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we love


hotels / culture / shops / sights activities / restaurants

- 2017 -


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Lapita™ Hotel Lapita™ Hotel

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MOTIONGATE MOTIONGATE ™ Dubai ™ Dubai Play the hero with Play your the hero with your favourite Hollywood favourite characters Hollywood characters across 27 action-packed across 27 action-packed movie movie rides and attractions. rides and attractions.

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DubaiParksandResorts DubaiParksandResorts @dubaiparksresorts @dubaiparksresorts

DubaiParksandResorts DubaiParksandResorts @dxbparksresorts @dxbparksresorts

DESIGNED FOR THOSE WHO SET THE TREND Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai, a lifestyle destination now open on Pearl Jumeira. The resort introduces 132 keys comprising 117 rooms and suites, 15 villas with private pools as well as 63 private residences boasting top-line facilities. Relaxation and wellness are key elements of the resort where you can enjoy the choice of pools, sundecks or a more upbeat atmosphere at Tone Gym.

Reserve now and avail 10% discount on best available room rates and a complimentary Personal Training session.

For reservations or more information please contact

Pearl Jumeira, PO Box 8286 Dubai,United Arab Emirates T: +971 4 376 6000 F: +971 4 376 6333


5 welcome

welcome to Dubai the contents 06

the city

Everything you need to know, including tips for navigating the city and what’s on across the year


hotels Managing Director Victoria Thatcher Editorial Director John Thatcher Managing Editor Emma Laurence Editor Hayley Skirka Art Editor Kerri Bennett Group Commercial Director David Wade Sales Manager Rabih Turk Production Manager Muthu Kumar

Check in to the city’s best boutique boltholes, luxurious resorts or luminous skyscrapers



Credit card at the ready as you whizz around Dubai’s mega-malls, designer stores and traditional souks



From Michelin-starred creations to authentic local eats, food connoisseurs are spoiled for choice in this city’s gourmet tapestry



Quickly expanding and as diverse as it is intriguing, the cultural scene in Dubai has something for everyone



Get ready for fun days out with all the family – with water parks, theme parks, skydiving and even a rainforest all at the ready


Beautiful beaches, humongous shopping malls and luxury hotels galore, Dubai is a city of extravagance. But it’s also a dynamic and cosmopolitan place, an exhilarating melting pot of profound traditions and futuristic vision. With fascinating heritage attractions and an extraordinary variety of entertainment bursting at its seams, Dubai offers some irresistible experiences on a truly unprecedented scale. So what are you waiting for? From ancient desert rituals and Arabian hospitality to the trendiest pastimes and exciting discoveries, Dubai embraces it all.

AboUt this GUide

From soaring through Ghaff forests or sampling some of the world’s finest cuisine, to uncovering shopping treasures and jumping out of planes, the We Love Dubai writers ensure you’re up to speed with this ever-evolving city. Leaving you free to simply enjoy it all…

6 We Love Dubai

the city

The Basics You Need To Know

upcoming events

getting arounD

The Dubai Metro is ideal for getting around with trains running every 10 minutes from airport stations and plenty of stops connecting the major points of the city. Taxis are available both from the airport and to hail from the street, all are metered and drivers tend to speak good English. Car hire is also readily available but means contending with some questionable drivers on the city’s faster roads.

getting there

Dubai International Airport is the main aviation gateway at the moment and the busiest in the world, having surpassed London Heathrow for the title in 2016. Al Maktoum International Airport is quickly becoming another busy hub, with plans for a substantial increase of flights in and out of here between now and 2020. Book a Marhaba service ( for a worry-free welcome from the moment you touch down.

neeD to knoW:

Show respect for the culture by dressing modestly (bikinis are strictly for the beach or pool). The weekend in Dubai falls on Friday and Saturday. Enjoy the city but avoid over-the-top shows of public affection.

February 22-24

Dubai Jazz Festival

Back for its 15th year, this stalwart event is bringing three superstars to town in what’s set to be a threenight musical masterpiece. See Tom Jones, Mariah Carey and Enrique Iglesias take to the stage at Media City Amphitheatre.

19-4 March

Dubai Duty Free tennis championships

The best tennis players in the world gather in Dubai to contest a title that’s celebrating its 24th year. Watch defending champions Sara Errani and Stan Wawrinka try to stay on top at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium.

march 3

guns n’ roses

Get set for one of rock’s biggest ever reunion gigs as Axl Rose’s mob roll into town for one night only. Teaming up with original guitarist Slash and bassist Duff McKagan, the trio will set the Autism Rocks Arena ablaze with classic hits not to be missed.


art Dubai

This international art fair celebrates its 11th year with what is set to be a true feast for culture lovers. Featuring 92 galleries from 44 countries, enjoy the work of new artists, emerging trends and iconic masterpieces coupled with insightful forums with guest speakers.


Dubai World cup

An extravaganza of horse racing, fashion and fullon entertainment await in this season finale of the Dubai World Cup Carnival. Heels at the ready and don your fanciest hat for the richest day in the racing calendar and one that sees the world’s highestprofile owners, trainers, horses and jockeys descend upon the city.

apriL 6-8

comic con

Get your geek on at the Middle East’s biggest popculture event taking place at Dubai World Trade Centre. Sci-fi, cosplay, anime, manga and superhero fans can watch exclusive previews, purchase limitededition merchandise and rub shoulders with celebrities and artists.


indiana Jones @ Dubai opera

Relive the magic with John Williams’ epic score performed live to picture by a full symphony orchestra at the always gorgeous Dubai Opera.

may 6

Justin bieber

Get yourself to the Autism Rocks Arena to catch the Biebs performing all his best-known hits. Sing along to Never Say Never, move around to What Do You Mean and don’t be Sorry that you missed it.



One of the most important months in Dubai, the Holy Month (expected to begin on the 27th, although dates are dependent on the moon) is a time when the otherwise frantic pace of the city takes a reflective deep breath. Be sure to try an iftar.

June 26

eid al Fitr

Signifying the end of Ramadan, this is one of the most important celebrations in the year. Expect feasts, live entertainment, fireworks and lots of funfilled events up and down the city. The date changes depending on the phases of the moon but it’s predicted to fall on 26 June.

JuLy 1

summer surprises

As the weather heats up, this month-long festival offers a summer of fun for all the family – keep an eye out for the colourful Modhesh characters dotted around the city and enjoy exciting competitions, cool events and celebrity spotting.

7 all you need to know

Guns N’ Roses









The second of these Holy celebrations, this one marks the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Hajj and is the perfect time for families and friends to come together to celebrate. As well as lots of retail promotions, look out for Eid fireworks.

It’s time to celebrate everything about the UAE with National Day celebrations taking place across the city. With huge parades, flags, fireworks and lots more, visitors can enjoy celebrating all things heritage and history.

One of the biggest and best weekends in the UAE, head to The Sevens Stadium on the Dubai-Al Ain Road for thrilling rugby action, great crowds and a wonderful party atmosphere. Fancy dress is optional.

Get your flat shoes on and get ready to whiz around the malls as you grab a bargain at this annual retail extravaganza taking place across the city, where there’s prizes to be won, fireworks to see and lots of live entertainment to boot.

eid al-adha

national Day

emirates airlines Dubai rugby sevens

Dubai shopping Festival

8 We Love Dubai Promotion


GouRmet DeLiGhts For a world of dining options in one stylish locale, Anantara The Palm Dubai is a great pick


Get a taste of down under at this upmarket eatery with gorgeous sea views to boot. The menu features international dishes as well as a whole selection of Australian options – try the antipasto platter for two for a good introductory plate that includes kangaroo, Tasmanian salmon, yabby and seared emu. Fantastic service and a laid-back atmosphere ensure you’ll leave happy.

Revo cafe

Fresh ingredients, healthy options and mouthwatering desserts are on the menu at Revo Café. Whether you want to have breakfast, lunch or just a quick coffee, you’ll find something to satisfy your taste buds at this urban spot – the pulled-beef sandwiches are particularly popular. There’s also a daily roast and a set breakfast menu, and a pretty outdoor terrace for dining alfresco.

the Beach house

If you want to make the most of Dubai’s beautiful weather and golden sands, then make your way here for beachfront dining in style. Settle down by the pristine private shoreline and get ready to feast on freshly baked pizzas, colourful tapas and insanely fresh seafood. Chilled-out music and the sound of ocean waves lapping on the beach guarantee the perfect ambience.

Revo Café


Prepare to be impressed as you enter this eclectic space where canopied rickshaw seating, colourful birdcage lanterns and bamboo screens create an intimate sense of occasion. The food is equally as striking, with a whole range of Pan-Asian eats spanning Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese. For reservations call +971 4 567 8304, email com or visit The Beach House


9 We Love Dubai


HOTELS we love From the boutique to the downright extravagant, when it comes to hotels Dubai is a city that has it all‌

10 We Love Dubai


irst things first: if we’re going to talk hotels then we need to start with the best of the city’s most recent openings. One of our personal favourites is Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai. Right out on the ocean, this all-white haven within the new Pearl Jumeirah Island development has views of the famous Arabian Gulf and the Dubai skyline. Glorious sunsets are guaranteed and accommodation is as sophisticated as the renowned Nikki Beach brand demands. Located by the exciting new Dubai Canal district, The St. Regis Dubai was the first of a trio of hotels to open its gilded doors in the marvellous Al

Habtoor City development, revealing a stunning interior modelled on the beaux-arts architecture of the original St. Regis in New York – the grand staircase as you walk in is particularly striking. Like other St. Regis hotels, you’ll find the service here impeccable, the restaurants a cut above, and the suites spectacular. The W Dubai Al Habtoor City and The Westin Dubai, Al Habtoor City complete the trio. The former is the first W hotel in Dubai and offers funky interiors, a fun ambience and unique touches like the ultra-modern 30th-floor checkin, and party hot spot the Wet Deck.

The second Westin in town is a bit less funk and a bit more refined. The largest of the brand’s properties in the Middle East, Europe and Africa, expect plenty of marble, elegance and refinement as well as fantastic dining spots like Cook Hall and Il Capo. Jumeirah Al Naseem is the final chapter in Jumeirah’s sprawling Madinat complex. Laid-back luxury at its finest, the décor is inspired by Dubai’s pearl-diving history and boasts a gorgeous beach-chic feel. Dining here is equally captivating, with the Ferragamo family’s Il Borro Tuscan Bistro Dubai, New York player Black

11 We Love: Hotels Tap, and Katsuya, designed by Philippe Starck. You’ll be spoiled for choice. Not new hotels as such, but a new name to grace the city’s hotel scene is Roda Hotels & Resorts. It’s taken over management of two stalwart properties: Roda Al Murooj and Roda Al Bustan. Offering a unique resortstyle layout directly opposite The Dubai Mall, the former is perfectly placed for discovering all Dubai has to offer. If you only have a short trip planned and want to remain near the airport, the latter hotel, characterised by Arabian influences and luxury interiors, is a great choice with some brilliant restaurants to enjoy. In a location that no other hotel can match is Lapita, a Marriott Autograph Collection hotel, which is in a unique spot at the heart of Dubai Parks and Resorts. Tailored to guests of all ages – and featuring a lazy river in its grounds – accommodation comes in the form of over 500 abodes, including 60 suites and three private villas. A distinctly memorable stay is assured. Fom the new to the iconic, Dubai’s skyline is pricked with architectural wonders. One that really stands out for reasons more than just that it’s the world’s tallest hotel, is the awesome JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai. Spanning two identical towers in the

Opening page: Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah Previous page, clockwise from top left: The Westin Dubai, Al Habtoor City; Jumeirah Al Naseem; Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai This page, from top: JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai; Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort

12 We Love Dubai

Business Bay district of the city, it also boasts a quite superb line-up of restaurants, bars and spectacular suites that really make the most of their cloud-skimming vantage point. A genuine must-stay. The hotel that helped put the city on the map, the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab, is as opulent as it is iconic, while its newly opened Burj Al Arab Terrace brings it bang up to date. Just a stone’s throw away, the waveshaped Jumeirah Beach Hotel is another famous build that helped set the scene. It’s perfect for an actionpacked holiday with the kids, thanks to the excellent Sinbad Kids’ Club and free access for guests to the adjacent

Wild Wadi Waterpark. Jamie’s Italian is great for family dining and parents can escape in the evening to 360°, one of the city’s most renowned nightspots. Heading to Downtown Dubai, located in the tallest building on Earth is the stylish Armani Hotel Dubai, one of only two Armani hotels in the world. As you’d expect from a hotel designed by Giorgio Armani, everything here – from rooms through to restaurants – is impeccably stylish. You’ll also love having front-row seats for The Dubai Fountain, which dances daily. Raffles Dubai, with its pyramid structure, is another much-loved landmark. That distinctive façade gives way to some of the most

“As you’d expect from a hotel designed by Giorgio Armani, everything here is impeccably stylish”

A New Generation Of Steakhouse EXCEPTIONAL DINNER MENU AND BREATHTAKING VIEWS JW Marriott Marquis Dubai | Sheikh Zayed Road, Business Bay | T +971 4 414 3000 | JW Marriott Marquis Dubai I

@JWDubaiMarquis I


14 We Love Dubai

15 We Love: Hotels

spacious rooms and suites in the city, each with a private balcony, while the ultra-exclusive Dubai Floor takes up the entire 14th floor, features six palatial rooms, and comes with your own butler, chef and chauffeur. Of course, one of Dubai’s bestknown man-made marvels is Palm Jumeirah. It’s home to multiple grand hotels, including Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort, best known for being the only hotel in the city boasting over-water villas – they make for a truly tranquil setting at odds with the bustling city beyond, which forms a brilliant backdrop. Fairmont The Palm is a place the whole family will enjoy. For children there’s the Falcon Kids’ Club, and for parents there’s the award-winning Willow Stream Spa, a pristine beach, and some great bars and restaurants.

We’d heartily recommend booking a room that permits entry to the Fairmont Gold Lounge, and all the complimentary luxuries it bestows you. Packing real clout in the decadence stakes, the design of Jumeirah Zabeel Saray takes inspiration from the royal residences of the Ottoman era. It’s a showcase of grandiose gold pillars, jewelled chandeliers and hand-painted frescoes, forming the most opulent of backdrops to your stay. Rooms, meanwhile, come with huge Turkish baths and silk-draped beds. Set on the Palm’s same western crescent, you’ll find the formidable façade of the Kempinski Hotel & Residences Palm Jumeirah, whose lavish lobby is very much a sign of the luxuries that await you. Choose between a suite, penthouse and villa, and you’ll be immersed in plush

Previous page, clockwise from top: Raffles Dubai; Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah; Kempinski Hotel & Residences Palm Jumeirah; Jumeirah Zabeel Saray Opposite: One&Only Royal Mirage This page, above and left: W Hotel Dubai Al Habtoor City


Promotion What To Do

DXB City Expert

WELCOME TO A DIFFERENT PLACE Hyatt Place Dubai/Al Rigga: in the heart of Dubai’s historic district Just minutes away from Dubai International Airport and the key business districts of Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai Media City and Dubai Airport Free Zone, Hyatt Place Dubai/Al Rigga also offers easy access to many of the city’s best heritage and modern-day tourist attractions, as well as world-class luxury shopping at Deira City Centre and The Dubai Mall. Renowned for its culturally diverse characteristics, the district features a colourful mixture of traditional markets to explore. An evening stroll through

the bustling shops can be paired with a visit to the adjacent spice souk, where stores line the narrow lanes selling a variety of fragrances, spices, textiles, incense, rugs and artefacts. Al Mamzar Beach Park offers four beautiful beaches, while the seawater Dubai Creek is alive with dhows that criss-cross the water, allowing those shoreside an opportunity to catch a water taxi dhow, or sign up for a romantic sunset dhow cruise. All guest enjoy free breakfast while staying in any of our 210 guest rooms

Hyatt Place Dubai/Al Rigga features a variety of services and amenities like the Gallery Café, which serves a sumptuous lunch and dinner. Other offerings include the StayFit Gym, an outdoor pool, and public computers with internet access (plus remote printing, in the Gallery), while there is free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel. Essential services are blended for a balance of lifestyle, work and play; it's a property that provides the personal space for you to indulge in whatever it is you love to do. Here, you can truly be in touch with the soul of Dubai.

HYATT PLACE DUBAI/AL RIGGA PO Box 33178 • Dubai • United Arab Emirates • T +971 4 608 1234

17 We Love: Hotels

Above: Armani Hotel Dubai

Italian décor. Each comes with either a sizeable balcony or terrace, making it a breeze to drink in views of the sun-kissed Arabian Sea. On the other side of the crescent is the Waldorf Astoria, Dubai Palm Jumeirah, which, in much-expected Waldorf fashion, is stunningly graceful and full of legend. With a huge private beach, palatial public spaces, a luxurious spa, and elegantly designed guest rooms and suites, this tranquil island resort also features superb dining at Social by Heinz Beck, he of three Michelin stars. Just before you head out onto Palm Jumeirah, one of Dubai’s best hotels lies in wait in the shape of the One&Only Royal Mirage. Think

opulent Arabian palace and you’re on the right track. With stunning suites and rooms, gorgeous treelined gardens, pretty courtyards and shimmering pools, this is one of the city’s most romantic retreats. Moroccan restaurant Tagine is a must-dine, while the beachside Jetty Lounge never fails to impress. Nearby, Grosvenor House in the Marina is an iconic two-tower hotel where everything glitters. The rooms are at once luxurious and sophisticated, and boast amazing marina or city views – and some of the city’s best dining and nightlife can be found here in the form of Toro Toro, Rhodes W1 and Buddha Bar. You can’t come to Dubai and not

18 We Love Dubai

shop. But if that’s your sole purpose for visiting, make sure you stay at Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates. Elegant, luxurious and housing the uniquely brilliant Ski Chalets among its accommodation offerings – one side of the chalet looks out to the city, the other to the snowcovered slopes of Ski Dubai – this is a hotel rubbing shoulders with the best. A handful of fine restaurants (Salero Tapas & Bodega in particular) and the fact that staff members never fail to wear a smile makes sure of it. Sheikh Zayed Road remains the main artery running through the city, and is packed with gorgeous hotel picks. The Sheraton Grand Hotel, a modern, stylish retreat with a brilliant rooftop pool and bar area, offers fantastic skyscraper-lined views. Drink them in from many of the hotel’s faultless rooms – book a Club Room and you’ll also get access to a private lounge to enjoy complimentary food and drink throughout the day. Home to the world’s tallest tower,

These pages, clockwise from above: Vida Downtown Dubai; Park Hyatt Dubai; Roda Al Bustan; Avani Deira Dubai Hotel; Roda Al Murooj

19 We Love: Hotels

largest mall and biggest fountain, Downtown is the showpiece centre of the city. Two boutique hotels – a rarity in Dubai – steal the show here. First up is the funky Vida Downtown Dubai. Modernity rules inside with technological quirks in each of the sharply attired rooms and a couple of standout restaurants to boot. Flanked by cabanas, the hotel’s flame-lit pool area is enchanting at night. The same can be said of The Courtyard at Manzil Downtown Dubai, a wonderful alfresco space that’s alive with chatter at night. The pick of the modern Arabic-designed rooms here is the Burj View Suite, which affords guests just what its name suggests. It’s the perfect backdrop for a holiday selfie. On the other side of town, down by the historic Creek – Dubai’s true heart, where the seed from which the city has grown was planted – is the beautifully tranquil Park Hyatt Dubai. All rooms here offer instantly calming views across Dubai Creek from their balconies and terraces, but what makes this a true standout hotel is its Spa Rooms. The first of their kind in the whole of the Middle East, all eight of these glorious rooms afford guests the freedom to enjoy a full-on spa experience without having to set foot beyond their door. You’ll eventually want to venture out, however, if only to sample the fantastic food at the recently renovated Traiteur. Staying on this historic side of town, the JW Marriott Dubai is a polished glass abode in bustling Deira. With a whole host of great restaurants (The JW Steakhouse in particular) super-

friendly staff and the perfect location for exploring the old town, it’s a faultless spot. Nearby, the Avani Deira Dubai Hotel is a stylish abode that fuses a touch of Arabian tradition with a smattering of modernity. Rooms are contemporary and colourful, and there are great dining options plus plenty else to keep kids happy. Also in the heart of Deira is Hyatt Place Dubai. With contemporary décor and stylish furnishings, a state-of-the-art media system and a comfortable cosy corner sofasleeper – ideal for a disco nap before you head out on the town – it’s the perfect place to relax, even better if you do so by the pool. The oldest five-star hotel in Dubai deserves a visit, so make a beeline for the Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek. This is where it all started and

“Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates houses the uniquely brilliant Ski Chalets’

21 We Love: Hotels

Above: Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa

you can soak in bustling creek views in pure comfort. With a huge offering of dining options, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Newly opened Aseelah is the city’s much-needed modern Emirati restaurant while The Fish Market and Minato are also worth a visit. For a family-focused stay, Al Ghurair Rayhaan by Rotana is a great choice. Rooms are relaxing and the Yasmine Lobby Lounge, Liwan and Shayan restaurants serve up great food with kid-friendly choices. Zen the spa is a huge wellness club where you can garner some well-deserved relaxation, and the Al Ghurair Centre is attached – a mall that’s great for shopping and family time at the movies. And lastly, but actually near the top of our must-stay list, is Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa. We’ve kept this place for last as it offers something entirely different to all the city-based hotels – chiefly, a stay amid rolling

“As night falls, enjoy a dining in the desert experience under a twinkling canopy of stars’’ sand dunes in the heart of Dubai’s Desert Conservation Area. The resort itself is a low-rise oasis set back into the desert, and it’s a prime place to relax as you drink in the tranquillity of your surrounds. Bliss. Once suitably chilled, enjoy spotting wildlife such as oryxes and gazelles, or try your hand at some dune-based adventures. As night falls, enjoy a dining in the desert experience under a twinkling canopy of stars – with all this, who needs the big city?

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shopping we love Dubai has it all within its sleek malls, trendy boutiques and treasure-stuffed Arabian souks

25 We Love: shopping


nown as one of the world’s best shopping destinations, there’s something for everyone in Dubai’s retail offerings. Kick-start your shopping spree with a visit to The Dubai Mall, a place that really does have it all. Even if you aren’t someone that loves to shop, it’s a sight worth seeing – not only are there over 1,200 stores, cafés and boutiques, it’s also home to a giant King Croc and life-size dinosaur skeleton! If you’re seeking a taste of New York, head to the region’s first Bloomingdale’s for designer clothing, stunning jewellery and – when you’re flagging – delicious Magnolia cupcakes. For a slice of Paris, Galeries Lafayette brings Gallic cool to Downtown Dubai. Fanciful French brands fill Lafayette’s storefronts and the strong Parisian vibes resonate right through the store. Head outside for a break from shopping and wonder at The Dubai Fountain, performing right in front of the Mall. At the other end of Sheikh Zayed Road is Mall of the Emirates, a definite must-visit. Home to Dubai’s only indoor ski slope, the first Apple

“Kick-start your spree at The Dubai Mall, a place that really does have it all” store in the Middle East and the region’s sole Harvey Nichols – a luxurious department store from the UK – it’s a shopping haven. Fashionforward shoppers should head here for their fix of Fendi, Christian Dior and myriad other high-end designers. If high-street shopping is more your forte, there’s plenty on offer with over 500 stores including the likes of Reiss, Topshop and Zara, as well as Modell’s for any sportswear you may need. There’s also a huge Vox Cinema, boasting 24 screens and the ThEATre experience by awardwinning British chef Gary Rhodes.

For high-level luxury, BurJuman packs in the highest concentration of couture stores in the city. Chanel, Valentino and Jimmy Choo, among others, all have boutiques here and Saks Fifth Avenue is heaven-sent for fashion worshippers keen on the latest looks from the USA. Dubai Festival City Mall is a good port of call for a variety of shopping needs coupled with an endless array of restaurants – Dubai’s only Hard Rock Café and, hailing from New York, Serendipity 3, get our vote. Famed Arabian explorer Ibn Battuta is celebrated at Ibn Battuta Mall. Each ‘court’ in the mall is inspired by his travels to a different land, so take a step back in time and wander around the likes of China, Persia, India and Egypt. The shopping, however, is very much up to date: expect high-street brands like Topshop, Debenhams

26 We Love Dubai

and H&M in this quirky emporium. Dubai Marina Mall, meanwhile, is a great place to sample the best of the big malls in one manageable location. Find fashion staples like Aldo, New Look and Reiss complemented by a whole host of waterside restaurants and great cafés. For boutiques and vintage shops aplenty, head to Jumeirah Beach Road, one of the coolest places to shop. For pre-loved designer luxury, check out Garderobe near the Offshore Sailing Club, while West LA Boutique inside Sunset Mall has a great US West Coast vibe. Cruise a little further down the strip and you’ll find Mercato Mall, a unique retail destination designed to look like a Mediterranean Renaissance town. Also check out The Mall, just opposite Burj Al Arab, where you can customise chocolate art, check the kids into a unique edutainment zone and check out the vintage picture wall. Dubai is also home to a number of local designers. Daughter of the ruler of Fujairah, Madiyah Al Sharqi is celebrated home and abroad for her statement pieces, feminine separates and dresses. Pick up a Sharqi staple from Symphony in The Dubai Mall or Saks Fifth Avenue in BurJuman Centre. House of Nomad is another local label elbowing its way inside the wardrobes of the UAE’s fash-pack. The celebrated newcomer, applauded for its use of Arabic calligraphy throughout its collections, can be found at West LA in Sunset Mall. Dubai fashion star Rami Al Ali, whose couture collections have appeared at Paris Fashion Week, can be found in Villa 697, Al Wasl Road, while superstar designer Ezra, best known for his extravagant gowns, creates his masterpieces from his atelier in Dubai’s Jumeirah 3, in Villa 746, Al Wasl Road. With Britney Spears and Michelle Rodriguez for clients, Ezra is a must-visit boutique for ladies looking for couture. Emirati sisters Reem and Hind Beljafla are the creative masterminds behind DAS, a Dubai-based label that has given a new lease of life to the

Opening page: City Walk Previous page, clockwise from top left: Harvey Nichols Dubai; Mall of The Emirates; City Walk This page, clockwise from right: City Walk; Galeries Lafeyette; The Outlet Village; West LA Boutique

27 We Love: shopping

traditional abaya by introducing new materials and cuts. The showroom is located in Jumeirah 3, Villa 16, Umm Al Sheif Road; or find their designs at Symphony in The Dubai Mall. Also at Sypmphony is French-Algerian designer Faiza Bouguessa, who takes western trends, such as the trench coat or wrap dress, and transforms them into abayas. If you want to take advantage of the weather, alfresco shopping awaits at BoxPark and City Walk. The former has a funky shipping-container concept and boasts boutique stores including Imaginarium – the prettiest toyshop in town – and iconic Norwegian brand OnePiece. City Walk is still expanding and once complete will span 10 million sq ft of outdoor shopping. Housing Cath Kidston and Karl Lagerfeld stores coupled with Michelin-star-pedigree

restaurants and open-air cafes, this shopping destination exudes European street vibes – you can even pop into The Green Planet while you’re there to check out the two adorably cute sloths living in the biodome. For a hidden gem in Dubai’s shopping fabric, check out The cARTel, a fashion showroom in the Al Quoz area. Packed with exclusive pieces from local and international designers, this place combines art with fashion and specialises in oneoff pieces. For bargain finds, head to Dubai Outlet Mall. Housing over 800 of the world’s top fashion brands at seriously discounted prices, there’s also a Chuck E Cheese to keep little ones entertained. Otherwise, recently opened The Village Outlet, Dubai’s first upscale outlet mall is a Tuscan-inspired hub boasting over 125 top brands.

“If you want to take advantage of the weather, alfresco shopping awaits at the brilliant BoxPark and City Walk. The former has a funky shippingcontainer concept”

28 We Love Dubai


restaurants we love Eating out is something of a national pastime so it’s no surprise that the options are endless. Sophisticated fine dining‚ contemporary casual cafés‚ family-friendly picks and Michelin-starred chefs: you’ll find it all here

29 We Love: restaurants


s a melting pot of cultures, Dubai’s restaurant scene is as eclectic as its inhabitants; it’s possible to enjoy high-quality examples of myriad cuisines‚ from Slavic to Spanish‚ Peruvian to Persian and everything inbetween. Let’s start with the world’s tallest hotel‚ the JW Marriott Marquis‚ which is home to a star-studded line-up of restaurants. Headed up by the Michelin-star-toting Atul Kochhar‚ Rang Mahal wins the award for the city’s best high-end Indian‚ hands down. Elsewhere inside the JW you can savour authentic Japanese eats at the brilliant Izakaya, where fantastic fare is accompanied by a laid-back ambience with a healthy side of cool. Casually refined American saloon Weslodge is another great pick – from fried chicken and waffles to traditional mac and cheese‚ it’s comfort food taken to the next level.

“Enjoy high-quality examples of myriad cuisines‚ from Slavic to Spanish‚ Peruvian to Perisan’’ The aforementioned Atul Kochhar is just one of a number of celebrity chefs who’ve attached their names (and reputations) to restaurants in Dubai. Boasting a fistful of Michelin stars – the maximum three were awarded to her restaurant‚ Enoteca Pinchiorri‚ in Florence – Annie Féolde arrived in Dubai last year‚ bringing with her traditional recipes‚ superior ingredients and an unrivalled mastery of cooking skills to The Artisan by Enoteca Pinchiorri, a superb restaurant at Burj Daman‚ DIFC. This is how Italian food should taste when done exceptionally well. Favourite British chef Gary Rhodes can be found at Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort and Spa, where Rhodestwenty10 promises European cuisine infused with flavours of the Middle East‚ all stunningly plated. Jamie Oliver also has a presence in the city – find his family-friendly Jamie’s Italian at Jumeirah Beach Hotel.

30 We Love Dubai The current top dog of British gastronomy Jason Atherton takes the helm at Marina Social in the InterContinental Dubai Marina‚ and you can delight your taste buds with a menu to suit your hunger level. From Munchies, a four-course meal, to Famished‚ an eight-course extravaganza with grape pairing‚ there’s something for every craving. Newly opened Jumeirah Al Naseem takes its endorsement from the world of fashion. Il Borro Tuscan Bistro Dubai will be supplied by produce from the Tuscan estate owned by the stylish Ferragamo family. The newly opened hotel also boasts New York favourite Black Tap and Rockfish‚ a seafood spot making waves.

Most high-end hotels in Dubai are endowed with a high-end steakhouse‚ and it’s something the city excels at. We’ve sung the praises of Prime 68 elsewhere‚ but to the list of best steaks in Dubai you can now add J&G Steakhouse at The St. Regis Dubai‚ where nothing is left to chance in the quest for perfection – so much so that exclusive cattle are raised only for this restaurant. You’ll also get to savour fabulously high-quality cuts of meat at romantic haunt Ruth’s Chris in The Address Dubai Marina. Here with the kids? The Beach at JBR – a brilliant pedestrianised area mere metres from the sand and sea – is the perfect place to head for a goodvalue family feed. Your best bet is to

31 We Love: restaurants

Opening page: Marina Social These pages, clockwise from top left: J&G’s Steakhouse; Ting Irie; The Atlantic; Mekong

simply stroll the length of it‚ stopping to peruse the menus at places that catch your eye – there are a plethora of cuisines to choose from. Were you to twist our arm, we’d heartily recommend Pots‚ Pans & Boards‚ helmed by Tom Aikens‚ the youngest UK chef to have scooped two (welldeserved) Michelin stars. Breathing in the sea air may well put you in the mood for the ocean’s finest catches. If so‚ crack open a crab at Aprons & Hammers. Crab and shrimp are served by the bucketful – along

with a dollop of family fun – with diners having to work for their meal by donning an apron and crushing crustaceans with hinged crackers and‚ somewhat unsurprisingly‚ hammers. On the nearby Palm Jumeirah, head to Mekong at Anantara The Palm Dubai for delicious Asian dining on uber-cute rickshaw-style seating. In addition to The Beach‚ Downtown Dubai is one of the few areas in the city where you can walk along the street or‚ in this case‚ wide boulevards lined by trees and lit by tiny‚ twinkling lights at night. You’ll pass an array of good-value independent restaurants as you saunter past the skyscrapers‚ from home-style cooking at Fümé Neighborhood Eatery in the Manzil Downtown Dubai, to colourful Jamaican eatery Ting Irie. Nearby Souk Al Bahar also offers a Melbourne export in the form of The Atlantic – the ultimate in seafood dining. But if you want to spend big when in Downtown‚ there are a couple of standout restaurants: La Serre‚ at Vida Downtown‚ offers great service and even better food. Meanwhile at Armani/Hashi‚ housed at the foot of Burj Khalifa in the Armani Hotel Dubai‚

32 We Love Dubai

“Breathing in the sea air may well put you in the mood for the ocean’s finest catches’’ you’d be hard pushed to find seafood as good as that served here anywhere you care to mention. The fact that many of Dubai’s restaurants are based within hotels means the atmosphere can be a little staid at some. If you find that’s the case‚ check out one of the following always-buzzing venues: Zuma‚ in DIFC‚ where the outstanding Japanese food is best ordered to share; La Petite Maison‚ also in DIFC‚ which uses produce from local UAE farms in a number of its sublime dishes; Burger & Lobster at Burj Daman Building‚ where your choice is whole lobster‚ lobster roll‚ or beef burger‚ each served with chips and salad‚ and each a winner; famed Lebanese import Em Sherif‚ which in addition to fine food also affords superb views of Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Fountain from its terrace; and Catch‚ at the Fairmont Dubai. Hailing from NYC‚ if you only have time to eat out once or twice while you’re here‚ make this contemporary American seafood restaurant a must-dine. Seafood prevails at The Maine Oyster Bar and Grill‚ in The Double Tree by Hilton at JBR. Expect a whole variety of oysters‚ delicious Maine lobster‚ shrimp‚ octopus‚ scallops and almost any other creatures of the sea you can think of‚ all of which can be expertly paired with grape from around the world. If you want dinner with a difference‚ there’s plenty to tempt you in Dubai. The Act‚ perched on the 42nd floor of the Shangri-La Hotel Dubai‚ lays on Peruvian delicacies – and decadent dishes like grilled lobster slathered in black-truffle butter – alongside

Clockwise from right: The Maine Oyster Bar & Grill; La Petite Maison; Prime 68; Zuma; and three of its dishes

33 We Love: restaurants

34 We Love Dubai

fantastical entertainment (think acrobats and singers). Another exciting choice is Bateaux Dubai‚ a wonderfully atmospheric boatcum-restaurant that gently floats down Dubai Creek‚ meandering past the city’s oldest landmarks‚ as you feast on fine-dining dishes. Staying with the Creek‚ Casa de Tapas at Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club has lovely views over the water and a large upside-down lemon tree sprouting from the ceiling. Another great tapas spot can be found at Kempinski Mall of the Emirates in the form of Salero, where you can feast on delicious eats among authentic Spanish décor. Dubai’s restaurants – particularly those based in five-star hotels – can

be expensive‚ but that doesn’t mean all the best food will eat into your wallet. Since Indians and Pakistanis account for the biggest expat community in Dubai‚ it comes as little surprise that the city is awash with an abundance of Indian and Pakistani cuisine – much of it very cheap and delicious. That’s particularly true of Saravanaa Bhavan in Karama‚ whose vegetable curries pack in brilliant flavour and cost an average Dhs20. Also in Karama is Calicut Paragon‚ which serves curried Keralan seafood specialities‚ while the Dubai institution that is Ravi Restaurant in Satwa lays up punchy Pakistani-style curries to a returning cast of Dubai residents. For many options in one‚ The Atrium at Al Habtoor City offers seven

different restaurants and bars set over five levels. Try Mexican at Zoco‚ enjoy Asian eats with a side of karaoke at Blind Dragon or go for South African meat-tastic dining at The City Grill. Of course‚ you can’t leave Dubai without trying some local food or doing brunch‚ the latter of which has become something of a Dubai institution. A great spot for Emirati food can be found in the city’s oldest five-star hotel‚ the Radisson Blu Dubai Deira Creek, where Aseelah offers authentic eats in a contemporary setting with plenty of local touches. And so to brunch. A Dubai brunch isn’t just a meal; it’s an experience‚ and something everyone needs to try at least once during their holiday. Jumeirah Zabeel Saray offers The

35 We Love: restaurants

“A Dubai brunch isn’t just a meal; it’s an experience’’

Opposite‚ top row: Bateaux Dubai Opposite‚ bottom row: W Dubai Brunch This page, from top: Salero; brunch at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray

Avenue of Indulgence Super Brunch‚ which sees the hotel’s culinary offerings come together to present a first-class international buffet including 18 live cooking stations‚ live entertainment and music by great DJs. Super-plush Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai hosts the Saint Tropez Brunch every Friday with a beach-getaway vibe and stunning views of the Arabian Gulf. The Zero Gravity Friday Brunch is another popular choice‚ with the 1pm kick-off time appealing to those seeking a liein followed by great food and excellent music. Meanwhile‚ at Habtoor City’s W Dubai the Feed Me Friday Brunch is a great shout for Mediterranean cuisine‚ live cooking and plenty of socialising across two levels.

36 We love Dubai


culture we love From the iconic Dubai Opera to art galleries galore and ancient heritage sites, there’s plenty to satisfy those seeking a culture fix

37 We love: culture


hether you’re looking for art, photography, music or dance, Dubai has you sorted, having emerged as a diverse hub of character, boosting its already sterling reputation as the Middle East’s exciting cultural epicentre. Starting at Alserkal Avenue, expect a whole host of international collaborators from diverse artistic disciplines. Electronic music resonates through the sprawling warehouse complex that is Al Quoz, its home, while the entire area overflows with contemporary design, from architecture to fashion. Alongside established contemporary

“Enjoy a lively mix of music and artistic performances in the Gate Village district” art galleries such as Ayyam Gallery, Lawrie Shabibi and Grey Noise, the area is also home to Gulf Photo Plus and the recent extension houses Elmarsa and the futuristic MB&F M.A.D. Gallery, the region’s first mechanical art gallery. Vibrant street artist El Seed also has a studio here that’s worth a visit. On the other side of town, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) boasts several art galleries, including XVA Gallery, Opera Gallery and The Empty Quarter; the latter is the city’s only space devoted exclusively to fine-art photography. DIFC additionally hosts Art Nights, a lively mix of music and artistic performances, in the Gate Village district. And don’t leave without visiting Dubai’s oldest art gallery, Majlis Gallery, which was established in 1989 in a windtower house in Bur Dubai. If you’re in town in the last quarter of the year, don’t miss Dubai Watch Week, where the world’s finest horologers descend upon the area to showcase all things time-related. Nearby, the country’s first opera house, Dubai

38 We love Dubai

39 We love: culture Previous page: Alserkal Avenue These pages, clockwise from left: Etihad Museum; Dubai Walls; Dubai Creek; the Opera District

Opera, opened in August 2016 – a beautifully designed 2,000-seat venue imitating a traditional dhow, the original sailing vessel of the Arabian Gulf. Having already played host to countless internationally renowned shows including Les Misérables and Cats , look out for West Side Story and BBC Proms Dubai taking place later this year. First Group Theatre at Madinat Jumeirah is another live performance space where both local and international acts perform. DUCTAC in Mall of the Emirates is Dubai’s other theatre of note. It stages local productions, comedy and acting workshops. Fans of stand-up should check out the Dubomedy

“Explore Dubai’s fascinating mix of Bedouin, Emirati, Islamic and Persian cultural traditions” website ( for details of performances by local comedians, and The Laughter Factory ( to chuckle along to international acts. To get a sense of the city’s origins as a bustling seaport, take a stroll along Dubai Creek and hop on an old-fashioned abra (stations line the waterway). Then explore Dubai’s fascinating mix of Bedouin, Islamic, Persian and Emirati culture and traditions at the Dubai Museum, housed in the 18th-century Al Fahidi Fort in Bur Dubai. The museum displays artefacts dating back to 3,000BC, interesting photographs of old Dubai and a multimedia presentation that charts the city’s evolution from tiny trading port to shiny mega city. The newly opened Etihad Museum on Jumeirah Road is a must-visit to discover more about the birth and development of the country in a stunning structure of elegance and spaciousness. Meanwhile, in the atmospheric old quarter of Al Fahidi, the excellent Sheikh Mohammed Centre of Cultural Understanding offers walking tours, cultural meals combined with a crash-course in local traditions (advance booking is required), and tours of the impressive Jumeirah Mosque (including a no-holds-barred Q&A session on Islam). Mosque tours take place every Saturday to Thursday at 10am. Afterwards, visit the nearby Street Art Gallery, Dubai’s first gallery dedicated to promoting street art in the Middle East. And if street art is your thing, a stop at City Walk provides an unexpected cultural treat with Dubai Walls, where 16 renowned artists have collaborated to produce stunning street art in the hopes of igniting a relevant conversation with those visiting the region.

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43 We Love: Activities


Activities we love Indoor rainforests, theme parks galore and animal magic like nowhere else: Dubai has plenty to keep the whole family entertained

44 We Love Dubai


hether you’re a first-time visitor, longtime resident or somewhere in-between, there’s no shortage of entertainment to keep you busy in Dubai. First up is the brand-new Dubai Parks and Resorts, the Middle East’s largest multi-themed leisure and entertainment destination. Not just one, but three theme parks in one, there’s something for the whole family. Head for LEGOLAND Dubai, where you can see the world’s tallest Lego building structure created out of 439,000 Lego blocks and forming a replica of the Burj Khalifa. Perfect for kids aged two to 12, there are over 40 interactive rides, shows

and attractions, and 15,000 Lego models to wonder at. Adjacent to it is the equally brilliant LEGOLAND Waterpark. Also aimed at ages two to 12, it packs in ample thrills and spills for all the family to enjoy, including the super-fun Joker Soaker. For movie fans, Motiongate Dubai is a must-visit. Uniting three legendary film studios in one park, enjoy roller coasters, multimedia rides, interactive labs, theatre shows and roaming live performances all based around the magic of Hollywood. And don’t miss Bollywood Parks Dubai for all the action, adventure, romance, comedy and music of Mumbai’s legendary film industry. And if you feel like one

45 We Love: Activities day simply isn’t enough, check in to the on-site Polynesian-themed Lapita Hotel, part of Marriott International's Autograph Collection, for a luxurious overnight stay. For those with animal lovers in tow, head to The Green Planet in City Walk, where you can get up close and personal with a whole host of exotic animals in the lush rainforest – don't miss the uber-cute sloths. Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo is another one for animal fun as it's a whole universe of intrigue, education and excitement. Meet an artistic otter, foray into King Croc's kingdom and the Kracken's Lair, or be mesmerised by 70 different marine species that live in the 10-million-litre, 51m-long main aquarium tank. In the same vicinity,

make sure you check out the The Dubai Fountain at the Burj Khalifa Lake, which blasts mighty jets of water 500ft in the air with displays set to music. The fountains perform every 30 minutes from 6pm, with later shows on weekends. For the best views, get a spot on the nearby bridge as early as you can. Head on over to Dubai Marina and traverse the 7km walkway around the waves on two wheels with ByKy. Simply find a station, download the NextBike app for your smartphone, and off you pedal (after paying). If you're more of a water fan, take to Dubai's blue ocean on one of the Yellow Boats and enjoy the sights from a new vantage. Sticking with the H2O theme, Atlantis, The Palm has

Opening page: Ski Dubai; LEGOLAND Dubai; Wild Wadi Waterpark These pages, clockwise from top left: Bollywood Parks Dubai; The Green Planet; Kidzania; LEGOLAND Dubai

46 We Love Dubai

“Dry off, warm up and take in a spot of sightseeing” built an entire land inspired by the wet stuff, so get soaked at Aquaventure – a world-famous water park that has 17 hectares of slides, rides and pools. Beside the Jumeirah Beach Hotel is another water-park stalwart: Wild Wadi Water Park, themed around a character from Arabian folklore and boasting rides that will blast you around then spit you out. For something chillier, Ski Dubai at Mall of the Emirates is the place for snowboarding and skiing, despite being in the desert. There’s even a group of real penguins, perfectly at home among the snow. Dry off, warm up and take in a spot of sightseeing. Top of many tourists’ tick-lists is ascending the mighty Burj Khalifa and, be it day or night, the view from At The Top is fantastic. Head up to the observation deck that now puts you 148 floors above Downtown Dubai, enjoy the sights and even pick up a bit of shopping – a souvenir of your time on top of the world. Also down this way, within The Dubai Mall, is Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, where you can marvel at a whole world of underwater creatures, from penguins through to sharks. Meanwhile, those who want to take in Dubai's skyscrapers from above rather than below should embark on a Seawings Silver Air Tour, a 40-minute dock-to-dock seaplane excursion above the Palm Jumeirah and Burj Khalifa. On solid ground, you can’t beat a good ol’ City Sightseeing tour, which operates daily bus tours of the city, from which passengers are free to jump on and off at designated stops around town. Need a helping hand to plan an action-packed itinerary? Arabian Adventures has an array of themed tours that provide a comprehensive wrap-up of every preference – like

Clockwise from below: Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo; Aquaventure; Seawings; Yellow Boats

47 We Love: Activities

48 We Love Dubai This Page: Bounce

its Sundowner Dune Dinner Safari. Rub shoulders with pure champions on a Stable Tour with Breakfast at the world-class Meydan Racecourse, or hop on a Cruising Adventure to take in the mesmerising Dubai coastline, savouring a barbecue on board your yacht or catamaran. If you fancy catching a movie, do it in style at VOX Cinema’s 4DX theatre that adds new dimensions to movie time, with rain, lightning and the first laser IMAX in the Middle East. If you like the interactive idea, head to the seasonal Global Village and Escape Hunt, which challenges groups to escape from a locked room. The park has something for the whole family with rides, shopping and food

“Zip-line through a natural ghaf tree forest at The Nature Adventure Park” themed from around the world. If you have very little ones, KidZania is great for engaging young minds – they can try their hand at a variety of fun careers, from airline pilot to chef and every vocation in-between. Playnation, meanwhile, is a fantastic entertainment hub in Mirdif City Centre that’s also home to Little Explorers, an interactive centre that provides hours of fun, with a state-of-

the-art obstacle course, interactive soccer, 10-pin bowling and more. Thrillseekers have got things covered with a whole host of options. Trampolines will send you soaring at Bounce in Al Quoz, a technicolor dreamworld of wall-to-wall springtastic fun where kids of all ages will want to get involved. Not high or frightening enough? Try newly opened The Nature Adventure Park in Mushrif, where you can zip-line through a natural Ghaff tree forest. Or go all extreme and get the adrenaline really pumping with a visit to Skydive Dubai. Planes takes off from Dubai Marina and you can try a tandem jump over Palm Jumeirah – what could be more memorable?

Experience Polynesia in the heart of Dubai Parks and Resorts. Step into an exciting world of curiosity with an unforgettable stay at Lapita, a unique gateway to the endless fun and enjoyment on offer at Dubai Parks and Resorts. Create moments to treasure with friends and family when you stay at Polynesian inspired rooms, bond over a meal at amazing restaurants or unwind at the Lapita lazy river. Exactly like nothing else.

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We Love Dubai - Feb'17  
We Love Dubai - Feb'17