United Arab Emirates Travel Guide
The sun always shines on the UAE and its gleaming cities, the most popular of which is cosmopolitan, wealthy Dubai, which is characterised by a ten-mile long (16km) deep creek that forms a natural harbour. In Dubai resides the Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone, which makes the city a must for shop-a-holics. A major attraction is the annual Dubai Shopping Festival.
Abu Dhabi is the capital of the UAE and one of the most modern cities in the world. Visitors revel in large gardens and parks, green boulevards, sophisticated high-rise buildings, modern communication services and transport, international luxury hotels, rich shopping malls and cultural centres. The city's airport ranks as one of the finest in the world.
Just in case travellers forget they are actually in Arabia, the UAE also offers a host of experiences and attractions that utilise its historic Bedouin heritage, including camel treks, henna tattoos, desert stargazing, 4x4 trips through sand dunes and cruises aboard a dhow. Hundreds of tour companies offer a variety of excursions and adventure packages to suit all tastes and persuasions.
Address: Yas Island, 30 minutes drive from Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi
Strap yourself in for the ride of a lifetime at Ferrari World,
which opened at Abu Dhabi's Yas Island in November 2010. At over 2
million sq feet (200,000 sq m) this is the largest indoor amusement
park in the world. The headline attraction is the Formula Rossa
rollercoaster, by some margin the world's fastest, attaining speeds
of up to 160 miles p/h (240km) and an acceleration of 4.8 G, which
is what a Formula One racing driver experiences at full throttle.
The park's many attractions include the largest Ferrari gallery
outside of the brand's headquarters in Marinello, Italy; the Speed
of Magic immersive 4-D film experience; the G-Force space shot
tower; Bell'Italia, which reproduces Italy's main attractions in
miniature; and various state of the art racing simulators. An
enormous red-domed roof encloses the facility, creating a
futuristic and unique structure that has been nominated for several
architectural awards. Ferrari World includes six restaurants,
featuring four Michelin-starred chefs.
Al Hosn Palace (White Fort)
Address: Khalid bin Walid St Abu Dhabi
The oldest building in young Abu Dhabi is the Al Hosn Palace,
known colloquially as the White Fort. It was constructed in 1793 as
the official residence of the former ruling family, and was
extensively renovated in 1983. Today it houses the Cultural
Foundation, featuring a museum of traditional artefacts and
historical photographs. The Palace is renowned for the magnificent
tile work over its main gate.
The natural seawater inlet that cuts through the centre of the
city is the historical part of Dubai where visitors can take an
abra (small water taxi) and view the old trading port and the dhows
from the water. A cruise to Al-Maktoum Bridge will pass many of the
city's historic, as well as modern, landmarks. A stroll around the
wharf offers a picturesque glimpse of Dubai's trading heritage,
where dhows bound for distant places dock to unload their
The old Bastakiya district is a step back in time to the days
before electricity and air-conditioning, where traditional
courtyard houses were cooled by wind towers. Old Dubai was famous
for its wind towers that lined the Creek on both sides, and today
the narrow lanes festooned with the distinctively Arabian
architecture are a popular historical attraction marked for tourist
Address: Both sides of the Creek, in Deira and Bur Dubai Dubai
Admission: Free Daily 7am-12pm and 5pm-7pm; Fridays 5pm-7pm.
The souks, or traditional markets, are popular with bargain
hunters as well as sightseers and photographers. The most famous is
the Gold Souk, where the narrow streets are lined with shops
selling everything golden, from 24-carat bars to rings and
elaborate necklaces, and all at low prices. The tiny lanes of the
traditional spice souk are scented with sacks of cinnamon, incense,
spices, and dried fruit, while the modern fish souk bustles with
activity and is redolent with smells of a more unpleasant nature.
At the heart of the Bur Dubai souk lies Al Fahidi Street, selling
the latest electronics, photographic equipment and home appliances
at competitive prices. Other streets sell everything from materials
and carpets to traditional coffee pots, loaves of unleavened bread
and hubble-bubble pipes.
Address: Al Mussalla Road Dubai
Boasting the city's tallest minaret at 230 feet (70m), the Grand
Mosque is a notable landmark with its multi-domed style and
impressive size. It is an important place of worship and can
accommodate up to 1,200 worshippers inside. Non-Muslims are not
permitted to enter the Mosque.
Address: Jumeirah Beach Road, between the Jumeirah Beach Hotel and the Burj Al Arab Hotel Dubai
Admission: AED 215 (age 13+); AED 175 (children 4-12); reduced admission after sunset. For individuals staying either at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel or Burj Al Arab, access to the Wild Wadi Water Park is free. Open daily from 11am. In January and February it closes 6pm; March to May 7pm; June to August 9pm; and September to December 5pm.
Telephone: (0)4 348 4444
One of the most advanced water theme parks ever designed, the
five-hectare (12-acre) water park at Wild Wadi offers families and
thrill seekers hours of fun, relaxation and adrenalin-pumping
action. Designed like an Arabian wadi (oasis), the park has an
Arabian folklore theme and features some of the highest and fastest
water rides outside of North America with 24 state of the art,
high-adrenaline rides and slides. Rides for thrill seekers include
Jumeirah Sceirah, a 108ft (33m) free-fall at 50 miles per hour
(80km/hr), Master Blaster slides that are water roller coasters
propelled uphill by high-powered jets, the white-knuckle ride at
Rushdown Ravine or the high waves at Breakers Bay.
Address: The Breakwater Abu Dhabi
Designed as a living museum depicting traditional Bedouin life,
the Heritage Village over the Abu Dhabi Corniche features tents,
courtyard houses, an ancient irrigation system, workshops where
craftsmen ply their trades, a museum and much more.
While Musandam is technically part of Oman, the tiny peninsula
is all but surrounded by the United Arab Emirates. The barren
mountains that make up most of Musandam are home to a few isolated
villages; Khasab is the largest, with a few cultural attractions
like prehistoric rock paintings and a 17th-century castle.
But tourists don't come to Musandam for nightlife, they come for the spectacular views and quiet beauty of nature. The coastline of the peninsula is made up of stunning fjord-like inlets, and dhow and boat trips along the coast are a popular activity in Musandam (and a good way to spot dolphis frolicking in the sea). Scuba diving is also popular, especially from the dive centre at the Golden Tulip Hotel, the only major hotel in the region.
Address: Abu Dhabi
Numerous local tour operators in Abu Dhabi offer trips from the
city to the famed Liwa Oasis, about three hours drive away along a
modern highway. This green, agricultural strip at the edge of the
Rub Al Khali ('Empty Quarter') is surrounded by desolate desert
with farms abutting towering sand dunes. Visitors enjoy overnight
camel trips to camp in the desert. The oasis, made up of a string
of small towns and villages, is resplendent with pools of fresh
water and date plantations, and is the ancestral home of the Bani
Yas tribe from whence sprang Abu Dhabi's ruling family.
Address: Al Jumeirah Road Dubai
Admission: Tour fee: AED 20 per person. Tours are on Thursday at 10am; tours are also available on Sundays at 10am in summer.
Telephone: +971 04 353 6666
The Jumeirah Mosque is one of the most photographed sights in
Dubai. A fine example of modern Islamic architecture, this
beautiful mosque is also one of the city's largest, with a majestic
dome and twin minarets, and is one of the few mosques open to
non-Muslims for tours. Non-Muslims may only enter the Jumeirah
Mosque on an organised tour. Modest dress is preferred, however
traditional attire can be borrowed from the Mosque.
Address: Al Faheidi Fort Dubai
Admission: AED 3 for adults; AED 1 for children (under the age of 6) Saturday to Thursday 8:30am-8:30pm, Friday 2:30pm-8:30pm.
Telephone: +971 4 353 1862
The imposing 19th-century Al Faheidi Fort houses the Dubai
Museum, which has an impressive collection of military and cultural
artefacts, as well as working models and life-size displays
depicting various aspects of Dubai life such as the markets, an
Islamic school, the desert, Arab houses and Gulf marine life. One
of the most interesting exhibits shows the underwater world of
pearl-diving. The fort was built in 1799 to guard Dubai from
landward approaches, and was once the residence of the city's
rulers as well as the seat of government until 1971.
Address: Sheikh Zayed Rd, Mall of the Emirates Dubai
Admission: Various ski packages are available. Check the website for details. Sunday to Wednesday 10am-11pm, closes midnight Thursday and Friday, and 11pm Saturday.
Telephone: +971 04 409 4000
One of the city's newest and most interesting attractions is the
region's first indoor ski resort, with real snow and five runs
catering to both beginner and expert skiers and snowboarders. The
monumental indoor snowdome can host up to 1,500 people. The longest
run is 1,312 feet (400m), dropping 197 feet (60m), while a
freestyle zone and quarter pipe cater specifically for
snowboarders. Ski lifts, snow patrols and professional instructors
help to create an authentic environment. A Snow Park at the bottom
is ideal for children to play in the snow. Slope passes include all
equipment and ski clothing except hats and gloves. Guests need to
pass a minimum skills test to access the main slopes, and those who
don't pass can take lessons.
Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum Museum
Address: Al-Shindagha Rd Dubai
Admission: AED 3 for adults, AED 1 for children (under the age of 6) Saturday to Thursday 8am-8:30pm, Friday 3pm-9:30pm.
Telephone: +971 04 393 7139
Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum's house dates back to the 19th century,
and was built for Dubai's ruler with commanding views over the sea.
It is one of the oldest residences in the city and has been
restored as a museum exhibiting historical photographs and
artefacts showcasing Dubai's history and development. Its
architecture is also a fine example of the regional style with its
wind towers and central courtyard, teak wood doors and windows and
wooden lattice screens.
For a real taste of Arabia, visitors can take a trip into the
desert with any number of tour operators into the rolling sand
dunes surrounding Dubai. Tours usually include a thrilling 4x4
drive over the dunes, camel riding, a visit to a local Bedouin
village, and end with a traditional Arabian barbeque under the
stars with a show of belly dancing.
Address: Meydon Racecourse, Dubai Dubai
Admission: Free Thursday and Friday mornings. Call Meydon club for exact times.
Telephone: +971 04 832 6526
No visit to Dubai would be complete without a trip to the races
- the camel races. This is a traditional sport in the UAE and
hugely popular among local Emiratis who head to the race tracks
early in the morning to watch these magnificent animals. The racing
season runs from September to March and race tracks can be found in
various locations around the Emirate and on the way to Abu
Jumeirah Beach Park
Address: Opposite Chillis Restaurant on the Beach Road, Jumeirah Dubai
Admission: AED 5 per person or AED 20 per vehicle. Daily 7:30am-10pm. Closes 11pm Thursday and Friday.
Telephone: +971 4 349 2555
One of the main reasons holidaymakers flock to Dubai is to take
advantage of the stunning beaches. If visitors aren't staying
somewhere with access to the sand and sea, and don't want to pay
AED 100 or more to use a hotel's facilities, then Jumeirah Beach
Park is a brilliant alternative. The beaches are clean and safe,
and unlike some of the other public areas in Dubai, are not
populated with 'gawkers'. There are even designated 'women only'
sessions. The park section of the beach is equipped with barbecue
facilities and seating areas. There are also showers and toilets on
the beach, and lifeguards on duty at all times.
Bateaux Dubai Dinner Cruise
Address: Dubai Creek (opposite the British Embassy) Bur Dubai Dubai
Admission: From AED 495 per person for 4-course meal, welcome beverage and cruise. Boarding begins at 7:45pm. Departure from dock 8:30pm.
Telephone: +971 4 399 4994
The Bateaux Dubai Dinner Cruise provides visitors to the Emirate
with a unique and memorable way in which to view the older part of
Dubai. The two and a half hour cruise departs from just beyond the
Al Maktoum Bridge and makes its way along the Creek past many of
the city's most famous landmarks. Guests can take advantage of
unobstructed views thanks to the non-reflective glass surround and
extensive outside deck area.
A four course a-la-carte meal is served during the cruise (diners with specific dietary requirements are requested to arrange at the time of booking) and alcohol is available to purchase on board. Musical entertainment is provided care of the Bateaux Dubai musicians and DJ. Booking is required in advance through the reservation line.
Address: Financial Centre Road (Interchange 1), Dubai Dubai
Admission: Saturday to Friday 10am-11pm.
Telephone: +971 800 382246255
Opened in November 2008, the Dubai Mall is the world's largest
shopping centre and is home to around twelve hundred retailers. It
is the size of more than fifty football pitches and features an ice
rink, movie theatres, playground, aquarium, hotel, and is the
gateway to the Burj Dubai: the tallest building in the world. The
mall is home to a number of the world's best known stores including
Bloomingdales, Marks and Spencer and Montblanc. Designers such as
Stella McCartney also have outlets in the complex and world famous
jewellers Tiffany & Co. have a branch located there. The mall
also has a number of restaurants ranging from fast food to fine
dining. No trip to Dubai would be complete without an outing to
Dubai's latest shopping spectacular.
Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
Address: Dubai Mall, Financial Centre Road (Interchange 1), Dubai Dubai
Admission: Aquarium Tunnel: Child AED 20, Adult AED 25. Aquarium Tunnel & Underwater Zoo: AED 50
Telephone: (0)4 448 5200
Located in the enormous Dubai Mall, the recently-opened Dubai
Aquarium and Underwater Zoo is fast becoming one of the Emirates'
most popular attractions. Featuring the largest viewing panel and
one of the biggest tanks in the world, visitors have the
opportunity to experience the incredible underwater domain of
thousands of creatures of the deep. Highlights include feeding time
for the enormous Sand Tiger Sharks and the majestic Stingrays. The
aquarium and zoo is home to over thirty-thousand types of sea life
and provides an exciting, educational day out for adults and
Al Nasr Leisureland
Address: Off Umm Hurair Road Dubai
Admission: AED 10 (adults); AED 5 (children). Open daily 9am-10pm.
Telephone: 04 337 1234
With a variety of sports to choose from, Al Nasr Leisureland
offers facilities to cater to just about every sport under the sun.
From an ice rink to swimming pools, tennis courts and a bowling
alley, children will have a great time trying their hand at
everything. There is even an amusement park with bumper cars,
rollercoasters, go-karting and much more.
Address: Dubai Creek Park Dubai
Admission: AED 15 (adults); AED 10 (children) Open Monday to Friday 9am-8:30pm. Closes 3pm Fridays.
Telephone: 04 334 0808
This 82,890-square-foot (7,700 sq-metre) education park is
located in Dubai Creek Park and offers a wide range of activities
geared towards kids, making the educational process fun. Children
can learn all about the human body, science and space and the park
also features a theatre, café, souvenir shop and wonderful views of
Address: Dubai Creek Park Dubai
Admission: AED 40 (adults); AED 25 (children). Concessions available. Open daily 10am-7pm; Theme Park 4pm-10pm. Closed Sundays.
Telephone: 04 324 1222
Wonderland Theme and Water Park in Dubai Creek Park is a must
for children struggling with the heat in this scorching city. The
Caribbean-themed park offers thrilling rides and slides such as the
Red Baron, the spinning-coaster, the Action Arm, Lazy River and
Surf Hill. The attached water park is low-tech, but provides cool
entertainment for the whole family. Wonderland is a great way to
spend the day with the family and a must for children of all
Address: Al Ain Fun-City and Dreamland Aquapark Dubai
Admission: AED 100 (adult); AED 50 (children); Concessions available. Dolphin and seal shows run Monday to Saturday 11am-8pm. Swimming with dolphins can be arranged daily 1pm-7pm.
Telephone: 04 336 9773
The Dubai Dolphinarium offers guests the chance to interact with
these gentle aquatic mammals and watch them perform tricks with
their trainers. The Dolphinarium is home to four Black Sea
Bottlenose dolphins as well as four Northern Fur Seals. The
dolphinarium allows visitors to swim with the dolphins in a
pre-arranged session, and also features a restaurant and gift
Admission: AED 5 Open daily 8am-10pm. (Wednesday: women and children only)
Telephone: 04 369 082
With what seems like an endless lawn, Creekside Park is a great
place for families and kids to enjoy while on holiday in Dubai.
Boasting botanical gardens, an 18-hole mini golf course, an
amphitheatre, picnic locations with barbecue equipment and a mini
train and children's play areas, kids will be beside themselves
with the endless amount of activities to enjoy here.
Marina Mall Fun City
Address: Marina Mall, Ras Al Akhdar Abu Dhabi
Admission: Rides range AED 4-12.
The Fun City at Marina Mall is a great place for kids, offering
an exciting range of arcade games and rides to enjoy. Favourite
rides at the amusement centre include the thrashing shark
rollercoaster, the whizzy little bumper cars and the 'Extreme
Shock' machine - actually very safe!
Bowling, Paintball and Table Tennis
Address: Al Maqtaa, near the Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi
Admission: Daily 10am-10pm.
Kids in Abu Dhabi will love honing their skills in the bowling
alley at the Armed Forces Officers' Club, or perhaps playing a game
of paintball or table tennis. There is also a large playground and
an Olympic-size swimming pool at the club for kids to cool off in
after all that action. The Armed Forces Officers' Club also has a
Ladies recreation area with massage tables, a swimming pool, steam
bath, sauna and gym.
Hili Fun City
Address: Al Ain Abu Dhabi
Admission: AED 45 (AED 40 Mondays and Tuesdays); free for children under 35 inches (0.89m). Fridays, Saturdays 10am-10pm, weekdays 4pm-10pm. Closed Sundays. Wednesdays are female admission only.
A great attraction for children and often called the 'Disneyland
of the Middle East', Hili Fun City is the largest theme park in the
Gulf. Completely refurbished and modernised in 2009, the park
offers a number of rides and amusements, including a mini train
tour, an ice skating rink, a rollercoaster and sky-flyer, and the
Dynamic Motion Theatre. There are also beautifully landscaped
gardens and various picnic spots to enjoy at the park.
An ancient village positioned in the foothills of the Hajjar
Mountains, Hatta is located about 71 miles (115km) east of Dubai. A
popular weekend getaway for residents of the city, Hatta has a mild
climate that makes it ideal for escaping the heat of Dubai. The
town itself is basic, with an ATM and roadside market being the
main tourist infrastructure, which gives it an unspoiled atmosphere
that makes it interesting to explore; the 16th-century fort is a
Hatta also makes a good base for exploring the surrounding region. 4x4 trips and off-road adventures are a popular way to take in the scenery, including the Wadi Hatta gorge with its magnificent waterfall, and a few picturesque rock pools.
Travellers driving to Hatta should keep in mind that the road from Dubai passes through Oman; although there are no border stations, most rental car agreements from the UAE will not cover incidents that happen in Oman.
The beautiful island of Kish is located in the Persian Gulf, off
the southern shore of mainland Iran. Sometimes referred to as the
'Pearl of the Persian Gulf', Kish is home to a resort with both
modern and ancient attractions.
The luxury resort of Kish offers many family attractions, including the Kish Dolphin and Crocodile Park, Mysteries of the World Zoo, and a giant bird interactive sculpture. The resort takes advantage of Kish's stunning islands to offer water sports like snorkeling and scuba diving, yachting, fishing, parasailing and water-skiing. Unfortunately, women are not allowed in some of the best snorkelling areas, however there are women-only beaches available.
Kish also has a number of historical attractions, including the underground town of Cariz, the ancient city of Harireh, and the remains of a Greek ship wrecked on the shore (a popular picnic site).
Kish is a free trade zone, meaning there are good bargains to be had in the numerous shopping malls on the island. Shoppers should be aware however, that much of the merchandise is fake.
The heart of cosmopolitan Dubai is the slick and modern Dubai
Marina, a development that continues to add new attractions each
year. World-class hotels and shopping malls dominate the
distinctive skyline, while the waterline is taken over by luxury
yachts. Some of the best restaurants in Dubai are also located
here. Dubai Marina has two walkways (The Walk and Marina Walk) that
make pleasant places to stroll in the evening, and there are open
markets on weekends between October and May. Although it is known
as a beacon of over-the-top consumerism, the Dubai Marina
transforms during Ramadan, when locals celebrate in song and dance
in Heritage Village.
Hiltonia Beach Club
Address: Hilton Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi
Belonging to the Hilton Abu Dhabi Hotel, the Hiltonia Beach Club
is an exclusive beach with excellent facilities. Open to non-guests
on weekdays for a fee, the beach offers lounge chairs and umbrellas
in the sand, and water sports like snorkeling, fishing,
windsurfing, water skiing, kayaking and sailing. There is also a
café and cocktail bar, and three swimming pools with water
Sharjah Heritage District
Address: Al Merraija Sharjah
Sharjah's Heritage District is set in the old city, and much
effort has been put into showcasing the city's culture and history.
Situated near the Corniche, the area is full of museums and
restored houses that will fascinate visitors. Highlights of the
Heritage District include the Al Hisn Fort, Sharjah Museum of
Islamic Civilisation, Sharjah Calligraphy Museum, and the Souq
al-Arash (thought to be the oldest souq in the country). The Al
Naboodah and Al Midfaa family homes offer a glimpse into
traditional Arabian life. Many museums have special opening times
set aside for women only.
Sharjah Desert Park
Address: 16 miles (26km) east of central Sharjah towards Al-Dhaid Sharjah
Admission: Adult: AED 15, Children (12–16 years): AED 5, Children (under 12): Free. Sunday to Thursday 9am-5:30pm, Friday 2pm-5:30pm, Saturday 11am-5:30 pm. Closed Tuesdays.
Sharjah Desert Park encompasses three attractions: the Sharjah
Natural History and Botanical Museum, the Children's Farm, and the
Arabian Wildlife Centre. The Wildlife Centre is the most popular
attraction, with a zoo, aviary, and breeding centre that houses
several endangered species; while the Children's Farm is a fun
petting zoo for children on holiday in Sharjah. The Natural History
Museum has five main exhibition halls: A Journey through Sharjah,
Man and the Environment, A Journey through Time, The Living Desert
and The Living Sea. Sharjah Desert Park is also home to the
Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife, however this is
not open to the public.
Address: Oud Metha, Nr Lamcy Plaza Dubai
Food Type: Thai
Voted Best Thai Restaurant by Time Out Dubai, The Lemongrass in Oud Metha serves up traditional Thai food in a relaxed, modern setting. Decor is subtle and calming and seems designed to keep the chi flowing while visitors savour delicious Thai fare. Seafood features heavily on the menu and the grilled Red Snapper in red curry sauce is an alternative to the traditional Thai Green Curry. Also worth sampling is the interesting take on the Pad Thai Noodles. The Lemongrass is a 'dry' venue; however try the freshly squeezed juices and smoothies instead. The peppermint smoothie is popular among return visitors. The Lemongrass offers affordable, appetizing, authentic Asian food. Visitors arriving by taxi, should direct the driver to Lamcy Plaza.
Beach Rotana Brunch City
Address: 10th Street, Al Zahiya Area Abu Dhabi
Food Type: Brunch
Friday brunch is an institution in Abu Dhabi and this five star
hotel sets the bar very high with an epic brunch spread, combining
the food selection of a number of its restaurants to provide
customers with a dazzling array of culinary choice. Beach Rotana's
relatively high prices are offset by the exceptional food and
Address: Le Meridien Hotel Dubai
Food Type: Italian
Located within the Le Méridien complex, Casa Mia is thought by
many to be the best Italian restaurant in the city, known for its
home-cooked Italian cuisine. The menu also includes delicious
wood-fired pizzas, and in 2007 the restaurant was also honoured
with an 'Award of Excellence' for its unique and extensive wine
list. Open for lunch and dinner daily.
The Noodle House
Address: Emirates Towers Hotel Dubai
Food Type: Asian
This laid-back venue offers delicious, contemporary South East
Asian fare at surprisingly affordable prices. Diners sit at long
communal tables and don't need to wait very long for the region's
usual favourites to appear, such as spring rolls, noodle soup, or
vegetable, chicken and meat dishes served with noodles or rice. The
open show kitchen allows diners to watch the food being prepared.
Reservations are not accepted, and the place is busy, but the
turnover of diners is high so the wait shouldn't be long. Open
daily for lunch and dinner.
Address: Burj Al Arab Dubai
Food Type: Fish
The signature restaurant of the Burj Al Arab, one of the top 10
hotel restaurants in the world, gives diners a unique experience. A
mock submarine ride takes guests to the dining area, where tables
are situated around a huge floor-to-ceiling aquarium full of fish.
Al Mahara specialises in unforgettable first impressions and fresh
seafood and was voted one of the top 50 restaurants in the world.
Dinner guests will also be serenaded by harpists, adding to the
underwater atmosphere. Jackets are required for men, and
reservations essential. Open daily for lunch and dinner.
Address: Hyatt Regency Dubai
Food Type: International
Situated on the 25th floor of the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Al Dawaar
Revolving Restaurant boasts the best views in the city while you
dine. The restaurant revolves giving diners spectacular views of
the Arabian Gulf, the Creek and the city of Dubai while enjoying a
variety of international cuisines. The buffet is the most popular
option, including Chinese stir-fries, spring rolls, sushi and local
dishes. Open daily for lunch and dinner.
Address: JW Marriott Dubai Dubai
Food Type: American
The award-winning steakhouse is the finest in Dubai with steaks
that 'cut like butter' and the freshest Maine lobsters, Dungeness
crabs and oysters in town. It is popular for business entertaining
as well as for romantic dinners. Begin with lobster bisque or
seafood chowder, enjoy steaks, chops or seafood as a main, and
finish with New York cheesecake or apple pie. Décor is New York
style with lots of wood and leather, and the service is
The Meat Co.
Address: Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Shop 148, Jumeirah Beach Road Dubai
Food Type: International
The Meat Co. at the Madinat Jumeirah is
place to go for top quality steak in Dubai. So far this
South-African chain has just the one restaurant in the Emirate but
it's never short of patrons and booking is essential on Friday and
Saturday evenings.The restaurant prides itself on delivering A
Grade Angus beef, 'wet-aged to perfection' and basted to create
succulent melt in the mouth steak. The menu doesn't cater solely
for meat lovers, other highlights include the skewered grilled
salmon and flame-grilled king prawns. In winter the best tables are
outside alongside the Madinat's man-made canals, where diners can
watch the boats transporting guests along the water.
Al Muntaha at The Burj Al Arab
Address: Burj Al Arab, Beach Road, Dubai Dubai
Food Type: Contemporary European Buffet
The Friday Brunch has become synonymous with the ex-pat
lifestyle in Dubai in the last few years. Endless platters of
seafood, meat, salads and deserts are offered at restaurants across
the Emirate but, for really exclusive dining you can't beat the
famous Burj Al Arab Hotel. On Friday 10.00 to 14.30, (Please be
informed that the buffet is open until 16:00 hrs) guests can dine
two hundred metres above sea level in the Al Muntaha restaurant
whilst taking in the stunning view of the coastline. With
spectacular views over the new Palm Islands and a plethora of
mouth-watering dishes 'Brunch at the Burj' is fast becoming the
most sought after venue. The dress code in the restaurant is Smart
casual. Gentlemen are requested to wear a shirt with collar, long
trousers or smart jeans and closed shoes (no trainers). UAE
national dress is welcomed. Guests are advised to book well in
Address: Dubai Creek Golf Course, Deira, Dubai Dubai
Food Type: Local
For shisha and cocktails QDs (Quarterdeck's) at Dubai Golf & Yacht Club is place to be seen. This super chilled out, funky venue is hugely popular, particularly with young Emiratis who flock here on Friday and Saturday night to enjoy the vibe. Guests can choose to sit on the raised deck by the waters edge or, to occupy their own personal shisha tent, complete with couches and beanbags, and order their favourite flavour hubbly bubbly from the menu. Flavours include apple, grape, strawberry and mint. Shisha waiters are constantly on hand with more hot coals to keep the pipes bubbling and the air filled with the sweet smoky smell that has become synonymous with Dubai at night. Guests can also buy shisha pipes and tobaccos to take home as a memento
Address: Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Al Sufouh Road Dubai
Food Type: Creole
Carters @ Wafi Mall
Address: Wafi Mall Dubai
Food Type: Gastropubs
Address: Wafi City Mall Dubai
Food Type: Asian
Address: Al Dhafra, Dhow Harbor Abu Dhabi
Food Type: Local
Al Mina is a relaxed restaurant on the harbour serving
traditional Iranian cuisine, with a special focus on local seafood
like lobster and squid. Try one of the starter platters,
overflowing with hummus, tabbouleh, and dolmades. The restaurant
has both an Arabian-style indoor section and an outdoor patio with
waterfront views. Open daily from 4-11pm.
Automatic and Lebanese Flower
Address: Near the corner of Hamdan & 4th Streets, Al-Manhal, Khalidia Abu Dhabi
Food Type: Middle Eastern
These restaurant chains offer a good local variety of fast food
at a low price. They do shawarmas (roast meat rapped in pita
bread), hummus, falafels and roast chicken. The mouth-watering fare
and local cultural inspiration makes them a must try.
Address: Al-Satwa Road, Satwa Dubai
Food Type: Pakistani
This popular Pakistani restaurant in Dubai is famous for its
good food and relaxed atmosphere. A cheap and cheerful takeaway
with outdoor tables attracts both locals and tourists, rich and
poor for its excellent slow-cooked beef nihari, lamb haleem, and
fresh, buttery naan bread. There's also a family room and
cafeteria. Ravi is open daily from 5am to 3am.
Address: Al-Khalidiya Abu Dhabi
Food Type: Local
Considered the best place to eat Persian food in Abu Dhabi, Pars
Palace is tucked away in a small backstreet behind Corniche Towers,
near the marina. A wide selection of authentic Middle Eastern
dishes, including saffron chicken and spicy kebabs, is accompanied
by complementary fresh loaves of flat bread with sheeps-milk
cheese. One of the best-value restaurants in Abu Dhabi, Pars Palace
is busy for lunch and dinner. Open 11am to 3:30pm and 6pm to
Address: Marina Mall, Ras Al Akhdar Abu Dhabi
Food Type: French
This elegant French patisserie is popular over lunch for its
excellent people-watching and relaxed environment. Linger over a
cup of coffee and a petit four, or indulge in a leisurely meal of
French fusion cuisine. Located in the Marin Mall, Hediard is open
daily from 9am to midnight.
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