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#MyDubai

Donna Benton

CEO of The Entertainer Middle East

 

What do you enjoy most about living in Dubai?

What’s not to love! Dubai has the best of the world all in one place. Living here means being spoilt for choice when it comes to restaurants, nightlife, leisure, spas and shopping. Also, I find Dubai is a very safe environment to bring up my two children, there’s so much for them to do here.

What’s your top insider’s tip for women visiting Dubai?

Make sure that you take at least a day off to pamper yourself. This is a city renowned for its luxury and indulgence, so to truly experience Dubai you should spend a day at the spa. Alternatively, shopping is key!

Is there anything that has surprised you or changed your perceptions of Dubai after residing there? 

What always surprises me is what people outside of Dubai think about it – namely that they think we are all living a very luxurious life with lots of leisure time. While Dubai does excel at luxury, I’ve found it to be a very hard-working environment. Everyone is here to work and it’s very busy, all the time.

Which experiences would you recommend as a must-do to other women visiting Dubai?

I think this is the best place to put together a fabulous wardrobe. There are so many international designers here showcasing their latest collections. If you want to create something yourself, you can choose from fabrics and designs from every part of the world, and find bespoke tailors who will flawlessly tailor your creation.

 

Donna Benton, CEO of The Entertainer Middle East

 

Georgia Macmillan

Communications specialist

 

What do you enjoy most about living in Dubai?

I enjoy meeting people from all over the world who, for various reasons, have moved to Dubai. I feel more culturally enriched and aware – I also feel a great sense of community with fellow expats as we all have had to create a new ‘family of friends’. Dubai is also an amazing place for our daughter Olivia to grow up. We are exposed to so many different cultures and cuisines, Olivia attends nursery with children from more than 30 different countries, she’ll learn about Islamic traditions and how to speak Arabic and French. As a family, we have the opportunity to travel throughout the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and India. Dubai also happens to be one of the safest cities in the world.

What’s your top insider’s tip for women visiting Dubai? 

Book a table in advance at the most popular restaurant in Dubai – La Petite Maison – and wear your best little black dress. It will be one of the best dining experiences you can hope for.

Is there anything that has surprised you or changed your perceptions of Dubai after residing there? 

The greenery and incredible landscaping has been a wonderful surprise. Every street and main road is lined with endless rows of brightly coloured petunias, meticulously trimmed hedges and enormous palm trees. I also have great admiration for the Emiratis – they are progressive and have great vision.  

Which experiences would you recommend as a must-do to other women visiting Dubai? 

At the Dubai Mall, I would make a beeline for Fashion Avenue where you can sip coffee at Armani Café, under the beautiful ‘floating butterfly’ installation, surrounded by Hermès, Dolce & Gabbana, and Chanel. It is such a glamorous, serene environment away from the hustle and bustle of busier, more touristy areas of the Mall such as the Aquarium. We love to escape the city and lunch at The Farm at Al Barari. The XVA Gallery located in Dubai’s oldest and most historic area Bastakiya is a must-visit. The chic and eclectic gallery is a hidden gem. It is one of my favourite places to take friends visiting Dubai. I love breakfast and lunch at Tom & Serg – they serve THE best coffee in Dubai, which makes it worth the drive.

 


Georgia Macmillan, Communications specialist

 

Karen McLean

Secret Squirrel food blogger

 

What do you enjoy most about living in Dubai? 
Dubai is always buzzing and there is always something to do, whether it be an event, festival, catching up with friends, beach, shopping, eating at world-class restaurants, visiting art galleries, skiing, waterparks, it’s endless! What I love is experiencing different cultures and opening my eyes to trying new, different and exciting things. Dubai is very diverse and creates an environment where everyone has an interesting story to tell. 

What’s your top insider’s tip for women visiting Dubai?
Always have a light jacket or scarf handy! It can be sometimes very chilly in the shopping malls and when dining inside restaurants. (The scarf is also useful to cover up in more culturally sensitive areas). Many restaurants also have ladies’ nights during the week, where they offer discounts on food and beverage for women only, so be sure to do some research online. Lastly, visit Dubai with no expectations and enjoy all the great things that Dubai has to offer!

Is there anything that has surprised you or changed your perceptions of Dubai after residing there?
What has surprised me the most is how much I love living in Dubai, a city I now proudly and happily call home. Every day, I wake up to one of the most stunning views in the world, Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. It always reminds me that if you have a vision, then you can make your dreams turn into reality.

Which experiences would you recommend as a must-do to other women visiting Dubai?
High Tea at the Burj Al Arab is a must-do! The Talise Ottoman Spa located within the luxurious Jumeirah Sabeel Zaray; Dubai Marina; health-conscious café Comptoir102; Zuma, Japanese restaurant; and shopping at Dubai Mall.

 


Karen McLean, Secret Squirrel food blogger

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