Dubai Travel Tips – Part 2

I have covered where to show, stay and what to see but I have missed one of the most vital things, where to EAT! Dubai is full of amazing places to eat with family friendly restaurants and fine dining hot spots. With every big brand chain to some of the best restaurants in the world there is something for every occasion. These are my top recommendations for dining in Dubai.

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Family Friendly

JBR is a large stretch of restaurants and shops, the area is pedestrianised and there is a large central area which frequently host a mini fun fair creating a great family friendly area. The majority of the restaurants are big chain names, Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, PF Changs etc but there are some slightly more up market venues too. The Cavalli Caffe is a lovely alfresco venue serving Italian cuisine in true Cavalli style, even the pasta is animal print!

There is literally every type of food to chose from and the whole area has a lovely atmosphere but bare in mind that only soft drinks are served in this area so if you are looking to enjoy a glass of wine with your meal you will need to head to a hotel.

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A full list of the restaurants in JBR can be found here.

Traditional Cuisine

If you are looking to have some traditional cuisine the best place to go is Reem Al Bawadi. This restaurant serves amazing local food family style and also has an amazing array of cakes on display in the deli style dessert counter.  There are several of these in Dubai but  i would recommend booking an outside table at the Down Town location as you get a perfect view of the Burj Khalifa. Although you cannot drink alcohol in this restaurant you can enjoy shisha with or after your meal while enjoying the view.

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For more information and locations click here. 

Romantic

If you are looking for a really memorable meal I would recommend two iconic locations, Shimmers in the Madinat Jumeirah and At.mosphere at the Burj Khalifa. Shimmers is located on the Madinat Jumeirah’s private beach and has the most spectacular views. Once you have finished your delicious greek meal you can head to the beach for cocktails and shisha while taking in the Burj Al Arab and the beautiful surroundings.

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At.mosphere is fine dining at its best, from the second you walk out the lift the staff are amazing and once seated, the food is even better. I had the tasting menu which I would recommend, although it is a little pricey.

The best time to be seated is just before sunset so you see the views both at day and night, you can request a window seat which has a slightly higher minimum spend value than the other tables but is 100% worth it.

You will never forget your experience at At.mosphere, not only because it is fabulous but also because they will send you away with branded chocolates, a Polaroid capturing your visit and if you have the tasting menu your waiter will sign a copy with a cute message and place that in a branded sleeve as a keepsake. As the Burj Khalifa functions as a hotel you can also enjoy a glass or champagne to finish off your magical meal.

Leave a comment with your recommendations, happy eating!

Love Lottie xxx

Dubai Travel Tips – Part 1

Dubai is quickly becoming the centre of the world, a hub for many flight transfers and a holiday destination in its own right. Dubai is literally the place you can do anything! A morning at the beach followed by skiing or an afternoon or shopping local souvenirs in souks followed by being in the largest shopping Mall in the world, anything is possible. I’ve been to Dubai a few times now and hope these tips will help you have an amazing trip.

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Accommodation

The magnificent palm is a post card location for Dubai and is an amazing place to stay with luxury hotels including the fabulous Atlantis but if you want to actually see Dubai the palm may not be the best place to stay, especially if you are short on time. Getting on and off the palm can take between 30 minutes – 2 hours if the traffic is bad so if you want to be able to get around most places i would recommend staying some where more central such as Down Town Dubai or the base of the palm if you are looking for that post card destination.

There are so many hotels in Dubai but Trip Advisory have a good list of Central ones with detailed reviews here: https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/HotelsList-Dubai-City-Centre-Hotels-zfp45245.html

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Shopping

The biggest destination is the Dubai Mall, with its huge aquarium, waterfall, ice rink and of course hundreds of shops. The good thing about the Mall is the stores are grouped well, you can usually find what you are looking for relativity easily. There are also numerous help points around the Mall both electronic and manned stands which have a huge index and easy to follow maps. Although Dubai is a place known for its wealth a number of things are actually more expensive in Dubai, designer goods, make up and Victoria Secret being just a few, so make sure you check the prices before going on a shopping spree. There are many restaurants and the majority are well known chains so its easy to spend a full day here viewing the sights and shopping.

The Creek area is filled with market stalls and usual tourist gifts, there is also a vast spice market in this area too. With that comes the traditions of a market, forceful selling techniques and constantly saying no thank you as you head head through the streets. I would definitely recommend the Creek Area just for a look around and to sit at a cafe on the Creek with a a Rose Tree Cooler or Saffron Karak Chai (a traditional tea).

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If that isn’t for you but you would like a for  more of a traditional shopping experience the Souks at the Madinat are the perfect compromise. Although usually more expensive than the traditional market’s you can wander through the Aladdin cave style stores, pick up some souvenirs then head to a Cafe Rouge for a glass of wine. In this area you can also find great views of the Burj Al Arab and see the small Venice style rivers which wind through the area.

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Sights

Burj Khalifa

If you would life to have a view from the top its best to book this in advance, tickets sell out fast at peak times! If you really want to explore the views there is a great bar and restaurant, but neither are cheap and both have a minimum spend. If you want to see the view at dusk or night going to to bar is a great way to relax and see the view as you can easily meet the minimum spend by having a couple of cocktails and there is no fee to go up.

The Dubai Fountain

The Fountains are best to be viewed when spending time at the Mall, this way if you miss a show you can either go back to your shopping, grab a soft drink or bite to eat while waiting for the next show. There are only 2 day time shows these times change depending on the day but the evening shows are every 30 minutes from 6pm – 11pm.  The evening show is very popular so it may be best to try and get a good view form a near by restaurant and wait it out or wait till one show is ending and try to get to the front. You will have to wait 30 minutes, defending your spot if you are desperate for a prime view. The evening shows are broken up with a light show on the Burj Khalifa so you will be entertained no matter which option you go form.

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You can’t go to Dubai with out going into the Desert. A Desert Safari is the best way to ensure you get the full experience. This trip is a long one, starting in the afternoon and not getting back till 9pm, the majority of time spent in the vehicle so make sure you are wearing something comfy. It also can be cold at night in the desert so take a jacket or jumper if you are used to the Dubai heat. You will go into the desert, bouncing round the dunes, get a chance to do quad biking, camel riding or dune surfing then will be served traditional food while watching live entertainment. I would recommend this trip, especially if you want to make the most of your time if Dubai but driving through the dunes isn’t for the faint hearted!

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The Culture

People forget how young Dubai is as a city and that not that long ago there were no sky scrapers and Ex Pats. I went on a cultural tour at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding. On the tour you see how the people of Dubai used to live and get an opportunity to ask a local anything. You will be served traditional food and coffee while discussing the culture with your guide followed by a walk through the Centre ending at a Mosque. Women will be required to cover with an Abaya and Hijab but this is provided by the Centre. It was amazing to see a side of this city that is forgotten, the locals as well as the culture and I would highly recommended this excursion.

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Burj Al Arab

To get that perfect Dubai image the Burj Al Arab at night is a must! You can see this from the Madinat Souks as mentioned earlier but a great way to see it is by booking a meal at Shimmers Restaurant in the Madinat Jumeirah. You can have great food with a view of the beach and the Burj Al Arab then shisha and drinks on the beach  with the best backdrop. If you want to see the Burj Al Arab in the day light you can do a paddle board tour, I am desperate to do this on my next trip

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I hope these inspire you to visit Dubai or make your next trip even more amazing. I’ll be following this up with where to eat and party in Dubai!

Love Lottie xxx