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What to do in Dubai

What to do in Dubai

Dubai, a city known for its futuristic skyline, luxurious lifestyle, and rich cultural heritage, never ceases to amaze.

We recently spent an incredible week in this vibrant metropolis, soaking in everything from its awe-inspiring architecture to its serene desert landscapes. Whether you’re planning your first visit or returning to discover more, here are our top tips on what to do to make the most of your time in Dubai. Dive into our guide and get ready to explore the best of what this dynamic city has to offer!

The Lana at The Dorchester

The Lana at The Dorchester Collection in Dubai is situated in the vibrant Business Bay area, offering stunning views of Dubai Creek. The hotel’s dining options include Jara by Martín Berasategui, featuring charcoal-grilled meats and seafood, and High Society by Jean Imbert, providing eclectic light bites with spectacular Burj Khalifa views. Guests can customize their experience with ambient lighting and climate control. The Lana also boasts luxurious amenities like an infinity pool and the Dior Spa.

At.Mosphere in the Burj Khalifa

The ambiance at At.Mosphere is a blend of elegance and relaxed formality. The lounge area is perfect for casual business meetings or light conversations, while the main dining area offers a more refined setting. Whether you’re there for a special occasion or a casual outing, At.Mosphere ensures a memorable experience .

From its exceptional culinary offerings to its unparalleled views, At.Mosphere at Burj Khalifa promises an unforgettable dining experience high above the city. 

Exploring Dubai’s Old Town and Souks

Dubai’s Old Town and its traditional souks offer a unique glimpse into the city’s rich heritage and vibrant culture. Here are some highlights and tips for making the most of your visit:

Al Fahidi Historical District

The Al Fahidi Historical District, also known as Al Bastakiya, is a must-visit. This area is filled with narrow alleyways, traditional wind towers, and historic buildings dating back to the late 1800s. It’s the perfect place to experience traditional Dubai architecture and explore quaint art galleries and cafes .

Dubai Museum

Located in the Al Fahidi Fort, the Dubai Museum provides a comprehensive overview of the city’s history, from its early days as a fishing village to its rapid development in the 20th century. The museum houses artifacts such as fishing boats, nomadic tools, and archaeological finds. It’s a great starting point to understand Dubai’s past .

Gold Souk

The Gold Souk in Deira is a bustling market known for its dazzling array of gold, silver, and precious stones. With over 300 retailers, it’s the best place to find stunning jewelry at competitive prices. The souk also houses the world’s heaviest gold ring, the Najmat Taiba  .

Spice Souk

Adjacent to the Gold Souk, the Spice Souk is a sensory delight. Here, you can find a wide variety of spices, herbs, and dried fruits. The vibrant market is frequented by both locals and tourists looking to buy high-quality saffron, dried flowers, and exotic spices  .

Perfume Souk

For a fragrant experience, head to the Perfume Souk. Located near the Gold and Spice Souks, this market offers an array of traditional Arabic perfumes, incense, and essential oils. It’s a great place to explore unique scents and even create your own custom fragrance .

Abra Rides

A visit to Old Dubai isn’t complete without an Abra ride across Dubai Creek. These traditional wooden boats offer a scenic and affordable way to travel between Deira and Bur Dubai, providing stunning views of the city’s historic waterfront .

Cultural Experiences

The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding is another highlight. It offers cultural meals, guided tours, and workshops on Arabic customs and traditions. Participating in these activities is a great way to gain deeper insight into Emirati culture .

Dining in Old Dubai

Old Dubai is home to numerous traditional eateries where you can savor local dishes like hummus, shawarma, and falafel. For a truly local experience, don’t miss out on trying Arabic coffee or mint tea at one of the many cafes .

By exploring these historic sites and markets, you’ll get a rich and immersive experience of Dubai’s traditional and cultural heritage. Whether you’re interested in history, shopping, or culinary delights, Old Dubai has something to offer for everyone.

The Guild

The Guild, located in ICD Brookfield Place in Dubai’s DIFC, is an exceptional dining destination that combines the charm of New York and European brasseries with Dubai’s vibrant culinary scene. This restaurant offers a diverse range of dining experiences across its five distinct concepts: The Nurseries, The Potting Shed, The Rockpool, The Salon, and The Aviaries  .

Unique Dining Concepts

1. The Nurseries:

Ambiance: Inspired by the bohemian charm of New York’s Tribeca, filled with potted plants and fairy lights.

Cuisine: Serves all-day breakfast and lunch favorites, complemented by a bustling cocktail bar and champagne room .

2. The Rockpool:

Ambiance: Features a sea-blue hued raw bar and a live rockpool housing fresh North Atlantic lobster, Kelly oysters, and King crab.

Cuisine: Specializes in sustainably sourced crustaceans and fish, offering a decadent atmosphere of lively sophistication  .

3. The Salon:

Ambiance: Evokes the grand dining rooms of Europe and New York with a roaring red-brick fireplace and an open kitchen pass.

Cuisine: Focuses on flame-grilled and roasted prime steaks, ribs, and sharing plates .

4. The Aviaries:

Ambiance: A twinkling bar behind the dining room, perfect for cocktails, music, and live DJ sets.

Entertainment: Features nightly entertainment with DJs and percussionists, creating an unforgettable nightlife experience  .

Menu Highlights

The Guild’s menu spans from classic to creative dishes:

Starters: Roasted Beetroot with kale, pesto, and goat cheese mousse; Ortiz Anchovies with sourdough bread and caviar.

Mains: Prime steaks, Basque Style Baked Rice with carabineros, king crab, mussels, and scallops.

Desserts: Strawberry compote with almond crumble and Greek yoghurt sorbet .

Location and Hours

Address: ICD Brookfield Place, DIFC, Dubai.

Hours: Open from 8 am to midnight on weekdays, and until 1 am from Thursday to Sunday.

Discover Platinum Heritage Tours: Dubai’s Premier Desert Safari Experience

For an unparalleled desert adventure in Dubai, Platinum Heritage Tours offers a range of luxurious and authentic safari experiences that immerse you in the region’s rich cultural and natural heritage.

Unique Safari Experiences

1. Heritage Collection:

Experience: Journey back to the 1950s with desert safaris in vintage Land Rovers, a nod to the vehicles first introduced to the Dubai desert. These tours offer a blend of cultural heritage and modern comforts, providing an authentic glimpse into Dubai’s past.

Activities: Includes camel rides, falconry demonstrations, and traditional Bedouin-style dinners under the stars  .

2. Platinum Collection:

Experience: For those seeking luxury, the Platinum Collection offers opulent desert safaris in modern, comfortable vehicles. These tours include a six-course dinner in a private cabana, gourmet breakfast at the Al Maha Desert Resort, and the option to add a sunrise hot air balloon ride.

Highlights: Enjoy a conservation drive, gourmet meals, and exclusive wildlife spotting opportunities  .

3. Bedouin Collection:

Experience: The most traditional experience, replicating the pre-1920s Bedouin lifestyle. This hands-on safari includes camel caravans, Bedouin camps, and activities that provide a deep dive into the ancient ways of desert living.

Activities: Engage in Bedouin cooking, cultural storytelling, and traditional performances like Yola and drumming .

Eco-Friendly and Sustainable

Platinum Heritage is Dubai’s only ecotourism desert safari company, dedicated to preserving the natural environment and cultural heritage. They ensure all activities are sustainable and ethical, following strict guidelines for animal welfare and environmental conservation  .

Award-Winning Tours

Platinum Heritage has earned the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence and Traveller’s Choice Awards for six consecutive years, reflecting their commitment to providing top-notch, memorable experiences. Guests consistently praise the knowledgeable guides, well-organized tours, and immersive cultural encounters  .

Orfali Brothers Bistro

Orfali Bros Bistro, nestled in the vibrant Wasl 51 Mall in Dubai, is a testament to the culinary brilliance of three Syrian brothers—Mohammad, Wassim, and Omar Orfali. This family-run restaurant has quickly risen to fame, earning accolades and a spot among the top 50 restaurants in the Middle East and North Africa.

Culinary Vision

The Orfali brothers bring a unique blend of tradition and innovation to their dishes, combining Middle Eastern flavors with global influences. The menu defies categorization, featuring dishes that range from traditional Syrian staples to inventive fusion creations. Highlights include the “Orfali bayildi” (eggplant with makdous muhammara and walnut dip), “Come with me to Aleppo” (wagyu beef kebab with sour cherry), and the “Umami éclair” (a delicate blend of porcini emulsion, Marmite, and cacao nibs)  .

The Experience

Orfali Bros Bistro offers a casual yet refined dining atmosphere with an open, two-story kitchen that allows diners to watch the culinary magic unfold. This setup reflects the brothers’ philosophy of transparency and their passion for storytelling through food. The restaurant also features a pastry section run by Wassim and Omar, offering a stellar selection of pastries, buns, and desserts  .

Awards and Recognition

Since its opening in 2021, Orfali Bros Bistro has garnered significant acclaim, including a Bib Gourmand rating from the MICHELIN Guide, which highlights good quality and good value cooking. The bistro is also recognized as the best restaurant in the Middle East & North Africa for 2024, underscoring its impact on Dubai’s culinary landscape  .

Visit Orfali Bros Bistro

Location: Wasl 51 Mall, Dubai

Hours: Open daily from 12 PM to 12 AM

Reservations: Highly recommended due to its popularity

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