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The best places to eat, sleep and play

in Dubai this fall and winter
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other travelers what to expect before you
make your plans.

While comparisons to Vegas abound, the opulence and

grandeur of Dubai make its American counterpart seem as
flashy as a bingo tournament. Imagine Arabia done Disney-style.
TRAVEL TIPS Dubai prides itself on its excellent service, found at the wealth
1. “For background on Dubai and its social of five-star hotels that offer private butler service, suites larger
issues and people, consider reading one of its
newspapers before you head there. You can
than many homes and the finest in food and décor.
read Gulf News online and get a good sense of
what Dubai is about.”—TripAdvisor Member Archaeologists have found evidence of caravan routes from
2. “While Dubai does display an impressively modern millennia ago, and as recently as the last century, Dubai was a
image, there are still some important dos and
don’ts. Public displays of affection should be dusty trading town. Oil and duty-free shopping morphed Dubai
avoided. The same goes for public consumption
of alcohol. Don’t photograph Muslim women, and
into the metropolis it is today. Development continues and as
don’t sit in such a way that the soles of your feet the city fills up, artificial islands are being created to continue
point at anyone.”—TripAdvisor Member
the expansion.
3. “Many clubs don’t allow flip flops or baseball
caps and the like. The bouncer will decide
who gets in and they often do stop people Despite the glittering exteriors, Dubai is still in a Muslim
at the door in ‘inappropriate’ attire, even if it
seemed appropriate outside in the 100-degree country, and visitors should be respectful of local customs.
weather.”—TripAdvisor Member While Dubai is a desert nation, plan to dress modestly. Though
4. Before heading to the Gold Souk, have “your
concierge tell you the price per gram of gold
it is hot year-round, the cooler months from October to May
on the day you go. (It’s also mentioned in local are best for travel.
papers).”—TripAdvisor Member, Manchester,
England 2
“If you want to see what the city looks like, “Go to Al-Dawaar Revolving Restaurant “The Sky View cocktail bar at the Burj al
head to the viewing gallery on the 37th floor at night. It’s absolutely fantastic watching Arab will give you a view of both the Palm
of the World Trade Centre.” You’ll be the planes come down past the windows and the Jumeirah. The best view is before
treated to an exceptional panorama of the on approach to the airport. And the views sundown.”—TripAdvisor Member
city.—TripAdvisor Member, Perth, Australia over Dubai and the creek are fantastic.”— Sky View Bar, Burj al Arab, Jumeirah Beach
World Trade Centre, 4 332 1000 TripAdvisor Member, Glasgow, Scotland Road, 4 301 7600
Al-Dawaar Revolving Restaurant, Hyatt
Regency, Deira, 4 317 2222

TOP 10 Attractions
1. Dubai Mall, Al Mussallah Road, 4 362 7500 6. Ski Dubai, Mall of the Emirates, Sheikh Zayed Road, 4 409 4000
2. Burj Khalifa, Sheikh Zayed Road 7. Jumeirah Beach and Park, Jumeirah Road
3. The Tower of Arabs (Burj Al Arab), Jumeirah Road, 4 301 7777 8. Dubai Museum, 62A Street, Bur Dubai, 04 353 1862
4. Atlantis Waterpark, The Palm Jumeriah, 4 426 0000 9. Jumeirah Mosque, Jumeriah Road
5. Wafi City Mall, Sheikh Rashid Road, Oud Metha, 4 324 4213 10. Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, The Dubai Mall, Doha Street,
4 448 5200

“Wild Wadi Water Park is a fantastic day “After haggling at the Gold Souk, with the kids Drive through the desert, cruise on a dhow,
out, whether you’re planning for a relaxing, moaning that they are thirsty and fed up, what explore the city or set out on a deep-sea
sunbathing water ride or for the fastest better way to amuse them than ice skating? fishing trip with Arabian Adventures. “No
ride in the park! It’s a fantastic experience, The indoor rink is a few minutes away from matter what you select, you will be pleased.”
suitable for all ages.”—TripAdvisor Member, the Gold Souk, and while the kids skate for —TripAdvisor Member, United Kingdom
England an hour, you can sit, drink coffee and relax.”— Arabian Adventures, 1st Floor, Emirates
Wild Wadi Water Park, between Burj Al TripAdvisor Member, United Kingdom Holidays Building, Sheikh Zayed Road,
Arab and Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai, 4 343 9966
Ice Skating, Hyatt Regency Dubai, Deira,
4 348 4444 4 209 1234

“…while the kids

skate, you can relax.”
“Afternoon tea” at the Burj al Arab “is a Treat your sweetheart to a romantic dinner With potters, weavers and other artisans
great way to be pampered for a few hours. cruise. “We’ve had lovely experiences practicing their crafts amid exhibitions and
It’s not everyone’s idea of something to with Bateaux Dubai and would highly pearl diving demonstrations, “the delightful
do, but the rich and infamous enjoy it.”— recommend them. Not a traditional dhow Heritage and Diving Villages provide a
TripAdvisor Member, United Kingdom boat, it’s more modern. But the food and great introduction to traditional Bedouin
Afternoon tea at Burj al Arab, Jumeirah drink were lovely, and the evening was coastal village life.”—TripAdvisor Member,
Beach Road, 4 301 7777 thoroughly enjoyable.”—TripAdvisor Member Toronto, Ontario
Bateaux Dubai, 4 399 4994 Dubai Diving and Heritage Villages, Shindagha
area of Bur Dubai at the mouth of the Creek

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Explore Old Dubai on foot. In about two Jumeira Beach and Park “is a large, clean Al Mamzar Park “is a beautiful park with
hours, you can walk past the Gold and Spice public beach and picnic resort. There are beaches the travel books don’t always
Souks and along Dubai Creek. “The Creek showers and free seats for sunbathing mention. Great for families or solo, it’s the
area is very nice; you’ll find the gold, fish and available. No need to pay more money best kept secret in Dubai!”—TripAdvisor
textiles souks (local markets).”—TripAdvisor for private clubs.”—TripAdvisor Member, Member, Quebec City, Quebec
Member, Milan, Italy Istanbul, Turkey Al Mamzar Park
Walking tour, Start at the Covered Souk on Jumeirah Beach and Park, Jumeirah Beach
Al Sabkha Road and head toward the river

“Nothing compares to
bashing through dunes”
Ski—that’s right, ski!—in the Middle East at “A desert safari is a MUST DO in U.A.E. Head east for the hour-and-a-half drive to the
Ski Dubai, an indoor ski resort. “Our teens Nothing compares to the unique experience Gulf of Oman: “Diving in Fujeirah is great—
still love the toboggans and tubing and just of bashing through dunes and enjoying a real everything from short trips from Al Aqah beach
being in the snow. It’s a refreshing change Arabic night in the middle of the desert! Not to day long trips up to Musandam in the very
from the heat in UAE. Love it and will for people with weak stomachs, though.”— north.”—TripAdvisor Member, Dubai
always love it!”—TripAdvisor Member, Abu TripAdvisor Member, Maribor, Slovenia Snorkeling and Diving, Scuba 2000, Al
Dhabi, U.A.E. Desert Safari tours offered by multiple Bidiya Beach, Fujairah, 9 238 8477
Ski Dubai, Mall of the Emirates, Sheikh companies, Alpha Tours, 4 294 9888
Zayed Road, 4 409 4000
TripAdvisor members have posted
more than 3,000,000 photos on the site.
The good, the bad and the very candid.
It’s almost like being there!
“As you visit the Dubai Museum, you go “Jumeirah Mosque is the only mosque “The Bastakia Quarter is a historic
through the history of Dubai, from desert where non-Muslims are allowed and heritage site built in the 19th century as the
houses with their typical wind towers to a guided tour is available. It’s a unique home to wealthy Persian merchants. Today,
modern Dubai. You’ll see old maps of the opportunity to peek in on Islamic religion.”— it’s a small area of beautiful, sophisticated
Gulf and aerial pics of the development TripAdvisor Member, Maribor, Slovenia homes dating back to the 1900s and built
of Dubai city in the last decades. Really Jumeirah Mosque, Al Jumeirah Road, of coral and limestone.”—TripAdvisor
impressive. You cannot miss it!”— 4 353 6666 Member, Boston, Mass.
TripAdvisor Member, Milan, Italy Bastakia Quarter
Dubai Museum, Old Al Fahidi Fort, Bur
Dubai, 4 353 1862
“…one to remember.”

“I would definitely recommend booking The Talise Spa has a sumptuous spa menu, For “a great view of the city,” relax on an
some treatment at the Jebel Ali Spa. I 26 treatment rooms and 80 therapists. “I abra, a covered water taxi. “During the
don’t think I’ve ever been so relaxed. In would recommend the Holistic Massage— summer, dusk is the only time when it’s cool
fact, I missed half the massage and facial just divine. All the little touches serve enough to walk, but this is the best time to
because I fell asleep in the middle of it!”— to make the whole experience one to catch an abra ride.”—TripAdvisor Member,
TripAdvisor member, Brussels, Belgium remember.”—TripAdvisor Member, Dublin, Dubai
Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa, Jumeirah, Ireland Abra Water Taxi, North bank station at Al
4 883 6000 Talise Spa, Madinat Jumeirah, 4 366 6818 Sabkha

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How to Get Around

“If you’re going to rent a car, which is the best way to see Dubai, “It is really worth visiting neighboring emirates! Abu Dhabi, Sharjah,
be careful when driving. It can be terribly dangerous; accidents are Ajman, Fujairah: You can see many different things on the way. Best
frequent and often dramatic. In addition, the rate of auto theft has to do it with a rental car or book a tour with a travel agency.”—
doubled in recent years.”—TripAdvisor Member TripAdvisor Member, Maribor, Slovenia
“If you’re on a short visit and staying ‘in the city,’ then taxis are the “Most parks and beaches have ‘strictly women and children’ days,
best way to get around, but a car gives you freedom to visit the so check with your hotel before heading down.”—TripAdvisor Member
neighboring emirates.”—TripAdvisor Member, United Kingdom
“The first thing one will require for orientation, whether for research or
directions to taxi drivers, is a reasonable map.”—TripAdvisor Member
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“The most recommended brunch for kids is “Most of the choices at Bussola are classic “Take the kids to More Cafe for breakfast.
at the Mina A’Salam in the Madinat. It has Italian. We were there with a party of 12, There was enough on the menu that
a magician, balloon man, etc.”—TripAdvisor including 6 kids, so we bought a lot of the everyone could get something they
Member menu and it was all good. Some of best liked, without maxing out the sugar.”—
Mina A’ Salam at Madinat Jumeirah, pizza in Dubai!”—TripAdvisor Member TripAdvisor Member
Madinat Jumeirah Resort, Jumeirah Beach Bussola, The Westin Dubai, Al Suffouh Road, More Cafe, Al Doha Street, 4 343 3779
Road, 4 366 8888 04 399 4141

“Efficient but not

Capri Grill is “a cozy, classy Italian eatery “Best of all was the Gordon Ramsay “My husband and I visited Pier Chic, and
with delicious food, at the surprising Restaurant—Verre. Efficient but not it was lovely. We had an outside table, so
location of Hilton Trade Apartments. Pasta, oleaginous service. Excellent food, very we got to have a wonderful view of the
pizza and lasagna are all recommended.”— well-presented. One of the best meals Mina Hotel and its surroundings. Very
TripAdvisor Member, Vancouver, British we have had.”—TripAdvisor Member, romantic!”—TripAdvisor Member
Columbia Rochdale, England Pier Chic, Al Qsar Hotel, 4 366 6730
Capri Grill, World Trade Centre, Sheikh Verre, Hilton Dubai Creek Hotel, Baniyas
Zayed Road, 4 331 4505 Road, 4 212 7551

“Go to Ravi’s for excellent Pakistani/Indian Don’t turn your nose up at fast food: The Noodle House is a “great place to
food that is cheap as chips! Many of the Saravana Bhavan is “a cheap Indian taste authentic Asian food and is a good deal
Emiratis get food from there, which is a good veggie place” serving up fresh juices, thali, for money!”—TripAdvisor Member
sign in itself!”—TripAdvisor Member, Dubai dosas and more that fill you up without The Noodle House, Sheikh Zayed Road,
Ravi’s, Satwa Road, 4 331 5353 draining your wallet.—TripAdvisor Member, 4 319 8758
Sheffield, U.K.
Saravana Bhavan, Al Karama, 4 334 5252

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“Casa Mia, an Italian restaurant, was Finz “features a fresh concept of offering Lime Tree Café offers “fantastic organically
just divine. I was in paradise! So many gourmet-ish food within a shopping mall. prepared dishes. Healthy AND tasty! Can’t be
complimentary extras with the meal, so don’t I LOVE their a la carte Seafood! Their beat for value. MUST MUST MUST try the
over-fill by getting a starter! Inexpensive, Espadas or lobsters are fantabulous! This carrot cake—to die for!”—TripAdvisor Member
great food and just wonderful atmosphere.”— is what it was intended to be—a quality Lime Tree Café, Jumeirah Beach Road,
TripAdvisor Member, London, England restaurant you can go to after shopping.”— 4 349 8498
Casa Mia, Le Meridien Hotel, Airport Road, TripAdvisor Member, Dubai
4 282 4040  Finz, Ibn Battuta Mall, Sheikh Zayed Road,
4 368 5620

“…you just do not

want to leave.”
“At the Dubai Marine Beach Club, the Al Byblos Restaurant is for “anyone who “The best tagine restaurant I have ever eaten
Qasr offers lots of seating, a welcoming wants to try the local Lebanese cuisine. Vine in is Marrakech. The marvelous tagines
ambiance, splendid service and a thrilling leaves, chicken livers, salads and hummus are so incredibly good that when you dine
array of mezze and bread—made fresh by were prepared quickly, and plenty of bread here, you just do not want to leave. Every
a chef in front of your eyes.”—TripAdvisor was included. Fantastic food at a great morsel of delight pleases and seduces your
Member price!”—TripAdvisor Member, Al Khobar, palate like only good food, well-cooked and
Al Qasr, Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa, Saudi Arabia presented, can.”—TripAdvisor Member
4 346 1111 Byblos Restaurant, Sheikh Zayed Road, Marrakech, Shangri La Hotel, 4 343 8888
4 332 1999

Catch all of the action at the Dubai Rugby Sevens, once a local Dubai Media City heats up with the sultry sounds of the Dubai
event that has grown to include International, Gulf, Women’s, International Jazz Festival, featuring top performers and cool
Veterans’, Youth and Local competitions and is recognized as part of concerts as well as jam sessions and arts & crafts vendors.
the IRB World Sevens Series. (December 2 – 4) (February 1 – 18)
Dubai Rugby Sevens, Dubai Exiles Rugby Club Grounds, 4 321 0008, Dubai International Jazz Festival, Dubai Media City, 4 391 1196,

Pop some corn and watch a good flick at the Dubai International Some of golf’s top stars battle it out at the Omega Dubai Desert
Film Festival (DIFF), presenting a range of films from features to Classic for prizes nearing $500,000, plus a position on the European
shorts and documentaries. (December 12 – 19) team in the Ryder Cup. (February 13 – 17)
Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), Dubai Media City, Omega Dubai Desert Classic, Emirates Golf Club, 4 380 2112,
4 391 3378,

Lace up those sneakers and face the heat at the Dubai Marathon, Motorists and enthusiasts can cheer on some of the world’s hardiest
following a course that passes many of the city’s major landmarks. car, truck and motocross drivers taking on a rough and tumble desert
The cooler temperatures of January make the desert setting more course crossing some of the most spectacular terrain on earth at the
tolerable, but runners are advised to prepare for the dry conditions. Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. (March 27 – April 1)
(January 21) Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, Moreeb Hill Bivouac, 4 296 1122,
Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon, Starts and finishes at the
Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina,

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Al Qasr is “an upscale family hotel. If you “We can’t wait to go back!” to Dar Al Masyaf. At the “fabulous” Jumeirah Beach Hotel,
have children, this hotel is a good choice. It’s “The villas are fantastic and the pool was “the view from the room, overlooking the
a 5-star hotel, very conveniently located lovely, especially for my 4 year old daughter sea with the Burj in front, is incredible.
on the beach, next to the water park Wild and 9 month old son as it wasn’t too deep The breakfast buffet has to be seen to be
Wadi—entrance is free for hotel guests— and easy for them to play around in.”— believed!”—TripAdvisor Member, Italy
with a mall inside.”—TripAdvisor Member, TripAdvisor Member, Peterborough, U.K. Jumeirah Beach Hotel, 6 Jumeirah Beach
Paris, France Dar Al Masyaf at Madinat Jumeirah, Road, 4 348 0000
Al Qasr at Madinat Jumeirah, Madinat Madinat Jumeirah Resort, Al Sufouh Road,
Jumeirah Resort, Jumeirah Beach Road, 4 366 8888
4 366 8888 Have questions about Dubai? Get
insider advice from local experts in our
forums. The majority of questions are
answered within 24 hours.
“Between the fresh roses and chocolates “Staying at Madinat Jumeirah is an You’ll find “tranquility, fantastic service and
each evening to the constant supply of experience out of this world. Our room at views to die for” at Al Maha. “I am not
bottled water and fresh fruit and canapés Mina A’Salam had a beautiful view. The ashamed to say that we both shed a tear as
supplied each day, smiling staff and staff is the friendliest I’ve ever encountered. we left. A little bit of heaven on earth.”—
attention to detail, we had a great time” at And the rooms leave nothing to wish for— TripAdvisor Member, England
Grosvenor House—TripAdvisor Member, you simply cannot top it.”—TripAdvisor Al Maha Desert Resort, Al Ain Road,
Malahide, Ireland Member, Zurich, Switzerland 4 832 9900
Grosvenor House Dubai, West Marina Mina A’ Salam at Madinat Jumeirah,
Beach, 4 399 8888  Madinat Jumeirah Resort, Jumeirah Beach
Road, 4 366 8888 “…we both shed a
tear as we left.”
Bonnington Jumeirah Lakes Towers Villa 47 offers “spacious rooms, good beds, “Premier Inn has everything for us avid
offers “elegant luxury at affordable rates! great breakfast (with your choice of either budget travellers. The hotel is spotless,
Cozy lobby, elegant restaurants, shadowed continental or homemade Indian!), free inviting and has great services. Honestly,
pool, state of the art gym and the best? The internet access and very kind hosts. And Dubai is super expensive but this hotel was
suite which made it difficult to leave!”— all this for a fraction of the usual prices in a real treat. They have a bar, a lounge, a
TripAdvisor Member, Abu Dhabi expansive Dubai!”—TripAdvisor Member, coffee shop AND a swimming pool on the
Bonnington Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Cluster J, Vienna, Austria rooftop!”—TripAdvisor Member, Calgary,
Jumeirah Lakes Towers, 4 356 0000 Villa 47, 19th Street, Garhoud, Alberta Premier Inn Dubai International Airport,
52B Street, 4 260 4000
Le Royal Meridien “truly lives up to Head to the Ritz-Carlton “to be treated With a menu of 26 pillows, butler service
five-star quality service. It’s one of the best like a king and queen. Such beauty—it’s and two-level suites, the Burj al Arab “was
resorts ever.” It is “situated on a private unreal.”—TripAdvisor Member, Ireland a unique experience and definitely one that
beach with four major swimming pools and The Ritz-Carlton Dubai, Jumeirah Beach, I will remember for the rest of my life. Do
eight restaurants, not forgetting the spa, 4 399 4000 not miss the opportunity of your life.”—
hammam pools and a very large gym. The TripAdvisor Member, Lisbon, Portugal
polite and caring staff make the experience
a hundred times better.”—TripAdvisor
“Do not miss the The Tower of Arabs (Burj al Arab), Jumeirah
Beach Road, 4 301 7777
Member, Slough, England opportunity of your life.”
Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa, Abu
Dhabi Road 1350, 4 399 5555

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Jumeirah Emirates Towers is “a buzzing “Who needs big and brash?” Orient Guest “The Qamardeen is a beautifully and
hotel which ideally fits the guest profile of House, “in the old Bastakiya pedestrian tastefully decorated hotel with a staff that
a business traveler. Close to the DIFC, a area, is a small oasis of calm in a frantic, made me feel welcome from the minute I
smart range of restaurants and small but bustling area. The staff are very friendly stepped through the front door. I was simply
exquisite shopping mall, it meets most of and helpful and provide you with a lovely blown away by the amazing hospitality and
the requirements of a busy professional. breakfast in a great courtyard setting.”— quality of service!”—TripAdvisor Member,
The business center is absolutely TripAdvisor Member, Hamilton, U.K. Brisbane, Australia
professional and state of the art; the lobby Orient Guest House, Al Fahidi Street, Qamardeen Hotel, Burj Dubai, The Old
and the cigar lounge, ideal for informal 4 351 9111 Town, 4 428 6888
meetings.”—TripAdvisor Member, Zürich,
Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Sheikh Zayed
Road, 4 330 0000

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Edited/compiled by Jenny Brown and Sheila Koenig

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