Dubai, where nothing is impossible lifestyle
Ever bigger, ever taller, ever more luxurious. And, truth be told, ever more attractive. Dubai is the perfect combination of elements that have come together to make it an exclusive destination where stark contrasts set the tone. Dubai is the best place in the world to say “All that glitters is gold” – and actually mean it.
1 – Burj Khalifa. The world’s tallest residential building (828 metres) is twice the height of the Empire State Building. Its magnificent interior is home to some of the benchmarks in international luxury, including the Atmosphere restaurant and Armani hotel. Visiting it is a rite of passage. From its terrace on high, Prince Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced Dubai would host the Expo 2020, postponed to October 2021 as a result of the global pandemic.
2 – The Dubai skyline, viewed from Ras Al Khor nature reserve. When the flamingos arrive, it creates a unique spectacle as the stunning fauna contrast against the silhouette of the mega city on the horizon.
3 – Madinat Jumeirah. An unspoiled resort where you can find hotels such as Al Qasar (elegant), Dar Al Masyaf (individual summerhouses with patio, swimming pool and fountains), the Mina A ́Salam (for holidays with the children) and the Jumeirah Al Naseem (the complex’s most luxurious hotel). There’s a souk in the Madinat Jumeirah, which you can get to via the man-made waterways on an ‘abra’, a traditional wooden boat. It also benefits from a private beach, shops, restaurants and more, where you can lose yourself and never leave its confines.
4 – Dubai Frame. A museum of the city’s history, with a vast frame construction that visitors can enter and walk across on a glass floor, 150 metres high.
5 – The Dubai Opera. Futuristic architecture for one of the city’s cultural icons. This is located opposite Burj Khalifa and near its famous fountains. Having a drink on the Opera terrace as the sun sets is a breath-taking experience.
6 – Dubai Mall. The world’s largest shopping centre, without question. A surface area spanning a million square metres with all luxury stores you could imagine. It even has a Galeries Lafayette inside. It has more than 1200 shops and welcomed more than 100 million visitors in 2019.
7 – Burj Al Arab. (The Sail). This is the building which, together with Burj Khalifa, best explains this city. This 321-metre high hotel, where the smallest rooms measure 165 square metres, is the perfect representation of global luxury hotels. It has a private artificial beach on the Persian Gulf.
8 – The Dubai Fountains. A stunning display of water and colour that puts Las Vegas to shame.
9 – Al Seef. This is the neighbourhood that links traditional Dubai with the cutting-edge. Brimming with cafes, signature restaurants and pleasant walks, this is the place where you can make sense of this incredible city’s past, present and future.
10 – Parks and attractions to enjoy with the family. A – Dubai Garden Glow: this is a number of parks within a park: Dinosaurs Park, Ice Park, Art Park and Magic Park. You’ll have a lot of fun here. B – Aquaventure Waterpark. One of the most popular in Dubai with more than 30 attractions, its own private beach and an interactive show featuring dolphins and sea lions. C – Legoland Park. An open-air museum dedicated to the famous Lego bricks. D – XLine Dubai Marina. A 16-degree inclined zipline that takes you flying between the skyscrapers. It goes from Dubai Marina. E – Skiing in Dubai. Find snow for less than 200 euros, enter the mall in the 30-degree heat and come down on your skis at less than 10.
11 – Dubai Massive Global Village. Home to the best concerts, races and endless other attractions.
12 – Al Marmoom camel racing. Camel racing has been a cultural tradition in the Middle East ever since the seventh century. The races start at 7 in the morning at Marmoom and end at 9, and all the commentaries are in Arabic, but this is a fantastic show for all, no matter what language you speak.
13 – Spice market. Persian limes, saffron, rosehip, eastern oils. Plus traditional clothing, souvenirs and restaurants where you can sample the traditional cuisine of Dubai.
14 – Al Fahidi. The oldest neighbourhood in Dubai, with traditional stone houses and palm trees, and steeped in the history of the city before it joined the Emirates in 1971.
15 – Ride on an ‘abra’ boat. These are the traditional boats used by locals and visitors to cross Dubai’s waterways. We recommend the Ride Across Dubai Creek, which takes you on a route where you can see old Dubai.
16 – Jumeirah Mosque. Built in white stone in the Fatimid style, this is the only one fully open to non-Muslims. It was created in the image and likeness of ancient temples.
17 – Dubai cars. The city is home to a continuous parade of the world’s most desirable cars. An interesting fact: the Dubai police drive Lexus and Bugatti cars. Says it all, doesn’t it?
18 – Artificial archipelagos and infinity pools on high. The Palm and The World, with their white sandy beaches, are especially attractive. On the 50th floor of The Palm Tower (in The View at the Palm) you can dive into an infinity pool – at a height of 200 metres.
19 – Alserkal Avenue. Dubai’s coolest spot, with art galleries and gorgeous shops (selling anything from artisan chocolate to old vinyls).
20 – Dubai’s museums. A – Jumeirah Al Museum at Madinat Jumeirah, in the large Madinath Jumeirah complex, offers views of the Burj Arab. B – Al Shindagha Museum’s Perfume House. Located in Dubai Creek, this is the home of the secrets of Arabic perfumes, with wonderful oils and essences and ancestral secrets that sounds like they’re straight out of One Thousand and One Nights. C – Etihad Museum. This explains the formation of the 7 Emirates, their history, and the ups and downs of unification.
- JH Hatta Fort. Just an hour from Dubai, this desert oasis opens up to the mountains.
- Al Hajar. This beautiful hotel is one of the oldest in the Dubai desert, and has incredible views. It also has swimming pools, a golf course, tennis courts and exquisite cuisine. They arrange bike trips around the mountains.
- Al-Ain Oasis. A UNESCO world heritage site, this oasis located next to the Al Ain Palace Museum shows the desert ecosystems and all the flora and fauna found there. The sunsets are awe-inspiring.
- Camel market. A trip to Al Ain Camel Market is a fascinating insight into how important this animal is to Arab culture.
Sleep in Dubai
- Me Dubai by Meliá. Opus by Omniyat. Zaha Hadid’s final gift to international architecture. A magnificent, iconic building that perfectly encapsulates the values of Dubai. All the hotel’s bathrooms feature the Vitae collection by Noken, an exclusive collection by the architect for Porcelanosa Group.
- Taj Dubai. 296 elegant rooms and one of the best breakfasts the city has to offer.
- XVA Art Hotel. Located in the Historical Al Fahidi District. One of business travellers’ favourites.
- Burj Al Arab. A hotel definitive of the city’s luxuriousness.
- Hotels in the Madinat Jumeirah resort. Each with its own individual style to suit different types of travellers, but all with the highest standards of quality and services.
- Armani Hotel. Located inside the Burj Khalifa building, with 11 floors and interior decor by Giorgio Armani, a symbol of exquisite luxury.
Eating out in Dubai
- Atmosphere. On the 122nd floor of the Burj Khalifa building you can sample haute cuisine and sky-high views (and prices).
- Jumeirah Al Qasr. Friday brunch here is the most popular option in the city. You can also experience delicious cuisine at any of its three restaurants: The Hide, Al Hambra and Arboretum.
- Dinner in the sky. A particularly unique restaurant located 50 metres up in the air, between two buildings. This is a curious gastronomic experience, and one that only diners who don’t suffer from vertigo will enjoy.
- Comptoir 102. In old Jumeirah, the instagrammers’ favourite.
- Khaymat Al Bahar. The best Lebanese food, at the Jumeirah Al Qasr hotel.
- Salt La Mer. This beach restaurant is frequented by members of the Dubai Royal family.
- Coya. The best Peruvian food in Dubai. A sure hit.
- Qbara. Experimental Middle Eastern cuisine. Live music and a fabulous atmosphere.
- Pierchic. The most romantic. A Dubai beach waterfront location on the pier with views of Burj Al Arab.
- The Lime Tree Café. Bio, organic, fair trade. A fantastic choice on hot days.
- Armani. Indian and Asian haute cuisine. A must.
Al Hashemi Building, Showroom 1
Sheikh Zayed Road
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Saturday – Thursday
From 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.