When planning a trip, there’s nothing like advice from a local or a frequent visitor. RueBaRue asked savvy globetrotters to share what they like best about the places they love. We asked Luxury Travel Mom to share with us her Dubai secrets.
Why did you choose Dubai?
As a travel journalist I’m often asked for my favorite destination, right now that answer is Dubai. I am in love with the energy of this modern middle eastern city.
How often do you visit?
I have been to Dubai twice in the last six months, I would love to get back there as often as possible, if only it was a little closer!
When was the first time you visited the city?
Last spring I spent a week there exploring the hidden parts of the city that tourists don’t usually visit.
What is your favorite place for…
Brunch is more of an event in Dubai than just a meal, many brunches offer bottomless champagne. The first day of the weekend in Dubai is Friday (they go back to work on Sunday). Hit Yalumba at Le Meridien for a brunch where the champagne flows freely and often ends in a dancing on tables affair.
The Farm in Dubai is a taxi ride from town but totally worth it. It’s a relaxed yet modern oasis that serves delicious organic fare in lush indoor/outdoor space. The Farm is right in the heart of Al Barari and surrounded by naturally landscaped lakes, waterways and botanical gardens,
Mid afternoon treat
You can’t go to Dubai and not try a camel burger, even if it’s just for the Instagram opportunity. Hit Local House near the historic Al Fahidi Fort. Worry not, they serve all types of food other than camel, but if you’re in an all camel mood, have a milkshake made from - you guessed it - camel milk.
Because Dubai is an Islamic State alcohol can legally only be served in hotels, luckily there are plenty to go around. The view from the Mercury Lounge at the brand new Four Seasons on Jumeirah Beach overlooks the Dubai skyline and the Burj Khalifa on one side, and the Arabian Gulf on the other. You can enjoy traditional shisha along with your cocktails.
PIerchic is quite literally perched in the middle of the ocean with sublime views of both the Burj al Arab and Madinat Jumeirah. Often you give up food for view or vice versa, Pierchic delivers the best of both. The seafood is award winning and the outdoor seating is comfortable thanks to the cooling ocean breezes.
Which part of town do you like and feel that most visitors never get to see?
Tourists often flock to the malls, after all you can scuba dive AND ski in them, however they miss out on the authentic souqs in the old part of town. The gold souq is my favorite, the gold is regulated and the spot prices set by the government so you know you’re getting quality, but with some haggling you can get a great deal. And as a bonus you can ride an antique abra (wooden water taxi) up the canal for only one dirham.
Are there any shopping secrets we should know about?
There are, but then they wouldn’t be secrets. There are pockets of handbag sellers that offer the most authentic looking knock offs I’ve ever seen.
What is your favorite touristy landmark in the city?
The water fountains set to music in front of the Dubai Mall are absolutely spellbinding, turn around and you can see the world’s tallest building the Burj Khalifa. The water shoots as high as a 50 foot building and the shows happen four times daily except for Fridays, when you should be at a boozy brunch anyway.
My favorite museum is the Dubai Museum at Al Fahidi Fort, it’s one of the only places in Dubai when you get a real sense of the country’s bedouin past. They have done an amazing job is displaying ancient and modern history in an often misunderstood culture.
What is your favorite hotel in town?
Hands down my favorite hotel is the swanky new Four Seasons at Jumeirah Beach. The architecture is a heady mix of traditional and modern, the service is spot on and everything from the Pearl Spa to the sun loungers placed IN the pools scream relaxation. Starting on Thursday nights the driveway fills with Rolls Royces and Bentleys as the young and fabulous arrive to start the weekend.
About Kim-Marie Evans
Kim-Marie Evans travels the world with her four children in tow. She documents their adventures on her award winning website Luxury Travel Mom. She is also the Contributing Travel Editor for Greenwich Magazine. Read blog, follow on Twitter or like (and love) on Facebook.