TOURS Let those in the know showcase their city
Fine dining, cool cafés, and the very best iftars
Barter in the souks Fly by the major and shop the sights, and cram mega malls in some culture
Step out in style and discover the city after dark
YOUR GUIDE TO DUBAI’S MUST-HAVE VISITOR EXPERIENCES
EXPERIENCE THE GLORY OF RAMADAN
AT AL HADHEERAH TENT Cherish the spirit of Ramadan in the heart of the desert at the fully air-conditioned Al Hadheerah tent in Bab Al Shams. Enjoy an extensive culinary feast featuring more than 10 live cooking stationsfor a completely unique Ramadan experience. Delve into the traditions of ancient Arabia with mesmerising camel and horse caravan shows. AED 265 per person from Sunday to Wednesday AED 295 per person every Thursday, Friday and Saturday
+971 4 809 6498 babalshams.com/ramadan /babalshamshotel
WELCOME TO DUBAI
e 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, which is why we decided to create this handy-sized, helpful guide to ease you on your way.
Editorial Editorial Director John Thatcher Managing Editor Faye Bartle
Designer Jamie Pudsey
Rather than present you with a long list of recommendations that would take you the duration of your holiday to read, our Dubai-based team of in-the-know writers has cherry-picked the city’s best bits, leaving you free to simply enjoy it. From the best restaurants with views to write home about to the boutiques brimming with homegrown designs, the coolest clubs and topnotch family entertainment – it's all inside these pages. We’ll also tell you which of the many organised tours are the best to take to see the city’s ample attractions. All you need to do is enjoy the holiday of a lifetime.
Commercial Managing Director Victoria Thatcher
John Thatcher Editorial Director DXB City Expert
Assistant Editor Elena Andra Stoica Art Art Director Kerri Bennett
Group Commercial Director David Wade
The view from Sheraton Grand Hotel, Dubai
Commercial Director Rawan Chehab Senior Advertising Manager Mia Cachero
Cover image: Seawings
Production Production Manager Muthu Kumar
Wellness Hours at Saray Spa. Renew for the journey ahead.
Rejuvenate your body, mind and soul. Book any massage and receive 50% off at Saray Spa. Available weekdays from Sunday to Thursday, between 9am to 2pm.
JW Marriott Marquis Dubai | Sheikh Zayed Road, Business Bay, PO Box 121000, Dubai, UAE T +971 4 414 6754 | email@example.com | jwmarriottmarquisdubailife.com *Terms and conditions: Offer is subject to availability and advance reservations are required. This offer is valid until 31st August 2018.
THE CONTENTS Atlantis The Palm, Dubai
The experts are on hand to help you discover the best bits of Dubai and beyond
Underwater, on the water, on the sand and in the snow: the ways to explore Dubai
SO THIS IS DUBAI
Before you embark on the holiday of a lifetime, take this quick history lesson
All you need to know when you From fine dining to homegrown touch down in Dubai, with top eateries and the very best iftars tips on getting around to enjoy during Ramadan
From hip hangouts to rooftop terraces, we've rounded up the liveliest evening venues
The skinny on the top tourist districts, including the most happening 'hoods
Trawl the mega malls and barter in the traditional souks – it's time to hit the shops
Dubai is a dream destination for photography fans – we showcase one stunning shot
GET YOUR BEARINGS
IN THE FRAME
Produced for dnata 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 the 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
SO THIS IS DUBAI
Get the skinny on the city with a quick history lesson. Armed with knowledge, head out to discover all the emirate has to offer for the holiday of a lifetime
Photo by Adam le Sommer on Unsplash
SCRATCH BENEATH THE SURFACE A city of visual superlatives, it’s difficult to imagine Dubai without the gravitydefying presence of Burj Khalifa, the roar of supercars along its highways and wealth of plush malls, luxury hotels and record-breaking attractions. Back in 1833, the nomadic Bani Yas tribe – led by the Maktoum family – migrated from the country’s desert interior to what was just a small coastal fishing, pearling and trading settlement. Nothing much changed for the next 100 years until Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum became ruler and ordered that Dubai Creek be dredged to accommodate larger trading vessels, thus setting in motion the transformation of Dubai into a modern mega city. The discovery of ‘black gold’ in 1966
was the real game-changer with newly found oil wealth the catalyst for the establishment of the United Arab Emirates. In an historic first, the ruling tribes of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah came together on 2 December 1971, followed by Ras Al Khaimah one year later, to form the country. Under the leadership of the UAE’s first president, the late Sheikh Zayed (ruler of Abu Dhabi), and with the can-do attitude of Sheikh Rashid and support of the rulers of the other five emirates, the rest, as they say, is history. The modern-day metropolis you’ve seen on TV is every bit as exciting as you can imagine. For a rich experience, we recommend that you get out onto the city streets, meet some of the more than 200 nationalities who are proud
to call Dubai home, and discover just what makes this one of the best destinations in the world to visit. The climate In June we're entering the peak summer months, with temperatures known to reach a high of around 40°C (104°F). Slather on the sun cream. 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 = USD1. The weekend The UAE weekend falls on Friday/ Saturday. Friday is the holy day so bear in mind that some attractions may be closed until the early evening.
Youâ€™ve arrived and you want to get to your hotel ASAP. Read our quick tips to get you out of the airport and into holiday mode, pronto Dubai International Airport
LEAVING THE AIRPORT There are plenty of public taxis available at the airport, although you may need to queue. Women can get a step ahead by hopping into one of the pink-roofed taxis reserved especially for female travellers and families, and driven by ladies. Your fare will include a set airport pick-up fee of Dhs25. Dubai International Airport is also connected to Dubai Metro at Terminals 1 and 3, with trains running every 10 minutes from 5am (or 10am on Friday) to midnight Saturday to Wednesday and until 1am on Thursday and Friday. If youâ€™ve got extra baggage, best take a taxi, as metro travellers are restricted to one regular suitcase and one piece of hand luggage only.
All the major car hire companies have desks located after arrivals. Drivers must be at least 21 years old and in possession of a valid driving licence from their home country. Remember, we drive on right-hand side here.
When the time comes to leave, you'll enjoy a chauffeur pick-up from anywhere in Dubai, a quick journey through departures and access to the Marhaba lounge, where you can unwind and help yourself to the complimentary food and drink.
WHIZZ THROUGH WITH MARHABA
Take a load off by booking a Marhaba service (+971 4 389 8989, marhabaservices.com) that will help you make a speedy arrival and departure. When you touch down, the friendly staff will be waiting with a buggy transfer to passport control, where you'll be fast-tracked through the queue before a porter collects your luggage from the carousel.
You can pick up a visitor sim card for local use at the airport for just Dhs35. This connects you to the Visitor Mobile Line (VML) service for calls and texts at a fraction of roaming charges. Simply head to the Du shop in the arrivals hall at Terminals 1 and 3. Top it up easily with prepaid cards sold at all major convenience stores, supermarkets and Du outlets (du.ae) across the city.
CHEER FOR THE BIG GAME
GET YOUR BEARINGS
If it's your first time in the city, you're probably not au fait with the hip and happening 'hoods. Here's the low-down on the top tourist districts to explore
Dubai Marina by Adam Le Sommer on Unsplash
DOWNTOWN DUBAI Go big or go home is the name of the game here, with the area boasting an impressive collection of iconic attractions, including: one of the world's largest shopping malls, The Dubai Mall; the tallest tower on the planet, Burj Khalifa; the all-singing-all-dancing The Dubai Fountain; and the architecturallystunning Dubai Opera. Trawl the mall's multitude of shops, pick up some mementoes at the Arabicstyle Souk Al Bahar and pose for selfies along the Waterfront Promenade before enjoying dinner and drinks overlooking Burj Lake. Burj Khalifa as seen from Palace Downtown
DUBAI MARINA AND JBR Those with a taste for luxury will feel right at home in this vibrant district, which is one of the city's most popular (and glamorous) residential neighbourhoods. Built around a man-made marina and flanked by a virtual forest of residential towers, Dubai Marina boasts two beachfront promenades â€“ The Walk and The Beach at JBR. These are lined with hotels, eateries and super trendy shops. Itâ€™s largely pedestrian friendly but is bisected by Dubai Tram, which handily stops outside the popular Dubai Marina Mall, home to 140 retail outlets spread across four levels.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS Burj Al Arab Jumeirah
JUMEIRAH The low-rise villa neighbourhood that spawned the Jumeirah Jane epithet (think 'ladies who lunch'), Jumeirah's domestic suburbia reputation has been given a makeover in recent years with the development of hip new retail, dining and entertainment enclaves such as La Mer, BoxPark, City Walk and food truck friendly Jumeirah Corniche. Topped at one end by Jumeirah Mosque and tailed by Burj Al Arab Jumeirah and Madinat Jumeirah at the other, it’s a cross-cultural hotspot. Wild Wadi Water Park is a firm favourite among residents and tourists alike, offering 30 hair-raising rides and slides for all the family.
Palm Jumeirah is home to Atlantis The Palm, Dubai and the splash-happy Aquaventure Waterpark
PALM JUMEIRAH Another of Dubai’s iconic man-made projects – best viewed from above to fully appreciate its creatively engineered design – Palm Jumeirah blends posh apartments and villas with luxury hotels and malls all the way from its trunk to the tips of its feathered fronds. Ride the Palm Monorail to Atlantis The Palm, Dubai and enjoy the thrills and spills of Aquaventure Waterpark. Be sure to check out the bevy of five-star hotels and their various eateries along the 11km-long crescent, from One&Only The Palm Resort to Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort.
Discover the historic charm of Dubai Creek
SHEIKH ZAYED ROAD The pulsing arterial vein cutting through the city, this 8km-long stretch of busy highway runs parallel to the coastline. Numerous hotels are situated along its length, including JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, and there are plenty of attractions worth making a diversion for. We recommend feeling the grass beneath your feet at Zabeel Park, and checking out Dubai Water Canal, which is illuminated by night. The view from Gevora Hotel
BUR DUBAI AND DEIRA On either side of Dubai Creek you can discover the heritage heartland of the city. Feed your appetite for culture on the Bur Dubai side at Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, which is home to preserved wind tower houses, Dubai Museum and Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House (one of the oldest buildings in the city). Take a Dhs1 ferry ride across the water to Deira to explore the traditional souks and sample the street food.
Brought to you by City Sightseeing, a dnata associate company; and Costa Coffee, an Emirates Leisure Retail brand
SO THIS IS DUBAI
JUNE IN DUBAI
Get up off that pool float, there’s a world of activities and events to check out this month
GET SET TO SHOP
Mall of the Emirates
STUDIO SESSIONS Music aficionados won’t want to miss the second season of Music In the Studio on 20 June at Dubai Opera, which is flying in Vlakek & Dubravha Vukalovic, winners of the International Piano FourHands Competition, for an evening of high-brow entertainment. Expect to hear some of the great works of Chabrier, SaintSaëns, Ravel, Granados and de Falla. Tickets cost from Dhs150. +971 4 440 8888, dubaiopera.com
EID MUBARAK Eid Al-Fitr, the festival of breaking the fast, symbolises the end of Ramadan and is expected to take place from 14-17 June. It is one of the most vibrant and festive times of the year when the city is buzzing with people out and about, enjoying activities and celebrations across the emirate. Eid is also a time for appreciating friends and family, and for giving and sharing with those less fortunate.
Words by Elena Andra Stoica
If you're here for the shopping, you’ll be pleased to learn that there’s a huge citywide sale happening. Dubai Summer Surprises is taking place from 22 June to 4 August – its 20th annual installment – bringing six weeks of great shopping to the emirate. Take the opportunity to have a mini style revamp and replenish your wardrobe thanks to tempting offers from all your favourite brands. With a full line-up of exciting events and lots of family fun thrown in alongside, this much-loved summer festival is sure to lure you to the biggest and best malls, and you can even be in with a chance of winning great prizes. Follow the event on social media for the latest updates – @dsssocial
RAMADAN OFFER FOR UAE RESIDENTS* UAE residents can enjoy selected unlimited beverage refills all day and entry into Wild Wadi Waterparkâ„˘, including discounts on food and merchandise. With over 30 water slides and 6 restaurants; Wild Wadi Waterparkâ„˘ is the coolest place to beat the heat! Visit wildwadi.com to avail your special Ramadan offer. *Terms and conditions apply.
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THE TOURS Camel riding in the dunes
Bags unpacked, suncream slathered on â€“ itâ€™s time to get out and see what this city is all about. Take a cue from our friends at Arabian Adventures and City Sightseeing who are on hand to help you discover the best bits with their selection of top tours
TRADITIONAL DUBAI CITY TOUR A ‘must-do’ for any visitor to the emirate
ASK THE CITY EXPERT MUHAMMAD YOUNUS Tour guide, Arabian Adventures My favourite parts of the tour are stopping by the Gold Souk and the Spice Souk. The mixture of nationalities you meet at these marketplaces offers a truly authentic experience for all.
Follow your nose to the Spice Souk
Departs from all emirates Discover the old, traditional neighbourhoods of Dubai and explore the city's rich heritage and trading culture, on top of browsing many vibrant souks.
Souk and Gold Souk ● Take the transfer back to your hotel
Cram in some culture
THE FACTS How much: Dhs184 including VAT. English departures:
● Head to Jumeirah Mosque for a photo opportunity ● Continue to Zabeel Palace for another photo stop and onto the traditional side of Dubai ● Pass by Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, which is known for its wind towers, and on towards Dubai Creek ● Visit Dubai Museum ● Take a traditional abra (water taxi) ride, crossing over Dubai Creek ● Follow our entertaining guide through the Spice
Daily (afternoon). Languages: English and German (daily); French and Italian (Sun, Weds, Fri); Portuguese, Spanish and Mandarin (Sat, Mon, Weds); Japanese (mornings on Sun-Sat and Fri afternoons); Russian (Mon and Thurs). Availability: Year-round. Duration: Half- or full-day. Transport: Coach. Activity: Moderate. To book this tour, call Arabian Adventures on +971 4 303 4992 or visit arabian-adventures.com
DURING RAMADAN, THIS TOUR WILL NOT OPERATE ON FRIDAYS
EAST COAST TOUR
See the highlights of this picturesque part of the UAE Explore the stunning setting
ASK THE CITY EXPERT You'll have time for a dip in the sea
Discover quaint villages and mountain canyons
Departs from Dubai, Sharjah and Ajman Take a day to explore the picturesque East Coast of the UAE. From quaint fishing villages to mountain canyons and beautiful beaches, you'll see all the best bits. ● Heading east, drive through Sharjah towards the Al-Hajar Mountains ● In the small town of Masafi, shop at the Friday Market, open daily, where
you can buy local crafts, pottery and carpets ● Drive along wadis and through deep canyons ● Stop for lunch (not included in the price) at a beachside hotel, with time for a swim in the sea ● Drive through Al Aqah and stop for a photo at Bidiyah Mosque, the oldest and smallest mosque in the UAE ● See the iconic Fujairah Fort, before spending some time at Fujairah Museum
● Stop for photos in front of Fujairah's beautiful Sheikh Zayed Mosque ● Take the mountain highway through the Al-Hajar Mountains back to Dubai
THE FACTS How much: Dhs273 for adults and Dhs163 for children, including VAT. Departures: Mon, Wed, Fri. Languages: English, German and Russian. Availability: Year-round.
TAREQ AWIS Tour guide, Arabian Adventures Leaving Dubai behind, you'll see the desert and Al-Hajar Mountains and spend the day exploring the beautiful area around Al Aqah in Fujairah. See the sights and have lunch – there's even time for a swim.
Duration: Full-day. Transport: Coach. Activity: Moderate. Dress Code: Modest dress and comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Bring your swimwear and a beach towel. Good to know: Hotel pickup and drop-off is included. To book this tour, call Arabian Adventures on +971 4 303 4992 or visit arabian-adventures.com
DESERT DUNE BUGGIES Ideal for thrill-seekers looking for their next big adventure
Hit the dunes for sunset thrills Photography @theskybeyond
Departs from all emirates Try a truly exhilarating adventure driving across the dunes in the latest, fully automatic, four-seater, offroad dune buggy. ● Follow your guide along the natural trail of the dunes ● Driving and safety instructions, as well as safety gear, are provided ● All dune buggies are fully automatic with seatbelts, roll cages and off-road suspension
● Enjoy exciting photo opportunities ● Book an Exclusive Buggy for up to four friends and take turns to drive or ride as a passenger ● Book a Driver Experience and you will have the chance to drive for at least 20 minutes out of the twohour experience, as you take turns with up to three other guests in your shared buggy ● Book a Passenger
Experience and ride along with our safari guide in the lead buggy
THE FACTS How much: Dhs730 for drivers and Dhs315 for passengers. An exclusive buggy for up to four guests is priced at Dhs1,575 (all prices including VAT). Departures: Daily. Availability: Year-round. Duration: Two hours in the dune buggies.
Transport: Four-wheel drive (sharing) and Can-Am Maverick X3 desert dune buggies. Activity: Moderate. Good to know: Drivers must bring a valid driver’s license. Passengers must be at least six years old. Refundable deposit required. To book this tour, call Arabian Adventures on +971 4 303 4992 or visit arabian-adventures.com
Grab your night vision binoculars and take part in scorpion tracking and stargazing Shine a light on the desert
Departs from all emirates Discover desert wildlife at night on this off-road drive through Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, equipped with a spotlight and night vision binoculars. Stop to look for scorpions with a black light before enjoying a spot of stargazing. ● A night-time nature drive through the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve ● Your guide will point out and discuss the animals that you see ● Stop to track scorpions with a black light – it illuminates the exoskeleton of a scorpion ● End the night safari with a refreshing drink as you gaze
through the telescope at the starry night sky
Search for scorpions with a black light
THE FACTS How much: Dhs273 (including VAT).
Departures: Daily (night). Languages: English. Availability: Year-round. Duration: Half-day. Transport: Four-wheel drive Land Cruiser or similar (sharing). Activity: Easy. Good to know: A portion of your fee supports local conservation. To book this tour, call Arabian Adventures on +971 4 303 4992 or visit arabian-adventures.com
MODERN DUBAI CITY TOUR
See the best of Dubai’s iconic landmarks on one, awe-inspiring journey Departs from all emirates Explore the iconic landmarks that make up the city’s futuristic skyline. From Palm Jumeirah and Dubai Marina to Downtown Dubai and The Dubai Mall – this tour takes in all the highlights. ● See Palm Jumeirah on a scenic drive ● Continue to popular residential area Dubai Marina and enjoy a picturesque 20-minute boat ride ● Take a walk through retail and entertainment haven The Dubai Mall passing by Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, which features a 10-million-litre tank (one of the largest in the world) containing more than 33,000 aquatic animals including the largest collection of sand tiger sharks on the planet – it's also home to King Croc ● Visit the observation decks at At The Top, Burj Khalifa for a bird's eye view of the city (purchasing an entry ticket is an optional extra) ● Enjoy the afternoon at your leisure in The Dubai Mall with its many dining and entertainment options
THE FACTS How much: Starting from Dhs184 for children and Dhs236 for adults (excluding At The Top) and Dhs315 for children and Dhs368 for adults (including At The Top). (All prices inclusive of VAT.) Departures: Daily (morning). Languages: English and German (daily); French and Italian (Sun, Weds, Fri); Spanish and Portuguese (Mon, Weds, Sat); Russian (Mon and Thurs); Mandarin (Mon, Weds, Sat); Japanese (Mon and Thurs). Availability: Year-round. Duration: Half-day. Transport: Coach (sharing). Activity: Moderate. Good to Know: Ends at The Dubai Mall. To book this tour, call Arabian Adventures on +971 4 303 4992 or visit arabian-adventures.com
Set sail across Dubai Marina
ASK THE CITY EXPERT Nabil Almallah Tour Guide, Arabian Adventures Guests really enjoy seeing the amazing architecture and modern sights of Dubai while learning more about the city on this half-day tour.
Explore the record-breaking Downtown Dubai district
ABU DHABI CITY TOUR
See the UAE’s vibrant capital and its landmark buildings
ASK THE CITY EXPERT Natalia Bashkirova
Pass by the luxurious Emirates Palace
Departs from Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman and Abu Dhabi Explore the sights and landmarks of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, on a full-day tour from Dubai. ● Stop for refreshments on Yas Island, with views of Yas Marina Circuit, home of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix ● Visit the traditional fruit, vegetable and date market ● Pass by the dhow and fish market area and see traders at work ● Stop at Marina Mall and opt to have lunch at one of the cafés. (Lunch is not included in the tour price due to the variety of options available) ● Drive along Abu Dhabi Corniche ● Pass by Emirates Palace, the Al Bateen area and the royal palaces
● Take a tour of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque ● Return to Dubai and back to your hotel
See the majestic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Tour Guide, Arabian Adventures It's always a pleasure to guide my guests around the UAE capital. The highlight of the tour is undoubtedly Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque – a masterpiece of modern Islamic architecture with a spectacularly decorated interior.
THE FACTS How much: Dhs289 including VAT.
English departures: Mon, Tue, Wed, Sat.
Languages: English and German (Mon, Tues, Weds and Sat); French and Italian (Tues and Sat); Russian (Weds and Sat); Japanese only (Sun and Weds). Availability: Year-round. Duration: Full-day. Transport: Coach. Activity: Easy. Dress code: There is a strictly modest dress code for Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. To book this tour, call Arabian Adventures on +971 4 303 4992 or visit arabian-adventures.com
DURING RAMADAN YOU'LL STOP FOR LUNCH AT A HOTEL AND THE SEQUENCE OF STOPS IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE
ABU DHABI ATTRACTIONS
Visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the exciting attractions on Yas Island Departs from Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman and Abu Dhabi Visit the top attractions in Abu Dhabi on a fun-filled tour of the capital. ● The tour starts with pick-up at your hotel before heading along Sheikh Zayed Road to Abu Dhabi ● Stop at the majestic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque for a tour. One the world’s largest mosques, it features 82 domes, over 1,000 columns, 24-karat gold gilded chandeliers and the world's largest hand knotted carpet ● After the tour, leave the city and drive onto Yas Island ● Choose to spend an exciting afternoon at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. Alternatively, visit the many shopping, dining and leisure attractions at Yas Mall ● After a thrilling afternoon, depart for Dubai and back to your hotel
Whizz around the track in a mini supercar
The kids are sure to love Ferrari World Abu Dhabi
THE FACTS How much: Including Ferrari World Abu Dhabi: adult Dhs520, child Dhs394. Visiting Yas Mall: adult Dhs289, child Dhs184. (Prices are inclusive of VAT.) English departures: Sun, Thurs. Languages: English and German (Sun and Thurs); French and Italian (Thurs); Portuguese and Spanish (Sun, Tues and Thurs); Russian (Sun and Thurs); Mandarin (Sun, Tues, Thurs). Availability: Year-round. Duration: Full-day. Transport: Coach. Activity: Easy. Dress code: There's a strictly modest dress code for Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Good to know: Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is one of the largest indoor theme parks in the world with rides and experiences for the whole family. The biggest mall in Abu Dhabi, Yas Mall comprises 25 million square feet of shops and entertainment. To book this tour, call Arabian Adventures on +971 4 303 4992 or visit arabian-adventures.com
DURING RAMADAN YOU'LL STOP FOR LUNCH AT A HOTEL
SUNDOWNER DUNE DINNER SAFARI Embark on a magical safari experience to remember
Make yourself comfortable at a Bedouin style camp
ASK THE CITY EXPERT FAISAL KHAN
DURING RAMADAN THERE WILL BE A TANOURA DANCER INSTEAD OF A BELLY DANCER
Departs from all emirates The mysterious desert is the ideal venue for a memorable evening. Watch the sun go down as you drive to our traditional Bedouin style camp where a delicious dinner awaits. ● Leave your hotel and the city behind, driving into the desert in Land Cruisers with our entertaining safari guide ● Enjoy the thrill of a dune drive across Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve ● Stop to see a falcon (weather permitting) ● At sunset, stop for photos atop a dune ● Arrive at our Bedouin-style camp where desert activities and a bonfire await ● Experience a taster of desert activities including a
camel ride, sand-boarding and henna hand painting, or discover shisha ● Move to the seating area and sample an Arabic style, three-course buffet ● Those aged 21 years and over can enjoy unlimited beverages (except on the eve of religious holidays) ● Watch a belly dancing performance (entertainment may vary during Ramadan and religious holidays) ● Souvenirs and photos are available to buy
Transport: Four-wheel drive (sharing). Activity: Easy.
Good to know: There’s the option to upgrade to a private four-wheel drive vehicle, or to skip the dune
Safari guide, Arabian Adventures This must-do safari is suitable for everyone. At the campsite, there are lots of activities to try, such as sand-boarding, camel rides and even a spot of stargazing. Guests always say how the memories will last a lifetime.
drive altogether. Toilets are available at the campsite. To book this tour, call Arabian Adventures on +971 4 303 4992 or visit arabian-adventures.com
Be drawn by local traditions
THE FACTS How much: Adult Dhs395, child Dhs320. (Inclusive of VAT.)
Departures: Daily. Availability: Year-round. Duration: Late afternoon to early evening.
CITY OF LIGHTS NIGHT TOUR See the city come alive with light that illuminates the night's sky
● Discover two sightseeing routes showcasing Dubai by night ● See all the major sights including Burj Khalifa, Dubai Festival City and Atlantis The Palm, Dubai ● Audio commentary in 13 languages
See the city after dark
See Dubai transform by night into a sparkling city of lights while discovering its cultural heart. The 'Sunset Red' route lets you explore the historic Dubai Creek, Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, Dubai Festival City, Shindagha and Deira districts where the traditional souks are located. Meanwhile, the 'Midnight Blue' route showcases the striking skyline, including the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Marina, Souk Madinat Jumeirah and Atlantis The Palm, Dubai.
THE FACTS Days of operation: Daily from 6.15-10pm.
What’s included: Hop-on,
hop-off access to all City Sightseeing buses on two routes for three hours. Good to know: This tour is free when purchasing a 1 Day, 3 Day or 7 Day City Sightseeing Dubai Pass; both routes are included in the ticket price and there is enough time to do both. Languages: English, Arabic, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, Hindi, Russian, Mandarin, Japanese, Turkish and Farsi. How much: Dhs180 per adult and Dhs120 per child (6-11 years). Includes VAT. To book please visit citysightseeing-dubai.com, or call 800CSDUBAI (800 273 8224)/+971 4 316 7506
Head up top for the best view
CITY SIGHTSEEING TOUR The ultimate city bus tour, with lots of added extras
● Four sightseeing routes ● Audio commentary in 13 languages ● Complimentary tickets to other attractions (see below)
Not your typical busman's holiday
Discover Dubai at your own pace. The 'hop on, hop off' concept is simple: a ticket is valid for one day or more, with more than 38 bus stops spread across four city routes. You decide when to ride, where to get off, and what to visit. The tickets come with lots of added extras and commentary in 13 languages. Operating from 9am to 10pm (varies on selected routes), 365 days a year.
THE FACTS Days of operation: Daily,
from 9am to 5.30pm. What’s included: The 1 Day Pass includes: a dhow cruise at Al Seef, entry to Dubai Museum, a seat on the City of Lights Night Tour, and a free cup of coffee at Costa Coffee when you purchase one. The 3 Day Pass includes: all the above inclusions, plus entry to Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, a one-hour Palm Jumeirah Cruise, and a 20% discount at Sun& Mediterranean Lounge. The 7 Day Pass includes
all the above experiences, plus a trip on the Flying Cup at The Beach at JBR. Good to know: Before your 1 Day Pass has expired, you can upgrade to 3 or 7 Day Pass. Languages: English, Arabic, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, Hindi, Russian, Mandarin, Japanese, Turkish and Farsi. How much: The 1 Day Pass is priced at Dhs260 per adult and Dhs160 per child; 3 Day Pass is Dhs350 per adult and Dhs250 per child;
7 Day Pass is Dhs450 per adult and Dhs350 per child. (Children are aged 6-11 and prices are inclusive of VAT.) To book please visit citysightseeing-dubai. com, or call 800CSDUBAI (800 273 8224)/+971 4 316 7506
CitySightseeingDubai @cssdubai #cssdubai
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 During Ramadan, some restaurants and cafés may change their opening hours and their entertainment options 26
THE FOOD Gevora Kitchen
WHAT’S NEW IN TOWN? The number eight is lucky for some (it's actually the luckiest number in Chinese culture) – a concept that Ba Restaurant and Lounge (+971 4 457 3457, fairmont. com/palm-dubai) takes its meaning from. Settle into the lounge style setting and feast on modern Asian food such as sushi, noodles and sharing plates while lapping up the view of Dubai Marina. The signature ramen noodles are a must-try, but the tuna tacos and honey baked cod are also wise choices. Asian street food bites, including steamed buns aplenty, can be enjoyed at Bao Wow (@baowowdxb) at City Walk. This vibrant venue has been given a funky look courtesy of Dubai-based graffiti artist Ramy Elzaghawy, with small plates like steamed gyoza with chicken presented on dry ice for a touch of
drama, as well as maki rolls, dim sum and larger plates of flavourful food. The stars of the show, however, are those steamed buns, which come with a variety of fillings including chilli beef. For great views guaranteed, you can dine in the world’s tallest hotel, thanks to the opening of Gevora Kitchen (+971 4 524 0000, gevorahotels.com) at Gevora Hotel, which offers international dishes and local flavours. Give your taste buds a kick with the mustard prawns in coconut. Just be sure to save space for the Oreo churros. For wholesome French food, Roots Kitchen by Parlour in FORM Hotel (+971 4 317 9000 form-hotel.com/home) has a European style café menu featuring gluten free, vegan, and vegetarian options created by chef de cuisine Sylvain Noel. The açai cheesecake will satisfy a sweet tooth, while delivering some berry health benefits.
INCREDIBLE INDIAN IN THE KNOW
Dinner with a view… …OF BURJ AL ARAB JUMEIRAH Shimmers, Madinat Jumeirah, +971 4 4323232, jumeirah.com A menu of home-style Mediterranean favourites is ably supported by a causal, toes-in-thesand atmosphere.
...OF BURJ KHALIFA AND THE DUBAI FOUNTAIN Katana, Downtown Dubai, +971 4 277 8808, katana-dubai.com Katana specialises in the robatayaki style of Japanese cuisine. It’s fabulous enough to match the view.
…OF DUBAI MARINA 101 Dining Lounge and Bar One&Only The Palm Dubai, +971 440 1010, thepalm. oneandonlyresorts.com Drink in picture-perfect views while enjoying contemporary European fare from a menu rubber-stamped by super-chef Yannick Alléno.
Few chefs have mastered Indian cuisine quite like Michelin-starred Atul Kochhar, whose award-winning Rang Mahal by Atul Kochhar (+971 4 414 3000, jwmarriottmarquisdubailife.com) graces the second floor of JW Marriott Marquis Dubai. The varied menu sings with a cacophony of flavour and creativity, and we heartily recommend you indulge in one of the great value tasting menus. Every bite is a delight. If there’s a sure thing in the restaurant industry it’s that an Indian restaurant operated by Taj Hotels is
going to be good, if not very good. Falling very much into the latter category, Bombay Brasserie (+971 4 438 3100, tajhotels.com) sees chef de cuisine Ajay Negi conjure up flavours as vibrant as the restaurant’s interiors. Bag the right table and you’ll also take in the sight of The Dubai Fountain. Gastronauts can embark on a spice-laden journey through northern India at Khyber (+971 4 455 1111, dukesdubai.com). The culinary offering is headed up by chef Faizan Ali, who oversees a team of six north Indian chefs in the kitchen. Together, they conjure up expertly spiced signature dishes, such as kaalo dal. Snag a table on the terrace for 180-degree views of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah and the Dubai Marina skyline. In a wonderful, colonial style settting, Little Miss India (+971 4 457 3457, fairmont.com) at Fairmont The Palm excels in housemade spice mixtures and marinades – used to brilliant effect in both the food and inspired cocktails, which put an Indian spin on classic recipes.
CHINESE CRACKERS 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 Khyber
THE FOOD Carnival by Tresind
folly by Nick & Scott
MADE IN THE UAE Although Dubai has more than its fair share of excellent restaurants, a huge helping of them are franchised from elsewhere in the world. However, if you want to head to somewhere you’ll only find in Dubai there are some outstanding options to choose from. With cracking views over Madinat Jumeirah and the sea, folly by Nick & Scott (+971 4 430 8535, folly.ae), two longtime Dubai-based chefs with a rich pedigree – including a combined eight years at Gordon Ramsay Holdings – offers up a thoughtful menu of modern European sharing dishes. The cooking is precise, the flavours impactful,
and what they can do with a mere mushroom and plain old radish needs to be tasted to be believed. Adored by local gastronomes, Carnival by Tresind (+971 4 4218 665, carnivalbytresind.com) is wildly popular. Expect vibrant interiors and a toy merry-go-round in the centre of each table, alongside intriguing Indian dishes such as pink pani puri and the wonderful beetroot gol gappa. You’ll want to visit the new and wonderful beachside development that’s La Mer while in Dubai. After time spent exploring, make Masti (800 62784, mastidubai.com) your final destination. Head upstairs to enjoy a couple of brilliantly inventive
cocktails – the mango chutney infused mahar mojito, for one – then go downstairs to enjoy food that’s termed an expression of ‘new India’, best eaten shared to get a taste of menu highlights. Standouts include the tuna bhel tartare, and the burrata and truffle pizza. For something very different, Kishmish (+971 4 349 6665, kishmish.ae) in Dar Al Wasl mall, Jumeirah, brings Afghan street food to Dubai for the first time. Chef owners Iman, Fatima and Homaira have been family friends for generations, and this restaurant is the realisation of their dream to share the complex aromas and tastes of Afghan food with their adopted city.
IN THE KNOW
The best burgers BRUNSWICK SPORTS CLUB Sheraton Dubai Mall of the Emirates, +971 56 404 0685, brunswicksc.com There’s no secret ingredient here, just high quality Aussie meat, which makes for one of the best burgers in town.
BURGER FUEL The Walk, Jumeirah Beach Residence, +971 4 445 8220, burgerfuel.com The concept is 100% New Zealand grass-fed beef, 150g of which is chargrilled to perfection and placed within a wholemeal bun.
MOYLO’S Jumeirah Beach Road, +971 4 388 3140, moylosburgers.com A home-grown, hole-in-the-wall joint on Jumeirah Beach Road, where 100% wagyu beef is used in all its homemade burgers.
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 that never fluctuates from serving up outstanding Cantonese cuisine: case in point, the signature cod fish with grapes and well-balanced orange sauce. Another purveyor of high quality Chinese classics is Shiba (+971 4 381 3111, meydanhotels.com) located at The Meydan Hotel, where the interactive element of dining adds a sprinkling of theatre.
A TRUE TASTE OF THE EMIRATES Considering all the many colourful cuisines Dubai has to offer, it might come as a surprise to learn that good Emirati food is not so easy to come by. However, slowly but surely, more and
more authentic Emirati restaurants are cropping up across town. An enduring favourite is Al Fanar (+971 4 232 9966, alfanarrestaurant. com), located along Canal Walk in Dubai Festival City Mall. You can dine outside on floor cushions in the traditional majlis or at a table in the central courtyard area, which looks like a traditional Emirati home. The dishes on offer include chicken machboos (spiced chicken mixed with rice), grilled shaari fish and jesheed (baby shark cooked with onions and punchy spices). You’ll find camel on the menu at Aseelah (+971 4 205 7333, radissonblu. com/hotel-dubaideiracreek) in the Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Deira Creek, alongside other dishes made using local ingredients, such as a tender Arabian lobster. For an insight into the country's heritage, The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (+971 4 353 6666, cultures.ae) offers interactive ‘cultural meals’ – so named because guests are encouraged to ask questions on anything that relates to the Emirati culture – prepared by local chefs in order to preserve the traditions and customs of the Bedouin people. 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 required.
ARABIC YOU’LL ADORE
For an authentic desert dining experience under the stars, journey to Al Hadheerah at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa (+971 4 809 6194, alhadheerah.com). Take your pick from 14 live cooking stations offering traditional Middle Eastern dishes prepared using age-old recipes. Live entertainment adds to the ambience. Open daily from 7.30pm to 11.30pm – try and plan your visit on a Thursday or Friday evening to catch the amazing fireworks display.
ADD A SPLASH TO YOUR SATURDAY AT BUSHMAN’S LAZY LUNCH. Splash into Saturday with free pool and beach access at Anantara The Palm Dubai before or after your lazy lunch at Bushman’s. Enjoy a refreshing morning swim before you dive into Aussie gourmet specialities. Or stroll along our private beach after an afternoon of delicious grazing. The Bushman’s Lazy Lunch runs every Saturday from 1.00 pm – 4.00 pm and free pool and beach access runs from 10.00 am - 5.00 pm AED 380 360 per person, including house beverages, pool and beach access Booking must be made only via restaurant reservations and wristband will be handed over from 10.00 am onwards Terms and conditions apply.
For reservations or more information, please visit dubai-palm.anantara.com, call 04 567 8304 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Dubai Fountain. The Turkish ‘meatery’ serves meat in all its forms: traditional döner, succulent kebabs, juicy meatballs, and lovingly cooked steaks. Over at Grosvenor House Hotel, Dubai favourite Colin Clague can be found working his magic at high design Anatolian eatery Rüya (+971 4 399 9123, ruyadubai.com). Infused with caramelised and charcoal flavours, cağ kebabı (marinated lamb kebab) is the pick of the menu.
TIME FOR THAI
IN THE KNOW
Healthy heroes COMPTOIR 102 Jumeirah Beach Road, +971 4 385 4555, comptoir102.com The menu makes use of the best ingredients from local organic farms to serve up tasty and nutritious dishes that appeal to health food devotees.
WILD & THE MOON Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, 800 9453, wildandthemoon.com Here, the vegan chef has developed a wholesome menu of plant-based recipes to which nothing has been added.
OMNIA GOURMET Jumeirah Fish Harbour, +971 4 343 7181 Somewhat of a hidden gem, chef Silvena Rowe serves up a menu rife with healthy options, from vegan through to paleo.
A hit among Dubai’s sizeable Lebanese community, Al Falamanki (alfalamanki.com) is an outpost of one of Beirut’s most famous restaurants. Like the original, this sprawling Jumeirah Beach Road branch features indoor and outdoor areas, homely décor and a soft soundtrack of old-school Arabic music. On the menu are hot and cold mezze, salads, grills and manakeesh, along with a selection of shisha. The done thing here is to order a load of dishes to share and settle in for a game of backgammon. Olea (+971 4 341 0000, kempinski. com) at Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates prides itself on authentic cuisine, thanks to its 14-strong team of chefs drawn from Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Palestine. The relaxed space features a lovely outdoor terrace and menu highlights include the lamb kofta, served on a 1.5m-long skewer.
TURKISH DELIGHTS In Souk Al Bahar, the outdoor terrace at Günaydin (+971 4 554 0700, gunaydindubai.com) is a top spot for views of Burj Khalifa and, at night,
Tong Thai (+971 4 414 3000, jwmarriottmarquisdubailife.com) at JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, showcases unique regional dishes alongside street food favourites and authentic yet inventive classics. Regularly voted the best Thai restaurant in the city, signature curries like creamy panang kung with tiger prawns and gai phad ka-prao with chilli and hot basil pack plenty of depth and flavour, while classics like tom yum have been honed to perfection. You’ll arrive at Madinat Jumeirah’s Pai Thai (+971 4 432 3232, jumeirah. com) via one of the resort’s abras, floating across a winding waterway – romantic, for sure. Equally satisfying is the food, particularly dishes like goong gratiemprik thai, for which crispy tiger prawns are teamed with garlic, coriander and a piquant green pepper sauce.
SUBLIME SUSHI AND SASHIMI Beyond the elsewhere-mentioned Zuma, Dubai is home to a fair few standout Japanese restaurants, including outposts of Novikov and Nobu. Better still, TOMO (+971 4 357 7888, tomo.ae) at Raffles Dubai, is helmed by chef-owner Chitoshi Takahashi, who has devised a vast menu packed with fantastic authentic Japanese delicacies, best navigated with the help of your waiter. There’s more of a fun vibe over at Izakaya, located at JW Marriott Marquis Dubai (jwmarriottmarquisdubailife. com, +971 4 414 3000) – for a start, the
A MEMORABLE IFTAR WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS
Immerse into delicious Arabic delicacies and an international spread this Ramadan, complete with various live stations and a selection of refreshing Arabic beverages. AED 159 per person, from sunset to 9 pm Join the Harbour Social Club and enjoy access to special offers, unlock benefits, be the first to know about upcoming events and create endless memories with us. Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street, Dubai Marina marriottharbourdubaidining.com | T. 971.4.319.4000 Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites
T&Cs apply. Children below 6 years dine complimentary. Children between 7 and 12 years will receive a 50% discount.
so-called Wasabi Girl (she has wasabi coloured hair) makes the head-blowing Japanese mustard at your table. Yet the food is of serious quality; plump, fabulously fresh sashimi and inventive sushi creations are always on the mark. You can take a seat at the sushi counter, or position yourself in full view of the live teppanyaki counter at Morimoto Dubai at Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai (+971 4 512 5577, morimotodubai.com), which showcases Masaharu Morimoto's trademark culinary style, with seasonal seafood flown in from markets around the world, including Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji and Fukuoka fish markets.
THE BEACH AT JBR A brilliant pedestrianised area mere metres from the sand and sea, The Beach at JBR is the perfect place to head for a good-value feed for your family. 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. The brainchild of Michelinstarred chef Thomas Keller, Bouchon Bakery at The Beach at JBR (+971 4 419 0772) is perfect for a morning PAN-ASIAN FLAVOURS pick-me-up. Indulge in sticky When you crave Asian food in any one sweet pastries and a cup of its guises, nowhere does it better of custom-blended TK by than the award-toting Mekong (+971 4 Equator coffee. 567 8304, dubai-palm.anantara.com) If the ocean air puts you at Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort. in the mood for seafood, Its lengthy menu includes myriad Thai, crack open a crab at Aprons Chinese and Vietnamese highlights & Hammers (+971 4 456 (the duck curry is a big hitter), which 7888, apronsandhammers. you enjoy on rickshaw-style seating. com). Or, for good licensed Taking her culinary direction from options down this way, head the many varied street foods of Korea, to DoubleTree by Hilton. It houses both The MAINE (+971 4 457 6719, themaine.ae) – part American brasserie and part European bistro – serving great seafood, and the always buzzing Ramusake (+971 4 5595 300, ramusake. ae), for modern Japanese.
IN THE KNOW
Sublime steaks PRIME68 JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, +971 4 414 3000, jwmarriottmarquisdubailife.com The premium beef here is sourced from choice suppliers across the globe and tastes superb, matched by the views from the 68th floor.
STK Rixos Premium Dubai, +971 4 520 0000, togrp.com The Dubai outpost of the worldfamous steak restaurant offers a winning mix of STK classics and dishes created only for Dubai.
JW’S STEAKHOUSE JW Marriott Hotel Dubai, +971 4 607 7977, marriottdiningatjw.ae Something of a Dubai institution, chef Mohammad Iqbal has been in the kitchen for over 20 years and knows each of his (many) regulars’ preferences by heart.
Thailand, China, Vietnam and Japan, Miss Tess (+971 4 438 3121, misstessdubai. com) brings an element of fun dining to Taj Dubai. where the eclecticism of the menu is matched by that of the interiors.
BEST OF BRITISH On Palm Jumeirah, housed in the beautiful Dukes Dubai, is the Great British Restaurant, otherwise known as GBR (+971 4 455 1101, dukesdubai.com). This is the place to come for expertly cooked (better than your mum makes) roast dinners with all the trimmings, fish and chips with crispy batter and feather-light fish, and comforting cottage pie fashioned from slow cooked beef. Bookend your mains with a fabulous coronation chicken and a sweet treat, such as the quintessentially
English cherry Bakewell tart, or sticky toffee pudding. At The Croft (+971 4 319 4000, marriott. com), modern British cuisine with a twist is the culinary mantra (try the tongue and cheek pie, it's a surprisingly delicious revelation). With a focus on sourcing homegrown produce and working with local suppliers where possible, the menu is packed with the expected and the intriguing, with dishes such foie gras-stuffed chicken and Chef Sentil's mum's curry firmly among the highlights. The Scene (+971 422 2328, thescenedubai.com) by TV chef and serial author Simon Rimmer is the frontrunner at Pier 7, a hugely popular seven-floor, seven-restautrant tower set on a (licensed) pier in Dubai Marina.
IN THE KNOW
Big name chefs JASON ATHERTON Marina Social, InterContinental Dubai Marina. +971 4 446 6777, ihg.com Athertonâ€™s Social concept has won an army of fans in London, and its Dubai offshoot is a great destination for dishes big on detail.
DAVID MYERS Basta!, Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai. +971 4 512 5522, basta-dubai.com One of three Myers' restaurants at this hip hotel, Basta! is a go-to for Italian staples like Florentine steak and Neapolitan pizza.
HEINZ BECK Social, Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah. +971 4 818 2222, waldorfastoria3.hilton.com A master of modern gastronomy, Beckâ€™s artistry is best conveyed through sublime dishes like saltbaked sea bass with cauliflower, truffle sauce and orange perfume.
British-style comfort food is the gist of it – think succulent, deep-filled pies, veal Scotch eggs, ale-battered fish and chunky chips – while veggies and vegans have their own thoughtfully designed collection of dishes including curries, pies and burger options.
CARIBBEAN QUEENS Different to almost anywhere else in Dubai, Miss Lily’s (+971 4 354 4074, misslilys.com) brings a true taste of the Caribbean to these shores in the form of authentic Jamaican dishes. Hailing from New York, this is the first international Miss Lily’s outpost, and it’s something of a gem. Vibrant, fun and characterful, the self-styled ‘beach shack-meets-Jamaican diner’ boasts a number of must-try dishes including jerk corn grilled with toasted coconut, hot pepper lobster and a brilliant king crab with Scotch bonnet sauce. Ting Irie (+971 4 557 5601, tingirie. com) at Downtown Boulevard offers up Jamaican staples in a fun atmosphere courtesy of executive chef Craig Wong (of Jamaican-
IN THE KNOW
Perfect pizza EATALY The Dubai Mall, 800 328 259, eataly.ae Eataly’s simple margherita is so good, the tomato sauce so rich and flavoursome, you may well forgo fancy toppings for ever.
TASTE OF ITALY BY HEINZ BECK The Galleria Mall, +971 4 343 8292, tasteofitalybyheinzbeck.com Heinz Beck helms the threeMichelin-starred La Pergola in Rome. This, his casual café brand, serves up pizza with the most incredibly light bases.
DIFC Within Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is Gate Village, where amid the high-end galleries and auction houses are some of Dubai’s best restaurants. Ranked in Restaurant Magazine's 2016 list of the world's best restaurants were the ever-popular Zuma (+971 4 425 5560, zumarestaurant. com), where the outstanding Japanese food is best ordered to share, and the always buzzing La Petite Maison (+971 4 439 0505, lpmlondon.co.uk/dubai). The restaurant uses produce from local UAE farms in a number of its fabulous creations, all of which have their roots in French-Mediterranean cooking. Dishes like the burrata and the salt-baked sea bass are legendary among Dubai gourmands. Elsewhere, Peyote (+971 4 521 6300, peyoterestaurant. com) brings modern Mexican dishes to Dubai, courtesy of the man behind Maximo Bistrot, voted one of Latin America's top 50 restaurants. Artful dishes, such as tacos de tempura de gambas (tiger prawn tempura, chipotle mayonnaise and lime) are simply delicious.
BUSSOLA The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi, +971 4 511 7373, bussoladubai.com An old favourite that serves classic crusts from its al fresco upper deck location beside the sea.
That’s a good deal You can lunch like a king at Demoiselle by Galvin, which is offering a three-course summer menu for just Dhs53 per person. Start with a soup before moving onto a main, such as smoked beef pancetta, and round it off with a cup of artisan coffee. It'll give you more than enough energy to get out and explore the city in the afternoon. Available daily from noon to 3.30pm. +971 4 590 5076
Chinese heritage), whose CV boasts stints at the multi-Michelin-starred Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée and Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck.
BAVARIAN BITES Licensed from the original Hofbräuhaus in Munich, you’ll find Dubai’s outpost inside JW Marriott Marquis Dubai (+971 4 607 7588, jwmarriottmarquisdubailife. com), where it has built up a loyal crowd over 20 years. They come here for the first rate atmosphere and German staples – the outsized sausage platter will slay any killer appetite. For a healthy take on German cuisine, Brothaus Bakery-Bistro (+971 4 369 0000, steigenberger.com) at Steigenberger Hotel Business Bay has a tasty menu featuring hearty mains, five different types of sausages and sweet treats like sacher torte.
GOOD GREEK While Dubai is not exactly overflowing with Greek restaurants, it does boast
some truly excellent ones. In-the-know locals will point you towards Elia (+971 4 359 8888, dubaimajestic.com), a cosy restaurant with a lovely glass terrace surrounded by greenery in the somewhat incongruous setting of the Majestic Hotel in bustling Bur Dubai. In the kitchen is Cretan head chef Poppy Kourkoutaki, while charming restaurant manager (and fellow Crete local) Margianna Mavridou heads up the front-of-house team. The menu is divided into Greek classics – the cheese saganaki and chicken souvlaki are standouts – and more contemporary interpretations such as slow-cooked veal cheeks with eggplant purée. Don’t leave without trying the freshly baked carob bread. From the same team, Mythos Kouzina & Grill (+971 4 399 8166, mythoskouzina.com) feels like a little slice of Santorini hidden away in JLT’s Armada Bay Hotel. Kitted out like a traditional seaside taverna with whitewashed walls, rustic furniture and
Ask a Top Chef
Gautier Gaschi Executive Chef, La Serre Bistro & Boulangerie
Dubai has so many amazing restaurants – while living here you could easily try a different restaurant every single day and most of them are great. I rate STAY by Yannick Alléno (oneandonlyresorts.com) at One&Only The Palm.
THE FOOD Izakaya
Family friendly eats Eating at your hotel can work out expensive – especially if you have a whole family to feed – but fear not: Dubai's restaurants are very family friendly and offer myriad options for good value, great quality fare. WITH LITTLE ONES Ideal for tiny tots is bookstore-slashcafé BookMunch (+971 4 388 4006, bookmunchcafe.com) in Al Wasl Square. It serves up tasty treats like blueberry pancakes and stocks plenty of children’s books and an area in which to read them, ensuring kids get food for thought as well as their bellies. Helmed by Tom Aikens, who remains the youngest UK chef to have scooped two Michelin stars, the concept at Pots, Pans and Boards (+971 4 456 1959, potspansandboards.ae) is based on Tom's own memories of home cooking and his family kitchen, cue a divine apple crumble, shepherd's pie, and toddler's play area. Somewhere very different, and always enjoyed by toddlers, is Café Ceramique (+971 4 344 7331, cafeceramique.ae) within Town Centre Mall. Here, kids get to paint their own ceramics as well as enjoy good quality staples like mac and cheese or pizza. WITH BIGGER ONES From NYC comes Black Tap (+971 4 422 9904, jumeirah.com), at Jumeirah Al Naseem, famed for its monster milkshakes. The Dubai outpost offers14 different kinds of burger and those famous milkshakes, piled high with toppings like chocolate brownies and cotton candy. You'll find friendly waiters and a huge dollop of fun at Claw BBQ (+971 4 432 2300, clawbbq.com) in Souq Al Bahar, a place for those who don't mind getting their hands dirty. Alongide stuffed claws are burgers and more traditional American treats. Come here early evening to enjoy Dubai Fountain views on your way out.
Pots, Pans & Boards
CITY WALK A vibrant mix of cafés, restaurants and unique boutiques, City Walk is at its best at night, when twinkling lights and neon illuminate the streets and purposely graffitied walls – by some of the world’s best known street artists – below. Along with DIFC and d3, it’s also an area that has a few licensed venues independent of hotels, in The Square. 40
Galvin Dubai (+971 4 590 5444, galvindubai.com) is the first venture outside the UK for Michelin-starred brothers Chris and Jeff Galvin. They describe their menu as the “best of British, with a Mediterranean Basin flair” and it’s excellent. Lima Dubai (800 5462 5462, limadubai.com) is a Peruvian hotspot from Virgilio Martinez, the chef behind Central in Lima, Peru, the fifth
best restaurant on the planet according to the coveted World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Headed by his Central protégé, Diego Sanchez, the top dishes here include an incredibly good octopus and corn brûlée. Also of note is Toro + Ko (+971 4 590 5433, torodubai.com) a Barcelona-inspired tapas restaurant and bar by awardwinning chefs Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette.
THE FOOD light blue banquettes, the simple menu is a mix of traditional dishes such as keftedakia (meatballs) and grilled calamari, together with home-style favourites like moussaka and gigandes (butter beans).
FABULOUS FRENCH For decades Le Cirque was New York’s go-to spot for A-list celebrities and real estate tycoons (including a certain Mr Trump). Now at The Ritz-Carlton DIFC, Le Cirque (+971 4 372 2444, ritzcarlton) is proving equally popular. The menu, which comes with a hint of Italian inspiraton, contains just the right number of dishes to suggest that each has been Bridgewater Tavern
honed to perfection – the subsequent taste test confirms it. A superb lobster risotto easily ranks among Dubai's 'musttry' dishes, while soft-as-butter Dover sole and a chocolate soufflé so light it could float from your table, are among the notable highlights. Regardless of the quality of the food they serve up, it’s often difficult for Dubai’s many hotel-run restaurants to shake off that hotel restaurant vibe. So it’s to places like this we locals go for a hefty side of atmosphere to enjoy with our food at weekends. Let your waiter guide you to the menu highlights at Bistrot Bagatelle (+971 4 354 5035, bagatelledubai.com), which include
IN THE KNOW
Comfort food BRIDGEWATER TAVERN JW Marriott Marquis Dubai +971 4 414 0000, jwmarriottmarquisdubailife.com The go-to place to enjoy high quality, filling fare. The fire-cracker calamari and parmesan truffle fries are willing bedfellows with an ice cold brew.
BUSHMAN’S RESTAURANT & BAR
Bushman’s Restaurant & Bar
Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort +971 4 567 8304, dubai-palm.anantara.com Prime slabs of succulent Aussie meat are the norm here. However, to enjoy it you’ll be faced with the near-impossible task of forgoing the classic beef and mushroom pie.
FOODIE DISTRICTS DUBAI DESIGN DISTRICT The stunning Dubai Design District (d3) is home to some of the city’s most cutting edge design and creative firms, as well as The Design Quarter, where visitors will find homegrown restaurant concepts, innovate boutiques and unique art installations. Concept store meets casual restaurant, The Lighthouse (+971 422 6024, thelighthouse. ae), is headed up by one of Dubai’s best chefs, Izu Ani. The licensed venue has a superb mezze menu – order the marinated salmon with cranberries and baked feta with oregano – if you’re one for sharing. Also licensed here is the quirky (in a good way) Molecule (+971 245 4700, molecule.restaurant), which offers a ‘bistronomy’ (‘bistro’ meets ‘gastronomy’) concept for better-than-bistro-standard food, including a rich risotto with truffle, and Chez Charles Restaurant (+971 512 2444, chezcharlesrestaurant.ae), a modern brasserie which does staples like fish and chips, and carbonara very well. Molecule
LEFT BANK Souk Madinat Jumeirah, +971 4 368 6171, emiratesleisureretail.com You’ll love the water’s-edge setting and lively atmosphere at Souk Madinat Jumeirah’s perennial favourite. And you’ll be equally enamored with its black Angus wagyu burgers.
sharing dishes such as a to-die-for black truffle pizza and spicy lobster linguini. You’ll find it inside the Fairmont Dubai, on Sheikh Zayed Road.
FRESH FROM THE OCEAN Catch (+971 4 357 1755, catch.ae) remains one of the hottest tables in town (go after 9pm), with an atmosphere to match. Hailing from NYC, another good reason that this contemporary American seafood restaurant finds favour is, of course, its delicious food. Eat here and you'll get to sample some stunning dishes, a list headed by the grilled octopus and sofrito. The octopus is marinated in pineapple juice for days before it's grilled to such a tender state it barely merits cutting. Sensational. Down in JBR at Rixos Premium Dubai, the clue is in the name at
Riviera Seafood Grill (+971 52 777 9473, riviera-grill.com), where Mediterranean coastal flavours are enjoyed in a stylishly rustic setting. The whole saltbaked sea bass is a perfect sharing dish but the prawns pil pil (from the market-fresh display) should definitely be savoured solo. If you’re keen to dine with sand between your toes, book a table at Fish Beach Taverna (+971 4 511 7139, fishdubai.com). Another Mediterranean influenced restaurant, it can be found on the water’s edge at Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, and has tables set directly on the sand. It's amazingly atmospheric at night. Acclaimed as one of the world's best chefs, Vladimir Mukhin is the man behind Crab Market (+971 4 564 55 25) at Emirates Financial Towers., where the king crab takes some topping.
CLUB VISTA MARE Fancy soaking up spectacular views of the cityscape when sitting down to dinner? Club Vista Mare, a Dhs120 million beachfront promenade of restaurants, bars and cafés on Palm Jumeirah, allows you to do just that. Among the dining venues, each with an al fresco terrace, is Breeze Beach Grill (+971 4 568 3000, a beach grill concept that has a raw bar and deli counter. There’s also Aji (+971 4 552 0244, aji.ae) – in case you're wondering, it's pronounced ‘ah-hee’ – which specialises in Japanese-Peruvian (Nikkei) cuisine. Come here on a Monday night from 8pm and ladies can enjoy three complimentary drinks and 30% off their food. It's packed and good fun to boot. To try food that might be new to your tastebuds, head to Gursha (+971 4 554 2665, gursha-dubai.com). It's an Ethiopian restaurant, where the food – the likes of spicy lentil stews and curries thick with caramalised onions and spices – is served to share and eaten with your hands, once you've scooped some up with injera, a thin bread.
SUMOSAN If you like a generous portion of entertainment served with your supper, there's nowhere in the city quite like Billionaire Mansion Dubai, where you'll be just as enthralled by people watching as you will the twice-hourly Cirque du Soleil-style stage shows. However, the real reason to eat here is for executive chef Reif Othman, who previously propelled Zuma Dubai into the world's top 100 restaurants and has now sprinkled his magic on the menu of Japanese restaurant Sumosan (+971 4 510 3100, billionairemansiondubai.com). His ever-inventive signature dishes are one in a billion.
ITALIAN LIKE MAMA MAKES IT One of the world’s tallest hotels, JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, is home to arguably Dubai’s best Italian – Positano (+971 4 414 3000, jwmarriottmarquisdubailife.com). The restaurant does the full range of Italian staples exceptionally well, so you don't have to look beyond the likes of the pumpkin tortelli in a rich, velvety butter and sage sauce. Down by the beach is the Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Resort, in which you’ll find the brilliant BiCE Ristorante (+971 4 399 1111, 3.hilton.com). For many a year this has ranked high among the best Italian restaurants in Dubai, with sublime examples of regional specialities cooked to impressively exacting standards. Likewise, you’d expect the Italian restaurant at Palazzo Versace Dubai to be somewhat of a showstopper, and thanks to chef de cuisine Andrea Gaia, that’s exactly what Vanitas (+971 4 556 8820, palazzoversace.ae) is. Gaia’s CV lists many a Michelin-starred restaurant, experience he brings to bear on the menu here. If you’re looking for direction, the creamed black truffle risotto packs in outstanding flavour.
SUPERB SPANISH With an open kitchen, funky murals and baskets hanging from its high ceilings, Salero Tapas & Bodega (+971 4 341 0000, kempinski.com) at Kempinski Mall of the Emirates looks more hipster eatery than traditional tapas joint. However, the Spanish staff, led by head chef Oscar Leon, ensure the no-nonsense, garlicsmothered tapas are entirely authentic. There’s a great selection of hot and cold tapas to order, such as Galicianstyle octopus, along with three types of paella.
LOVELY LATIN AMERICAN There is currently fierce competition in Dubai for the tag of the city’s best Latin American restaurant, and in the thick of it is Waka (+971 4 444 1455, waka. ae) at The Oberoi, Dubai. Here, Chef
Roberto Segura dishes up authentic Latin American flavours combined with Japanese seasonings and using French techniques. Highlights of the menu are many – including some of the best ceviche in the city – but make sure you start with a bowl of Wakamole to share. Their welcome twist is the use of smoked avocado. While you’ll be right to love Coya (+971 4 316 9600, coyarestaurant.com) at the Four Seasons Resort Dubai on Jumeirah Beach (in particular, its Arroz Nikkei – a mix of Chilean sea bass, rice, lime and chilli – is fabulous), we also have a thing for the more casual (and wallet friendly) Garden (+971 56 224 0956, jwmarriottmarquisdubailife.com) at JW Marriott Marquis Dubai. The chef is Peruvian, the staff are great, the vibe relaxed and the food very good value compared to its many competitors in this sector.
Ask a Top Chef
Eros Brambilla Head Chef, Ravioli & Co.
From hole-in-the-wall cafeterias to fine dining, food art and modern molecular gastronomy, Dubai's foodie scene continues to grow. PLAY Restaurant & Lounge (playrestaurants.com) has an amazing menu – the quality of the food and the flavours is exquisite.
JW Marriott Marquis Dubai
Top 10 iftars
During Ramadan, restaurants roll out the red carpet to welcome guests for traditional iftar feasts to break the fast at sunset â€“ it's a must-do dining experience, and here's our pick of the best...
BAB AL SHAMS DESERT RESORT & SPA For an authentic Arabian experience, journey to Al Hadheerah (+971 4 809 6194, babalshams.com/ ramadan) outdoor desert restaurant, which is being transformed into a luxurious, fully air-conditioned tent for Ramadan with nine live cooking stations and a mouthwatering buffet. Sample famous Arabic dishes like ouzi makmour while the live oud player entertains you, and then pose for photos with a falcon. Dhs265 (Sun to Weds) or Dhs295 (Thurs to Sat); half price for ages 5-12; kids up to 4 years old eat for free.
PALAZZO VERSACE DUBAI
Embark on a culinary journey of Italian, Persian and international cuisines curated by executive chef Mansour Memarian at this fashion-inspired hotel (+971 4 556 8888, palazzoversace.ae). At Enigma you can break the fast with Persian cheese and roasted bread before selecting a starter, soup, main course and dessert for Dhs230 per person. Junglethemed international restaurant Giardino is offering a family-friendly Middle Eastern buffet in a relaxed setting. Dhs230 per person.
JW MARRIOTT MARQUIS DUBAI
You can rely on the worldâ€™s tallest five-star hotel (+971 4 414 0000, jwmarriottmarquisdubailife. com) to deliver a stand-out iftar experience. For variety, it's hard to beat Al Fanous at Dubai Ballroom, which is showcasing a buffet of more than 200 regional dishes created by the Arabic speciality chef. Dhs215 per person. Or, opt for the international spread at Kitchen6, which has six live cooking stations. Dhs225 per person. Lastly, Rang Mahal by Atul Kochhar has a threecourse iftar set menu priced at Dhs225 per person. Each iftar is available from sunset until 8.30pm.
ANANTARA THE PALM DUBAI RESORT Relax to the sounds of live kanoun music (a traditional string instrument) at the iftar at Crescendo (+971 4 567 8304, anantara. com). Break the fast with fruit juice and a plump, stuffed date before tucking into a buffet of Arabic and international cuisine, taking your pick from classic dishes such as sambousek jebnih and mutabal, alongside oriental mixed grill and garlic prawns. From Dhs199 per adult and Dhs100 per child (6-12 years old).
KEMPINSKI HOTEL MALL OF THE EMIRATES
The crowd is as diverse as the iftar buffet at Levantine restaurant Olea (+971 4 341 0000, kempinski.com). The venue is large yet warm and welcoming, with a highly social vibe. The tables are far enough apart to allow for privacy, but close enough together so that you can chat to diners at the next table if you wish, while you munch your way through plates of mezzah, mains like beef oyster and chicken maqlooba, and indulgent desserts. From 16 May to 14 June. Dhs210 per person.
THE MEYDAN HOTEL
Foodies looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city centre can jump in a taxi to The Meydan Ramadan Tent (+971 4 381 3111, themeydanhotel.com/ ramadan), which is hosting an Arabic-international inspired iftar buffet. There, you can taste Emirati dishes such as lamb foga, or indulge in global fare like butter chicken, grilled salmon and vegetable moussaka, while listening to a live oud player. A dedicated kids' play area will keep little ones amused with face painting, arts and crafts, family movies and a bouncy castle, among other activities. Dhs199; Dhs99 for ages 5-12; free for those under four.
THE OBEROI, DUBAI
There are two Ramadan dining experiences happening at Ananta restaurant (+971 4 444 1444, oberoidubai.com). For a traditional meal in an elegant setting, Nine7One Majlis is sure to impress. The buffet is packed with popular dishes you'll be keen to try, such as lamb ouzi and shish taouk, with shisha available in the courtyard. Dhs195 per person. For regional Indian cuisine, the Ananta Dehlvi Iftar, prepared by head chef Sreejith Nair, serves flavourful food to the table, delivered in a traditional thali (platter). Priced at Dhs190 per person.
Fried baby marrow with yoghurt tahini, roasted quail with sumac and tender chicken tagine are just some of the dishes on offer at Ewaan Ramadan Tent. If you fancy Argentinean cuisine, however, head to Asado, which has an unlimited set menu for iftar that you can sample while admiring views of The Dubai Fountain and Burj Khalifa. Thiptara is the place to go for Far Eastern fare. All Dhs255 per person; half price for ages 6-11; those under 6 dine free. +971 4 888 3444, addresshotels.com
LAPITA, DUBAI PARKS AND RESORTS For something a bit different, Kalea (+971 4 810 942, lapitahoteldubai.com) is putting a tropical island spin on the season with a family-friendly international iftar buffet set against a Polynesia meets Arabia dĂŠcor theme. Travel to all four corners of the world with a culinary spin around the globe. A mouthwatering lamb ouzi is the gourmet centerpiece for grownups while younger guests get their own kidsâ€™ buffet. Available from sunset to 11pm. Dhs160 per person; Dhs75 for ages 4-12 (including complimentary access to the Luna & Nova Kids and Teens Club until 10pm daily).
Chef de cuisine Mazen Abdallah's passion for cooking authentic Arabic cuisine shines through at Azur (+971 4 324 8888, raffles.com/ dubai). There, you can taste everything from mezzeh, to fresh salads, lamb ouzi and Arabic mixed grills, and take your pick from the dedicated shawarma, manakish, soup and carving stations. Sweets include umm ali, kunafa and sticky date pudding. Dhs195 per person; Dhs98 for ages six to 12; those under six years old dine for free (with two paying adults). Available from sunset to 9pm.
Perfumery & Co.
Thereâ€™s no shortage of retail therapy in Dubai, from mega malls to edgy concept stores and traditional souks. The main malls are open until late. The Dubai Mall, for instance, is open from 10am to 11pm Sunday to Wednesday and from 10am to midnight Thursday to Saturday â€“ enjoy! During Ramadan, many malls and boutiques extend their opening hours 46
THE SHOPS Level Shoes, The Dubai Mall
MEGA MALLS Supersizing the retail scene since the early noughties, the city’s mega malls entice shopaholics to put on their comfiest sneakers and pound the marbled walkways. With over 1,200 stores (and counting), The Dubai Mall (800 38 224 6255, thedubaimall. com) is the grande dame of the city’s shopping scene and the mother of global retail experiences. Its luxury shopping district Fashion Avenue has recently been expanded to welcome more than 150 luxury brands to the fold, including new boutiques by Boucheron, Aquazzura, Philipp Plein and Casa Loewe, among others, with works of art and eateries dotted around to break up your spree. For haute beauty buys, you can't beat Perfumery & Co, where you can have a personalised consultation that'll point you towards fragrances, skincare and make-up to suit your personality and lifestyle. It's home to the region's first Henry
Jacques boutique and Trevor Sorbie salon, while brand debuts include Alissi Brontë and Shay Up, among others. After restocking your dressing table, click your heels together like Dorothy and transport yourself to Level Shoes to pick out a pair of designer heels before loading up on even more luxury labels at anchor brands Bloomingdale’s and Galeries Lafayette Dubai, which has a dedicated glamour area showcasing designer dresses from the likes of Alberta Ferretti, Carolina Herrera, and Jason Wu. Family-friendly entertainment can be found at Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, the Olympic-sized ice rink and 22-screen cineplex. Plus, there's a profusion of cafés and eateries at which to refuel along the way. Another power player, Mall of the Emirates (+971 4 409 9000, malloftheemirates.com) has a handsfree shopping service so you can drop off your bulging bags at designated points and have them delivered directly to your hotel. It'll free you up
Aquazzura, The Dubai Mall
Philipp Plein, The Dubai Mall
Souk Madinat Jumeirah
to continue exploring its four floors, anchored by ‘absolutely fabulous’ department store Harvey Nichols Dubai and the high-end Fashion Dome. Once you're all shopped out you can hit the slopes at Ski Dubai, or enjoy a five-star snack menu by Gary Rhodes, from the comfort of your reclining seat at the 24-screen Vox Cineplex. Dubai Creek has its own mega mall experience at Dubai Festival City (+971 4 800 332, festivalcentre.com) where mid-range brands rub shoulders with the Singapore-born department store Robinsons. Here you’ll find homeware goodies from the UK’s John Lewis and a collection of exclusive fashion labels. Located on the waterfront with a dedicated promenade, take time out from browsing its 400 stores for a dhow boat ride or to watch the nightly fire, light and water show. At the other end of the city, fronting a vibrant waterfront residential area, Dubai Marina Mall (+971 4 348 4848,
dubaimarinamall.com) is a no brainer if you’re looking to shop at a more leisurely pace. It's compact compared to the city's larger retail havens, and is peppered with a trendy selection of high street brands and a chilled collection of restaurants, many with outdoor terrace seating ideal for a lingering lunch overlooking the water. The only themed mega mall in the city, Ibn Battuta Mall (+971 4 362 1900, ibnbattutamall.com) pays architectural homage to the travels of the legendary Arab explorer of the same name with a succession of interlinked spaces reflecting global culture, from China to India. Wander through the dedicated exhibition before letting loose in the 400-plus stores or hitting the lanes of the busy bowling alley.
SOUK SPECTACULAR The emirate is famous for its atmospheric souks, which are a treasure trove for everything from gold jewellery to
MUST-SHOP Cabochon If you've got your heart set on a luxurious kaftan, be sure to check out Cabochon. Founded by Emirati designer Fidda Al Marzouqi, its debut Ramadan collection for 2018 is comprised of simple yet elegant designs featuring the brand's signature embroidery and precious stones. cabochon.ae
THE SHOPS aromatic spices. Put your best bartering skills to the test (it’s the done thing) at the glittering Dubai Gold Souk on the Deira side of Dubai Creek. A hub for gold traders since the 1930s, its 300 or so shops are thronged by tourists seeking a gilded buy. It's easy to arrive by taxi, but if you really want to ‘go local’ hop aboard a motorised abra at Bur Dubai Abra Station and set sail for Deira Old Souk Abra Station (operating from 6am to midnight, Dhs1 per person per trip, see rta.ae). Close by, the blink and you’ll miss it Spice Souk is home to a fragrant clutch of market stalls fronted by hessian sacks overflowing with aromatic spices. Stock up on the best Iranian saffron, the Emirati spice mix bezar, as well as pungent dried local lemons to add a citrusy note to a stew or tagine. For a fragrant buy of a different kind, head to the Perfume Souk, which is great for getting your hands on the traditional Arabian scent, oud,
as well as potent essential oils. Dubai Textile Souk, back on the opposite bank of Dubai Creek, is a fabric nirvana for shoppers with an eye on bespoke tailoring. The colourful souk has everything from swathes of sari silk to bolts of embroidered cotton. For a more polished experience, head to Souk Madinat Jumeirah (+971 4 366 8888, jumeirah.com), which has been designed in the style of an authentic Arabian marketplace, and explore the labyrinthine lanes lined with barrows and stalls selling souvenirs, jewellery, oud and other trinkets. Similarly, Souk Al Bahar (+971 4 362 7011/12, soukalbahar.ae) in Downtown Dubai has over 100 shops selling everything from carpets to handicrafts, jewellery, art and perfume.
HOMEGROWN HEROES The region’s young design guns are taking the fashion world by storm and many homegrown Emirati and
EVERYDAY ART Gallery One specialises in accessible and affordable regional artwork presented on everyday products and creative gifts, many of which are inspired by regional patterns, motifs, calligraphy and designs, like this Letter R Arabeezi Alphabet Mug (Dhs89). Salaam picture boxes and an artwork by Helen Abbas that features the 99 names of Allah, are among the other items available. g-1.com
Places to make a pit stop AWANI, CITY CENTRE MIRDIF
L'ETO, THE DUBAI MALL
COVA, THE DUBAI MALL
The latest opening for this popular Levantine restaurant concept, Awani at City Centre Mirdif has a warm atmosphere thanks to its walnut woodwork and vibrant orange and cool turquoise interior. Sample its unique take on Levantine fusion food with a twist – the batata harra (a Lebanese potato dish) is a firm favourite. +971 4 424 8082
Serving delicious Mediterranean influenced dishes like teriyaki salmon, roasted rosemary turkey, and honey roasted pumpkin and kale, L’ETO (meaning summer) is a simple yet sophisticated place for a bite to eat. Top off your meal by treating yourself to an indulgent dessert such as pistachio rose and raspberry cake, or dulce de leche. +971 4 345 2211, letocaffe.ae
Marking the first café in the emirate for what is arguably Milan’s most iconic coffee and pastry house, Cova at The Dubai Mall is sure to impress with its terrace overlooking The Dubai Fountain. The antipasti, salads, pasta and risotto are all ideal lunch choices, and it would be rude not to indulge in a cake (or two). +971 4 367 5558, covamilano.com
CAMEL'S MILK Featuring fresh, hand harvested regional ingredients, such as camel’s milk from Al Ain, dates from Ras Al Khaimah, citrus from Fujairah, and traditional herbs and spices, Hammamii luxury skincare is a natural hit. We like the Dromadaire Enriching Camel’s Milk Bath with Arabian sea salts to soothe the skin. hammamii.com United Designers
Middle Eastern brands are thriving. Haute couture luminary Rami Al Ali rules the regional high-end fashion roost from his Al Wasl Road villa (+971 4 394 5607, ramialali.com). A Paris Fashion Week regular known for his ultra feminine gowns, you can book a personal consultation at his atelier or check out his ready-to-wear line at Harvey Nichols - Dubai. Fashionistas' favourite, United Designers has drawn back the curtain on its revamped store at City Centre Mirdif (+971 4 251 4200, uniteddesigners.ae). Evocative of an Arabian grand bazaar, it houses a gorgeous selection of eveningwear, traditional Moroccan kaftans, jalabiyas and chic daywear, so is ideal if you're seeking a special occasion outfit. The local branch of French fashion institute, Esmod Dubai, is responsible for a wave of fresh graduate talent and you'll be pleased to learn that
it has its own dedicated retail outlet, Pôlette Concept Store (+971 50 879 6518), at City Walk. It's the only retail start-up platform in the world to launch university students’ fashion brands, and to stock pieces from celebrated alumni such as Canella Hostal, so shopping there is a little like picking up the wearable version of a future Picasso. With a flagship store at City Walk II, Bambah (+971 55 224 1538, bambah. com) is the place to go for statement pieces guaranteed to inject some fun into your wardrobe – think generous ruffles, oversized bows and colourful floral prints. The brainchild of UAE-based designer Maha Abdul Rasheed, it's easy to see why stars such as Emma Roberts are fans. More homegrown talent is in favour with the A-list, with bold designs by Dubai-based Madiyah Al Sharqi receiving the nod of approval by actress Sofia Vergara, among others. Make a
COOL CONCEPT BEYOUland If shopping on the water floats your boat, head to trendy tourist spot Al Seef where the first ever floating boutique in the region, BEYOUland, is docked. You'll discover 17 abra inspired boats hosting the creations of local and international brands and artists. beyoulanddubai.com
THE SHOPS beeline for her latest collection, which is available at Symphony in The Dubai Mall (+971 4 310 6904, bysymphony.com). Dubai based Lebanese designer Dima Ayad (themodist.com) is yet another local success story and is one of just a handful of people creating looks to suit all body shapes.
MINI MALLS Not enough time (or patience) to trawl the jumbo malls? Dubai’s growing community of suburban mini malls will hit the spot. Kick-start your mall crawl opposite Burj Al Arab on Jumeirah Beach Road at the aptly named The Mall (+971 4 348 4848, themall.co.ae), which is home to a coterie of 55 hand-selected retailers including French fashion brand Escales and Boho Beachwear. Further along the road, a stone’s throw from Jumeirah Corniche, is Sunset
Mall (+971 4 330 7333, sunsetmall. ae). Be sure to pay a visit to Rivaage, which plays host to international designers such as Badgley Mischka, Vera Wang and Vivienne Westwood. With more than 140 stores to explore, the Italian Renaissance themed Mercato Mall (+971 4 344 4161, mercatoshoppingmall.com) is another top stop-off. Label lovers should check out pre-owned designerwear store Bagatelle, while GANT and Charles & Keith are among the high-street stores popular for a fashion fix. Hugging a corner spot on the adjacent Al Wasl Road is the boutique Galleria Mall (+971 4 344 4434, galleriamall.ae) at which hip stores, such as trendy Californian beachwear label Beach Bunny and Saucettte (the kidswear offshoot of hugely successful local brand Sauce), cater to a wellheeled local and international clientele.
BARGAIN HUNTERS While the discount store phenomenon hasn’t quite made it to Dubai, there are still bargains to be had. A 30-minute taxi ride out of town, Dubai Outlet Mall (+971 4 423 4666, dubaioutletmall.com) is a repository for previous season style. Bag an affordable new wardrobe from highstreet names like Aldo, Esprit, Monsoon and Mango, with the odd designer find. If you’re more a fan of Paris Fashion Week than Primark, The Outlet Village (+971 4 317 3999, theoutletvillage. ae) in Jebel Ali is your best bet. Three department stores and more than 125 top brands including Hugo Boss, Michael Kors, Juicy Couture and Superdry can be found inside its Tuscan inspired interior. Stylish piazza cafés add to the Italian vibe. If you have a soft spot for French fashion, check out the So Chic (sochic.ae) boutique at Home and So Chic
Soul on Al Wasl Road. Raid the rails bursting with pre-loved designer clothes and accessories sourced from the best wardrobes of Dubai. Similarly, RETOLD (shopretold.com) on Umm Suqeim Road is brimming with preloved steals from the likes of Diane von Furstenberg and Jimmy Choo.
LOCAL DESIGNER Sundeep Sen Following his passion for footwear, Sen traded his banking career to launch Indian handmade shoe brand CZAR in 2016. From state-of-the-art cork shoes to hand-stitched classic monks, each style has a limited edition run. From Dhs800 to Dhs1,300. czaroffical.com
COOL CONCEPT STORES It’s hardly surprising that, with around 200 nationalities residing in Dubai, international design influences are making their mark on the city with a growing cadre of cool concept stores. BEYOUboutique (+971 4333 0373, beyoudubai.com) at Dar Al Wasl Mall in Jumeirah, was founded by Sheikha Maytha Hasher Al Maktoum and Sheikha Wafa Hasher Al Maktoum, and houses more than 100 new and emerging brands such as AWS, Nigwah, Homa Q, and Maysson. Popular creative hub Dubai Design District (d3), which is dedicated to start-
ups, naturally has its finger on the pulse with d3 Collective (+971 4 554 3540, dubaidesigndistrict.com) a premier platform for established and emerging names such as Osheq, DRESSADDICT by Artem & Victor and Taupe. Equally edgy is O Concept Store (+971 4 345 5557, oconceptstore. ae) in Jumeirah, which combines fashion and art and attracts young and passionate designers, artists and collectors from all over the world. Comptoir 102 (+971 4 385 4555, comptoir102.com), nestled in old Jumeirah, has a laid-back vibe with an organic café, garden and terrace area boasting an eclectic mix of fashion, homewares and furniture from around the globe.
BEST OF BESPOKE Few of us can afford a trip to Savile Row and Dubai’s community of nimblefingered tailors and seamstresses is a great alternative. Local fabric stores are
THE SHOPS Lastly, custom-shirt store Bombay Shirt Company, in Central Park Towers, DIFC (+971 4 240 0778, bombayshirts. com) lets you select every detail from the fabric to the thread and the buttons, with precise measurements taken to ensure a perfect fit.
Le BHV Marais
AN OPEN-AIR RETAIL AFFAIR
RICH PICKINGS For an Arabesque style adornment, look no further than Nura, the Ramadan collection by La Marquise Jewellery. The elegant range features gold chains adorned with semi-precious gemstones such as amethyst, opal and quartz as well as mother of pearl encased in intricate floral and butterfly motifs. lamarquisejewellery.com
in abundance and you can have a made-to-measure suit or dress whipped up in just a few days. The traditional go-to areas for sharp tailoring include Karama, where Dream Girls (+971 4 337 7287) is a long-standing favourite among ladies who lunch. Boutique bespoke tailors are also on hand for special occasion glam. Scissors Tailoring Studio (+971 50 961 7959) at Kempinski Hotel & Residences Palm Jumeirah specialises in custom clothing and alterations for women. Follow in the footsteps of tennis legend Roger Federer, who has had an outfit whipped up by the master tailoring team at Threads & Tailors (+971 4 347 7719, threadsandtailors. com) in Al Barsha, which specialises in made-to-measure suits and shirts at reasonable prices. New kid on the block, Black Amber Dubai (+971 4 4429315, black-amber. com), in Dubailand, promises top-notch tailoring for gentlemen plus readyto-wear clothing under one roof.
A growing number of al fresco shopping spots add character to the shopping scene, from plush Europeanstyle boulevards to artisan markets selling handicrafts you can't find anywhere else. At the popular La Mer (800 637 227, lamerdubai.ae), stylish boutiques – think Via Rodeo, Trina Turk and Beach Bunny – rub shoulders with cool cafés along a strip of golden sand just off Jumeirah Beach Road. Over at Dubai Creek, Al Seef (800 637227, alseef.ae) delivers a cultural vibe with its setting inspired by a traditional Arabian neighbourhood. There you can pick up everything from high-end fashion to Emirati handicrafts. For a more modern feel, City Walk (+971 4 317 3999, citywalk.ae) has a profusion of funky designer-centric boutiques such as Karl Lagerfeld, Michael Kors, M Missoni, Paule Ka and Whistles among others, as well as upmarket Parisian department store Le BHV Marais. It is also home to multidesigner boutique Voguish, which is a go-to for the latest modest Arab fashion trends. Its collections, from top designers including Endemage, Najla Zuhair, Amal Al Raisi, Nurai and Bthaina, are replenished every few months so the offers always feels fresh. Nearby on Al Wasl Road, BoxPark (+971 4 317 3999, boxpark.ae), draws a hip crowd to its shipping containers housing contemporary fashion from the likes of Urbanist and OnePiece. At the Dubai Marina end of town, The Beach at JBR (+971 80 063 7227, thebeach.ae) blends boho chic market action with holidayaccessories-oriented stores including Sauce-on-Sea, bordered by an esplanade packed with eateries.
Horse riding at Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai
Sleep is overrated. With all that Dubai has to offer, we say see and do as much as you can during your stay and save those zzzâ€™s for the flight home During Ramadan, some attractions may switch up their opening hours. Be sure to double check the timings before you set off. Plus, turn to page 57 for tips on Holy Month etiquette. 54
At The Top, Burj Khalifa
FEEL ON TOP OF THE WORLD No prizes for guessing what is Dubai’s number one visitor attraction. At 456 metres above sea level, the observation decks at the world’s tallest tower, At The Top, Burj Khalifa, may not invite you all the way to the tip – that’d be the radio mast at 828 metres – but they’re high enough to give you a head rush. Step inside the high-speed elevator and be transported in the blink of an eye to the entry point on Level 124, which offers panoramic views through floor-to-ceiling windows. Brave souls can move onto the outdoor deck on Level 125 for more prime vistas. Premium ticketholders for At The Top SKY will enjoy VIP access to the highest observation deck on Level 148, a private tour guide and exclusive lounge access.
FAMILY-FRIENDLY FUN From whizzing down the side of Burj Khalifa like a stunt double to skydiving like a pro and having a close encounter with creepy crawlies in the desert, you can experience an adrenaline rush without the risk at the augmented reality and virtual reality theme park VR Park (vrparkdubai. com), at The Dubai Mall. The two-storey venue is packed with games, rides and experiences to suit all ages. The kids will be bouncing off the walls at the region’s largest indoor trampoline park, Flip Out Dubai (600 567 568, flipout.ae) in Al Quoz, which boasts more than 200 interconnecting trampolines and 10 trampoline-based attractions, including the Double Decker Kids’ Arena for little ones. Just around the corner is another well-sprung facility, Bounce (+971 4 321 1400, bounce.ae), which also has wall running, foam pits, dodgeball, and the
X-Park Adventure Challenge Course with its zip line, bouldering wall and sea of pipes for nimble feet to navigate. Get them thinking about their career choices early at edutainment centre KidZania (advance bookings via +971 4 303 4992, arabian-adventures.com or City Sightseeing Dubai kiosks at major malls), which is located at The Dubai Mall. There, little ones can try their hand at 80 different jobs, from Emirates A380 pilot (there’s even a simulator) to chef. Join the gamers who flock to Hub Zero (advance bookings +971 4 303 4992, arabian-adventures.com) at City Walk where you can take out the Resident Evil bad guys on a trackless 3D interactive zombie hunt, don vision-enhancing goggles for a game of Battlefield, and take your seat in the 4D cinema experience for Asura’s Wrath, which comes
complete with leg ticklers, vibrating seats and water and wind effects. OliOli in Al Quoz (+971 4 432 3232, olioli.ae) curates content from the best children’s museums, science centres and art studios from North America, Asia and Europe. Kids can take part in hands-on activities designed to nurture curiosity, imagination and exploration, with eight galleries spread over two floors. A standout feature is the region's first textile playground by artist Toshiko MacAdam – a large-scale structure weighing 1,000 kilos, made from brightlycoloured crocheted and knotted nylon. Experience what it's like to be at the centre of an elephant herd or in the deepest ocean depths at Orbi Dubai at City Centre Mirdif (theplaymania. com). The first Orbi outside of Japan, it fuses nature content by BBC Earth with cutting-edge technology by SEGA to
immerse guests into the heart of the natural world via a visceral, multi-sensory experience that's sure to wow. New to the family-centric collection of activiities in and around the popular Kite Beach strip is XPark Jr. (+971 4 328 4175, xparkjr.com) play park, which blends desert and forest influences to create an all-new adventure destination. Kids get to splash in streams, climb trees and hang out in treehouses as well as explore meandering paths, cascading fountains and the onsite petting zoo. With a mud kitchen also part of the outdoor fun, dont forget to pack a change of clothes.
DELVE INTO HISTORY Peel back the shiny sweetie wrapper that defines modern-day Dubai and discover the city’s rich cultural heritage. Step back in time with a visit to Al Fahidi Hub Zero
THE ACTIVITIES Dubai Opera
Historical Neighbourhood (+971 4 353 9090, dubaiculture.gov.ae) on the bank of Dubai Creek. In the early 1900s the area was populated by affluent merchants and traders and bordered by Al Fahidi Fort, which houses Dubai Museum. Today, its collection of beautifully preserved traditional wind tower homes are museums, art galleries and cultural spaces connected by a maze of winding alleyways and quiet courtyards. Etihad Museum (etihadmuseum. dubaiculture.ae) tells the story of the formation of the United Arab Emirates in 1971. Located next to Union House in Jumeirah, the striking structure resembles a manuscript with seven tapering columns representing the pens used to sign the unification agreement. Photographs, films, documents, personal artefacts and interactive pavilions provide a fascinating insight into the history of
the UAE, before and after unification. Dubai also has a thriving art scene that runs the full gamut of styles and influences. Hip art hub Alserkal Avenue (+971 50 556 9797, alserkalavenue. ae), in the Al Quoz industrial district, comprises around 15 galleries including The Third Line (+971 4 341 1367, thethirdline.com) and Gulf Photo Plus (+971 4 380 8545, gulfphotoplus.com). Street art initiatives are also adding new creative impetus to the city’s public spaces. Check out the Dubai Walls project (dubaiwalls.com) at City Walk where the work of 16 renowned artists including Ron English, Nick Walker and Blek Le Rat take pride of place, or the Dubai Street Museum project on 2nd December Street in Satwa, which draws on themes from the UAE’s history and heritage for an eye-catching stroll. For a high-brow evening out, get tickets to Dubai Opera (+971 4 440 8888, dubaiopera.com), which
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Ramadan etiquette There are guidelines for dressing in public areas, and visitors should be especially considerate during Ramadan by covering shoulders and knees in loose-fitting clothing. Keep modesty in mind. You should avoid eating, drinking, smoking and chewing gum in public during fasting hours. Many restaurants and cafés may be open during the day, and will provide discreet dining areas for those who are not fasting. It's the ideal time to immerse yourself in local culture. The city springs to life in the evenings so embrace the late nights and discover a different side to Dubai.
offers an impressive line-up of local and international operatic, ballet and musical productions. The building itself is an architectural wonder with its dhow-shaped design by Janus Rostock a stylish tribute to Dubai’s maritime history. The emirate’s first in-residence show, La Perle by Dragone (advance bookings via +971 4 303 4992, arabianadventures.com) is sure to impress. The show takes place in a purposebuilt, state-of-the-art aqua theatre at Al Habtoor City, and is awash with aerial feats and cutting-edge technology. The show takes place twice a night, five days a week.
ALL THE FUN OF THE DUBAI FOUNTAIN A major draw on the tourist wish list is
The Dubai Fountain. With thousands of robotic jets hidden beneath the 30-acre Burj Khalifa lake, it’s the tallest performing fountain in the world. Set to a rotating musical repertoire featuring the recorded likes of Andrea Bocelli and Lionel Ritchie, as well as Arab and African artists, the visual artistry will give you goose bumps. Its powerful jets shoot water 500 feet into the air – the equivalent of a 50-storey building. Shows take place daily at 1pm and 1.30pm (1.30pm and 2pm on Fridays) and every 30 minutes from 6pm to 11pm. Plump for a prime viewing spot from a lakeside restaurant table, or catch it for free from the Waterfront Promenade. Those who want to get closer to the action can step onto The Dubai Fountain Boardwalk for a stroll past all the action – you’ll be just
ASK A LOCAL Fatima Rabbani, cofounder, Kishmish For families, a trip to Motiongate Dubai theme park is a fantastic way to bond with your loved ones and get a real kick out of Dubai’s entertainment offerings. In the evening, unwind by The Dubai Fountain.
THE ACTIVITIES Legoland Dubai
nine metres away from the jets at its closest point. Open from 5pm to 11pm daily. Dhs20 per person (for ages four and over). Tickets are available at the fountain promenade, Burj Park and At the Top, Burj Khalifa ticket counters. For fountain fun on a slightly smaller scale, the IMAGINE light, water and pyrotechnics spectacular at Dubai Festival City is sure to impress. Giant aqua screens, surround sound, lasers and the largest water screen projection in the world combine with 30 fountains to create a breathtaking display. The show takes place hourly every evening from 8pm to 10pm (11pm at weekends).
THEME PARK THRILLS Thrill-seekers, screamers and scaredy cats can test their limits at Dubai Parks and Resorts (advance bookings via +971 4 303 4992, arabian-adventures.com) in Jebel Ali, which has an impressive roster
of rides that are spread across three theme parks and a water park. Wet and wild fun of the tot-friendly variety is mandatory at Legoland Water Park. Once you’ve dried off, you can explore the six themed lands at the adjacent Legoland Dubai, home to 40 rides, shows and attractions, and 15,000 scale Lego models. Fans of the Hindi film scene can get their Shakrukh Khan on at Bollywood Parks Dubai with a host of rides and attractions inspired by nine allsinging and dancing Bollywood films, complete with 30 colourful live shows a day. Cricket fans will love Lagaan, a motion simulator ride based on the cricket-themed film of the same name. Sit down and strap yourself in for the ride of a lifetime at Motiongate Dubai with rollercoasters, multimedia ‘dark rides’ and live shows based on blockbuster film characters including Ghostbusters, Shrek, Kung Fu Panda,
The Hunger Games and The Smurfs, who even have their own village. Fear factor alert: not all rides are suitable for tender young minds – or adults of a nervous disposition – so check before you ride. Linking the parks together is Riverland Dubai, a free-to-enter retail and dining zone set on a (manmade) river. Divided into The French Village, Boardwalk, India Gate and The Peninsula, there are more than 50 shops and eateries to choose from. For air-conditioned theme park kicks, head to IMG Worlds of Adventure (advance bookings via +971 4 303 4992, arabian-adventures.com or City Sightseeing Dubai kiosks at major malls), the world’s largest indoor park, which has four zones: Cartoon Network, Marvel, Lost Valley-Dinosaur Adventure and IMG Boulevard. It’s an animation superhero love fest with more than 20 rides and attractions, including a
first-of-its-kind Hulk 3D ride with 18 IMAX projectors and a seriously bone-chilling Haunted Hotel (for those aged 15 and over). Adrenaline fiends will feel their heart rate rocket on The Velociraptor roller coaster, which hits speeds of up to 100kph in just 2.5 seconds. Gentler fun can be had at the Ben 10 5D cinema experience and at live stage shows featuring characters from LazyTown. There are 25 retail outlets plugging original merchandise.
SPLASHING AROUND Belly flops and swan dives are par for the course at Dubai’s gold standard water parks, with fun for water babies of all ages. Located in front of the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Wild Wadi Water Park (advance booking via +971 4 303 4992, arabian-adventures. com) was first on the scene and remains a popular choice with over 30 rides and attractions. From kid-friendly slides and the relaxing lazy river to the truly terrifying Jumeirah Sceirah (which propels you to speeds of 80 km/h), it’s wet and wild all the way. On the crescent of Palm Jumeirah, Aquaventure Waterpark (advance booking via +971 4 303 4888, arabianadventures.com or City Sightseeing Dubai kiosks at major malls) at Atlantis The Palm, Dubai delivers 17 hectares of H2O action. Dare to make the dramatic descent that is the Leap of Faith, jump in a two-person inner tube and journey through the Tower of Neptune to a shark-filled lagoon, or relax in a private poolside cabana. In Jebel Ali, Legoland Water Park (advance bookings via +971 4 303 4992, arabian-adventures. com) at Dubai Parks and Resorts is designed especially for families with kids aged two to 12. Slide, splash and swim through 15 Lego-inspired water slides, raft rides and pools or construct your own Lego raft. For something on a smaller scale, head to JBR where you can find AquaFun (aquafun.ae) outdoor inflatable water park,
which challenges you to run, jump and slide your way over 74 obstacles without falling off. Open daily from 9am to 6pm.
FUN ON THE WATER Watersports fans are spoilt for choice in Dubai. Get out on the water and enjoy the best views of the skyline on a jet-ski tour. Jet Ski Sightseeing Tours (advance booking via +971 4 303 4888, arabian-adventures.com) invite you to follow your guide on a safe, set route across the warm Arabian waters on the latest Sea-Doo jet-skis either as a
driver or passenger – you can take turns with a friend (each jet-ski can accommodate two people). A Go-Pro camera can be rented and fitted to your jet-ski for an additional cost. Younger family members can dip their toes into the maritime lifestyle with a sailing lesson or short course by Watercooled Dubai (+971 4 887 6771, watercooleddubai.com), based at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Dubai - Jumeirah Beach, while seasoned sailors can hire a Hobie catamaran or RS500 performance dinghy. From Dhs200 per hour.
BE PAMPERED CHI, THE SPA Book yourself in for a bespoke treatment at this luxurious hotel spa. The 90-minute Traveler's Retreat offers an aromatherapy massage and a reviving facial to calm and balance body and mind. Dhs520. At Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai. +971 4 405 2441, shangri-la.com
Chi, The Spa
Unwind at this pampering haven that is famous in Dubai for its soothing treatments. Every Sunday to Thursday, book any massage between 9am and 2pm and you'll receive 50 percent off. At JW Marriott Marquis Dubai. +971 4 4 414 6754, jwmarriottmarquisdubailife. com/sarayspa
TIMELESS SPA, AL MAHA, A LUXURY COLLECTION DESERT RESORT & SPA Take a day to de-stress by treating yourself to the Timeless Spa Package, which includes a 60-minute Timeless Therapeutic bespoke massage, a three-course lunch at Al Diwan, and access to the spa pool and other facilities. Dhs625 per person. +971 4 832 9900, al-maha.com
The Lost Chambers Aquarium
EXPERIENCE SNOW AND ICE Where else but Dubai can you lay on the beach in the morning and go skiing on real snow in the afternoon? A winter wonderland in the middle of the desert, Ski Dubai (advance booking via +971 4 303 4888, arabianadventures.com or City Sightseeing Dubai kiosks at major malls) at Mall of the Emirates boasts the world’s first indoor black run, a waddle of people-friendly penguins and is the de facto destination for skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing. Don’t fret if you haven’t packed your salopettes, as you can hire clothing and equipment on-site. Book a lesson or watch the free penguin parade between 2pm and 8pm daily.
An Olympic-sized rink, Dubai Ice Rink (advance bookings +971 4 303 4992, arabian-adventures.com or City Sightseeing Dubai kiosks at major malls) at The Dubai Mall is the perfect spot to cool off with public sessions for beginner and intermediate skaters. Catch a snowflake on your tongue at one of the regular snowfall sessions, with Penguin Pal skating aids available for little ones (minimum one metre tall) and Snowmen for wobbly adults or kids 12 years or above. Or, have a cycling showdown with friends by riding the IceBykes – they're like tricycles that glides across the ice, which get rolled out for evening fun. (Dhs80 per person for a half-hour session, including safety gear).
MEET THE MARINE LIFE Dunk your head beneath the blue Arabian Gulf waters to discover more of Dubai’s coolest attractions. Home to over 65,000 marine animals, The Lost Chambers Aquarium (advance bookings via +971 4 303 4992, arabianadventures.com or City Sightseeing Dubai kiosks at major malls) at Atlantis The Palm, Dubai will enchant visitors of all ages. It has over 20 themed exhibits housing marine creatures from all over the world. Book a behind-the-scenes tour or be brave and dive with sharks. Besides its retail pull, The Dubai Mall is home to Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo (advance booking +971 4 303 4888, arabian-adventures. com or CitySightseeing Dubai kiosks
THE ACTIVITIES at major malls), one of the largest suspended aquariums on the planet. Marvel at more than 140 species of sea life, including over 300 sharks and rays, or rent some scuba gear and sidle up alongside the inhabitants of the 10-million-litre tank (no diving experience required). Meanwhile, the zoo offers a sneak peek at the habits of other water loving creatures such as penguins and giant spider crabs; but the star of the show is the famous 750kg King Croc. Conservation is the buzzword at the turtle lagoon at Jumeirah Al Naseem (+971 4 366 8888, jumeirah. com), home to the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project, which is run in collaboration with Emirates Wildlife Society. To date, the project has seen the release of over 560 rescued sea turtles back into Dubai’s waters. It is open daily, with 20-minute feeding sessions taking place at 11am on Wednesdays.
For an exhilarating experience that keeps your skills firmly at the helm, iFly Dubai (+971 4 231 6292, theplaymania. com) lets you defy gravity in its indoor wind tunnel.
SWING INTO ACTION Most of the world’s golfing greats have teed off onto Dubai’s flawless fairways and the emirate is recognised as a major golf destination. The first all-grass championship golf course in the Middle East when it opened in 1988, Emirates Golf Club (+971 4 380 1234, dubaigolf. com) remains a firm favourite among Dubai old timers and club-toting visitors. Annual host of the 'Major of the Middle East', the European Tour Omega Dubai Desert Classic, it has two
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Pool party Nikki Beach Dubai, +971 4 376 6162, nikkibeach.com To mark the arrival of summer, this urban beach resort and spa is throwing a Deluxe Pool Party on 29 and 30 June. Lounge by the pool on an oversized day bed or a private cabana with shaded sofa seating, tuck into lunch and dance to the beats of the resident DJs. If it feels too humid, escape to Nikki Spa for a pampering massage. From 11am to 8pm. From Dhs250 (with Dhs200 redeemable on food and drink).
GET A FALCON’S EYE VIEW A sure-fire way to make the folks back home green with envy is to tick skydiving off the bucket list. With Skydive Dubai (skydivedubai.ae) you can leap out of an aeroplane, tethered to a professional, for a tandem jump experience over Palm Jumeirah. It’s the best vantage point from which to see the scale of the fronded island – unless you’ve got your eyes closed. (The Skydive Dubai Palm drop zone is open all summer long while the desert campus is closed in June, July and August.) Seawings (advance bookings +971 4 303 4992, arabian-adventures.com) offers scenic flights, including the Dubai Creek Silver tour, a 40-minute ‘dock to dock’ seaplane excursion above Dubai Creek, Palm Jumeirah, Burj Khalifa and more. Alternatively, take a helicopter ride (advance bookings +971 4 303 4992, arabian-adventures.com) for a bird's eye view of the iconic landmarks and make the most of the incredible photo opportunities along the way. Private charter flights available upon request.
Riva Beach Club
18-hole par 72 championship courses and an iconic clubhouse inspired by the shape of a traditional Bedouin tent. The Majlis course has open horizons and stretches of sand along with more traditional bunkers, while the 2005 Nick Faldo-redesigned course has a wadi (valley) running through it. The Faldo is also the only 18-hole course in the region to offer night golf. Swanky residential community and golf club Jumeirah Golf Estates (+971 4 818 2000, jumeirahgolfestates.com) has a duo of Greg Norman-designed championship courses, Fire and Earth, inspired by the great parkland courses of Europe and North America. The Earth course is home to the annual DP World Tour Championship, the grand finale of the European Tour’s 47-tournament Race to Dubai. The city's newest course, Trump International Golf Club, Dubai is the first in the Middle East to bear the Trump brand name. The par 71 course, designed by Gil Hanse, features the largest clubhouse in Dubai, a 9-hole, par 3 academy course and doublesided driving range with LED lighting so you can play well into the evening.
Arabian Ranches Golf Club (+971 4 366 4700, arabianranchesgolfdubai. com) offers an 18-hole, par 72 signature desert-style grass course designed by Ian Baker-Finch in association with Nicklaus Design. Practise facilities include a 9-hole par 3 course, floodlit driving range and putting green.
BEACHES AND POOL ACTION It may be heating up for summer but, if you want to lay by the water, the temperature's still A-OK for most during the early morning and towards the end of the day. The emirate's newest stretch of beach, La Mer (meraas. ae) in Jumeira 1, features more than 130 shops, cafés and restaurants surrounded by 2.5 kilometres of sandy beach. Check out the kids' playground by the seashore, bounce around at the Hawa Hawa air-filled trampoline zone or grab a bite at one of the numerous licensed eateries. If you like your beach time with a side of action, head to Kite Beach (kitebeach.ae) at the Umm Suqeim end of Jumeirah Beach Road. A firm favourite among the kite-surfing fraternity (lessons available if you
dare) its community vibe is centred around a clutch of on-trend cafés and family-friendly facilities, such as XDubai Skatepark, XPark Jr. adventure park, and a 14km-long jogging track. For a dash of glamour, The Beach at JBR (+971 800 637 227, thebeach.ae) is sure to appeal, with its meandering walkway bisecting a profusion of cafés, restaurants and shops and a stunning stretch of sand. Rent an umbrella, listen to the waves lapping at the shore and check out the view of the underconstruction Ain Dubai Ferris wheel. Nearby, Azure Beach at Rixos Premium Dubai (+ 971 52 777 9472, azure-beach.com) has a Mediterranean vibe, with comfy poolside cabanas and giant inflatables to mess around on. More fun can be had at Barasti pool and beach at Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina (+971 4 318 1313, barastibeach.com), which has a dedicated watersports centre offering everything from windsurfing to sailing. On Palm Jumeirah, RIVA Beach Club (+971 4 430 9466, riva-beach.com) is popular among the social set. Hire a day bed, go for a stroll along the
HIT THE TRACK
stretch of private white sand and take a dip in the temperature-controlled swimming pool.
Supercars are a common sight in Dubai – even the THE GREAT OUTDOORS police force has a Bugatti While you may not want to spend Veyron and a Lamborghini too much time outdoors when the Aventador, among other cars, sun's overhead, there are still plenty in its fleet – and motoring of ways to get back to nature while fans will be pleased to learn in Dubai. Escape the city and head that you can do more than to Al Maha, A Luxury Collection snap a selfie next to these Desert Resort & Spa (+971 4 832 9900, gleaming vehicles. At Dubai al-maha.com) located in Dubai Autodrome (+971 4 367 8700, Desert Conservation Reserve, which dubaiautodrome.com) you offers day packages. The Equestrian can slip behind the wheel Package (Dhs1,350 per person) includes of a single-seater F3 race two 60-minute horse riding sessions, car, McLaren, Audi TT or R8 all-day access to the main swimming supercar. Track experiences pool and spa facilities, and lunch. combine classroom and Tucked away in Al Barsha South is behind the wheel training Dubai Butterfly Garden (+971 4 422 from a professional racing 8902, dubaibutterflygarden.com), driver, before you’re let loose to do a few laps on your own. The complex is also home to Dubai Kartdrome (pictured), which has a 500-metre indoor track suitable for kids aged seven and above, which can handle 10 karters at one time. The1.2-kilometre-long outdoor circuit is designed for more confident drivers who can definitely test their mettle on its challenging 17 corners, tunnel and bridge and take on fierce competition.
which is home to thousands of species of butterfly housed in temperaturecontrolled domes. Stroll through their habitat as the kamikaze insects flit and flutter around you, and be sure to check out the museum. Having recently welcomed a fresh new wave of attractions, The Yard (meraas.ae) in the up-and-coming Al Khawaneej area, is the place to go for a picnic by the lake. Grab some tasty bites from the food trucks at Last Exit D89, or the organic farmer’s market, and stroll along the shaded walking trails until you find your ideal spot in the landscaped gardens by the water. Throw a coin in the wishing well, check out the street art and let the little ones pet the farm animals. If you're feeling romantic, you can write a message on a padlock and fix it to the railings of Promise Bridge.
Laguna Waterpark Cool down and ride the waves at Dubai's latest waterpark, which launched in May. Located at La Mer, Laguna Waterpark has four different zones – Splash, Slide, Surf and Relax – with all manner of hair-raising rides to hurl yourself down. The central Water Slide Tower 66
is at the heart of the action, with five rides plus a family zone, a lazy river, and a pool lounge with a swim-up juice bar and cabanas for catching your breath. The star attraction is its WaveOz 180 Florider – the first of its kind in the GCC and one of only three in the world – where you can tackle the
competition wave on a body board or stand-up board (it has a multi-rider option so you can challenge friends). Alternatively, you can feel the force on the Manta family raft ride, which has a thrilling six-metre sheer drop. Dhs159 for visitors. Open daily from 10am to 8pm. lagunawaterpark.com
ASK A LOCAL Jo England, founder, Tribe Dubai When I’m not working in our Al Quoz studio, I like to visit XVA Art Hotel. It's such a beautiful, calming and inspiring space by Dubai Creek. El Chiringuito on Palm Jumeirah (we helped create its signature relaxed style) is great for sundowners.
Active types can swing through the trees, Tarzan style, at Aventura Nature Adventure Park (aventuraparks. com), in Mushrif Park’s ghaf tree forest. No walk in the park, it features a series of elevated obstacles of varying levels of difficulty. From the low-lying Rangers circuit to the highaltitude zip-line, there’s something for adventurers of all abilities. During the summer, it operates extended hours (from 10am to 7:30pm on weekdays and from 9am to 10pm from Thurs to Sun) so you can beat the heat by navigating the illuminated park under the starry night sky. Open green spaces dot the city and Zabeel Park (+971 4 398 6888) is a local community favourite. Set around a picturesque lake, amenities include boat rides (from Dhs40 for two people), picnic areas, park tour train rides and edutainment options such as the Space Maze and Alternative
Energy Zone. Rent a bicycle and explore at your own pace but be sure to check out the park's latest attraction, The Dubai Frame (+971 800 900; dubaiframe.com), which houses a 150-metre-high observation deck offering stunning views of the city. It's a bit of a cheat, but you'll feel like you've stepped into a tropical jungle at The Green Planet (advance bookings +971 4 303 4992, arabianadventures.com). Located at City Walk, this awesome attraction is flooded with natural light so you'll barely notice you're indoors. The five-level glass bio-dome recreates the ecosystem of a tropical forest, with over 3,000 plants and animals and the world’s largest indoor manmade tree. As you descend from the top of the dome via a winding path, you’ll encounter exotic animals along the way, such as toucans, macaws, porcupines and even a sloth. Aventura Nature Adventure Park
Evenings out are packed full of fun, with Thursday and Friday nights usually the busiest. The legal age to drink alcohol in Dubai – and enter a nightclub – is 21, so if you're blessed with youthful looks, be sure to bring your ID. We’ve included taxi references to help you find your way During Ramadan, some bars and nightclubs may be closed. Those that remain open may dial down the noise and entertainment 68
THE NIGHTLIFE Treehouse
WHEN THE SUN SETS When the sun dips below the horizon, unwind at these venues with a view and see the city illuminated by twinkling lights and glowing lanterns. For spectacular views of Madinat Jumeirah, head to Bahri Bar (taxi: Jumeirah Mina A'Salam, +971 4 432 3232), where you can reflect on the day while sipping drinks to a smooth jazz soundtrack. Open from 4pm to 2am, Saturday to Wednesday and 4pm to 3am Thursday to Friday. Further along the waterway is folly by Nick & Scott (taxi: Souk Madinat Jumeirah, +971 4 430 8535). The venue boasts two outdoor terrace bars that are increasingly popular among the cityâ€™s social set. The bar is open daily from noon until late. Another prime spot is Observatory Bar & Grill (taxi: Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites, +971 4 319 4000). Located on the 52nd floor of the hotel, it offers awesome views of Dubai
Marina and Palm Jumeirah. The bar is open daily from noon to 1am. Lastly, Treehouse (taxi: Taj Dubai, +971 4 438 3100), is known for its views of the city skyline towards Burj Khalifa. Make yourself comfortable as, after dark, this trendy open-air lounge comes to life with 'light deep' house music played by resident DJ Taylor. Open daily from 6pm to 2am and on weekends from 6pm to 3am.
THE BEAUTIFUL GAME Football fans looking to catch the FIFA World Cup action won't be disappointed, as there are lots of venues showing the games. The air-conditioned Barasti SuperDome (taxi: Mina Seyahi Complex, barastibeach.com), is launching with a huge opening party on 14 June as host Russia takes on Saudi Arabia. The dome can fit up to 8,000 fans per match and will have special effects, live DJs, giant screens and a buzzing atmosphere. Open daily throughout the tournament.
The Tap House
Alternatively, The Tap House (taxi: Club Vista Mare, thetaphouse. ae) is keeping fans motivated with free face painting, live sports commentary and quiz rounds with spot prizes on match days from lunchtime until late, plus pairing deals on drinks inspired by the countries playing that day. Open from 14 June until the final on 15 July, join in the fun from noon to 1am Saturday to Wednesday and noon to 2am on Thursday and Friday.
PLACES THAT PACK A PUNCH Be transported to the backstreet speakeasies of Asia at The Unlucky Cat (taxi: Taj Dubai, +971 50 650 4988), a quirky bar complete with neon sign of a maneki-neko (a lucky, 'waving' cat). There's something going on each night of the week, but on Sundays you can swap a postcard or currency from a recent trip for a drink on the house. Open daily from 6pm until late.
For dinner and a show in an intimate setting, Maison Rouge (taxi: Conrad Dubai, +971 4 352 8169) will bowl you over with cabaret, jazz and modern ballet performances – all in the space of a few hours. The live performances by a team of international artists (including a pianist, saxophonist and electric violinist) are teamed with creative cuisine, and aim to tell the story of the relationship between gastronomy and art. The dishes are as dramatic as you'd expect – think drinks served in roses and smoking ice displays. Performances begin at 9pm daily and go on well into the night. We’re not sure why it hasn’t been done before, but Stereo Arcade (taxi: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Dubai – Jumeirah Beach, +971 52 618 2424) combines an arcade housing over 50,000 games with a slushy machine, hotdog stand and more. The stereo element sees the hi-tech club play
'80s and '90s hits every weekend. Open daily from 6pm to 3am. If you like your entertainment a little more outlandish, head to Cirque le Soir (taxi: Fairmont Dubai, +971 50 995 5400). The emirate's offshoot of the London A-list haunt is open Monday to Friday from 10.30pm to 3am, featuring performances from a beautifully bizarre cast of contortionists, stiltwalkers and fire-eaters, alongside some of the city's best DJs. Tucked away on the ground floor of Conrad Dubai is Little Black Door (+971 55 623 1620). You’ll have no problem spotting it as the ‘little black door’ is actually huge. Simply knock to enter and wait for it to swing open. Once inside, you’ll find a classy, clubstyle lounge complete with crystal chandeliers hanging from leatherclad ceilings, opulent furnishings and distressed-brick walls. The resident DJs play neo-soul and classic jazz. Open daily from 7.30pm to 3am.
THE NIGHTLIFE FIVE OF THE BEST
ROOFTOP TERRACES Drink in the views at these elevated nightspots, before the peak summer heat swoops in
2. For an Arabian style experience, visit The Rooftop & Sports Lounge atop the Arabian Court at One&Only Royal Mirage (+971 4 399 9999). Under a canopy of stars, sink into the majlis style cushioned seating around the central dome and sip cocktails until late. Open daily from 5pm to 2am, with live music on selected evenings.
1. For cocktails shaken and stirred, head to the Polynesian-inspired LANI Rooftop Lounge (taxi: Lapita, Dubai Parks and Resorts, Autograph Collection Hotels, +971 4 810 9421), which has a fun yet chilled out vibe. Unwind to the downtempo beats while taking in the panoramic views of the theme parks.
3. Position yourself around the infinity pool at this popular chill-out lounge in Dubai Marina, which offers halfprice selected house and signature drinks every day from 6pm to 8pm. Shades (taxi: Address Dubai Marina, +971 4 436 7777) is open daily from 9am to 1am.
5. Pan-Asian restaurant Karma Kafé (taxi: 4. Situated on the 16th floor of the fashion-inspired FIVE Palm Jumeirah Dubai, The Penthouse (taxi: FIVE Palm Jumeirah, +971 4 455 9999), spotlights some of the best DJs and dance acts around at its al fresco club night every Thursday. The venue boasts one of the most Instagrammable views in Dubai. Open daily, call for timings.
Souk Al Bahar, +971 4 423 0909) has a stunning terrace area directly overlooking Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Fountain. The ‘Sake in the City’ ladies’ night on Tuesdays offers three free drinks and 50 percent off the food menu.
Speaking of jazz, the Indian inspired Masti - Cocktails and Cuisine (taxi: La Mer, +971 4 344 4384) has a new G & Jazz night every Monday from 8.30pm to 11pm when guests can enjoy three complimentary drinks, with talented singers taking to the mic.
CASUAL HANGOUTS If you're tickled by novelty cocktail cups, Trader Vic’s JBR (taxi: Hilton Dubai Jumeirah, +971 4 318 2530), has you covered. The Tiki-themed venue, open 5pm to 3am daily, is the place to go for Mai Tais, Tiki Puka Pukas and JBR's bespoke Koana Puffer concoction. Grab a seat on the outdoor terrace for views of the Arabian Gulf towards Palm Jumeirah and try to time your visit during happy hour (5-8pm daily). With its large outdoor terrace Café Artois by Bridgewater Tavern (taxi: JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, +971 4 414 6755), is ideal for a chilled afternoon in the sun, with tasty barbecue food and a huge craft hop selection to enjoy. Open from 4pm Sunday to Thursday and from noon on Friday and Saturday. A long copper bar, dark wood floors and exposed stonework shipped all the way from Scotland lend Copper Dog (taxi: Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Dubai – Jumeirah Beach, +971 4 559 5355) a cosy country atmosphere just like the original Scottish Highlands pub. Choose from a broad menu of drams, craft hops and pub grub enjoyed to live music. It’s also a nice spot for a quick nightcap. Open from 5pm to 2am Sunday to Thursday and from 10am to 2am Friday and Saturday.
crowd seeking top DJ action, custom cocktails and chilled beach vibes. Open daily from 12.30pm to 3am. So photogenic you’ll feel like you’re starring in a magazine shoot, The Jetty Lounge (taxi: One&Only Royal Mirage, +971 4 399 9999) rocks white linen style with beautifully landscaped surroundings. Bag a cabana on the beach. Open daily from 2pm to 2am. Further along the coast, Key West Bar & Grill at Nikki Beach Resort & Spa (taxi: Pearl Jumeira, +971 4 376 6000) opens early every evening for aperitivo hour, with boutique beverages from the Caribbean and Latin America (5-11pm).
OH WHAT A NIGHT Ladies' nights are a 'thing' in the emirates and Dubai is dame crazy when it comes to free beverages for womankind. Just bear in mind that some ladies'
SEAFRONT SETTINGS Want to feel the sand between your toes? With the JBR skyline as its backdrop and views of Palm Jumeirah, Bliss Lounge (taxi: Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort, +971 4 315 3886) is a chichi little locale frequented by the ‘in’
nights may not be operating during Ramadan. To sip in a super stylish setting, newly-opened Bar Rumba (taxi: Asia de Cuba) offers free-flowing grape and bubbles and a free hot dog from the NYC style stand on Tuesdays from 7-11pm. If you fancy going back the next night, there's unlimited signature cocktails and tapas for Dhs100 also from 7-11pm. Also on Tuesdays, No Buts, Just Fine Cuts at STK JBR (taxi: Rixos Premium Dubai, +971 4 323 0061) has a party vibe, offering ladies 25 percent off food and three drinks on the house from 6pm to 1am. Over in DIFC, Dazzle at Dusty’s at Dusty’s Dubai (taxi: Dusty’s Dubai, Al Fattan Currency House, +971 4 354 5435) offers ladies four free drinks when ordering a dish (you'll get 50 percent off a main course) from 6pm.
THE NIGHTLIFE THREE CRACKING
Conquer your nerves and channel your inner music star by taking to the stage and impressing the crowd at these top karaoke venues…
1. Book in for dinner and an evening of fun at Maiden Shanghai restaurant (taxi: FIVE Palm Jumeirah, +971 4 455 9989). This stylish venue, inspired by 1930s Shanghai, has recently launched a multi-language karaoke room. Fully soundproofed, groups of up to 15 can sing along to their favourite songs. If your performance bombs, you can always walk it off on the outdoor terrace.
2. Imported from London, Lucky Voice Dubai (taxi: Grand Millennium Hotel, +971 4 429 9999) is a top spot for testing your rap skills, singing soft-rock anthems or belting out cheesy pop tunes to your heart’s content. Eleven private pods allow groups of six to 18 people to warble away without (much) fear of embarrassment, while the 15,000-song playlist means you’re guaranteed to find the perfect tune for you.
3. Get karaoke’d away at this fun and vibrant Asian inspired venue, Mr Miyagi's Dubai (taxi: Media One, +971 4 420 7489), which offers karaoke five nights a week (Tuesdays to Saturdays). We rate the Hello Kitty Night on Tuesdays from 5pm, which offers three courses and three free drinks for women for Dhs99. Simply pick your song and sing it out to the supportive crowd.
Some karaoke venues may take a break during Ramadan Those who want to hop between venues should head to The Square at City Walk, which hosts the Ultimate Ladies Night every Wednesday, with three venues – Toro + Ko, LIMA Dubai and Galvin Dubai – offering fab promotions, entertainment, guest DJs, and unlimited sparkling drinks. Alternatively, on Monday evenings, ladies can recline in leather seats and get comfy with pillows and blanket while watching the latest films at Novo Cinemas (taxi: Ibn Battuta Mall and Dubai Festival City, novocinemas.com). You'll get Dhs52.50 back on your Dhs150 cinema ticket to spend on food and drinks plus a free chocolate brownie and Häagen-Dazs ice cream dessert. For another different way to spend time with the girls, too cool for school
waterfront hangout Nikki Beach Dubai (taxi: Pearl Jumeira, +971 4 376 6000) has an entire day reserved for the girls with a Ladies Day deal that includes beach access, free-flowing beverages and yummy bites from the club's trinity of cuisines. Tuesdays from 11am to 8pm. From Dhs130 per person.
ONE FOR THE BOYS Invest in a bit of male bonding over the male equivalent of a gossipy girls’ night out at some of Dubai’s best venues. Tuesdays are reserved for ‘bromance’ at Grapeskin at City Walk (taxi: La Ville Hotel & Suites, +971 54 309 5948) with a dedicated Gents Night for bites and banter. Enjoy two glasses of grape or hops from 8-10pm plus a meaty charcuterie platter.
On Wednesdays from 8.30pm, guests can enjoy a signature cocktail on arrival followed by a protein-rich sharing menu at the gentlemen's evening at Seafire Steakhouse & Bar (taxi: Atlantis The Palm, Dubai, +971 4 426 2626). The top floor of all-American gastropub Cook Hall is the setting every Saturday from noon for the Man Cave experience (taxi: The Westin Dubai, Al Habtoor City, +971 4 435 5577). Pull your own craft brew, score with FIFA on the Playstation 4, shoot a game or pool and feast on comfort food and bottomless beverages for Dhs120 for three bottled drinks and two snacks.
BEACH CLUBS Along the Palm Jumeirah crescent you’ll find El Chiringuito Dubai (taxi:
Rixos The Palm Dubai, +971 4 277 9180). Reserve a Bali-inspired sun bed, sit back and sip your drink while snapping a selfie at this cool Ibizan beach club import. On Fridays, you can soak up the good vibes on the beach terrace by the water's edge, and join the musical Nomad ceremonies after the sun sets. Open from 10am to 5:30pm Sunday to Thursday, 10am to midnight Wednesday to Friday, and 10am to 8pm on Saturday. Closed on Monday. Check for summer timings. (Open Friday and Saturday only from 10am to sunset during Ramadan.) A beach club meets open-air party, Zero Gravity (taxi: Skydive Dubai, +971 4 399 0009) attracts big name acts like Paul Van Dyk and Mark Ronson. On Thursdays, the Stoli Social Club Evening Brunch, from 8-11pm, transforms the venue into a fairground of fun Base
where you can play video arcade games, ping pong, air hockey, and giant Jenga, among other classics. Dhs310 per player, with all food and drinks included. The venue is staying open throughout the summer.
JUMPING SUPERCLUBS Glow sticks at the ready. Dubai’s big, bigger, biggest mentality has made it to the dance floor with a slew of funky clubs and mega dance venues to keep you going all night long. For a slice of New York chic, head to supperclub 1OAK DXB (taxi: JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, +971 52 881 8888). Born from the namesake 'One Of A Kind', its sister venues in venues in New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles are a favourite celebrity haunt. Open from 11pm to 3am on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
Soho Garden (taxi: Meydan Racecourse Grandstand, +971 56 822 2559), captures the vibe of London’s Soho, with a pool area and four bars to lean on. Open daily from 7pm until late. For a wild time, head to Inner City Zoo nightclub in JBR (taxi: Rixos Premium Dubai, +971 58 867 5357). Sophisticated but edgy, the place has a real buzz about it with resident DJs Emma Love and Henry X taking to the decks Monday to Friday, bringing a blend of house and R&B to the venue. For old school jams, the ‘Disco Made Me Do It' bash on Fridays is solid fun, with free drinks for ladies from 11pm to 2am. Open from Monday to Friday from 11pm to 3am. You can dance your socks off at open-air mega venue Base (taxi: Dubai Design District, +971 55 313 4999). This homegrown house and hip hop
concept fits 2,000 dedicated clubbers on the dancefloor with a state-of-theart sound, lighting and pyrotechnics system. The venue recently hosted legendary decks man Erick Morillo.
LIVE MUSIC LEGENDS The city is awash with live musical talent from Aussie rockers and Filipina soul divas to Britpop artists. For a dose of singer/songwriter talent, head to Q’s Bar and Lounge (taxi: Palazzo Versace Dubai, +9714 556 8865), Quincy Jones’ first-ever bar and lounge, which welcomes an impressive roster of resident acts. Unwind and enjoy the beats in the living room styled space. Open from 7pm to 2am, Tuesday to Saturday. Ramp up the fun factor at Lock, Stock & Barrel, which has two venues in the city (taxi: Grand Millennium Dubai, +971 4 514 9195 and taxi: Rixos Premium Dubai, +971 4 520 0049) each spanning two floors and kitted out with pool tables and 'stool and
booth' seating fronting the main act’s central stage. The JBR venue is open from 4pm to 3am Monday to Friday and 2pm to 3am on Saturday and Sunday, while the Barsha Heights venue has slightly different opening hours on Fridays, from 1pm to 3am. With a global reputation for awesome live music, it's no surprise to find a Hard Rock Café in town (taxi: Dubai Festival City Mall, +971 4 232 8900). Check out wall-to-wall musical memorabilia, including a bolero jacket worn by the late Prince and Mick Fleetwood’s Tama drums, before rocking out to live and loud sounds. Open from noon to 2am Monday to Sunday. Lastly ,Indian gastropub and social spot Bar Baar (taxi: Majestic Hotel & Tower, +971 4 501 2631), meaning ‘again and again’ in Hindi, hosts regular live music sessions with an in-house band and visiting musicians, for a cross-cultural after dark experience. Open daily from noon to 3am.
Dubai is home to a few spots that are famous for delivering an evening to talk about. Barasti (taxi: Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, +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 sand-betweenyour-toes dance floor and more serving stations than you can shake an empty glass at. The Irish Village (+971 4 282 4750, theirishvillage.com) in Al Garhoud is another much-loved gem. The haunt of many a local (friendly) expat, the traditional interior opens out onto a large garden dotted with picnic tables. It has a great line-up of events that take place year-round. There's also a second outpost now open at Riverland Dubai. For many residents,an evening out at Rock Bottom Café (taxi: Ramee Rose Hotel, +971 55 200 9333) is a rite of passage. Its Barsha Heights venue has a live band and nightly DJs spinning club music.
The Irish Village
IN THE FRAME
From its natural beauty to its modern marvels, Dubai is a dream destination for photography fans, with something new to snap at every turn. In each issue, we invite a keen photographer to share one of their favourite pictures
BIRD OF PREY
Powerful, fast and a symbol of Bedouin culture â€“ the falcon is the national bird of UAE. Here, falconry has been practised for centuries and continues to play a vital role in Arab desert life. The bond between bird and master is captured beautifully in this shot by Rishab Lamichhane. To find out more, visit the Falcon and Heritage Sports Center in Nad Al Sheba.
A reflection of true Ramadan hospitality. Experience this auspicious occasion at the world's tallest 5-star hotel with three delectable Iftar options starting from sunset to 8.30 pm. Al Fanous at Dubai Ballroom: Iftar buffet, AED 215 per person Kitchen6: Iftar buffet, AED 225 per person Rang Mahal by Atul Kochhar: 3-course Iftar set menu, AED 225 per person Childrenâ€™s policy applies. For bookings below 50 people, call +971.4.414.3000 or email email@example.com For Corporate Iftars above 50 guests, call +971.4.414.2000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Sheikh Zayed Road, Business Bay, PO Box 121000, Dubai, UAE | jwmarriottmarquisdubailife.com @ jwmarriottmarquisdubai | @jwdubaimarquis | @ jwmarriottmarquisdubai | #ramadanatmarquis