sink your teeth into the vertigo burger. You can ask for between three and ten (yes, ten) patties to be placed within your bun. There are no such gimmicks at Burger Joint New York (+971 4 344 4459, burgerjointny.com), which you’ll find at City Walk. The emphasis here is on quality alone, with the options limited to just hamburgers and cheeseburgers. Their meat is minced on the premises to ensure consistency of flavour.


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BRIllIAnT BAR FOOd

SuBlImE SuSHI And SASHImI

dIVInE dIm Sum, And THEn SOmE No self-respecting cosmopolitan city can call itself a self-respecting cosmopolitan city unless it has a Hakkasan (+971 4 384 8484, hakkasan.com). Happily, Dubai does (at Jumeirah Emirates Towers) and the high-end chain doesn’t disappoint with its chic contemporary Chinese décor, expertly-made dim sum and oh-so fashionable bar. Shang Palace (+971 4 405 2703, shangri-la.com) at the Shangri-La Dubai is an old favourite which never fluctuates from serving up outstanding examples of Cantonese cuisine: case in point, the signature cod fish with grapes and well-balanced orange sauce. If you’re feeling decadent, head to DIFC and pull up a chair in Royal China’s new-for-this-season garden (+971 4 354 5543, royalchinadubai.com). Your al fresco meal of whole lobster and sugar snap peas in XO sauce will be illuminated by both glowing lanterns and the lights from the surrounding skyscrapers. For a budget-friendly, brilliant and authentic Chinese restaurant experience, head to China Sea (+971 4 295 9816) in Deira – try the Peking duck before heading upstairs for a spot of karaoke.

Beyond the previously-mentioned Zuma and Nobu, Dubai is also home to a couple more standout Japanese restaurants, some of which house incredibly popular lounge bars where beautiful people loiter and pout at one another. Homegrown concept OKKU (+971 4 501 8777, okku.com) at H Hotel is one such place – choice sashimi, sushi, and the requisite black miso cod are served in low-lit environs with Balearic beats in the background. TOMO in Raffles Dubai (+971 4 357 7888, tomo.ae) is helmed by chef-owner Chitoshi Takaashi, who has devised a menu that’s vast and packed with fantastic authentic Japanese delicacies, best navigated with the help of a waiter or waitress. The terrace here bestows brilliant views of Burj Khalifa. Cheaper than both – though still of high quality – is Manga Sushi (+971 4 342 8300, mangasushi.ae) at Beach Park Plaza in Jumeirah 2. As its name more than hints at, this is a restaurant that’s designed manga-style, right down to the waitresses’ uniforms. The fun extends to the very inventive sushi creations, of which there are many – including Godzilla in Dubai: deep-fried wasabi prawn, asparagus and diced mango, dipped in wasabi mayonnaise and rolled in sesame seeds. Within the very funky Vida Downtown Dubai hotel is the equally cool Toko Dubai (+971 4 442 8383, toko-dubai.com). Like Nobu, Toko Dubai also boasts a brilliant garden, where under the stars you can have your fill of some unique and sublime sushi creations – scampi nigiri, with foie gras and truffle oil being one.

About as far from the traditional image of greasy onion rings and soggy nachos as you can get, Dubai’s lounges offer a plethora of delicious bar bites to accompany your evenings. For a laidback affair, head to Bidi Bondi (+971 4 427 0515, emiratesleisureretail. com) on the trunk of Palm Jumeirah. The massive menu features Kangaroo sliders, Queensland lamb cutlets and New Zealand grass-fed rump steak alongside plenty of familiar bar staples. With national flags hanging from the walls and plenty of television screens, it’s an ideal spot for catching up on the sport while tucking into some simple, tasty grub. Just a little further along from here you’ll find Beach House Cabana (+971 4 361 8856, emiratesleisureretail. com). Inside there are rattan barstools, an eclectic photo wall and colourful furniture, but outside is really where you want to be. Munch on crab cakes with ravigote sauce or try the old school fajitas served with heaps of guacamole, sour cream and salsa. For something a bit more sophisticated, recently renovated Madinat Jumeirah’s Left Bank (+971 4 368 6171, emiratesleisureretail.com) offers great entertainment and a lively atmosphere. With an Asian-inspired sharing concept, you can sink your teeth into delectable kofta kebabs, feast on halloumi and vegetable skewers or try the spicy Thai beef noodle salad. Sit outside for fantastic abra views or take a pew in the Botanical Garden to watch the mixologists at work. If you’re after a bit of respite from the sun, make for Après (+971 4 341 2575, emiratesleisureretail.com) in Mall of the Emirates, the UAE’s only après-ski gastropub. With an international menu, there’s plenty to choose from, but the stone-fired pizzas are easily some of the best in the city. Plump for the traditional Swiss cheese fondue and tuck in as you watch Ski Dubai’s snowboarders swoosh down the slopes in front of you.


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HEAd TO pIER 7 It’s a pier, it has 7 floors. That’s the reason for its name covered off. But what’s of real note here is that each floor is devoted to a different-style restaurant. It’s also the only licensed premises on Marina Walk in Dubai Marina. And so to the good stuff... The Scene (+971 422 2328, thescenedubai.com) by TV chef and serial author Simon Rimmer is the frontrunner here. British-style comfort food is the jist of it – think succulent, deep-filled pies, feather-light battered fish and chunky chips – but if you want something less filling, the grilled halloumi, pear and salted hazelnut salad is delicious. No prizes for guessing the cuisine cooked up at the excellent Asia Asia (+971 4 276 5900, asia-asia.com), but there might be a prize if you can find a dish, anywhere, that tickles your tastebuds as much as their tiger prawn Kerala masala. Meanwhile, if you want a side order of animated atmosphere with your mains of slow-cooked prime beef back ribs, then head to Cargo (+971 4 361 8129, cargo-dubai.com).

SumpTuOuS SEAFOOd While most menus these days feature ample fish dishes, restaurants which specialise in serving up our fishy friends are in surprisingly short supply across Dubai. That’s one of the reasons why Catch (+971 4 357 1755, catch.ae) was so warmly received by locals – and it remains one of the hottest tables in town. Hailing from NYC, the other good reason that this contemporary American seafood restaurant found favour is of course its produce. You can have your fish in a number of ways, but you don’t need to look beyond the simple grilled version for a fantastic feed. And don’t leave without tackling one of its towering desserts. You’ll snap it for Instagram, for sure. Over at Four Seasons Dubai (+971 4 270 7777, fourseasons.com) Sea Fu serves excellent seafood in a beautiful setting – just yards from the ocean. The menu offers seafood in myriad tantalising ways, including a deliciously creamy lobster macaroni and a wonderful salt-crusted seabass. But whatever your order, end your meal with a drink by the sunken fire pit.

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dInnER wITH A TwIST An increasing number of venues across Dubai are now offering a live performance to accompany starter, main and dessert. Top billing goes to Ibiza’s legendary club Pacha (+9714 316 6666, pacha.ae) which now has a holiday home in Dubai, at Souk Madinat Jumeirah. Your enjoyment of its high-energy stage show (see ‘Discount Dining' for a more detailed description) is heightened by a winning menu of delectable dishes, our pick from which is the Chilean sea bass. The Act (+971 4 355 1116, theactdubai.com), perched on the 42nd floor of the Shangri-La Hotel Dubai, lays on Peruvian delicacies and decadent dishes like grilled lobster slathered in black truffle butter – alongside fantastical entertainment (think acrobats and singers and human oddities) at its Tuesday and Wednesday dinner shows. Beirut export MusicHall (advance bookings via +971 4 303 4992, arabianadventures.com) in Jumeirah Zabeel Saray on Palm Jumeirah serves Arabicstyle food along with a whole host of eclectic live music acts – up to ten per night – on Thursdays and Fridays. For something altogether different try a dinner as you float down Dubai Creek in a boat-turned-restaurant, taking in the sights of old Dubai as you feast on fine dining dishes like oven-roasted duck breast topped with a punchy mushroom, beetroot and rosemary sauce. That’s Bateaux Dubai (advance bookings via +971 4 303 4992, arabian-adventures.com) for you, where boarding is at 7.45pm nightly, and disembarking at 11pm. Lastly, here’s somewhere to head if you’re tired of peering at your partner over the dinner table – Noire (+971 4 311 8316, fairmont.com) at Fairmont Dubai. The concept here is dining in the dark (literally). Over the course of 90 minutes (from 7.30pm, MondayFriday) night-vision-goggle-sporting waiters serve you a ‘surprise’ threecourse meal in a pitch-black room, which is cut up for ease of eating and paired with drinks for Dhs325.


It’s more than just a dinner cruise

It’s one of Dubai’s top 10 experiences Enjoy a gourmet four-course à la carte dinner accompanied by flowing house beverages and ambient live music to set the tone for a truly memorable evening on-board Bateaux Dubai. Take in the awe-inspiring views of heritage sights and modern landmarks which tell the story of Dubai Creek on this two-and-a-half-hour dinner cruise.

AED 415* INCLUDING UNLIMITED SOFT DRINKS AED 520* INCLUDING UNLIMITED HOUSE BEVERAGES

BOOK YOUR DINNER CRUISE NOW! CALL 04 814 5553 OR VISIT bateauxdubai.com *Terms and conditions apply.

BateauxDubai


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InCREdIBlE VAluE IndIAn & pAkISTAnI Since Indians and Pakistanis account for the biggest expat community in Dubai, it comes as little surprise that the city is awash with an abundance of Indian and Pakistani cuisine – much of it very cheap and delicious. That’s particularly true of Saravanaa Bhavan (+971 4 334 5252) in Karama, whose vegetable curries pack in brilliant flavour and cost an average Dhs15. Also in Karama is Calicut Paragon (+971 4 449 8560, paragonrestaurant. net), which serves curried Keralan seafood specialities, while Rangoli Vegetarian Restaurant (+971 4 351 5873, rangolirestaurants.com) in Meena Bazaar, Bur Dubai, serves food hailing from the Gujarati region of India (imagine platters upon platters of delicious thali, which just keep on coming). The Dubai institution that is Ravi Restaurant (+971 4 331 5353) in Satwa serves Pakistani-style curries, with favourites including chicken achar, keema fry and chicken methi. These places are strictly no frills, but when the curries are so good and such great value, who cares?

ASk A TOp CHEF Greg Malouf, Clé Dubai Almaz by Momo (+971 4 409 8877) at the Mall of the Emirates is unique very dark and moody yet colourful. It draws a real varied crowd, enjoying Maghreb cuisine, world music and friendly staff. The tables are tiny, the food excellent. Order bisteeya, any tagine, and cous cous.

FAST, FIllInG nOOdlES (And A BIT mORE BESIdES) The Noodle House (+971 4 366 6730, thenoodlehouse.com) is a real homegrown success story, and is the go-to place for steaming hot bowls of fragrantly-spiced pad thai and myriad other dishes inspired by the street foods of Hong Kong, Shanghai, Bangkok and Jakarta. The dishes are never-fail and good value to boot, which makes it a great option for families – it even has a funky kids’ menu, comprising the likes of wok-fried satay chicken noodles. You’ll find branches of it across the city, including one at Souk Madinat Jumeirah. The menu at Veda Pavilion (+971 4 361 8845, emiratesleisureretail.com) on the trunk of Palm Jumeirah moves beyond Far Eastern staples to include a headpopping free-range chicken vindaloo. As such, everyone in your dining party is likely to find something that really hits the spot here.

THIS pAGE, FROm TOp: Toko Dubai; Catch; Le Serre


Contemporary French cuisine prepared in the show kitchen Al Fresco dining with stunning views of Dubai Creek A decadent Friday Brunch to tease all the senses

Indulge in an incomparable culinary experience featuring a menu of delectable dishes, striking architecture and a signature elevated show kitchen. Traiteur is as much a feast to the eyes as it is for the palate. Sunday to Thursday from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight and Friday from 7:30 pm to 12:00 midnight Friday Brunch 12:30 pm to 4:00 pm For more information please call 04 602 1814 or email restaurant-reservations.park.dubai@hyatt.com Park Hyatt Dubai, PO Box 2822, United Arab Emirates The Park HyattŽ trademark and related marks are trademarks of Hyatt Corporation. Š 2015 Hyatt Corporation. All rights reserved


Where To Shop

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SHOP Chapter FOUR

Step inside the stores, meander around the markets and seek out the unique shopping experiences that are found only in Dubai

Mega Malls Few places in the world ‘do’ malls like Dubai. Ever since the first shopping centre swung open its doors in 1980 (the Al Ghurair Centre) there has been a steady flow of malls opening up across the city. Whether you’re in town for one day, one week, or longer, there’s a mall for you. With over 1,200 stores under its gargantuan roof, The Dubai Mall (800 38224 6255, thedubaimall.com) should

be your first stop. Consisting of four levels – plus an aquarium, Olympic-size ice rink and a 22-screen cineplex – it was named the largest shopping centre in the world by the Guinness World Records when it opened in 2008, and is positively packed with both designer and high street stores. At some point during your shopping spree here it’s a given that you’ll lose your bearings, but there are numerous help desks (and even buggies to ferry you around if you’re flagging). Don’t leave without

visiting Level Shoe District (+971 4 501 6939, levelshoedistrict.com), which houses every designer shoe brand known to mankind; the region’s first Bloomingdale’s (+971 4 350 5333) and an outpost of France’s famous Galeries Lafayette (+971 4 339 9933, galerieslafayette-dubai.com). Mall of the Emirates (+971 4 409 9000, malloftheemirates.com) is another big shopping draw. Following its recent 36,000 square-metre extension (which saw 20 new fashion


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abOUt this ChapteR Dubai’s main malls have long opening hours; The Dubai Mall opens from 10am-11pm Sunday-Wednesday and 10am-midnight Thursday-Saturday, while Mall of the Emirates opens 10am-10pm Sunday-Wednesday and 10am-midnight Thursday-Saturday. The malls also ask that shoppers dress modestly – shoulders and knees should be covered. These dress codes are in place to show respect for the country’s culture and religion, rather than a law.

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pReviOUs page: Textile Souk ClOCKWise FROM FaR leFt: cARTel; Hamac Beachwear Boutique; Dubai Mall Fashion Avenue

asK a lOCal Annie Darling, Journalist S*uce-On-Sea (+971 4 430 4202) at The Beach, JBR offers everything from swimwear to lounge wear, with a mix of exclusive regional brands and new international collections, such as Zimmerman. Open until 10pm, it’s a great place to browse either before or after a swim.

brands, 12 restaurants and a revamped 24-screen VOX Cinemas open their doors) this mega mall continues to win over residents and tourists alike. With over 560 stores to roam, make sure you become acquainted with Fashion Dome, an area dedicated to designer garb; Boutique 1 (+971 4 395 1200, boutique1.com), a homegrown retail star stocking global and local labels; and Harvey Nichols – Dubai (+971 4 409 8888, harveynichols.com), which houses a winning mix of international fashion heavyweights and much more over its three floors. Next, hop in a taxi – or take the metro to BurJuman Metro Station 1 – to BurJuman (+971 4 352 0222, burjuman.com) one of the oldest shopping malls in Dubai. Offering wallto-wall high fashion, from Fendi and Versace to the UAE’s only Saks Fifth Avenue (+971 450 12700, saksme. com), here you can shop for designer names in relative calm. Back on the metro, continue for three stops along the Red Line and you’ll reach Deira City Centre Mall (+971 4 295 1010, citycentredeira.com) home to over 370 retail stores. Aside from the shops, the mall houses Magic Planet, a super-sized indoor family entertainment centre. A hop and skip from here is Dubai Festival City Mall (+971 4 800 332, festivalcentre.com), an urban retail resort nestled in Dubai Festival City. Set on the historic Dubai Creek, it offers a potpourri of shops (mostly midrange) and some great waterfront cafés that are perfect for a pit stop. Shoppers who need a fuss-free retail spree should head to Dubai Marina Mall (+971 4 436 1020, dubaimarinamall.com), which offers a stylish mix of high-street brands alongside al fresco dining on a more manageable scale, or Ibn Battuta Mall (+971 4 362 1900, ibnbattutamall. com) touted as the world’s largest themed shopping mall and based on the travels of Arabic explorer Ibn Battuta

– the décor alone makes for great photographs. It’s bargains galore at Dubai Outlet Mall (+971 4 423 4666, dubaioutletmall.com), located 30 minutes outside the city. Offering previous seasons’ wares of top brands at heavily discounted prices, must-visit shops here include Burberry, Coach, Priceless and The Outlet, which stock clothes and accessories from the city’s biggest department stores.

MiNi Malls They might not be as big as Dubai’s jumbo malls but the city’s smaller counterparts are chock-full of labels worthy of your holiday Dirhams. Most of the mini-malls are located along Jumeirah Beach Road and Al Wasl Road – two roads that run parallel. Simply drive up one, turn around at Drydocks Dubai, and drive down the other. Kick-off your mini-mall trawl at Sunset Mall (+971 4 330 7333, sunsetmall.ae), home to West L.A boutique and its batch of underground fashion brands. Two other must-visit shopping havens here include the Mediterraneaninspired Mercato Mall (+971 4 344 4161, mercatoshoppingmall.com) – here you’ll find a brilliant boutique called Bagatelle (+971 55 312 6822) which sells pre-owned designer clothing, shoes and jewellery – and The Galleria Mall (+971 4 344 4434), the newest name in the independent mall arena and home to quirky stores such as SoH (+971 4 344 4147, soh.ae) a beauty-salon-meets-art-gallery-meetsboutique, and ValleyDez (+971 4 321 2898, valleydez.com), which stocks a great range of cool designer and readyto-wear clothing. If you want to fully enjoy this area of the city but haven’t rented a car, a good option is to hire a taxi for a six-hour stint for a flat fee of Dhs500. You must book 24hrs in advance (+971 4 208 0000, dubaitaxi.ae).


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best OF bespOKe Dubai has garnered a well-deserved reputation for custom tailoring over the years thanks, in part, to an abundance of fabric stores and quick turnaround times – great for visitors like yourself. Areas synonymous with tailoring include Satwa – Deepa’s (+971 4 349 4434, deepastailoring.com) is a popular spot; Karama – Dream Girls (+971 4 337 7287) is a regular for Dubai’s female dwellers; and Bur Dubai – Parmar Tailors (+971 4 3513112, parmartailors.com is a firm favourite for made-to-measure. These three locations make for a great day out in old Dubai, regardless of whether or not you’re looking for bespoke attire. Thread and Stitches (+971 4 347 2577; threadstitches.com) has long been revered for its quality and ability to create made-just-for-you items at an enviable pace. Located a stone’s throw from Mall of the Emirates – perfect after a morning spent moseying around the mall – this local tailor creates custom clothing for men, women and children. Better still, there’s a fabric store next door so you can meet with the tailor, buy your fabric and drop it off immediately. Men, meanwhile, should stop by Royal Fashion (+971 4 368 6192, royalfashion.biz) at Souk Madinat Jumeirah (it also has branches in various hotels in Dubai). Applauded for its ability to make bespoke tailoring accessible to all, Royal Fashions creates made-to-measure suits and shirts at reasonable prices, and can send them on to your home country. Couples looking to say ‘I do’ should stop by the popular Gold & Diamond Park, a hive of activity with lots of jewellery stores offering custommade luxuries. (+971 4 362 7777, goldanddiamondpark.com). Here, Cara Jewellers (+971 4 340 8151, carajewellers.com) offers some of the best prices in Dubai for diamond rings (and other jewelled goodies), and has photos of some very famous customers pinned to its wall. The Dubai stalwart’s bespoke service allows customers to design their own piece too.

CONCept stORes Outside of Dubai’s glitzy malls there’s a raft of independent concept stores and shopping experiences to enjoy – if you know where to find them. The best way to tick off the city’s unique stores is to introduce them into your day, rather than allocate a day to visit them. For example, if you find yourself in Alserkal Avenue admiring the art galleries, make sure you stop by cARTel (+971 4 388 4341, thecartel. me), one of Dubai’s creative retail pioneers. From the outside it looks like an abandoned warehouse desperate for some architectural attention. Step inside, however, and a carefully curated selection of limited edition clothing awaits. The designers stocked at cARTel are often exclusive to the region, with every piece a limited edition to ensure its individuality. Over the road from cARTel you’ll find A4 Space (+971 50 556 9797, alserkalavenue.ae), a sprawling 6,000sqft warehouse that regularly hosts pop-up fashion and art events for the city’s cool crowd. Fashion-conscious parents heading to Dubai Zoo should visit the nearby Zoo Concept (+971 4 349 5585), a concept boutique offering everything from novelty gifts to trendy T-shirts. From here, venture a little further along Jumeirah Beach Road to Comptoir 102 (+971 4 385 4555), a conceptualised eatery selling kitsch clothing items alongside a delicious vegan food menu. A short drive down the same street you’ll find Garderobe (+971 4 394 2753, garderobe.ae), a hotbed for preowned luxury fashion. There is vintage Chanel alongside Celine, Balenciaga beside Burberry, and Dior in company with Dolce & Gabbana. Holidaymakers planning on retracing Tom Cruise’s footsteps at Dubai International Financial Centre (Cruise ran under the iconic Gate Building in the fourth installment of Mission: Impossible) should pay Momentum (+971 4 327 4320, momentum-dubai. com) a visit. This vintage and rare watch store offers a raft of timepieces as well as service and repair.

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DXB City Expert pReviOUs page: Spice Souk this page: Global Village NeXt page: Box Park

gO lOCal Dubai is home to a number of stellar designers whose collections have careered down the runway at fashion weeks around the world. Star of the moment Madiyah Al Sharqi, who is also the daughter of the ruler of Fujairah, is celebrated at home and abroad for her statement pieces, feminine separates and dresses. Pick up a Sharqi staple from Symphony (+971 4 310 6904, bysymphony.com) in The Dubai Mall and Saks Fifth Avenue (+971 4 501 2700, saksme.com) in BurJuman. Also stocked in Symphony is Endemage, an ethnic chic label created by Omani sisters Nadia and Lubna Zakwani. House of Nomad is another local label elbowing its way inside the wardrobes of the UAE’s fash-pack. The celebrated newcomer, applauded for its use of Arabic calligraphy throughout its collections, can be found in West L.A. (+971 4 388 2828, westlaboutique. com) in Sunset Mall. Holidaymakers who have landed in Dubai without the necessary swimwear would do well to check out Ola Swimwear, an innovative swimwear company stocked at a number of Poupette à la Plage (poupettealaplage. com) hotel-based branches in Dubai. Disaster averted. Besides the malls, the streets along Jumeirah Beach Road, Al Wasl Road and the surrounding roads are dotted with villas housing local design talent. You’ll find Dubai fashion star Rami Al Ali (+9714 394 5607, ramialali. com), whose couture collections have appeared at Paris Fashion Week, in villa 697 on Al Wasl Road. Book a consultation or simply scour the rails for haute couture inspiration.

Superstar designer Ezra (+971 4 395 5385, ezrafashiondesign.com), best known for his dreamy, extravagant gowns, creates his masterpieces from his atelier in Dubai’s Jumeirah 3 (villa 746, Al Wasl Road). With Britney Spears and Michelle Rodriguez for clients, Ezra is a must-visit boutique for ladies looking for couture. Emirati dress has long fascinated visitors to Dubai – from its cultural relevance to how it is worn. And while the most recognisable garment is the black abaya for Dubai’s Muslim women, a wave of new-gen designers have decided to spice things up. Emirati sisters Reem and Hind Beljafla are the creative masterminds behind DAS (+971 4 395 2427, dascollection.com), a Dubai-based label that has given a new lease of life to the traditional abaya by introducing new materials and cuts – think tweed, Italian crepe and cotton voile paired with flapper pockets, thick stitching, pearls and beading. The showroom is located in Jumeirah 3, villa 16, Umm Al Sheif Road. One designer taking on the abaya in reverse is French-Algerian visionary Faiza Bouguessa (+971 4 369 9919, bouguessa.com), whose designs are stocked at the aformentioned Symphony. Rather than take an abaya and westernise it, Bouguessa takes western trends, such as a trench coat or wrap dress, and transforms them into an abaya. Then there are Dubai’s department stores, which stock a number of abayabending brands. The fun part, though, is searching the rails for an exclusive piece. Three stores to visit include Harvey Nichols – Dubai, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s – Dubai.


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OpeN-aiR Retail aFFaiR If you’re seeking sunshine with your shopping, a stroll around the city’s markets is a must. Ripe Market (+971 4 380 7602, ripeme.com) is one of the city’s most popular, with the Ripe Food & Craft Market taking place every Friday from 9am to 3pm at Zabeel Park at the Dubai Creek end of Sheikh Zayed Road. Focused solely on local artisans and food producers, the organisers have expanded their reach to include a night market every Saturday at Al Barsha Pond Park from 4pm to 9pm. The Beach (+971 800 637 227, thebeach.ae), located in Dubai Marina, is one of the emirate’s newest developments offering an al fresco retail experience. Aside from the coastal views and vast esplanade, it boasts a bunch of cool stores selling holiday staples for young and old. Refuel at one of the many restaurants here – Eat Greek is a celebrated eatery – before making your way along JBR to Boutique 1 (+971 4 425 7888, boutique1.com), the aforementioned retailer’s second Dubai outpost. BoxPark (boxpark.ae), another new shopping site, is a pop-up mall made of shipping containers. Peppered along a 1,200-metre stretch of pavement along Al Wasl Road, visitors will find 220 industrial containers selling everything from streetwear to ice cream. Keep walking along Al Wasl Road and you’ll come across Al Wasl Square, where edgy retail stores, bakeries and beauty parlours are bunched together for a short but sweet shopping experience. The development’s sister property, City Walk (citywalk.ae), also offers a central al fresco location from which the family can shop, dine, play and pamper. This outdoor concept can be found at the junction of Al Wasl and Al Safa Road. Something open-air and altogether different is Global Village (+971 4 362 4114, globalvillage.ae). The seasonal leisure destination boasts more than 50 fun rides and 26 restaurants, as well as 36 country-specific shopping pavilions. It’s a unique attraction and good fun for all the family.


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sOUK speCtaCUlaR

sOUveNiRs tO savOUR It’s time to say farewell to tacky token gifts and hello to something a little more authentic. Starting with Arabica coffee. While a number of coffee shops in Dubai serve Arabica coffee (with a signature date), few sell the beans to take away – apart from the Dubai Coffee Museum (+971 4 353 8777, coffeemuseum.ae), that is. The museum, which is located in the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, is split across two levels with a coffee bar on the top floor. It is here that the museum’s bubbly barista John Paul – an expert when it comes to drinks of the caffeinated kind – serves and sells Arabica coffee for visitors looking for a souvenir with a touch of authenticity. It’s open 9am until 5pm every day except Friday. Like coffee, poetry forms a cornerstone of Dubai’s history. Head to the vast Kinokuniya (+971 4 434 0111, uae.kinokuniya.com) bookshop

in The Dubai Mall to pick up an Arabic poetry book from one of the many shelves stacked high with tomes. Calligraphy, too, is synonymous with Emirati heritage. Gallery 1 (+971 4 432 7493, g-1.com), which has shops in Souk Al Bahar and Souk Madinat Jumeirah among other locales, stocks an enviable selection of calligraphy keepsakes – from cards and prints to notebooks. Oud, a scent synonymous with Dubai, will undoubtedly make for a memorable holiday memento, with most of the malls and markets mentioned in this section offering bottled or bespoke versions for men and women. But for noses that prefer softer scents, head to Villa 515 (+9714 39 54 054, villa515.com), an olfactory sanctuary for bespoke fragrance. Located in Jumeirah 3, this perfumer boasts a shop and a laboratory that’s specifically designed for perfume customisation – perfect for creating your own holiday scent.

It’s no surprise that one of Dubai’s oldest settlement areas provides the base and backdrop for one the city’s most authentic shopping experiences: Deira. Nestled in the neighbourhood’s maze of winding walkways you’ll find the Dubai Gold Souk – best reached by taxi, although the nearest metro stop is Al Ras. The residents love it because it reminds them of days gone by, while tourists like it for the quality and variety of gold – and the fact that you can haggle over the price. A quick march from the Gold Souk will lead you to the Spice Souk, home to a number of thatched market stalls selling spices that are certain to pull at your purse strings. Over the water, on the Bur Dubai side of Dubai Creek, you’ll find Bur Dubai Souk, a labyrinth of passageways teeming with stores selling clothes, camels (miniatures, of course), cushions and much more. The best way to get here from the Spice Souk is by hopping on board a sturdy abra boat at one of the many stations along Baniyas Road – for just Dhs2 per person, you’ll be standing on the other side of the creek in five minutes. The Dubai Textile Souk, meanwhile, is a fabric fairyland for shoppers looking to create bespoke garments. From swathes of silk for sarees and wedding gowns, to bolts of embroidered cotton, you would be hard-pressed to find a souk more colourful than this one.


The promise of a great adventure! Join us on a magic carpet ride over the Dubai desert. Catch the rising sun at 4000 feet and descent to a vast expanse of golden sand dunes. See roaming camels, galloping gazelles and the mighty Arabian oryx in their natural habitat. Let some of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most experienced pilots take you on a ride of a lifetime! BALLOON ADVENTURES EMIRATES For booking and information visit: www.ballooning.ae or phone +971 4 2854949


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DXB City Expert

What

DO Chapter FIVE

Think you’re here for the sun and shopping only? Think again. Dubai boasts ample attractions that you’ll want to experience before heading home. The fun starts here...

SEE thE cIty From thE Sky Skydiving is on every daredevil’s bucket list and there’s no better place to do it than here. Skydive Dubai (+971 4 377 8888, skydivedubai.ae) has one of the world’s most spectacular tandem jumps over the iconic Palm Jumeirah. Or if you'd rather not leap out of a plane, iFly Dubai (+971 4 231 6292, theplaymania.com) lets you defy gravity in its amazing indoor wind tunnel. For more sedate sightseeing, Seawings (advance bookings via +971 4 303 4992, arabian-adventures.com) offers a range of scenic joy flights, including the Dubai Creek Silver tour, a 40-minute ‘dock to dock’ seaplane excursion above the historic Creek, Palm Jumeirah, Burj Khalifa and more. If VIP bling is more your thing, nothing beats hovering around town in a helicopter. Fly High Helicopter Services (advanced booking via City Sightseeing Dubai kiosks at all major malls +971 4 316 7506) offers 15- or

25-minute tours from its helipad at Atlantis, The Palm, as well as helicopter transfers so you can really arrive in style. Meanwhile, Heli Dubai (advance bookings via +971 4 303 4992, arabianadventures.com) takes off from Dubai Festival City, with 12- or 22-minute aerial tours over Dubai’s stratospherenudging skyscrapers. Leaving the glitz and glamour of the city behind, a hot air balloon ride over the desert as the sun comes up is an unforgettable experience. Balloon Adventures Emirates (+971 4 285 4949, ballooning.ae) will take you up, up and away in either a large group or a private charter.

GEt wEt and wIld Water babies are spoilt for choice as Dubai has two world-class waterparks that have something for all ages. Located in front of the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab, Wild Wadi (advance bookings via +971 4 303 4992,

arabian-adventures.com) is the more manageable of the two, with over 30 rides and attractions. From kid-friendly slides and the relaxing lazy river, to adrenaline-fuelled surfing experiences and the truly terrifying Jumeirah Sceirah, it’s impossible not to have fun at this fantastic park. Over on Palm Jumeirah you’ll find Aquaventure (advanced booking via +971 4 303 4888, arabian-adventures. com or City Sightseeing Dubai kiosks at all major malls +971 4 316 7506) at Atlantis, The Palm. It comprises 17 hectares of heart-stopping slides, rides, pools and interconnecting waterways, along with a huge kids’ play area, exhilarating zip line, pristine private beach, private cabanas and the not-sosmall matter of Shark Lagoon, where you can hand-feed gentle rays. Celebrating your birthday while in Dubai? Register online at atlantisthepalm.com for a free Aquaventure day pass to use anytime during your birthday week.


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About this ChApter As you’ll read, there is much to do in Dubai, and as such we’ve ensured our recommendations include plenty of options for both big and little kids. By far the best way to get your bearings – and to see all of the city – is by starting out with a City Sightseeing Dubai, hop-on, hop-off bus tour (see ‘Top of the Tours’ for booking details). Then it’s all about ticking off that to-do list...

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What To Do

ExpErIEncE Snow and IcE While a winter wonderland in a desert city sounds fantastical, it does exist in Dubai. Located in Mall of the Emirates, Ski Dubai (advanced booking via +971 4 303 4888, arabian-adventures.com or City Sightseeing Dubai kiosks at all major malls +971 4 316 7506) is the go-to place for skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing or just throwing snowballs. Clothing and equipment are available for hire, and there are lessons for budding skiers aged 3 years and up, while boarders must be at least 8 years old. And donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t miss the free penguin parades, which happen daily at 2pm, 4pm, 6pm and 8pm. Dubaiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s other mega mall has its own penguins too, albeit plastic ones. Dubai Ice Rink (advanced booking via +971 4 303 4888, arabian-adventures.com or City Sightseeing Dubai kiosks at all major malls +971 4 316 7506), the Olympic-sized rink at The Dubai Mall, has public skating sessions that are suitable for beginner and immediate skaters, as well as disco sessions with a resident DJ (nightly at 6.15pm and 8pm). Penguin Pal skating aids are available for little ones measuring a minimum of 100cm tall, while there are Snowmen for adults and over-12s who are unsteady on their skates.

GEt GlowInG at thE park Another place to suspend disbelief is Dubai Miracle Garden (+971 4 422 8902, dubaimiraclegarden.com), a 2,000-square-metre garden that is home to 150 million flowers. It features quirky floral sculptures of giant peacocks, hearts and clocks, as well as a kids' playground and nine butterflyfilled domes. Dubai Garden Glow, meanwhile, is a new glow-in-the-dark family attraction

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DXB City Expert opEnInG paGE: At The Top, Burj Khalifa thIS paGE: Camel Polo

in Zabeel Park that boasts a replica Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque made from 90,000 cups, plates and spoons and a 12-metre-high Burj Khalifa made from 330,000 tiny bottles filled with coloured water. There are often live performances from artists and acrobats, plus food stalls and interactive displays for little ones.

hIt thE bEach If you’re staying in a hotel without its own private beach, but a dose of sea and sand is high on your holiday wishlist, head down to one of Dubai’s many beautiful public beaches. Backed by a low-rise collection of restaurants, cafés and boutiques, and featuring a winding walkway dotted with innovative food stalls, The Beach at JBR (800 637 227, thebeach.ae) is one of the most popular spots along the Arabian Gulf. There are well-kept changing facilities with showers, all manner of activities to enjoy (from beach football to early morning yoga), and you can rent a sunbed with an umbrella and towel for Dhs110 per day. Another firm favourite is the stretch of sand running the length of Umm Suqeim known as Kite Beach, thanks to its popularity with kite-surfers (you can sign up for lessons too). It boasts a promenade with a handful of cool cafés such as The Surf Shack, changing facilities and showers, a new jogging track, beach tennis and watersports, but no sunbed or brolly rental. If a chilled-out beach club is more your style, Riva Beach Club (+971 4 430 9466, riva-beach. com) on Palm Jumeirah is one of the best. It’s got a private beach and temperature-controlled pool, sunloungers and daybeds, a restaurant serving Mediterranean-style cuisine, outdoor bar, and watersports such as paddleboarding and kayaking.

takE to thE hIGh SEaS Sailing and yachting are popular pastimes in the emirate and cruising past Atlantis, The Palm towards the iconic Burj Al Arab at sunset is one of the most memorable ways to experience Dubai. Deep sea fishing is another big draw, with species such as king mackerel and barracuda tempting anglers. First Yacht (advance bookings via +971 4 303 4992, arabian-adventures. com) specialises in tailor-made luxury yacht and catamaran charters and private fishing trips, as well as powerboat rides and romantic dinner cruises for two. Sea Hunters (advance bookings via +971 4 303 4992, arabian-adventures.com) is another recommended operator that can organise deep sea fishing tours, luxury yacht and catamaran charters, and flashy speedboat cruises all around Palm Jumeirah.

all thE Fun oF thE FountaInS At the foot of Burj Khalifa is a 30-acre lake, in which stands the world’s largest dancing fountain. Dubai Fountain has multiple jets spread across the lake, which shoot water 500ft into the air about the height of a 50-storey building - while ‘dancing’ to the music. Shows are daily at 1pm and 1.30pm (1.30pm and 2pm on Fridays) and every 30 minutes from 6pm-11pm. Bag a table on the terrace of a lake-side restaurant (see ‘Where to Eat’), watch for free from the Waterfront Promenade, just outside the entrance to The Dubai Mall, or see it in style aboard one of the abras (traditional Arabic boats) which sail as close to the action as possible. Tickets cost Dhs65 per person and can be purchased from a counter on the Waterfront Promenade or from At The Top, Burj Khalifa.


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aSk a local Tanya Pearson, Key Account Manager If you can't get a table at At.mosphere, Neos (+971 4 888 3444, theaddress.com) on the 63rd floor of The Address Downtown has amazing views of the Dubai Fountain and Burj Khalifa. great option.

SEE a moVIE wIth a dIFFErEncE A trip to the cinema takes on a whole new dimension in Dubai. The new VOX Cinemas (+971 600 599 905, voxcinemas.com) at Mall of the Emirates has 24 screens including a multi-sensory 4DX theatre that adds moving seats and effects like rain and lightning, the first laser IMAX in the Middle East, and a colourful kids’ cinema. You can even swap popcorn for a gourmet duck burger at Vox Theatre by Rhodes, which combines luxury seats and service with a menu devised by Michelin-starred chef Gary Rhodes. The cooler months (that’s now) also see a raft of al fresco film screenings. Movies Under the Stars at Wafi Pyramids Rooftop Gardens (+971 4 324 4100, pyramidsrestaurantsatwafi. com) is an old favourite and shows feel-good flicks for free every Sunday from 8.30pm, while La Playa Lounge (laplayalounge.com) screens Hollywood hits on its full-size screen by The Beach at JBR daily from 6.30pm. Something unique for kids cinemawise is The Dome Box (800 637 227, thedomeboxdubai.ae), at BoxPark on Al Wasl Road. It’s a dome-shaped theatre with a 360-degree screen which plays short edutainment films that are themed around science, nature, and popular culture. Instead of seats there are beanbags – and leaning posts for adults – and each movie lasts for around 30 minutes.

GEt on track Petrol heads can do more than just drool at Dubai’s legion of supercars. Slip behind the wheel of a single seater F3 race car, McLaren, Audi TT or R8 supercar at Dubai Autodrome (advance bookings via +971 4 303 4992, arabianadventures.com). Track experiences combine classroom and behind-thewheel training from a professional racing driver, before you’re let loose to do a few laps on your own – guaranteed to get your blood pumping. The complex is also home to Kartdrome which has indoor and outdoor tracks that are suitable for big kids and little ones aged 7 and up. The 1.2km outdoor circuit features 17 corners, a tunnel and bridge, while the 500m indoor track allows up to ten karters to race at any one time. Plus, the karts are equipped with timers so you can test your mettle against your mates.

bEyond ShoppInG at thE dubaI mall The Dubai Mall has a host of activities to keep the whole tribe entertained. Gamers of all ages will love SEGA Republic (advanced booking via +971 4 303 4888, arabian-adventures.com or City Sightseeing Dubai kiosks at all major malls +971 4 316 7506), a huge indoor theme park with 15 rides including a rollercoaster, and hundreds of high-tech games. Little visitors will love KidZania (advanced booking via +971 4 303 4888, arabian-adventures. com or City Sightseeing Dubai kiosks at all major malls +971 4 316 7506), a sprawling mini city that allows children to dabble in 80 different careers, from pilot to police officer. And aviation enthusiasts aged 9 and over can fly the world’s largest passenger plane at the Emirates A380 Experience (advance bookings via +971 4 303 4992, arabianadventures.com), a state-of-the-art Airbus flight simulator.

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thIS paGE: Aquaventure


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FEEl on top oF thE world Ascending the world’s tallest tower is high on most visitors’ must-do lists, and At The Top, Burj Khalifa (advance bookings via +971 4 303 4992, arabianadventures.com) doesn’t disappoint. A high-speed elevator delivers you to the observation decks at Level 124 (452 metres above the ground) or Level 148 (soaring 555 metres). Floor-toceiling glass provides unobstructed, 360-degree views, plus your ticket allows you to linger as long as you like. Open daily until 11pm – but tickets do sell out, so be sure to book in advance.

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play (or watch) a lIttlE polo Seasoned polo pros, novices and spectators can enjoy the age-old sport of kings at Desert Palm, Per Aquum (+971 4 323 8888, desertpalm. peraquum.com). The resort has its own swish stables and four championship polo fields with lessons and daily matches (from October to April). Spectators are well catered for too, with afternoon tea served on a chic terrace overlooking the action. Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club (+971 4 361 8111, poloclubdubai.com) also offers a fun introduction to the game with mini

DXB City Expert

polo experiences designed for groups of two to 10 holidaymakers. This being Arabia you can also saddle up for a spot of Camel Polo (advance bookings via +971 4 303 4992, arabian-adventures.com) using the so-called ‘ships of the desert’ instead of horses. You’ll start your day with a lesson on the basics before mounting up in pairs, with one rider taking the reins and the other swinging the mallet, for an undoubtedly hilarious match. This unique experience is available for groups of at least 8, and you need never have ridden a camel (or a horse) in your life to take part.


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DXB City Expert thIS paGE, clockwISE From top lEFt: Kidzania; Dubai Fountain; Dolphin Bay at Atlantis, The Palm; Sailing with First Yacht

in 2005, has a wadi (valley) running through it, which is sure to challenge first-timers. A quick trip down the road, The Montgomerie Dubai (advance bookings via +971 4 303 4992, arabianadventures.com), was co-designed by Colin Montgomerie. It’s a pictureperfect Championship course that can trick first-timers with its deceptively difficult holes. One of the signatures is the par three 13th, where the green is laid out in the shape of the UAE. Jumeirah Golf Estates (+971 4 818 2000, jumeirahgolfestates.com) has two Greg Norman-designed Championship courses matched by excellent club facilities. Inspired by the great parkland courses of Europe and North America, the Earth course is home to the DP World Tour Championship, the grand finale of the European Tour’s Race to Dubai. The undulating topography of the Fire course, meanwhile, demands a strategic approach.

on your bIkE

SwInG Into actIon Dubai has become a major golf destination and boasts an impressive collection of high-calibre courses. Emirates Golf Club (+971 4 380 1234, dubaigolf.com) is an old favourite, with two 18-hole par 72 Championship courses and a clubhouse inspired by Bedouin tents. The Majlis course, home to the Dubai Desert Classic, a prestigious winter fixture on the European Tour, has open horizons and stretches of scrubby sand along with more traditional bunkers, while the Faldo, redesigned by Nick Faldo

Cycling is proving ever popular in the emirate, and the European-style bike hire service Byky (bykystations.com) is the best way to explore the city on two wheels. There are roughly 16 stations dotted around Downtown, Dubai Marina and Palm Jumeirah. First, you need to register with your credit card details online, at a rental station or by downloading the NextBike app to your smartphone. Then a unique code is sent to your mobile to unlock the bike and you’re good to go. To really stretch your legs, head to Al Qudra Cycling Track, the world’s longest purpose-built cycling track that loops around the desert dunes near Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa. You can hire bikes from Trek Bikes (+971 4 832 7377, trekbikes.ae) at the start of the track.

ExplorE thE art ScEnE With a keen focus on contemporary art, Dubai has a burgeoning art scene centred around the financial district of DIFC and the industrial area of Al Quoz. The former is home to a dozen spaces including Ayyam Gallery (+971 4 439 2395, ayyamgallery.com), which promotes emerging and established artists from the Middle East, and The Empty Quarter (+971 4 323 1210, theemptyquarter.com), the city’s only gallery space devoted exclusively to fine art photography. The hippest art hub, Alserkal Avenue (+971 50 556 9797, alserkalavenue. ae), can be found in Al Quoz. There are around 15 galleries housed in converted warehouses, including Mojo (+971 4 347 7388, themojogallery.com) and La Galerie Nationale (+971 4 380 4652, galerie-nationale.com). A new extension has seen the area double in size and welcome new galleries such as Leila Heller Gallery (+971 56 831 3520, leilahellergallery.com), the first international outpost from the wellknown New York gallerist. For a good introduction to the current exhibitions, pop along to the free gallery tour held every Saturday from 4-5pm. Down near the Creek in Bur Dubai, Majlis Gallery (+971 4 353 6233, themajlisgallery.com) is also well worth a look. It’s Dubai’s oldest art gallery, established over 25 years ago in a windtower house in the Al Fahidi district. Meanwhile, an interesting new gallery that aims to bridge the gap between high-end pieces and massproduced prints has just opened in The Dubai Mall. LUMAS (+971 4 388 2540, lumas.com) has original photographic and contemporary artworks starting at less than Dhs400, as well as limited edition pieces by big names such as Damien Hirst and Patrick Demarchelier.


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thIS paGE: Ski Dubai

SEE amazInG SEalIFE

aSk a local Rachel Wright, Business Development Manager I love spending time at The Beach, JBR. Besides the beach, there's restaurants, shopping and a cinema, all in one chilled outdoor location. After a big meal or too much popcorn, stroll along the path and enjoy pop-up events like markets.

Some of Dubai’s best family-friendly attractions can be found under the sea. Home to over 65,000 marine animals, The Lost Chambers Aquarium (advanced booking via +971 4 303 4888, arabian-adventures.com or City Sightseeing Dubai kiosks at all major malls +971 4 316 7506) at Atlantis, The Palm is sure to mesmerise young and old. There are over 20 exhibits with creatures from all over the world. Visitors can also book a behind-thescenes tour or swim, snorkel or dive with sharks. Meanwhile, The Dubai Mall is home to the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo (advanced booking via +971 4 303 4888, arabian-adventures.com or City Sightseeing Dubai kiosks at all major malls +971 4 316 7506), one of the largest suspended aquariums on the planet. Marvel at over 140 species of sea life, including over 300 sharks and rays, or rent some scuba gear and sidle up alongside the inhabitants of this 10-million-litre tank. No diving experience is required. At the zoo part of this aquatic attraction you’ll get to see the likes of penguins, otters and giant spider crabs, but by far its biggest draw – in every sense – is King Croc, one of the world’s largest reptiles at over five metres long with a weight equivalent to that of 15 men. He’s here with his blushing bride Queen Croc and their sprightly offspring. And if you’ve always dreamed of swimming with dolphins, you can do exactly that at Dolphin Bay (advance bookings via +971 4 303 4992, arabianadventures.com), the 4.5-hectare dolphin conservation centre at Atlantis, The Palm. Home to a family of friendly Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins, you can take your pick from five different dolphin experiences.

chIll out at a Spa Feeling frazzled after all that fun? Dubai has some of the world’s most luxurious spas that are renowned for their ultra-indulgent treatments. Perched 150 metres above the Arabian Gulf and spread over two floors, Talise Spa at Burj Al Arab (+971 4 301 7365, jumeirah.com) is one of the best. Try the signature La Prairie Platinum Rare Facial, which sees two therapists work simultaneously to deliver an anti-ageing facial and hand and foot treatment. Precious metals also star at The Spa at The Address Downtown Dubai (+971 4 436 8755, theaddress.com). The three-hour Ultimate Diamond Experience includes a full-body scrub, massage and facial using crushed diamonds. Time your treatment right and you’ll also be able to watch The Dubai Fountain from the posttreatment relaxation room. The world's tallest hotel, JW Marriott Marquis (+971 4 414 0000, jwmarriottmarquisdubai.com) is home to the sublime Saray Spa, where this month's East Meets West treatment sees couples share a room and enjoy a 90-minute massage each, one Thai, the other Swedish. Meanwhile, the luxurious new hammam facility at Anantara Spa at Anantara The Palm Dubai (+971 4 567 8140, dubai-palm.anantara. com) offers the ultimate Middle Eastern experience. The fabulous spa also boasts a dazzling array of Asian, Arabian and Ayurvedic treatments. ShuiQi Spa at Atlantis, The Palm (+971 4 426 1020, atlantisthepalm. com) is another sprawling spa with an impressive menu of treatments from the likes of Shiseido and Bastien Gonzalez. Try the signature Dubai Glamour Ritual, which includes a fullbody scrub, wrap, massage and facial.


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Chapter SIX

WHERE TO

go Where once it was a city bereft of cool clubs and nightlife to speak of, Dubai now attracts the biggest names in the business to a stellar line up of fabulous venues. Get your glad rags on – we’re going out…

SIppIng under the StarS For eight months of the year, Dubai is blessed with gorgeous weather, which means there’s no shortage of excellent al fresco lounges. Barasti (taxi: Le Meridien Mina Seyahi, +971 4 399 333) has been ruling the roost for 20 years, pulling in thousands of revellers every weekend. It combines live music, daily sunbathing sessions, a sandbetween-your-toes dancefloor on the beach and more serving stations than you can shake an empty glass at. With Burj Khalifa basically in its back garden, Treehouse (taxi: Taj Dubai, +971 4 438 3100) has unbeatable views from its leafy, third-floor terrace. Wooden floors, comfy sofas and an open-air fireplace create an intimate lounge-bar feel. However, the music grows as the night goes on with DJ Tayllor playing an eclectic mix of commerical and deep house tunes. If you fancy your drink with a side order of vertigo, 40 Kong (taxi: H

Hotel, +971 4 355 8896) is your best bet. The rooftop lounge on the 40th floor (obviously) offers sweeping views across the city from its Sheikh Zayed Road location, and comes with some of the best house DJs in the city, including deep house expert KaY TeK. Another elevated al fresco drink can be enjoyed at Pure Sky Lounge (taxi: Hilton Jumeirah Beach Resort, +971 4 399 111). Decked out in white, blue and plenty of glass, the 35th-floor lounge offers stunning views out to sea, alongside a very cool soundtrack. Bliss Lounge (taxi: Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort, +971 4 399 5533) is one of Dubai Marina’s best outdoor spots. The beachside lounge offers excellent sea views from one of the most high profile stretches of shoreline in the city and, at night, it turns into an excellent outdoor club with some of the best resident DJs in the city dropping soul-infused house music. Overlooking Media City’s low-rise buildings, Tamanya Terrace (taxi:

Radisson Blu, Media City, +971 4 366 9111) has undergone a recent facelift and offers impressive views across to Dubai Marina and its twinkling skyline. The Terrace hosts one of the city’s best club nights every Friday from 6pm as Night Vibes and its crew of fun-loving clubbers rock up and turn the venue into a mini Ibiza haven. While most of Dubai’s nightlife has shifted south, there are still plenty of panoramic spots at the other end of town. TOMO Views (+971 4 357 7888, tomo.ae), within the pyramid-shaped Raffles Dubai, hosts daily Sunset Sessions where you can sip creative cocktails (half-price between 5pm and 7pm) to the tune of sophisticated deep house with sunkissed disco vibes and euphoric soaring strings until 1am. Meanwhile, at the stunning Creek-side lounge Cielo (taxi: Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, +971 4 416 1800), you should order their own-recipe sangria and watch the sun set behind Sheikh Zayed Road’s skyline.


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about thIS Chapter The UAE weekend is Friday-Saturday. As such, Thursday-Friday nights are usually the busiest across town. The legal age to drink alcohol in Dubai – and enter a nightclub – is 21, and while nowhere employs a seriously strict dress code policy, you won’t get in if you're dressed for the beach – no shorts, open-toe sandals or the like in this town, please. We have included a taxi reference for you – ask the driver to head here – as most will not know the location of the club or lounge if you say its name only.

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Where To Go

For the bIg nameS and beSt dJS 360° (taxi: Jumeirah Beach Hotel, +971 4 406 8999) is one of the longestrunning clubs in the city, and boasts panoramic views across the city from its perch in the middle of the Arabian Gulf. The two floor venue hosts Audio Tonic every Friday for your deep house kicks, while rotating promoters on Thursdays bring in soulful house, UK bass and dance classics. The drinks are expensive, but well worth it for the views and music. A cavernous venue on the 41st floor of Media One Hotel, Level 41 (taxi: Media One Hotel, +971 4 427 1000) hosts pop-up club nights and live music. From techno to drum and bass and hip hop to house, the back-to-basics rave cave hosts the city’s cooler promoters – meaning a clued-up crowd who aren’t afraid to cut loose on the dance floor. Pacha Ibiza Dubai (taxi: Souk Madinat Jumeriah, + 971 4 567 0000), is the latest international addition to the city, and includes a spectacular dinner/dance show (see ‘Top of the Tours’), a stunning rooftop venue and an ultra glamourous main room. Drinks are far from cheap, but service is good and while Pacha done Dubai-style doesn’t have quite the same hedonistic appeal of its Ibiza sister venue, it is still worth checking out. The first real beach party in the city, Nasimi (taxi: Atlantis, The Palm, +971 4 426 2626) has hosted everyone from Basement Jaxx to Robin Schulz over the years and can hold several thousand dancers on its sandy beach. Even if there’s nothing big going on when you visit, the resident DJs and the views back across Palm Jumeriah and into Dubai Marina are worth the trip. Part beach club, part open-air club and packed every weekend, Zero Gravity (taxi: Sky Dive Dubai, +971 4 399 0009) is the city’s current hot spot. It has welcomed big names like Paul Van Dyk and Mark Ronson alongside more alternative stars like Mr Scruff to play under the stars. Plus, their newly up-and-running pool party looks set to take the city’s day-time partying to a new level.

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openIng page: Zero Gravity thIS page: Treehouse

Since launching three years ago, Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE (taxi: Golden Tulip Al Jazira Hotels & Resort, Ghantoot, +971 51 133 3400) has set the benchmark high for house music parties in the country. Thousands of glamazons make the 30-minute journey towards Abu Dhabi to this Balearic beach party. The line-ups are always cutting edge and big on the house market: think Ibiza icons like Jamie Jones, Dixon and Marco Carola. With a panoramic view of Dubai’s skyscraper skyline, White Dubai (taxi: The Meydan, +971 50 443 0933) is the sister lounge and club to the Beirut original. And like its Lebanese sibling, it’s high on the glam factor, with a goodlooking crowd arriving around midnight every Thursday, Friday and Saturday for the hip hop and EDM soundtrack. And of course, the stunning view back into the city. For an ultra glamorous (and slightly gaudy) night out, Cavalli Club (taxi: Fairmont Hotel, +971 4 332 9260) is a Roberto Cavalli institution that serves as a high-end dinner club. A three-level venue that dazzles under a weight of Swarovski crystals, the club hosts A-list DJs like Bob Sinclar on a regular basis. Another imported chain, Provocateur (taxi: The Four Seasons Dubai, + 971 55 211 8222) began life in New York as a bottle-service club that catered to high-end house music lovers. Fittingly, the Dubai branch has welcomed 4/4 heavyweights like Seth Troxler and White Island favourite Solomon during its first season. More recently, it has shifted its focus to home-grown talents. Since its refurbishment in summer 2015, Movida (taxi: Radisson Royal

Hotel, +971 55 1744 449) has reclaimed its position as one of the city’s regular hot spots. They frequently host cameos from established and up-and-coming rappers (including O.T. Genasis), and have a very commercial hip hop and mainstream house/EDM soundtrack on the weekend. If you like to see bottles of bubbly with sparklers in them paraded every 20 minutes, this is the club for you. Back on the sand, Eden Beach Club (taxi: Rixos, The Palm Dubai, +971 4 277 1477) is the latest big player on the beach club scene, and boasts private cabanas on the beach and a dazzling sound and light set-up that hosts some of the world’s biggest names (Steve Aoki and Sasha have played here). Open from early morning until midnight, it’s an ultra glamorous venue where reservations are highly recommended. Vii Club (taxi: Conrad Hotel, +971 50 169 6777) is another cool newcomer. Going for all-out glam with mahogany wood-finished walls and deep plum furniture, Vii's resident DJs play deep, tech and soulful house every Thursday and Friday from 10.30pm until 3.00am. Meanwhile, the adjacent lounge bar, which leads to gorgeous ‘secret garden’, is open every night from 8.00pm 'til late. Lastly, if you fancy going down to the woods today, make sure you do it with Frank The Bear at Toy Room Dubai (taxi: Al Murooj Rotana, 971 55 246 4555), the club’s mascot and official party starter. The playful club has a popular hip hop and deep house soundtrack with some of the best residents in town.


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CLoCKWise From Bottom LeFt: 360°; Blue Marlin; Movida

For something diFFerent Dubai does big and bold very well, but you have to dig a little deeper to find the alternative scene. Casa Latina (taxi: Ibis Hotel Al Barsha, +971 4 399 6699) hosts many of the better left-field nights, pumping out old school drum and bass (Bassworx), indie (Loaded) and punk (Bad House Party) on a monthly basis. Check in advance by calling as the music can vary wildly. If you’re after live music, the aptlytitled Music Room (taxi: Majestic Tower Hotel, +971 4 501 2534) in Bur Dubai is your best bet. Promising local – and frequently international – bands, this spacious venue attracts a knowledgeable crowd. Musically openminded, they’ve hosted local metal giants like Nervecell, Bon Jovi tribute acts, and alternative DJs like drum and bass kingping Goldie and jazz-funk troubadour Quantic. We’re not sure why it hasn’t been done before, but Stereo Arcade (taxi: Double Tree by Hilton, +971 52 618 2424) combines music and a stereo arcade (with over 50,000 games) as well as a slushy machine, hot dog stand and more. The hi-tech club plays the best of the ’80s and ’90s every weekend, while the low-key lounge on the other side of the arcade has a house band most nights of the week. For something with a real twist, push the bookcase in the lobby of the Dusit Thani hotel. It will open to reveal a hidden door, on which you’ll knock to gain entry to the Nippon Bottle Company (taxi: Dusit Thani, +971 4 357 0779), a Japanese speakeasy. It offers an impressive list of Japanese drinks, which are now considered to be some of the best in the world.

CatCh a matCh An always-lively atmosphere is yours to soak up at Girders (taxi: JA Ocean View Hotel, +971 4 814 5590), particularly in its faux garden which boasts a giant screen – a whole four metres, to be precise – and shows the biggest games of the day. Smaller screens inside show other matches at the same time. Multiple matches with same-time kick offs are also shown on myriad screens at Qube Sports Bar (taxi: The Meydan Hotel, +971 4 381 3780). It’s so named because of its unique draw – a cube screen bearing four huge surfaces to provide fans with a fine view no matter where they’re sitting. It's also impossible to miss any of the action at Kickers (taxi: Dubai Sports City, +971 4 448 1001) thanks to its two large and 10 other screens. While these venues show a lot of football and rugby, more countryspecific games are shown elsewhere. Aussie sports are screened at Bidi Bondi (taxi: Shoreline Apartments, Palm Jumeirah, +971 427 0515) while Gaelic games are shown at both McGettigans (taxi: Bonnington Hotel, + 971 4 378 0800) – which also often hosts good up-and-coming Irish bands – and The Irish Village (taxi: Century Village, +971 4 282 4752), which screens the biggest matches on its sprawling al fresco terrace.


Where To Go

beSt LadIeS' nIghtS Like Friday brunch, ‘ladies’ night’ is somewhat of a Dubai institution. Usually staged on Tuesday nights, but now increasingly popping up at least somewhere throughout the week, the nights are so-named because ladies get to drink for free, in some places to a limitless degree. An imported London chain Mahiki (taxi: Jumeirah Beach Hotel, +971 4 380 773) has been a big hit in the UAE since launching three years ago. It has a neat, Polynesianthemed twist on drinks you can share with your girlfriends. A big favourite in Dubai Marina, Atelier M (taxi: Pier 7, +971 4 450 7766) is a three-in-one venue – there’s a French restaurant, an open air terrace and swish lounge. Their popular ladies’ night runs every Tuesday, with ladies receiving four drinks alongside a soundtrack of commercial house and RnB from the resident DJs. Just a few floors below Atelier M is Asia Asia (taxi: Pier 7, +971 4 276 5900), which is so good they named it twice. Ladies receive three complimentary drinks between 6pm and 1am, while the resident DJ plays a great mix of deep house and nu-disco. Plus, the venue has a stunning Marinafronting balcony, which is perfect for the current weather. Also in the marina, YNot Bar & Kitchen (taxi: InterContinental Dubai Marina, +971 4 446 6669) holds its ladies’ night every Tuesday, with three free drinks from 7pm until 10pm. It's got a funky, New York-vibe (think polished concrete floors and Banksyesque murals), knowledgeable staff and great views. Making food a feature of its new ladies’ night is The Ivy (taxi: Jumeirah Emirates Towers, +971 4 432 3232), which grants girls four drinks and three-courses every Tuesday for Dhs199 per person. Sink into a dark green leather banquette and dine on dishes like aromatic duck salad, Thai baked sea bream and The Ivy’s famous desserts (our pick is the banana sticky toffee pudding).

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DXB City Expert CLoCKWISe From LeFt: Vii Club; Mahiki; Provocateur


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#holiday

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#HOLIDAY

From amazing architecture to sweeping sandscapes, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll have lots of memories of your time in Dubai to share via social media. Here are some of our favourite Instagram snaps of the city. Be sure to share your #VisitDubai and #MyDubai moments too 1.

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1. Photo credit: @ialbeshari

4. Photo credit: @faz3 Dubai's Crown Prince snaps an incredible image of the Burj from above. 5. Photo credit: @atlantisthepalm Atlantis, The Palm looks even more magical at twilight. 6. Photo credit: @arabianadventures Off-road fun during a dune buggy experience with Arabian Adventures.

The skyscrapers of Dubai Marina lit up in all their neon glory. 2. Photo credit: @heraldherrera A beautiful design by Samovar Carpets captured at d3 Design District. 3. Photo credit: @yousifali191 The Burj Khalifa and Downtown Dubai never fail to impress.

7. Photo credit: @gmr83 Pull up a sunlounger at Mina Aâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Salam's private beach. 8. Photo credit: @ballooningmike Floating up, up and away over Dubai's dreamy desert landscape. 9. Photo credit: @gmr83 Exploring Madinat Jumeirah's meandering waterways.


Tea Party on 68th. Take in the panoramic views from the top of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tallest hotel, while savouring some of the finest beef cuts, along with an exceptional variety of American cheesecakes and unique beverages. Saturdays from 2.30pm to 5pm AED 185 per person AED 350 per couple Welcome to afternoon tea with a modern twist. JW Marriott Marquis Dubai Sheikh Zayed Road, Business Bay T +971 4 414 3000 jwmarriottmarquisdubailife.com

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DXB City Expert Jan'16 (UK)  

DXB City Expert Jan'16 (UK)  

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