A complete guide for all your travel needs
Whether you are a tourist or a local looking to spend some quality time with your family shopping, dining out or relaxing during the weekend, Dubai has endless avenues to explore. Listed below are the top notches one can consider while building the itinerary for their next visit or planning a weekend.
Shopping in Dubai
Dubai Mall – Dubai is recognized as the shopper’s paradise with more than 96 malls across the city. If you love shopping, you must consider visiting the Dubai Mall. Located in the heart of the prestigious Downtown Dubai, described as ‘The Centre of Now,’ The Dubai Mall is the world’s largest and most-visited retail and entertainment destination. Considered as the Fashion capital of the region The Dubai mall hosts 1200 retail outlets, you will be spoilt for choice with highend brands to indulge in.
Souks – Dubai is also known for the traditional souk districts located on either side of its creek. The souks, or traditional markets, are one of Dubai’s greatest attractions. They are located on both sides of the Creek, with the most impressive on the Deira side. The highlight is the colorful Spice Market, which abounds with exotic aromas and bustles with locals seeking bargains. Wandering around the atmospheric souks is a good way for visitors to get in touch with how life was in Dubai, before oil was discovered.
Gold Souk – Referred as “the City of Gold” the Gold Souk in Deira houses nearly 300 gold retail shops. Dubai Gold Souk is again a traditional market in Dubai. Retailers in the souk include both well-established stores like Damas, ARY Jewellery, ShyamJewellery and Joy Alukkas as well as smaller stores that operate mainly in the gold souk. So if you are a gold lover, Gold Souk is definitely a must visit place while in Dubai.
Meena Bazar – Dubai has endless options for a shopper to explore, yet another and real, more local, exotic and unique shopping experience can be enjoyed when one heads to the lively bazaars. The shops on the streets of Meena bazaar is one such place where we can get the feel of old Dubai. Meena Bazaar offers an authentic shopping experience.In Meena Bazaar there is a plethora of shopping options. From Indian and Pakistani stores selling traditional clothes to Iranian spice shops, from fashion Boutiques (selling mainly Indian and Pakistani ethnic wear) to jewelries, branded watch-houses to the ’10 Dirhams shops’, from computers to spare-parts, from quick-fixers like cobblers and menders to expensive tailoring shops – You have it all here. Contrary to the glitzy shopping malls in Dubai, Meena Bazaar is a different charm altogether. You can haggle as much as you can over every item here.
Indulging in the Food in Dubai
Dubai offers a wide variety of food from all corners of the world. Whether you love an exotic dining or looking for some authentic local cuisine, Dubai has restaurants to suit all tastes, styles and budgets. A candlelight dinner by the sea, a meal above the skyline, an unforgettable gourmet experience amid the serenity of sand dunes, with over 9000 restaurants and more than 200 cultures in Dubai you are sure to satisfy your gastronomic cravings with sumptuous food.
Listed below are a few options that one can try during their next visit to this city of Dreams.
Rangmahal by AtulKochhar at JW Marriot Marquis, discover the sensational New India, courtesy of Michelin-starred chef AtulKochhar with an exciting menu of modern Indian cuisine in a vibrant Palace of Colour – Rang Mahal.Appealing to all epicureans from fine dining connoisseurs to lovers of traditional Indian food, Rang Mahal by AtulKochhar fuses a touch of tradition with contemporary flair; creating a feast for the senses and inspiring your mind.
Coya at Four Seasons Resort Dubai JumeriahBeach, has been crowned the Restaurant of the year for 2016. Coya not only serves the best food in the city, but some of the best dishes one has eaten anywhere, ever.
Play Restaurant and Lounge at The H Dubai – Sheikh Zayed Road, that opened with an air of exclusivity, this new “Mediterrasian” eatery takes the two cuisines and puts together dishes to stunning effect.
Almaz in the Mall of the Emirates – This wonderful restaurant specialises in Moroccan/Algerian/Tunisian cuisine – collectively referred to as Maghreb cuisine.
Arabesque – An Arabic/Lebanese/Mediterranean style restaurant in the lovely Park Hyatt, with tables overlooking Dubai’s Creek never fails to please.
The Lime Tree Café – If Southern Hemisphere fusion cuisine lights your fuse, you really should try The Lime Tree Café on Jumeirah Beach road.
Friday Brunches also known as the Dubai institution which is widely popular amongst the locals and tourists. A few popular restaurants that serve mouthwatering branches are:
- The Waldorf Astoria Secret Garden Brunch located at Palm Jumeirah Dubai is where the food is the star of the show. Waldorf Astoria have launched the unforgettable Secret Garden Brunch in a beautiful secret garden to enjoy the seasonal ingredients with live entertainment in a relaxed atmosphere.
- The Zuma Brunch at Gate Village, DIFCdefinitely offers one of the best brunches in town. A beautifully curated menu made up of the finest Japanese ingredients. Zuma is definitely one on every foodies brunch hit list.
- The Le Meridien Dubai Yalumba Brunch – Yalumba the new Yalumba features a rustic, Australian country feel and the food is modern eclectic cuisine with a unique blend of flavors from the East and West.
- The St Regis Versailles Brunch located at Al Habtoor City, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, is called the Versailles Decadence Brunch. Brasserie Quartier, the restaurant at the St. Regis recreates Versailles for you. You will be served decadent French cuisine, as well as have the option of getting extra food from the buffet stations.
- The Jumeirah Mina A’Salam Brunch located at Hanaaya and Tortuga at Jumeirah Mina A’Salam is one of Dubai’s most iconic brunches, Jumeirah Mina A’Salam vibrant offerings include a buffet spread over Hanaaya and Tortuga restaurants. You can enjoy some delicious cuisine including international and authentic Mexican food. The brunch also offers a separate children’s area with its own buffet and plenty of entertainment, so a great spot for kids.
So Friday Brunches are a great way to spend a relaxing Friday afternoon. For lower budget travelers here are a few recommendations:
- The Wafi Pyramids restaurants’ Friday Brunch – There are food stations in three restaurants, Carters, Medzo and Thai-Chi. For a single price, you can range freely through what all three have to offer.
- Thai Kitchen at the Park Hyatt for a great mid-range buffet. The food is bought to your table and the standard and style is right on the edge of fine dining.
Truckers Dubai -What happens when the best home grown food trucks of the country decide to stick together and build a new type of event only for foodies? TruckersDXB happens. It’s the new community of all lovers of good and authentic food. It’s for the real people who can’t stand being stuck in a mall. It’s for the people who want to have fun, simply, unscripted.If you’re more of a night owl and looking for the best way to end you weekend then head for the Food Truck Jam- TruckersDXB. Opened between October to April, it kicks off at 5pm until 11pm, and is absolutely free and one can purchase food and drink, while listening to live music. Food trucks include favorites such as The Shebi, Yumtingz, Calle Tacos, Moti Roti and Gobai and much more.
After exploring a city with gigantic, tall, luxury structures that adorned the Dubai’s vast skyline, one needs a ME time to unwind. Dubai offers extensive options like parks, spas and golf courses for unwinding and relaxing for locals as well as tourists.
Parks in Dubai
Safa Park – The king of Dubai parks is not quite as all-conquering as it has been since opening in 1975. The 40 years of outdoor excellence make it almost as old as the UAE itself and it has undergone several major upgrades in that time – the most significant is underway right now. Known for the vast openness of the lawned areas estimated to account for 80 percent of the Old Park and plentiful plants (more than 16,000 including trees) it is still a favored location for greenery and relaxation despite the current downsizing.
Al Mamzar and the Jumeirah Park – The parks in Dubai are very popular. There are two that open on to the seaside. These parks are the best way to access the beaches at a nominal price.
Al Barsha Pond Park – If using the presence of a Ripe Market as a benchmark of a park’s significance is an accurate gauge, then this quiet neighborhood park is about to hit the big time. A large (and unused) lake sits in the center of the park and for the half-mile walk to its far side, you’re almost guaranteed a silence broken only by the occasional jogger panting by.
Creek Park -A vast expanse with plenty of barbecue stations, trees and grassy patches for playing games. Well-maintained play areas, interesting plants, clean café and restroom facilities. A perfect place for chilling out and relaxing on the lawns.
Mushrif Park – The quest for greenery in Dubai can’t really be called a nature quest as the natural surroundings in the UAE, by and large, are not verdant lawns and fields. This park out near Mirdif does boast some of the finer collections of indigenous plants and trees in the city though. In a dip among the vast area of dunes “behind” Dubai, it is home to a natural ghaf (a local tree) forest and is regarded as the finest birdwatching park in the city.
Spas in Dubai
Cleopatra’s Spa & Wellness, Wafi, Dubai Healthcare city – Located at the heart of Wafi, Cleopatra’s Spa is an urban escape that is more than just another luxurious health & leisure experience. It is a concept of wellness, a culture that caters for the growing health and fitness demands of UAE’s modern society. Surrounded by majestic architecture and ornate decoration inspired by ancient Egypt, Pyramids Health & Leisure is an opulent and sophisticated collection of spa, health, fitness and leisure experiences.
Amara Spa, Park Hyatt Dubai, Garhoud – Amara, the luxury spa located at Park Hyatt Dubai, is a haven of tranquility and relaxation that awakens the senses with the scent of rare oils, captivating gardens, and a serene swimming pool in which guests are welcome to relax and soak up the sun.
One & Only Royal Mirage, Al Sufouh – A wonderfully understated spa with serene and neutral décor. Skilled therapists offer a variety of facials, Swedish massages and sports therapies for the ultimate in relaxation.
Talise SpaMadinatJumeirah – Set amidst the tranquil waterways and tropical landscapes of MadinatJumeirah, Talise Spa is a true oasis of relaxation and rejuvenation. All treatments at MadinatJumeirah Talise Spa in Dubai are personalized to cater to your individual needs, transforming the mind, body and soul on your journey to self-discovery.
Spa at The Address Hotel Dubai – The Spa at The Address is a tranquil, fragrant, luxurious sanctuary of relaxation and rejuvenation. Come experience signature therapies and techniques that are infused with Western expertise and Eastern wisdom to blissful effect.
Golfing in Dubai
Arabian Ranches Golf Course – Arabian Ranches Golf Club, situated in the heart of the Arabian Ranches Community opened its doors in February, 2004. A popular lifestyle destination, the club is just a short drive from Dubai’s iconic landmarks and world famous attractions. The links is an 18 hole, par 72 signature course designed by Ian Baker-Finch in association with Nicklaus Design. Built as a true desert-style grass course, players love the natural flow of the holes through the sand dunes and wonderful desert landscape, many of which incorporate some truly great design concepts.
Dubai Creek Golf &Yatch Club – Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club opened in January 1993 to world acclaim and since then it has been host to numerous tournaments and events, including the Dubai Desert Classic on two occasions. The course record of 63 is jointly held by Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke. Well-groomed fairways lined with date palms and coconut trees, attractive water hazards and shrubbery lends a tropical air to the Club’s 18-hole, par-71 championship course that rolls into thousands of undulating yards.
Jebel Ali Golf Resort – The 9-hole, par 36, championship standard resort course is situated within the idyllic grounds of the resort. Each hole is uniquely landscaped with exotic trees, shrubs and original desert flora and the Dubai hotel golf course also features a saltwater lake which comes into play on five holes. The wooden gazebos, views of the sea and peacocks which freely roam the fairways have added a special charm to this course that is a fair and exciting challenge for golfers of all abilities.
The ELS Club Golf Course – If you have an appetite for a first-class golfing experience combined with 5-star service and notable prestige from Dubai’s finest golfing destination, The ELS Club is for you. Those who appreciate life’s finest pleasures will embrace this true sporting gem which has been sensationally designed by US Open and Open Championship winner Ernie Els. Stretching 7,538 yards with four sets of trees, allowing players a section of differing lengths from which to play, The ELS club sets new benchmarks for golf in Dubai.
The Track Meydan golf – The Track golf course measures 7412 yards off the Black championship tees, but with four other varying tee boxes this allows every ability of golfer a chance to play and enjoy the experience of Meydan Golf. Renowned golf course architect Peter Harradine strategically placed each hole allowing the six natural lakes on the course to come into play on several approaches.