Dubai Insider




Atlantis, The Palm


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John Thatcher

Group Content Director

Faye Bartle

Content & Social Editor

Hayley Kadrou

Content Writer

Habiba Azab


Art Director

Kerri Bennett

Senior Designer

Hiral Kapadia


Managing Director

Victoria Thatcher

Group Commercial


David Wade



Rawan Chehab

Senior Advertising


Mia Cachero


Production Manager

Muthu Kumar

Production Coordinator

Nagu Subburaman

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It’s set to be an epic year for the emirate. With the hotly-anticipated

Expo 2020 Dubai marking the start of a new decade in spectacular

style – it’s expected to attract 25 million visitors over six months

(October 2020 to April 2021) – the excitement in the air is palpable.

Outside of the mega event, let Dubai’s compelling brand of Arabian style

luxury lure you in. From traversing the desert dunes to loading up on luxury

labels in the city’s plush malls, basking in the sun on the beautiful beaches,

and ramping up the fun factor at the fantastic array of family-friendly

attractions, Dubai is sure to deliver a holiday to remember.



All the latest attractions in the emirate

and some handy tips for finding your

way from A to B



Stay with the best of them at our edit

of luxurious desert retreats, beachside

boltholes and sky-high suites



Embark on a culinary journey of

Dubai’s foodie gems, from traditional

feasts to all-star dishes



Swipe the credit card in the luxury

malls and haggle with small change in

the souks for those must-have buys



Swot up on the history of Dubai, meet

the locals and feast your eyes upon the

contemporary art scene



Shooting down the rides and slides,

skydiving, getting an up-close look at the

wildlife... join in the high-energy pursuits

3 Welcome

What’s New


Dubai is forever adding to its roster of

stellar attractions. We’ve rounded up all

that’s new, notable and on the horizon


Expected to attract 25 million

visitors – 70% of whom will come

from outside the UAE – Expo 2020

Dubai will kick-start the decade in

style. Billed as the ‘World’s Greatest

Show’, the Expo will host 192 nation

pavilions, with a packed line-up of

60 daily events showcasing the best

of music, technology, creativity and

culture. Plus, there’ll be a whopping

200 dining outlets featuring famous

chefs and cuisines from every corner

of the globe. Not only is it the first

World Expo to be hosted by an

Arab nation, but it’s also the first

to take place in the Middle East,

Africa and South Asia, representing

an historic milestone for the UAE.

The event runs for six months, from

20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021,

at its sprawling site adjacent to Al

Maktoum International Airport in

Dubai South.

5 Hello Dubai




Designed by the renowned neofuturistic

Spanish architect, Santiago

Calatrava, this gravity-defying

structure is set to be the world’s

tallest building, surpassing Dubai’s

Burj Khalifa, currently the world’s

tallest building at a vertigo-inducing

828 m (2,716 ft) high. Soaring

up towards the clouds from the

heart of Dubai Creek Harbour, the

architectural marvel will feature

several enthralling observation decks,

an elevated garden and panoramic

views of Dubai Creek Harbour and Ras

Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary.


Fast forward to the future at this

visionary cultural institution, which

combines exhibitions, immersive

theatre and themed attractions to

showcase how technology may evolve

over the next 20 years. Inviting world

scholars and inventors to share their

insight, the museum will serve as a

platform for exploring the greatest

challenges and technologies that will

shape the world. Design buffs can

also admire its striking architecture,

including the Arabic calligraphy

adorning its exterior.


You’ll soon be able to snap a selfie

with all your favourite pop stars,

Hollywood legends, sporting heroes

and historical icons at this worldrenowned

wax museum, which is

set to open on Bluewaters soon. The

Dubai outpost will mark the first

Tussauds in the Middle East.


From movie idols to K-Pop stars,

Dubai’s very own Hollywood-style

Walk of Fame launched in October

2019 along Sheikh Mohammed bin

Rashid Boulevard, with 400 pavement

plaques honouring exceptional

personalities who have left an indelible

mark on the world (as voted for by the

6 Hello Dubai

public on social media). In the future,

there will be 10,000 Dubai Stars

shining bright along the boulevard.


This a 52-storey, luxury hotel and

residential complex on Palm Jumeirah,

set to open in 2020, will be the new

place to see and be seen. It will lay

claim to one of the highest infinity

pools in the world – perched 210

metres above ground level and

bordering all four sides of the building

Opening page: Al Wasl

Plaza, Expo 2020 Dubai

Opposite from top: Vida

Residences Creek Beach

in Dubai Creek Harbour,

showing Dubai Creek

Tower; Emaar presents

a Dubai Star to UFC

Lightweight Champion

Khabib Nurmagomedov

This page from top: The

Museum of The Future,

image courtesy of Dubai

Tourism; The Palm Tower

(just imagine those views). There’ll

also be a rooftop SushiSamba

restaurant, and The View observation

deck that’ll share the story of the

making of The Palm through its

interactive museum and dedicated

gallery. Accessing via Nakheel Mall,

you’ll make the three-minute ascent

in the hi-tech elevator (it has a floorto-ceiling

digital sea, sand and sky

display) to the observatory at the top

of the tower, where you can soak up

those panoramic views.


Dubai International Airport (DXB)

The city’s main airport is one of the

busiest hubs in the world, serving more

than 88.2 million customers annually,

and connecting more than 240

destinations across six continents on

more than 100 airlines.

Dubai World Central (DWC)

Located south of the city, in Jebel

Ali, the city’s new airport, which

commenced passenger flights in

October 2013, is set to become the

world’s largest airport with an ultimate

capacity of more than 160 million

passengers per annum.

To book a flight, call dnata Travel on

800 DNATA or visit

Want a fast-track arrival experience?

Book the excellent Marhaba service

( for a hasslefree

welcome and speedy transfer from

touchdown to curbside taxi.


Dubai Metro: The Red and Green

lines zip between key locations across

the city. The Red Line shuttles from

Rashidiya station to UAE Exchange

station in Jebel Ali. The Green Line runs

from the Etisalat station in Al Twar to

Dubai Old Souk in the Al Khor region.

You can transfer between the two lines

at Union station or BurJuman station.

Dubai Tram: Linking Dubai Metro

and the Palm Monorail, this handy

service runs along Al Sufouh Road

and Jumeirah Beach Road. Gold Class

ticket holders get access to private

cabins with wide leather seats and

panoramic views.

Taxi and car: Available to hail from

the street, or by calling +971 4 208

0808, Dubai’s official taxi service is

an affordable way to get around. If you

prefer to hire a car, you’ll find booking

desks at malls, airports and hotels.


Weekends in Dubai are Friday and

Saturday. Show respect for the local

(Islamic) culture by covering up

shoulders, décolletage and legs (to the

knee) when entering public spaces. Feel

free to fall in love with the city but do

avoid public displays of affection – it’s

simply not the done thing.

7 Hello Dubai

Hotels & Resorts


From underwater suites

to sky-high stunners, go big

before you go home

9 Hotels

Dubai certainly likes to do things on

a grand scale, and the hospitality

scene is no exception. From the

moment you arrive to the second

you depart, you’ll be swept away

by the emirate’s sprawling resorts

and glittering skyscrapers, which

house some of the most luxurious

guestrooms and suites on the planet.

You’ll find the emirate’s largest hotel

suite at Waldorf Astoria Dubai

Palm Jumeirah. The Royal Suite is

as big as four tennis courts, covering

the entire top floor of the hotel and

showcasing panoramic views of the

Arabian Gulf and Palm Jumeirah. If

that’s not enough to satisfy your thirst

for opulence, its vast spa, stretch of

private beach and mouthwatering

aromas wafting from Social by Heinz

Beck, are sure to do the trick.

Not all mega-suites are high-up,

however. Think of Atlantis, The Palm,

10 Hotels

as its mythical namesake suggests,

as a wondrous city under the sea –

something that’s best appreciated

from within its lauded Underwater

Suites. Floor-to-ceiling windows

puts the hotel’s mammoth aquarium

(which contains around 65,000

fish, including rays and sharks) on

show, as the wondrous creatures

glide right past your bed. Whether

you’re exploring The Lost Chambers

Aquarium, zooming down the rides

and slides at Aquaventure Waterpark,

or meeting the friendly marine

mammals at Sea Lion Point, splashtastic

fun is on the cards all day long.

Also boasting a coveted address

on Palm Jumeirah, Dukes The Palm,

a Royal Hideaway Hotel, the sister

hotel to Dukes London in Mayfair, is a

top choice for its quintessential British

charm that blends seamlessly with

Dubai’s love of luxury. There’s a lazy

river, private beach and Dukesy Kids

Club to keep the little ones entertained

– not to mention a clutch of excellent

places to eat, including Khyber, West

14 th and Great British Restaurant.

A little further along the Palm’s trunk

is another outstanding family-friendly

hotel, Fairmont The Palm. It’s easy

to unwind when staying here thanks

to highly-rated Falcon Kids’ Club,

soothing treatments on offer at Willow

Stream Spa, and the fabulous Little

Miss India restaurant (decked out in

contemporary colonial décor) providing

fun for all. We recommend upgrading

to a Fairmont Gold room, which comes

complete with executive lounge

access, plus a host of other benefits.

Nearby is the glamorous FIVE

Palm Jumeirah, with its innovative

architecture, Ottoman-inspired

spa and hip and happening

rooftop haunt, The Penthouse.

Over on the island’s East Crescent,

Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort

is where you’ll find the UAE’s only

over-water villas. Offering direct

access to the tranquil lagoons that

weave their way throughout the

resort, you can throw open your

patio doors and dip straight into the

water for a rejuvenating swim. For

an extra treat, book a table at the

award-winning Asian restaurant

Mekong and take a seat at the

rickshaw tables on the terrace as you

embark on a culinary journey through

Thailand, China and Vietnam.

Close by, Sofitel Dubai The

Palm brings a dash of French flair

to the emirate with its understated

glamour. Set off on a boat cruise,

explore under your own steam on a

pedal boat, or simply lounge on the

private stretch of beach. Foodies will

feel compelled to make a beeline to

Hong Loong restaurant for timeless

Chinese dishes that’ll tantalise the

taste buds with spicy flavours.

Yet another Palm Jumeirah hotspot,

One&Only The Palm is dubbed one

of the most romantic retreats in the

city, and its location at the very end

of Palm Jumeirah’s West Crescent

affords you ultimate privacy. Retreat

to a one-bedroom Arabesque Palm

Beach Executive Suite, which boasts

its own private pool just steps away

from the secluded sandy beach.

Throw in a treatment at Guerlain

Spa and a sumptuous meal by three-

Michelin-stared chef Yannick Alléno

at Stay restaurant and you’ve got

yourself the ultimate getaway.

In a city where too much is never

enough, Emerald Palace Kempinski

Dubai fits right in. Take a trip back to

the 18 th century at this neoclassical

hotel that exudes traditional European

splendour. Whether it’s the worldclass

dining venues, including miX

by Alain Ducasse, lavishly decorated

suites, private cinema, immaculate

white-glove service or landscaped

gardens inspired by the Palace of

Versailles, it’s easy to understand why

the resort ranks high on the luxury list.

Departing the Palm, yet not straying

from the coast, there’s a cluster of fivestar

hotels that grace the beachfront

Opening page:

Caesars Palace

Bluewaters Dubai

Previous page: Underwater

Suite at Atlantis, The Palm

This page, from top:

Fairmont The Palm; Anantara

The Palm Dubai Resort;

Sofitel The Palm

12 Hotels





Experience luxury in the heart of Downtown at

Marriott Hotel Al Jaddaf, Dubai, ideally located

close to iconic attractions and minutes away

from Dubai International Airport. Unwind in

modern, thoughtfully-designed rooms and

suites, each with complimentary Wi-Fi and

deluxe amenities. Savor international cuisine

at five dining destinations, indulge in welldeserved

pampering at the luxurious Saray

Spa, relax in the outdoor pool with unmatched

city views or visit the fully-equipped fitness

center. When it’s time to explore, visit nearby

attractions and the beach with the hotel’s

complimentary shuttle.


Oud Metha Road, Al Jaddaf Area, PO Box 122273, Dubai, UAE

DubaiMarriottAlJaddaf | @MarriottJaddaf | MarriottAlJaddaf

Clockwise from left:

JA Ocean View Hotel;

Habtoor Grand Resort,

Autograph Collection;

Caesars Palace

Bluewaters Dubai

14 Hotels




promenade of Jumeirah Beach

Residence (JBR), including Sofitel

Dubai Jumeirah Beach. Head out

onto your private balcony to gaze at the

azure waters of the Arabian Gulf, or chill

in the infinity pool with its swim-up bar.

At Habtoor Grand Resort,

Autograph Collection, not only can

you revel in the luxury of its stylish

suites, plush spa, sparkling swimming

pools and top dining spots, but

you can also make the most of its

premium location just a few steps

away from Skydive Dubai. There,

you can tick a bucket-list goal off

your list by jumping out of a plane

tethered to a seasoned professional.

Also fronting the lively JBR plaza

is JA Ocean View Hotel, which

lives up to its name with 342 seafacing

rooms and suites, all awash

in the colours of the sea, with cool

blue interiors and high ceilings for

an easy breezy ambience. The hotel

is also home to Offside, one of the

neighbourhood’s favourite haunts for

British-style grub and live sports.

Just off the JBR coast, Bluewaters, is

another popular man-made isle home

to a mixture of hotels, residences,

shops and entertainment, as well as

the under-construction Ain Dubai

observation wheel. It’s home to

Caesars Bluewaters Dubai, which

brings all the power of its legendary

Las Vegas cousin to the UAE for an

exhilarating stay. It comprises a trio of

resorts: Caesars Palace Bluewaters

Dubai, the place to go for luxury, with

sun drenched fun at Cove Beach, dining

delights at Gordon Ramsay Hell’s

Kitchen and pampering on tap at Qua

Spa; Caesars Resort Bluewaters

Dubai, spot on for a family getaway;

and The Residences at Caesars

Palace with its home away from

home vibe ideal for longer stays.

In Dubai Marina, Grosvenor

House, a Luxury Collection Hotel

has become something of a landmark

thanks to its two glittering 45-storey

towers that dominate the skyline. It’s

a great place to stay if you like to be



This page from top:

Wyndham Dubai Marina;

Taj Jumeirah Lakes Towers,

Dubai Opposite: Burj Al

Arab Jumeirah

in the middle of all the action, with

its ever-popular roster of world-class

restaurants, including Rhodes W1 and

Toro Toro drawing the city’s social set.

Meanwhile, Wyndham Dubai

Marina is a style-conscious hotel with

a coveted location just a stroll away

from the beach, with glittering views

of the buzzing marina. There’s a raft

of shops and eateries on the doorstep,

but if you don’t want to venture far,

the hotel boasts its own great mix

of restaurants, along with a lively

rooftop bar and an impressive spa.

Just across Sheikh Zayed Road,

Taj Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai

brings a touch of luxury to the

neighbourhood with its sleek and bold

design that fuses Indian and Middle

Eastern touches through an eclectic

16 Hotels

mixture of art. Add sweeping views of

Emirates Golf Club, the marina and

the sea, as well as delicious pan-Indian

cuisine courtesy of Shamiana (from

Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai), and you’ve

got a fitting place to rest your head.

Back on the beach, heading north

along the coast, One&Only Royal

Mirage cuts a handsome figure

amid 65 acres of lavishly landscaped

gardens. The opulent resort comprises

three main hotels: the magical Arabian

Court, the Moorish-style The Palace,

and the intimate Residence & Spa.

Plus, there’s a lone Beach Garden

Villa for ultimate seclusion. Indulge

in a traditional Arabian spa ritual in

the oriental hammam and feed your

appetite at the resort’s top dining

spots Celebrities, The Beach Bar

& Grill and Esplanade, which are

overseen by Chef Mauro Colagreco (of

three-Michelin-star Mirazur fame).

The epitome of seaside suite spots,

however, is none other than Burj Al

Arab Jumeirah. Designed in the shape

of a billowing sail (a nod to the nation’s

long-standing heritage), it raises the

bar when it comes to Arabian style

luxury. Once you have been discreetly

checked into your decadent split-level

suite, you can set about enjoying all

the experiences this hospitality icon

has to offer, from chartering your

own private yacht to soaking up the

rays while relaxing in a bubbling

Jacuzzi on the Burj Al Arab Terrace.

Further along the coastline lies

another enduring favourite, Jumeirah

Beach Hotel. The shimmering

beachside, wave-shaped resort is just

as perfect for families (the fun-packed

Wild Wadi Waterpark is just a few

steps away) as it is for sun worshippers.

Go and discover its coveted spot

along the beach, numerous swimming

pools and crowd-pleasing dining

options that range from fresh flavours

at Fika by Chef Izu Ani to pan-

Asian delights at Beachcombers.

Just next door, Jumeirah Al Naseem

delivers laid-back luxury with a décor

inspired by Dubai’s pearl diving history.

Families also gravitate here to see the

turtle lagoon, where sick and injured

sea turtles are nursed back to health.

With a prime location that places you

just steps away from the seafront and

a short drive from Downtown Dubai,

Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai

has outdone itself with its first foray

into the UAE. Offering a contemporary

classic feel and flurry of sea-facing

rooms, you can treat yourself to some

fine dining (including contemporary

Portuguese at Tasca by José Avillez),

and pampering at the spa – we

rate the Nomadic Sensory Journey,

which features Emirati drumming

as part of the healing process.

Zip further along the coast to Pearl

Jumeira and you’ll find another H2O-

17 Hotels



Clockwise from left: Nikki

Beach Resort & Spa Dubai;

JW Marriott Marquis Dubai;

Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai

Canal View; ME Dubai

centric option, the exclusive Nikki

Beach Resort & Spa Dubai. The

Dubai incarnation of the Miami-meets-

Mediterranean hotspot, complete

with signature all-white décor, comes

with calming views of the Arabian

Gulf and Dubai skyline – stunning

sunsets are the cherry on top.

Heading downtown, which is home

to a clutch of the emirate’s record

breakers, including Burj Khalifa, The

Dubai Fountain and The Dubai Mall,

JW Marriott Marquis Dubai makes

the most of its status the world’s tallest

five-star hotel, with 72 floors dedicated

to luxury and guestrooms boasting

stellar views of the city skyline. Splurge

on a night in the top-floor split-level

penthouse with its mesmerising

floor-to-ceiling window vistas.

18 Hotels

Also in the area, Renaissance

Downtown Hotel Dubai lures foodies

with its showstopping Japanese

restaurant, Morimoto Dubai, led by Iron

Chef Masaharu Morimoto, as well as

the lively BASTA! and Bleu Blanc. If it’s

not food you’re after, you’ll find peace

and tranquillity at any of the stylish

suites or at Six Senses Spa, which has

six different treatment rooms, each

dedicated to a different sense. Choose

from a range of soothing treatments

and feel your tension ease away.

The stylish rooms and suites

at Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai

Canal View boasts picture perfect

vistas of the bustling Downtown

Dubai and the Dubai Water Canal.

It’s great for families too, with the

option for connected rooms.

A city on the move, Dubai is

constantly adding new properties

to its luxury repertoire and Address

Sky Views is chief among the grand

new openings attracting attention.

The sleek resort places you in the

heart of bustling downtown, offering

stunning views of The Dubai Fountain

and Burj Khalifa. The jewel in the

crown, however, is its picturesque

rooftop infinity pool, which delivers

attention grabbing Instagram posts.

Meanwhile, the new ME Dubai is

making waves as an architectural

marvel, designed by the late, great

Zaha Hadid. Putting you in the thick

of the local cultural scene, the hotel is

located just a few minutes from crowdpulling

attractions including Dubai

Opera. Plus, it’s pet-friendly, meaning

This page: JA The Resort

Opposite: JA Lake View Hotel

Overleaf: Marriott Hotel Al

Jaddaf, Dubai



20 Hotels

you don’t have to leave your furry

friend behind. Pampered pooches even

receive a welcome kit and can dine

from a menu of fetching doggy food

especially prepared by the hotel’s chefs.

Film buffs will be treated to a

hefty dose of Hollywood glamour

at the newly-opened Paramount

Hotel Dubai. Inspired by the rich

history of Paramount Pictures, the

cinematic style resort adds a dash

of silver-screen flair to the heart of

Dubai’s dynamic Business Bay district.

With Hollywood-themed rooms,

Californian inspired cuisine and nightly

entertainment, you’ll feel like a star

strutting along your own red carpet.

Meanwhile, Armani Hotel Dubai

is so cohesively Armani that staying

there is akin to being at one of Giorgio’s

stylish house parties –only in reality

you’re on the eighth floor of the

world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa.

Fashion mavens will also gravitate

towards Palazzo Versace Dubai, which

brings a touch of 16 th -century palatial

decadence to the Culture Village

district on the banks of Dubai Creek.

A neoclassical-meets-Arabian styled

resort, the artistic direction of Donatella

Versace is evident throughout,

and captured perfectly in the twobedroom

duplex Imperial Suites.

If you feel like having an A-list

moment, you can follow in the footsteps

of supermodel Bella Hadid and Oscarwinning

actress Alicia Vikander by

heading to Bulgari Resort Dubai

– the fifth international property for

the design legend. With the added

attraction of its own private mini manmade

island location off the Jumeirah

coastline (Jumeira Bay Island), a

swanky line-up of high-end eateries,

and the world’s first Bulgari Marina and

Yacht Club, it has quickly become a

favourite among discerning travellers.

Dubai is synonymous with shopping

and those in need of some retail therapy

will want to stay as close as possible to

the action. Just around the corner from

The Dubai Mall (which is home to more

than 1,300 stores and family-friendly

dining and entertainment spots galore),

is the boutique Vida Downtown,

located on Sheikh Mohammed bin

Rashid Boulevard. The property will lure

you in with its contemporary charm,

posh French dining at La Serre and the

delightfully kitsch Vida Food Truck.

Meanwhile, at Kempinski Hotel

Mall of the Emirates, you can join the

starry-eyed guests carrying designer

shopping bags from the adjoining

mall from which it takes its name.

You can stash your buys in your cosy

ski chalet style room as you watch

the adventure seekers zooming

down the slopes of Ski Dubai.

Directly linked to the ever-popular

Dubai Marina Mall (which boasts

hundreds of stores, including highstreet

favourites Mint Velvet and Maje),

Address Dubai Marina offers you the

chance to enjoy some quality shopping

on a more manageable scale. Be sure to

enjoy some post-spree rejuvenation at

the lavish spa and outdoor infinity pool.

A boutique stay with shopping

opportunities on the doorstep also

comes courtesy of the super stylish

La Ville Hotel & Suites CITY WALK,

Dubai, Autograph Collection.

Situated at the heart of City Walk, one

of Dubai’s most chi-chi urban lifestyle

destinations, this low-rise property is

a magnet for visiting fashionistas and

influencers alike. That said, the hotel’s

rooftop infinity pool with premium Burj

Khalifa views is worth the stay alone.

If you feel like decamping to a

sprawling resort, our favourites include

JA The Resort in Jebel Ali, which is a

firm favourite for a staycation among

Dubai’s long-timers, and it’s easy to

understand why. Home to JA Beach

Hotel, JA Palm Tree Court and the

recently added JA Lake View Hotel,

the resort is set within 128 acres and

offers a variety of room types, from

dedicated family hideaways to luxurious

suites. There’s never a dull moment

thanks to the 800-metre private beach,

four landscaped swimming pools,

over 16 restaurants and bars and an

impressive line-up of activities, giving

you plenty of opportunities to make

memories. Keen golfers can practise

their swing at the 9-hole par 35 course,

or brush up on their technique at the

on-site Leadbetter Golf Academy.

If you’re up for thrills and spills,

Lapita, Dubai Parks and Resorts,

Autograph Collection is just the

ticket. Situated within Dubai Parks

and Resorts’ borders, you can spend

your days splashing away at Legoland

Waterpark, taking your little ones on

a mini-adventure at Legoland Dubai,

or enjoying the rides and shows of

Motiongate Dubai and Bollywood

Parks Dubai. After a day on your feet,

the Polynesian-themed resort invites

you to lounge around its heated

pools, and soak up the laid-back

atmosphere at the rooftop lounge.

Drawing the region’s equestrian elite,

Meliã Desert Palm Dubai is a hidden

gem. Set in 160 acres of greenery

21 Hotels

Wellness Haven at Saray Spa.

Renew for the journey ahead.

A relaxing realm of quiet luxury, Saray Spa at the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai is an authentic wellness Spa,

where ancient healing techniques and locally sourced natural ingredients are combined to enhance the

well-being of each guest. The Spa features 17 treatment rooms, inclusive of two private Hammam rooms,

one Dead Sea treatment room boasting the UAE’s only Dead Sea Floatation Pool found within, and two

Private Luxury Spa Suites. Experience the wonders of the Middle East through Arabian Body Rituals or

Hammam Rituals, or benefit from the resultsoriented facials. An exclusive retail boutique offers luxurious

gifts and spa products for every occasion.

JW Marriott Marquis Dubai | Sheikh Zayed Road, Business Bay, PO Box 121000, Dubai, UAE

T +971 4 414 6754 | |

*Terms and conditions: Offer is subject to availability and advance reservations are required. This is a limited time offer.

and sand, with just 38 rooms, suites

and villas, this exclusive hideaway is

sure to impress. Whether you want to

stomp the divots (polo players take to

the field October to April), trot through

the estate on an Arabian stallion, or

enjoy a soothing massage at Samāna

Spa, there’s luxury at every turn.

More equestrian action can be

enjoyed at The Meydan Hotel, which

overlooks Dubai’s spectacular Meydan

Racecourse. As well as getting a

thrilling view of racing thoroughbreds,

the hotel can arrange stable tours

that’ll give you a glimpse into the

jockeys’ room, saddling paddock

and parade ring. The hotel also has

a fabulous array of restaurants.

No trip to the UAE is complete,

however, without going beyond the big

city and escaping deep into the desert.

Nestled amid the golden dunes of the

Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve,

Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert

Resort & Spa, Dubai will capture your

imagination with its wildlife wonders

(including the protected Arabian

oryx). Get ready for starry nights,

spellbinding sunsets and Arabesque

luxury in the form of sun-drenched




bungalows, traditional Arabic fare

and ultimate rejuvenation at the

resort’s renowned Timeless Spa.

Another dearly loved desert escape

is Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa,

which charms guests with its Arabian

Nights style architecture, views of the

undulating dunes and alfresco dinners

served beneath starlit skies. Nature

walks, falconry and infinity pools, not

to mention the sublime Satori Spa, will

make it a struggle to leave this desert

diamond – that much is guaranteed.

Back in the city, visitors looking to

soak up a little more history should

cross the Garhoud Bridge to the Deira

side of town and the banks of Dubai

Creek, the emirate’s historic heartland.

Nestled beyond the greens and berths

of Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, the

tranquil Park Hyatt Dubai is a gem. Its

white-washed walls and blue domes

channel a Greek odyssey while deserthued

interiors remind you that you’re

still in Arabia. Watch yachts bobbing on

the water from your stylishly appointed

room and enjoy the serene vibes at

the award-winning Amara Spa.

On Oud Metha Road, Marriott

Hotel Al Jaddaf, Dubai is a popular

choice for its modern, thoughtfullydesigned

rooms and suites (think Frette

linens and deluxe amenities). It’s also

home to a great steakhouse, Scots

American Grill, and the tranquil Saray

Spa offering soothing treatments and

dreamy full-day pamper packages.

Shaking up the south bank of Dubai

Creek, Canopy by Hilton Dubai Al

Seef is urban cool personified, with

its contemporary art inspired by the

emirate, lively SOL Sky Bar, and handy

location close to the shops, cafés and

pop-ups on the creek. Just next door,

Hampton by Hilton Dubai Al Seef

is bright and quirky, with its outdoor

pool and hearty hot breakfasts.

Lastly, Al Seef Heritage Hotel

Dubai, Curio Collection by Hilton,

will wow you with its traditional

architecture (characterful guestrooms

feature woven fabrics and wooden

beams) and dreamy infinity pool.

23 Hotels



The City of Gold delivers the

world on a plate

24 Restaurants

As a centuries-old trading

hub, Dubai’s culinary scene

has been exposed to a

smorgasbord of influences,

from Indian to European and Levantine

flavours. Today, homegrown gems

sit happily alongside glamorous

international imports, meaning

there’s something for every taste.

If fine dining is a passion, you’ll

be pleased to know that a parade

of top-notch venues have made

their way through the city’s kitchen

doors, drawing a dedicated following

for their stand-out dishes, often

crafted by famous fingers. You can

get a photo of Salt Bae cascading a

flourish of salt from the palm of his

hand onto perfectly seared steak

(cue the clapping) at his flagship

restaurant Nusr-Et Steakhouse in the

Restaurant Village at Four Seasons

Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach.

Meanwhile, multi-Michelin-starred

chef Alain Ducasse has found a fitting





home at Kempinski Emerald Palace

Hotel for his miX Dubai by Alain

Ducasse, which sees the culinary

maestro show off his signature style

of melding classical French with

the contemporary, while adding a

hint of local flavour. The draw card

for serious foodies here, however,

is the chef’s table, hidden away and

accessed only by private elevator.

Add a pinch of Yannick Alléno’s

Gallic flair to your gourmet itinerary and

head to STAY by Yannick Alléno at

One&Only The Palm, where opulence

is the order of the day, both on the

plate and in the restaurant design.

Venture to the other side of the

Palm’s crescent and you’ll find

Social by Heinz Beck at Waldorf

Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah. A Willy

Wonka of molecular gastronomy,

the three-Michelin starred chef is

known for his impeccable ability to

implement innovative techniques that

transform simple ingredients into

highly evocative dishes – and this is a

great venue at which to discover it.

Acclaimed Korean American chef

Akira Back has his eponymous Middle

Eastern outlet at W Dubai – The Palm,

where he showcases his unique blend

of modern Japanese and Korean

influences. Arrive in good time for a

drink at the floating bar and lap up

the stellar views of Palm Jumeirah.

At the very same hotel is Torno

Subito, Massimo Bottura’s first venue

outside of Italy. Here, his expertly

crafted dishes will transport you

to the Italian Riviera of the 1960s

for some good old fashioned fun.

25 Restaurants

Opening page:

Morimoto Dubai

Previous page: Torno Subito

These pages, from top:

La Petite Maison; Khyber;

Little Miss India

Overleaf: Al Mahara

Over at Caesars Palace Bluewaters

Dubai, show-stopping theatre

meets world-class cooking at

Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen

Dubai, where signature dishes

such as lobster risotto and sticky

toffee pudding take centre stage

amid a variety of fiery delicacies.

Another show worth pursuing is

at Morimoto Dubai by Iron Chef

Masharu Morimoto which spans

the 23 rd and 24 th floor of the stylish

Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai.

Bag a seat at the live teppanyaki

counter and marvel at the chef’s

trademark culinary style. We rate the

ishi yaki A5-grade Japanese wagyu

– it’s simply a culinary masterpiece.

Join the city’s high flyers who

like to meet and mingle at Dubai

International Financial Centre (DIFC),

which has become a hub for great

restaurants, including Zuma at Gate

Village. Serving classic Japanese

fare with a contemporary zest, it’s

the place to go for lip-smackingly

good sushi – be sure to try the

signature dynamite spider rolls.

With the likes of Cindy Crawford,

Andy Warhol and Kendall Jenner as

fans of its flagship restaurant in New

York, celebrity-favourite Indochine

caused quite the stir when it opened

its first branch outside of Manhattan

at DIFC. The French-Vietnamese

restaurant features the brand’s

signature tropical decor (including

the iconic Martinique wallpaper), and

a sumptuous menu of time-honoured

classics. The famous duck salad

and Vietnamese ravioli made with

rice noodles, chicken, shrimp and

shiitake mushroom is a must-try.

Also in the neighbourhood, La

Petite Maison is a solid choice for

a sophisticated evening out, with

its Cote d’Azur style ambience

and focus on fresh ingredients.

In a city awash with A-list Indian

fare, Khyber (the first international

outpost of the famous Mumbai

restaurant) at Dukes The Palm, a

Royal Hideaway certainly holds

its own. Expect flavour-packed

dishes with highlights including

the tandoor-cooked baby lamb

leg and green masala pomfret.

26 Restaurants


Elsewhere, a special mention

must go to the kitsch and totally

Instagrammable Little Miss India at

Fairmont The Palm. With a colourfully

painted Indian truck flanking the

entrance, eclectic décor and an

open-kitchen with chefs preparing

fragrant regional Indian dishes,

it’s a feast for all the senses.

Offering dishes derived from

both modern and classic recipes,

Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra

occupies a vibrant spot inside

JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, and

will take you on a culinary journey

across every region of India.




New to the scene is Kinara by

Vikas Khanna at JA Lake View Hotel,

where you can taste the modern

Indian cuisine from the Michelinstarred

chef. Take your pick from the

menu of authentic regional dishes

with a modern twist, many of which

focus on the smoky flavours of the

Tandoori oven, with spices galore.

If in doubt, opt for the signature

dish of Dahi ke Kebab, which

provides a tasty introduction to the

chutneys of the different regions.

Moving South East, Cé La Vi

sits atop of the new Address Sky

View, offering glittering views of

the city skyline (it’s one of the city’s

highest rooftops). Get set to feast

upon contemporary Asian fare, with

Hokkaido scallop, oyster ceviche

and Rangers Valley ‘Black Market’

Tomahawk among the highlights.

For delicious Thai food, Bamboo

Kitchen at Habtoor Grand Resort,

Autograph Collection, is a wonderful

27 Restaurants

spot for a casual meal, while the

award-winning Tong Thai at JW

Marriott Marquis Dubai teams street

food favourites with inventive classics.

Due to its Arabian Gulf location,

you’d be correct in assuming Dubai’s

culinary offering is brimming with

excellent seafood all-year-round,

and at Al Mahara at Burj Al Arab

Jumeirah is a fabulous introduction.

A submarine-like lift drops you off

into a gold-leaf-clad tunnel where

you’ll find a floor-to-ceiling aquarium

filled with underwater wonders as

a backdrop to some of the finest

seafood served in the emirates.

A hop and a skip away, at

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Dubai

Jumeirah Beach, The MAINE

Oyster Bar & Grill goes full on

crustacean. We rate the Neptune

Folly, a three-tiered seafood tower

decorated with crab legs, prawns,

oysters and scallop ceviche.

It’s another seafood bonanza at

Bluewaters Island where Alici Dubai,

the restaurant by the group behind

the award-winning Il Borro Tuscan

Bistro, serves up caviar and Amalfi

Coast vibes with unfettered sea views.

Away from the coast, denizens of

Emirates Financial Towers clamour

for a table at Crab Market, where

acclaimed Russian chef Vladimir

Mukhin imports Kamchatka crabs to

create a truly international flavour.

If your little ones are bit iffy about

seafood, Aprons & Hammers, at

Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach

Resort & Marina and La Mer,

serves up crab and shrimp by the

bucketful, along with crackers and

hammers for some smashing fun.

If it’s not particularly seafood

you’re after but a stunning sea view,

Shimmers at Jumeirah Mina A’ Salam

ticks a lot of boxes with its easy-going

ambience, striking Burj Al Arab views

and homemade family favourites,

courtesy of chef Yiannis Katsikas.

You can take a quick trip to the

classic coastal splendour of Cape Cod

at Noépe at Park Hyatt Dubai. Sit

back and admire the panoramic view

of Dubai Creek as you sample dishes

from Californian and Nikkei cuisines.

For a casual vibe, Fish Beach

28 Restaurants




29 Restaurants

Taverna at Le Méridien Mina Seyahi

Beach Resort & Marina conjures up

thoughts of summer on the Greek

islands with its whitewashed walls,

blue accents and sharing-style Aegean

menu of Turkish and Greek delicacies.

Sticking with Greek, Gaia is a

slice of Santorini with its simple

home-made style goodness. As

you’d expect from the brainchild of

culinary experts Chef Izu Ani and

Chef Orestis Kotefas, the food is

something to write home about.

For a theatrical dining experience,

head to Opa at Fairmont Dubai

where you can take part in platesmashing

and Zorba dancing after

feasting on refined Greek fare.

Steak connoisseurs can have their

fill of meaty goodness at STK at Rixos

Premium Dubai on The Walk at JBR.

Its signature cuts of prime beef are so

juicy and delicious, you’ll be glad the

resident DJ is cranking up the music,

so you can dance away the calories.

Also unmissable is PRIME

Steakhouse at The Meydan Hotel,

where the theatrics of tableside

flambé, delectable cuts of meat and

the elegant setting will delight.

If you’re more of a burger fan, the

sensational stacks at Black Tap are

best enjoyed alongside the creamy

monster milkshakes (order one that

comes with a whole slice of cake

on top). There are several outlets

in Dubai but we recommend you

head to the Jumeirah Al Naseem

30 Restaurants



branch to dine beside the water.

One to tick off the foodie bucketlist

is a meal at At.mosphere, the

world’s tallest restaurant on the 122 nd

floor of Burj Khalifa. Opt for the high

tea experience in the lounge, which

provides the perfect excuse to linger

and enjoy the view while nibbling on

delicious sweets and savoury bites.

For a front row seat to The Dubai

Fountain, you’ll find lots of venues

at The Dubai Mall and neighbouring

Souk Al Bahar that deliver the goods.

One of the best on the scene is Zeta

at Address Downtown, which blends

Californian and Asian influences with

a close-up view of all the action.

Beyond the skyscrapers, there’s

an enticing underbelly of enchanting

venues that offer memorable meals

amid the dunes. Al Hadheerah, at

Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa,

transports you to old Arabia with a

dazzling line-up of entertainment,

including belly dancing, henna

painting, a live Arabic band and a

falcon display. Bag a spot on the

outdoor seating area and feast on

traditional Middle Eastern fare as

you sit back and enjoy the show.

Similarly, Al Diwaan at Al Maha,

a Luxury Collection Desert Resort

& Spa, Dubai, will seat you on

the veranda for a gourmet feast

with breathtaking views of the

wildlife reserve where Arabian

oryx and gazelle roam freely.

Further embrace the Emirati culture

and re-live the Dubai of the 1960s

by heading to Al Fanar Restaurant.

There are two locations (at Dubai

Festival City and Al Seef) serving

home-style favourites, such as

maleh (salt-cured fish) and naghar

mashwi (spiced grilled squid).

Meanwhile, for a novel treat,

head to Majlis at The Dubai Mall,

which specialises in coffee, cakes,

shakes and ice-cream made from

camel milk, a Bedouin staple.

Opposite from top left:

Opa; Zeta This page: STK;

Fish Beach Taverna

31 Restaurants


Famous for its world-class shopping, Dubai Duty Free

invites you to experience the best of the emirate

These pages, clockwise:

The Irish Village in Studio

One Hotel; Dubai Duty Free

Arrivals Shop in Terminal 3

of DXB Airport; the Jumeirah

Creekside Hotel


With a first-class customer service,

excellent value for money and a

wide range of quality products in

a luxurious shopping environment,

Dubai Duty Free is your first and

last stop for retail therapy. Be sure

to visit the new Arrivals Shop in

Terminal 3 at Dubai International

Airport before you go out and explore

the mesmerising City of Gold.


Set in landscaped grounds

overlooking Dubai Creek, the

Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, owned

by Dubai Duty Free, perfectly

encompasses the modern luxury of

the city. Enjoy access to the awardwinning

Akaru spa, Jumeirah’s

32 Dubai Insider x Dubai Duty Free

private beach and complimentary

access to the exhilarating Wild

Wadi Waterpark.


A little piece of Ireland in the heart

of Dubai, The Irish Village invites you

to step back in time to the taverns

of olden times. Designed to look like

a typical Irish village street, serving

traditional Irish food, it’s a little slice

of home away from home. Following

the successful opening of its second

outpost at Riverland Dubai, Dubai

Parks & Resorts, The Irish Village now

has a third venue at Studio One Hotel

in Dubai Studio City. And as the world

eagerly waits for Expo 2020 Dubai,

The Irish Village is opening its fourth

outlet in the Expo grounds.


Dubai boasts a year-round calendar

of activities and events. Among the

premier dates in the diary is Dubai

Duty Free Tennis Championships,

which is set to take place from 17

– 29 February, with the current top

three women in the world battling

it out for the coveted trophy. As

the tournament celebrates the

20 th anniversary of the WTA event,

followed by a star-studded ATP

event, expect to witness arguably

the strongest line-up of players in

its 28-year history, including Novak

Djokovic, Roger Federer, Stefanos

Tsitsipas and Roberto Bautista Agut

to name just a few.

To find out more, visit



Soak up the spice-scented

souks and load up on labels in

the plush malls

33 Shopping

Shopping is a national pastime in

the UAE. Indeed, if New York is the

city that never sleeps, then Dubai is

the city that never stops shopping.

Here, designer boutiques dazzle with

luxury labels from all over the globe,

while traditional souks bubble over with

energy. If you’re intent on embarking

on a mammoth spree, The Dubai Mall

is the queen of retail experiences, with

practically everything you could want for

under one roof. This vast hub is home

to more than 1,300 shops, including a

dedicated luxury zone, Fashion Avenue,

bookended by anchor department stores

Galeries Lafayette and Bloomingdale’s.

Shop your way around the luxury

labels and high-street favourites to

the atmospheric Souk, where gems

from Middle Eastern and South Asian

jewellery shops glisten. When you’re done

pounding the marble-clad walkways,

there’s even more fun to be had at

the many dining and entertainment

attractions, such as Dubai Aquarium &

Underwater Zoo where you can marvel at

the marine life through the 270-degree

walkthrough tunnel. For coffee with a

view of The Dubai Fountain, the terrace

at Maison Assouline gets the thumbs up

from us.

Similarly grandiose, yet slightly less

intimidating, Mall of the Emirates is a

multi-level shopping extravaganza. Not

only does it boast a clutch of coveted

designers in its Fashion Dome, but it’s

also home to big name brands including

flagship stores Debenhams, Harvey

Nichols and Marks & Spencer. Once

you’re all shopped out, hit the slopes at

indoor ski resort Ski Dubai.

With a gorgeous waterfront location,

Dubai Marina Mall offers a laid-back

shopping experience with its array of

high-street brands and alfresco dining

venues overlooking the yachts bobbing in

the marina.

One of the newest malls on the scene,

Nakheel Mall on Palm Jumeirah has

brought more than 300 restaurants,

shops and attractions to the scene,

including Boom & Mellow and Prima

Gold. It’s also the access point for the

upcoming public observatory – The

View at The Palm – at the top of the

neighbouring Palm Tower.

Those who wish to look past the glitzy

labels and conventional stores will find

a strong undercurrent of concept stores

worth discovering. Make Comptoir 102

the first on your list. The boutique-meetsorganic-café

is a treasure trove of eclectic

fashion, jewellery, and interiors finds from

around the globe.

Another cool stop-off is The Edit

Dubai on Al Wasl Road, which carries a

curated range of fashion and accessories,

including silk kimonos from Nüdwear,

billowing dresses from Bedouin Studios

and equally gorgeous pieces from the

likes of Seren London, Acler and Monica

Sordo – with great coffee to boot.

There’s an increasing number of

outdoor shopping districts to check out,

too. Urban jungle City Walk has a clutch

of designer-centric boutiques, such as

Bambah and Michael Kors, alongside

some absolutely fabulous cafés.

Nearby, on Al Wasl Road, the hip

BoxPark (comprised of refitted shipping

containers) lures the cool set with its lineup

of contemporary fashion brands, from

Adidas to Urbanist.

At The Beach at JBR you can trawl the

shops that run alongside the beachfront

promenade. Ramp up your poolside style

credentials by picking up some new

swimwear at Hamac Beach Boutique

and a pair of glamorous shades at

Sun Eye.

One-of-a-kind boutiques by the sea

can also be found at La Mer in Jumeirah,

which is home to a cool collection of

stores, such as LA Rags and Trina Turk.

If you’re after hot deals on iconic

fashion brands, sizzling bargains can be

found at Dubai Outlet Mall. Located

in Dubailand, its roughly a 30-minute

34 Shopping




35 Shopping



Opening page: Dubai

Shopping Festival, courtesy

of Dubai Tourism

Previous page: Comptoir 102

These pages, from

above: Browse the souks

(image courtesy of Arabian

Adventures, part of the

Traditional Dubai City Tour);

The Outlet Village; Dubai

Duty Free

taxi ride from the city centre, but

more than worth it for snagging some

previous season’s style hits for less.

With its Tuscan inspired design, The

Outlet Village in Jebel Ali is another

great hub for designer discounts on

brands such as Aigner, Coach, DKNY,

Giuseppe Zanotti and many more.

For a more traditional shopping

experience, head to the bazaars. Noisy,

chaotic and colourful, Dubai’s souks are

straight out of Agrabah. As soon as you

step off the abra at Deira Old Souk abra

station, heady scents will lure you to the

Spice Souk with its profusion of market

stalls overflowing with aromatic spices.

Close by, gold glistens at Dubai Gold

Souk. This jewellery lover’s paradise is

overflowing with gems, from delicate pearl

earrings to lavish wedding necklaces.

Those with an eye for fashion

should hot step it to Dubai Textile

Souk, a fabric nirvana with swathes

of fine materials alongside a variety

of ready-made outfits to try on.

Don’t miss the opportunity to have

one of the many talented tailors in the city

whip you up a bespoke outfit. Dream

Girls Tailors (find them on Al Satwa

Road and in Karama) is popular for its

custom cuts and perfect stitching. And

there are many more traditional tailors to

discover in these neighbourhoods.

For a modern take on the Arabian

bazaar, Souk Madinat Jumeirah is a

firm favourite for its labyrinthine lanes

lined with barrows selling souvenirs,

jewellery, oud and other trinkets.

When it’s time to fly, make sure

you factor in plenty of time to shop at

Dubai Duty Free. The travel retailer is

famous for its fantastic selection of

brands at great prices, so whether you

want to load up on designer beauty

goodies or bag some last-minute

keepsakes, you’ll find lots to tempt you –

just don’t miss the last call.

36 Shopping

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A fascinating knit of age-old traditions

and ambitious futuristic vision, the

emirate has a story worth sharing

38 Culture

It’s easy to admire Dubai for its

fearless ability to embrace the

future and dream up a city that goes

beyond expectations. From daringly

high skyscrapers to palm-shaped

islands, creativity shines bright in the

emirate, and with many more grand

projects in the pipeline, it’s clear

that Dubai is far from finished when

it comes to its evolution from small

fishing village to mega metropolis.

The most hotly anticipated event in

the calendar, representing a milestone

for the emirate, is Expo 2020 Dubai,

which is taking place from 20 October

2020 to 10 April 2021 and is expected

to attract over 25 million visitors from

around the world. Get set to discover

the 192 country pavilions featuring

narratives from every corner of the

globe, alongside an awesome line-up

of experience and attractions, from

getting a bird’s eye view of the site

from the top of the observation tower

to catching a live performance, it’ll go

down in history as the event of

the decade.

Another visionary attraction in the

works, The Museum of the Future

along Sheikh Zayed Road will wow

you with it’s calligraphy adorned,

ring-shaped structure complete with

gravity defying elliptical void. Inside,

there’ll be exhibitions, immersive

theatre and themed attractions.

Amid the city’s shiny newness, it can

be a challenge to imagine life before

the skyscrapers shot up, but a trip to

Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood

will set you on the right track. Take a

trip back to pre-1970s Dubai (before

the discovery of oil in 1966) and weave

your way through a maze of beautifully

reserved traditional buildings and

quiet courtyards that house a fantastic

selection of museums, art galleries

and cultural spaces. In the early 1900s

this busy area beside Dubai Creek was

populated by affluent merchants and

bordered by Al Fahidi Fort, which today

houses Dubai Museum. Discover the

dioramas depicting the local culture

and everyday Emirati life through the

decades, as well as artefacts dating to

3000 BCE.

If you want to mix contemporary

architecture with historic tales, make

Opposite: Al Fahidi

Historical Neighbourhood

This page clockwise

from left: Sheikh

Mohammed Centre for

Cultural Understanding;

Richard Hudson’s

‘Love Me’ public art

commission; guests

taking a virtual reality tour

of Expo 2020 Dubai

Overleaf: Street art at

City Walk

39 Culture

40 Culture




Etihad Museum your next stop.

Opened in 2017, this strikingly modern

museum is home to an impressive

collection of documentary films,

photographs, artefacts and interactive

displays that chronicle the formation

of the United Arab Emirates in 1971.

Another museum showcasing

aspects of Dubai’s warp speed growth

can be found at the base of Dubai

Frame in Zabeel Park. The immersive

gallery tells the story through a series

of hi-tech presentations, including

virtual reality and curated scents.

As all savvy travellers know,

meeting the locals is the best way to

get under the skin of a city. You can

savour a traditional spread of Emirati

food while learning more about the

customs and traditions of the UAE

at Sheikh Mohammed Centre for

Cultural Understanding. Its hugely

popular 90-minute Emirati Cultural

Breakfast Experience offers a chance

to ask your local host anything you

want to know about the culture. The

centre also offers tours of Jumeirah

Mosque, one of only two mosques in

Dubai that are open to non-Muslims.

With a thriving art scene, the

city is a vibrant canvas that begs

discovery. The hip and happening

Alserkal Avenue in Al Quoz lures art

aficionados with its cool collection

of warehouses comprised of more

than 60 art, design and creative

spaces running a full gamut of

styles and influences. Some of our

favourite stop-offs include Custot

Gallery Dubai, which showcases

modern and contemporary artists

such as Josef Albers, Chu teh-

Chun and Ian Davenport. There

are plenty more gems to discover

besides, from The Third Line for

contemporary Middle Eastern art to

Carbon 12 for its engaging line up

of exhibitions and talks. Meanwhile,

at Dubai International Financial

Centre, a coterie of art hubs shake

up the corporate vibe with esteemed

galleries to check out, including

XVA Gallery, Opera Gallery and

The Empty Quarter, which is

devoted to fine art photography.

Making waves as the country’s first

non-profit, non-government owned

museum dedicated to contemporary

art, Jameel Arts Centre on the

bank of Jaddaf Waterfront is worth

a visit for its striking collection of

traditional and cutting-edge works

by local and international artists.

A city that wears its heart on

its sleeve, Dubai has been steadily

building up its portfolio of public art,

with sculptures, vivid murals and

attention-grabbing graffiti dotted

around town. The Dubai Walls project

at City Walk brought 15 of the best

street artists from around the world

to put their stamp on the urban

development. In addition, buildings

along 2nd December Street in

Satwa are suitably adorned,

having hosted the first wave

of the Dubai Street Museum

project, which unleashed a cadre

of international artists on the city

to create artworks showcasing the

UAE’s rich history and culture.

In Downtown Dubai, Emaar

Boulevard is a hub for striking

sculptures and installations,

including Richard Hudson’s ‘Love

Me’ public art commission, which is

situated just outside the Waterfall

Entrance of The Dubai Mall.

For a glamorous evening out, Dubai

Opera calls with its diverse line-up

of performances, which range from

opera and ballet to comedy and music

concerts. Meanwhile, an evening of

thrilling entertainment awaits at La

Perle by Dragone, Dubai’s first inresidence

show, which draws on the

aquatic, aerial and acrobatic expertise

of a troupe of outstanding performers

to weave a spellbinding tale inspired

by Dubai’s rise to prominence.

41 Culture


It’s time to get out and

see what this city

is all about.

Dubai’s cultural diversity is

reflected in its culinary

mosaic of fantastic


There’s no shortage of retail

therapy in Dubai, from mega

malls to edgy concept stores

and traditional souks.

We say do as much as you can

during your stay and save those

zzz’s for the flight home

From venues with a view to

the best live music spots –

you’ll never miss a beat

Visit us online for daily inspiration on how to make the most of your time in the emirate


Stay up-to-date on what’s happening, enter our competitions,

and connect with like-minded travellers on our social media channels


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A hotbed of theme parks, desert

adventures and watersports, Dubai

delivers thrills by the dozen

43 Activities

With an ever-growing roster of

mind-boggling attractions to

get to grips with, Dubai lures

intrepid travellers to embrace

its out-of-this-world experiences.

Slather on the suncream and head out

into the desert dunes to discover a

side of the emirate that’s far removed

from the city’s gloss. Arabian

Adventures is your go-to for a thrilling

desert safari. We rate the Private

Starlight Safari, which will whisk

you away in a four-wheel drive to the

idyllic setting of the Dubai Desert

Conservation Reserve where you can

ride a camel across the sand and tuck

into a barbecue dinner around the

glowing campfire.

If you’ve a head for heights, another

great way to admire the desert in all

its glory is by taking flight in a hot air

balloon with Balloon Adventures.

Spread your wings, get a bird’s eye

view of the rolling red sands, rising

sun, grazing gazelle and majestic

Hajar Mountains as you float overhead.

You’ll also get to see a falcon fly and

44 Activities




dip through the air, before returning to

its perch on its trainer’s glove.

The adventures in the clouds don’t

end there, however. Brace yourself for

the mother of all things adventurous

and follow in the footsteps of actor

Will Smith by leaping out of a plane

over Palm Jumeirah while tethered to

a professional with Skydive Dubai.

Sign up for the video footage, as a

permanent record of your bravery.

If you’re looking for a slightly less

daring way to discover the city from

above, the Seawings Signature

Tour will whizz you up and over the

skyscraper-laden skyline, between

Palm Jumeirah and Burj Khalifa, in a

classic seaplane.

Once you’re done soaring to

new heights, the emirate’s water

worlds beckon. The Lost Chambers

Aquarium is an Atlantis-style kingdom

of fluttering rays, dancing jellyfish and

giant groupers. Home to over 65,000

marine animals, this maze of halls and

enclosures houses over 20 themed

exhibits and offers you the chance to

tick diving with sharks off the bucket

list. Keep splashing the day away at

Aquaventure Waterpark, where you’ll

get to enjoy 30 slides and attractions,

float along Dubai’s longest lazy river,

and relax on the 500-metre stretch

of private beach. Another major

contender on the scene is Wild Wadi

Waterpark. From its kid-friendly slides

to the terrifying Jumeirah Sceirah

(which propels you to speeds of 80

km/h), it’s wet and wild all the way.

Over at Laguna Waterpark at La Mer,

you can also earn the bargaining rights

of tackling the competition-level wave

on a body board or stand-up board.

Back on dry land, the world’s

largest indoor park, IMG Worlds of

Adventure, lures thrill-seekers for a

scream-your-lungs-out extravaganza.



45 Activities

46 Activities




Opening page:

Wild Wadi Waterpark

Previous pages from left

to right: Skydive Dubai;

Laguna Waterpark

These pages, clockwise

from left: Dubai Miracle

Garden; X Park Jr.; The Green

Planet; Ski Dubai

With four zones including Cartoon

Network, Marvel, Lost Valley-Dinosaur

Adventure and IMG Boulevard, the

park is a superhero lover’s paradise.

Another top theme park on the

doorstep, Dubai Parks and Resorts

in Jebel Ali has an impressive roster of

rides spread across three theme parks

and a water park.

Nature meets playtime with high

wire action at Aventura Parks, where

you can zip-line through a natural ghaf

tree forest. XPark Jr. is where kids get

to splash in streams, climb trees and

hang out in treehouses to their heart’s

content, as well as explore meandering

paths, cascading fountains and the onsite

petting zoo.

Swap the great outdoors for the

winter wonderland that is Ski Dubai.

This indoor ski resort, which is dusted

with real snow, invites you to don your

woolly hat and gloves and ride the

chairlift up through the faux alpine

setting before racing down the slopes.

If you can build a ski slope in

the middle of the desert, why not a

rainforest too? The Green Planet

puts more than 3,000 animals and

plants on display beneath its tropical

canopy, including birds, butterflies,

frogs, spiders and snakes to ‘edutain’

people about biodiversity, nature and

sustainability. Make sure you check

out the newest additions, including the

adorable slow loris and wallabies.

If you’re looking to score a dizzying

number of Instagram likes, head to

Dubai Miracle Garden – the world’s

largest natural flower garden – and

strike a pose in front of bloom-

47 Activities

Clockwise from above

left: At The Top,

Burj Khalifa, The

Dubai Fountain;

Drift Beach Dubai

covered structures including all your

favourite Disney characters. Before

you leave, be sure to seek out the

full-sized Emirates Airbus A380 – it’s

a Guinness World Record-breaking

showstopper. Just next door is the

dazzling Butterfly Garden, which

houses 15,000 stunning butterflies in

nine custom-built domes.

With a lovely long coastline,

Dubai is awash with options for days

spent lazing on the beach. The lively

surf and breezy weather at Kite

Beach is perfect for kite surfers and

paddleboarders alike, while its food

trucks and inflatable water park are

great fun for families. If you like to lay

out with the best of them, join the hip

young things jostling for a space on

48 Activities




the sand at The Beach at JBR where

you can test your skills at the various

watersports on offer, ride a camel

along the sand and cool down with

an ice-cream from one of the many

vendors on the promenade. Ramp up

the glam factor at Drift Beach Dubai

at the One&Only Royal Mirage hotel.

This swanky beach club will make you

feel like an A-lister with drinks and

light bites delivered straight to your

sun lounger.

Of course, no trip to Dubai is

complete without a visit to the world’s

tallest tower, Burj Khalifa. Journey

456 metres high to enjoy headspinning

views of the ever-developing

city At The Top observation deck.

If you want to take it up a notch, get

your hands on a ticket to At The Top,

Burj Khalifa SKY so you can climb

even further towards the clouds to

Levels 125 and 148, home to highest

outdoor observatory on the planet. Its

neighbouring The Dubai Fountain

enchants with its mesmerising

performances that shoot water 500

feet up into the air to a rotating

musical repertoire featuring the likes

of Andrea Bocelli, as well as Arabic

and world music.





Standing tall in the heart of

Dubai Marina, featuring

incomparable panoramic views

of the city, combine the best

of all worlds with luxurious

accommodation, three

contemporary dining

destinations and a blissful

caravanserai-inspired, Saray Spa.





Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites


Inspiration. Expertly crafted.

Comprising two iconic towers, the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai is centrally located beside the

Dubai Water Canal and offers a spectrum of facilities and services for a seamless experience.

The hotel features: 1,608 Luxurious Guest Rooms and Suites, Over 15 Award-Winning Restaurants

and Lounges, Saray Spa featuring Traditional Hammams, A Dead Sea Floatation Pool and

17 Treatment Rooms, State-of-the-Art Health Club and Fitness facilities, 8,000 sqm of spectacular

Meeting Spaces.

JW Marriott® Marquis® Hotel Dubai

Sheikh Zayed Road, Business Bay, PO Box 121000, Dubai, UAE | T +971.4.414.0000 |

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