For the foodie girls

With more than 5,400 eateries, Dubai is undoubtedly the region’s culinary capital. Whatever your fancy, the city is ready to take your order.

For a city that is home to over 200 nationalities, it is little wonder that Dubai dishes up a veritable smorgasbord of outstanding world cuisine. With new restaurants being added to the menu every month, Dubai is increasingly capturing the attention of global gastronomes.

In fact, two of Dubai’s best-loved restaurants made it onto 2014’s ‘The World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ list for the third year running: Zuma, which does contemporary Japanese izakaya-style sharing plates like no other, and La Petite Maison, whose outstanding French Mediterranean cuisine has won it a loyal army of fans. You’ll find both in DIFC, the heart of Dubai’s fine-dining scene. Also nearby is Argentinean steakhouse Gaucho Grill, as well-known for its chic cow-inspired décor as its butter-soft steaks, and Roberto’s, one of the city’s best Italian restaurants (go for a table on the balcony with views of the Burj Khalifa). 

Over the road from here is famous London export, The Ivy, which serves up faultless British and French-inspired classics in a private members’ club atmosphere, and Hakkasan, which serves sophisticated contemporary Chinese cuisine and has a wonderfully knowledgeable head sommelier to recommend matched wines (not always easy with Chinese). Near the Dubai World Trade Centre, OKKU at The H Hotel Dubai, is another contemporary Asian gem, this time serving Japanese. Celebrity chef Marco Pierre White has also opened his latest culinary venture, Marco Pierre White Grill, at the Conrad Hotel close by. While over at Wafi Mall, Qbara has set the standard for contemporary Arabic dining in one of the city’s most stunning new venues. Don’t leave Dubai without booking a table here.

Heading across the Creek, three-Michelin-starred French chef Pierre Gagniere’s Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire at InterContinental Dubai Festival City will not disappoint even the most demanding food connoisseur. And for an elegant dinner experience afloat, book a table at Bateaux Dubai, a fine dining dinner cruise that lives up to expectations. 

Over on the Palm, three Michelin-starred chef Heinz Beck is making waves with his new ‘deformalised fine-dining’ restaurant, Social by Heinz Beck. The perfectly executed Mediterranean menu and sophisticated dining room at the Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah is fast gathering a fanbase. For a totally different take on Med cooking, try Ossiano, an outstanding fine-dining seafood restaurant at Atlantis, The Palm with views of sharks and marine life drifting past as you dine. For scrumptious-looking desserts and sublime French staples, look no further than STAY by Yannick Alléno at the One&Only The Palm.

A welcome addition to the Dubai Marina dining scene meanwhile, is Geales at Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort and Spa Dubai Marina. Established in 1939 in London, this upmarket seafood spot has amazing platters (and  don’t miss the caviar with blinis). At nearby Grosvenor House Dubai, take your pick from Michelin-starred chef Gary Rhodes’ playful take on British classics at Rhodes Mezzanine or divine Indian cuisine at Indego by Vineet. And leave room for contemporary Spanish cuisine from chef Juan Carlos González Hernández, a protégé of Ferran Adrià, at the Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort next door. 

 

Midnight feasts

Feeling peckish on your way home? Dubai has some fantastic late night eateries. Try a traditional shawarma (grilled meat) sandwich from one of the many stalls across the city, or visit the Lebanese Bakery for a cheesy bread pie! 

 

Hidden gems

There is an abundance of choice in Dubai - before you leave Dubai, be sure to discover some of the city’s street food. In Deira or Satwa you will find delicious freshly-cooked Indian curries, or dine on the freshest fish at Dubai’s beach shacks along Jumeirah Beach Road, and don’t forget to try some authentic Emirati food.

 

Ten top high teas

  1. Raffles Salon 
    Raffles Dubai Hotel

    Fashionistas flock here for the ‘Fashion High Tea’, with savouries and sweets inspired by the season’s latest fashions, along with 20 tea blends. 
     

  2. Fortnum & Mason 
    Downtown Dubai
    This quintessentially English experience features tiered trays of sandwiches, scones and delicate cakes and an impressive tea menu. 

     
  3. Mashrabiya Lounge 
    Fairmont The Palm

    A tea sommelier will help you choose your brew, then indulge in British favourites like warm scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam. 
     

  4. Bateaux Dubai
    Cruise down the Creek on this glass-walled boat as you take tea (or Champagne) and nibble on sweet treats. 
     
  5. The Samovar Lounge
    One&Only Royal Mirage

    Nibble sandwiches, scones and macaroons on the beautiful balcony terrace overlooking the gardens and Gulf and choose from 16 types of tea. 
     

  6. The Lounge at At.mosphere 
    Burj Khalifa

    The highest ‘high tea’ of all takes place 122 floors up, with delectable treats and aromatic tea (or a glass of bubbly!).
     

  7. The Jewel Afternoon Tea 
    The Desert Palm

    Enjoy a classic afternoon tea among the polo pavilions, or watch a match in action, at this desert polo estate. 
     

  8. SkyView Lounge
    Burj Al Arab

    Indulge in a glass of Champagne, or choose from 50 types of teas, and a seemingly endless supply of sandwiches, pastries and cakes. 
     

  9. Al Bayt  
    The Palace Downtown

    Afternoon tea with an Arabic twist, with goodies like camel milk pistachio crème brûlée, and a good selection of teas. 
     

  10. Ritz-Carlton Dubai
    Get ready to hold up your pinkie finger at this classic afternoon tea. Choose from delicious pastries and more than 20 types of tea.
     
 
 
 

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Weather to go

The emirate has a sub-tropical desert climate, which means blue skies and beach weather in winter (Dec-Jan) and hot and humid summers (Jun-Aug). The best time to visit is from October to April when temperatures are in the mid-20°Cs to low-30°Cs. July and August are the hottest months as the mercury rarely dips below 40°C, still the city accommodates this with indoor attractions and air-conditioned facilities everywhere.

 

Best places to stay

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