Dubai has become one of the world's ultimate playgrounds for design, cuisine, thrills and luxury. Hundreds of thousands of tourists visit the city and Emirate each year and the choice is immense!
The Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa
In a city famous for super hotels the choice of places to stay in Dubai can be quite overwhelming. Our recommendation is something a little more authentic. A nod to a time when Dubai was smaller and less crowded. The Arabian Courtyard Hotel and Spa is located in the heart of Bur Dubai opposite the Dubai Museum and a stone's throw away from the Creek. The hotel has a more vintage feel without compromising on service and quality.
The Hamptons Café
The Hamptons Café on Al Wasl Road is an upmarket American themed café serving arguably some of the best coffee in town. If there is space ask to sit on the roof terrace, it's enclosed, air conditioned and a bit quirky. The breakfasts are amazing and if you are there for lunch or dinner try the Wagyu beef burger. it's life changing!
There are many beaches to choose from in Dubai. Burj Beach, sometimes called Sunset Beach or Jumeriah Beach, is adjacent to the Burj Al Arab and always popular for those looking for that Burj Al Arab selfie. It is definitely worth a visit. The facilities are top notch including beach Wi-Fi!
folly by Nick and Scott
Having recently set up shop in within the Madinat, they are already making quite the name for themselves. It feels like a bit of an understatement saying that the food is delicious. The menu is unique and meticulously planned, allowing for a huge range of flavour - they are really inventive, we were amazed at what they could do with simple radishes! The views from the terraces out across to the Burj al Arab are beautiful, and they also have an exclusive romantic table for two situated in a private tower. They hooked us with their great value lunch menu and amazing folly pop sundowners!
The Taste Kitchen
The Taste Kitchen has several locations across the city and serves good value quality food. The menu is varied and has some excellent options for breakfast and lunch. My personal favourite is the Peach French toast. Amy enjoys the superfood salad, complete with edible flowers. They do a selection of breakfast options for AED 24, which is a steal!
The Box Park
Dubai is inundated with shopping malls, but the Box Park is a different kind of shopping experience. Located on Al Wasl road the whole place is made out of disused shipping containers and boasts a good selection of quirky shops, chic cafes and restaurants. There is street art throughout, regular events and even a running club. My favourite part is the free games, like table tennis and giant connect four.
Platinum Heritage Desert Safari
If you do decide that you really want to do a desert safari , then there is only one that you should even consider. Platinum Heritage offer the most authentic mainstream desert safari you can have in Dubai. They use only Series 1 Land Rovers that were originally used in the UAE in the 50s. The safari takes you into the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve in search of local protected wildlife, including the chance to see the protected Arabian Oryx. After the safari there is a falconry display (which is very impressive) and dinner in a mock Bedouin camp. The food is very good and there is not a belly dancer in sight!
Kite Beach is the beach to be at. The facilities are excellent, showers, Wi-Fi, airstream food vans, promenade, skate park, water sports rental, gym, volleyball. The list goes on. A lot of investment has gone to make this beach comfortable and convenient.
Lime Tree Café
The Lime Tree Café is a Dubai expat institution and has been one of my favourite cafes for a long time. There are several branches across the city but for the original (and in my opinion, best) head to the Beach Road branch close to the Jumeirah Mosque. There is always a great selection of sandwiches, wraps, salads, quiche and, of course, desserts. The cakes are famous, the carrot cake and brownie in particular. The chocolate brownie is insane! The cafe also offers some cool merchandise and a range of refreshing drinks.
At the Top: Burj Khalifa
Getting the best view of Dubai is a must. It is pretty busy and a very popular Dubai attraction. Go for a fast track ticket and beat the queues. Check out the Groupon app before you go as there is usually always a deal.
City Walk is another shopping area with an emphasis on designs, dining and street art. It as a great place to explore and also has regular events, shows and street games like table tennis. The street art is pretty awesome and worth a wander around just to see it.
Sandboarding in the desert
Dubai really is a sandboarder's dream. Dunes check, 4x4s check, dune buggies check, super high quality sandboarding company Above Sandboards - check! If you're up for a bit of adrenalin and want to get out into the desert without doing a tourist trap 'desert safari' then Sandboarding with Ali and one of Above Sandboard's handcrafted beauts is a must. Ali specialises in bespoke desert trips and can fit 6 guests in his 4x4. For AED 1000 you get an expert driver and desert guide, training and use of handcrafted Dubai-made Above Sandboards, drinks and refreshments and use of a quad bike for getting up and down dunes easily. Get in contact with Ali here - Whatsapp +971 55 732 1213.
Of course, Dubai has so much more to offer and there are many more places to visit, eat and drink all over the city. The waterparks like Wild Wadi are always a great day out, for example. These are just a selection of our favourites that we think you should try!