Steeped in history and rich in culture, Dubai is the United Arab Emirates’ largest populated city and boasts an opulent vibe that encapsulates this modern Middle Eastern hub. Year-round sunshine, luxurious shopping centres, and architecture juxtaposing modern marvels with ancient sites all combine to make Dubai the Middle East’s crown jewel.
When visiting Dubai, the appeal of hitting all the typical tourist traps can be alluring, but it’s when you scratch beneath the surface that the real Dubai presents itself to those looking to get off-the-grid and have a truly memorable experience.
We’ve rounded up some of the best places to experience in Dubai that you won’t necessarily find in a travel guide.
WHAT TO DO
For couples: Whether you live in a small town or a big city, your fashion choices become limited after a few years of making the rounds to your typical retail spots. Bambah Boutique, by young entrepreneur Maha Abdul Rasheed, is a high-end vintage boutique that offers a fresh dose of high fashion.
For business travellers: When in Dubai, sampling the local tea is a must. The aptly named Arabian Tea House has more than 100 varieties of tea from Australia, Canada, China, Czech Republic, and India. Designed to emulate Emirati life from the past, this ode to the early days of the UAE is a quiet spot to stop after a long meeting or conference and serves traditional Middle Eastern food for the peckish traveller.
For families: For adventurous families, the Dubai desert offers something most deserts don’t: sand boarding. It’s exactly what it sounds like — sliding on the desert’s slopes and dunes to your heart’s content. Located only four hours from Dubai’s downtown area, plenty of companies offer packages to make the journey from the hotel to the desert as easy as possible.
For budget travellers: If you’re looking for a cheap excursion that ties in some history, you’ve got to visit Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood. This historic district dates back to the late 19th Century and houses a number of hidden cafes and restaurants. While wandering about this historic neighbourhood is fun in itself, the Coffee Museum offers a relaxing atmosphere mixed with some truly fascinating background about coffee. Before you ask: Yes, they serve coffee there.
WHAT TO SEE
For couples: Hatta is an inland enclave located in the Hajar Mountains that boasts some breath-taking scenery as well as an incredible old mosque. Just a short drive from Dubai, Hatta’s surrounding mountains are as stunning on Instagram as they are in real life. Hatta Heritage Village will give you a front-row seat to a traditional mountain village, but the water in Hatta Reservoir Visitor Point makes a stunning background for all your selfies.
For business travellers: Once you’re lucky enough to have found this bespoke tailor’s shop somewhere next to the Iranian Hospital, Whistle and Flute is the hidden gem among hidden gems. Within this tiny little shop is a full staff of tailors who can make you any garment out of any kind of fabric you want. Perfect for the traveller whose finest suit was sullied by an overeager camel.
For families: For families looking to get off-the-beaten path by literally biking on a beaten path, the Hatta Mountain Bike Trail Centre offers visitors a way to see Hatta’s amazing scenery on the go. With trails ranging from easy to advanced, the whole family can sightsee at the same time while getting some much-needed exercise. If biking isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, families can kayak the waters or explore Hatta by foot.
For budget travellers: Flowing throughout the city of Dubai is the saltwater Dubai Creek. This sea-water inlet divides the city into two parts — Deira and Bur Dubai. A fun way to see the entirety of the creek while saving money is to take a water taxi, or abra, from one end of the creek to the other. The hour-long trip allows visitors to see Dubai’s historic landmarks and modern marvels without having to set foot on the ground.
WHERE TO DINE
For couples: For couples looking for a relaxing night punctuated by incredible food, look no further than Dubai Fish Hut. If you couldn’t guess it from the name alone, this restaurant serves some of the best seafood in the UAE and is perfect for those couples who insist on sharing every meal. With a menu bursting full of char grilled and fried lobster, crab, and prawns, the only hard part of the evening will be figuring out which dishes to order.
For business travellers: Wild & The Moon bills itself as a lifestyle movement “created by a tribe of food lovers, chefs, nutritionists and naturopaths.” Offering wild, local, gluten-free, and ethically sourced ingredients, this cafe also offers 100 percent organic cold-pressed juices and “detox programmes” for travellers who can’t help but party all the time.
For families: While Dubai has the typical fast food fare you’d find in any city, you can still go off the grid without compromising integrity and quality. The first (or second, or third) stop should be Tom & Serg in Al Qouz, Near ACE Hardware and Burjeel Hospital. By offering traditional dishes like shakshuka and lamb pita alongside foreign meals like banana bread, caramel French toast, and seared tuna tacos, Tom & Serg has something for every palate, from picky to adventurous.
For budget travellers: A Mexican restaurant in Dubai? You’d better believe it. Finding out about Maria Bonita is the hard part — it’s all easy breezy after that. With an online menu covered in Luchadors and traditional Mexican offerings like tacos, burritos, tamales, and quesadillas staring at you from the page, Maria Bonita is for when you desire that perfectly cheap comfort food.
WHERE TO PARTY
For couples: An authentic British meal in Dubai? That’s right. Reform Social & Grill is Dubai’s first true gastro pub that serves an authentic British menu and — of course — afternoon tea. For couples with kids, Reform has a menu full of universally adored dishes like chicken tenders, hot dogs, and fish n’ chips.
For business travellers: After a long plane ride, a low-key evening event is what you’ll be dreaming about. Sho Cho Japanese Restaurant and Lounge has been around since 2000 and offers traditional Japanese food as well as Oceanside dining and a resident DJ. Head to the bar for a quiet drink, lounge on their trademark white couches with a snack, or go for a full sushi meal while the DJ drops the sickest beats in the background.
For families: In case you were wondering how the game of miniature golf could get any better, Dubai’s Tee and Putt Mini Golf has figured it out. Six words: Glow in the dark mini golf. Located in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Tee and Putt Mini Golf specialises is glow-in-the-dark miniature golf and hosts birthday parties, corporate events, and schools, making it the perfect getaway for families looking to relax together.
For budget travellers: If you’re looking to save money and have an unforgettable experience all at once, there’s nowhere better than The Chillout Lounge. As the first ice lounge in the Middle East, The Chillout gives visitors an opportunity to hang out in an igloo while noshing on snack. You can go for tea or coffee or sip drinks from a cup made of ice. All visitors get a complimentary drink when they enter Chillout, which is a pretty cool deal.
WHERE TO STAY
No matter where you go during your days in UAE, you can rest easy knowing you’ll have TRYP by Wyndham Dubai to return to at night. With an outdoor pool, fitness centre, and close proximity to the metro, TRYP by Wyndham is there to give weary travellers a place of solace after long days of partying and shopping.
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For an unforgettable experience on the path less travelled, try Dubai (In Partnership with Wyndham Hotel Group) have 1467 words, post on mashable.com at January 22, 2018. This is cached page on Game Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.