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Great places to visit in Dubai
A little over a month ago I had the great experience to visit Dubai, one of the most important cities in the Globe at the moment, and this was my experience:
Leila Restaurant: This was my first stop at the culinary offer of Dubai, which is extensive, almost infinitely varied and greatly diverse. Leila is a palce that can be distinguished from other Lebanese Restaurants (which you´ll find plenty) because of its traditional approach and secret recipees passed over 3 generations, it is still run as a family business so you´ll feel welcomed and cozy. The food is delicious and the prices are very reasonable. It has a couple of locations around the city, my favourite is the one located in Sheyck Sayed Road (Downtown Dubai).
Em Sherif Restaurant: This place not only has a great location to enjoy the fountain and the light shows that take place in the Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa respectively, its also a lovely and elegant place to enjoy gourmet Oriental cuisine, and by that I mean mostly high end Lebanese cuisine, though more expensive its a great pick to enjoy a formal dinner and a fixed menu. Make sure to go almost on an empty stomach because the food selection, quantity and variety is extensive; that is a very important detail to highlight otherwise you´ll be full halfway through the meal. (Drinks of course, are not included). The presentation and the quality of the food is outstanding and the flavours are fantastic, service is very professional and attentive. Make sure to be seated on the terrace if you want to enjoy the shows or the view.
Before coming back to more great places to eat, I did visit a couple of beach clubs since the weather allowed it. The Cove and Drift. These are my thoughts:
The Cove: This place has probably the best view of Burj Al Arab in all Dubai, that´s because is right next to it, from there you´ll be able to get a full view of it. As side of its location, The Cove offers a great assortment of food and of course drinks in what its seems to be their own private piece of bay, great for paddle boarding, selfies and just safe relaxation; I enjoyed the music as well as the service, I did eat there so I can recommend their food, great sushi and fresh coconut water (something I found cool).
A lot busier on the weekends of course, prices vary depending on the day, event or season. you can check up their website for more details. And if you visit, get a bed its worth it.
Drift: This is THE Beach Club in Dubai and one of my favourite venues on my trip. Its located within the One and Only (that already says a lot) and is a beautiful place, aesthetically curated with utmost attention to every detail, the staff is super friendly and likable and the music is VEEERY GOOD. Make sure to make a reservation if you plan to go on the weekend and (in my experience) a bed is a lot more convenient that the seating by the pool (there isn´t a price difference). Tried a couple of nibblers and they were very tasty as well, and since there´s a cost to getting a place, you get a bottle of Rosé which mostly the ladies enjoy. That being said make sure you check it out, you will be pleasantly surprised!
After having spent sometime under the sun lets move forward to places to visit at nighttime...
Soho Garden: From the moment you arrive the place itself is an experience, located next to the Dubai Horse Race Track it isn´t downtown nor it has a lot going on around it, that might be the reason of its curated and immersive concept.
Once you enter and you´re welcomed by the hostess team, you immediately notice the hip of the place, it feels right (at least to me) with a very visual proposition and a playful architecture it invites you to explore. The place has four different bars within, each one specialized in a different experience. The idea is to go through them all to get a full feel (and buzz) of the place.
The music is chosen carefully and the food is very good, the place transports you to that London neighborhood. This was my favourite nightime spot due to its quality and attention to detail. It takes inspiration from other trends and places around the World and mixes them in a way that I found uniquely great!
One place that can´t be excluded from the list is the Lounge of the Four Seasons Dubai called Mercury: As advertised on their website, "The jewel atop of Four Seasons" is an open Lounge on the rooftop of the Hotel, with impressive views of the City (Including Burj Khalifa) and much more. The place offers a selection of mediterranean cuisine as well as nibblers and a broad selection of wine, cocktails and spirits. The entertaniment offer varies throughout the week, I had the pleasure to hear a live Sax musician playing seamessly in tune to the high beats. Good mix!
The food is not overly sophisticated, with great flavours and attention to detail of course. Prices are reasonable as well (It´s the Four Seasons in Dubai).
Worth it for a nice evening weather on the Gulf.
The last place I´ll mention on this post is The Courtyard at Manzil Hotel in Downtown Dubai: Unlike the Hilton brand, this place has a unique "vibe" to it. I fancy the Hotel itself very much, from the moment you enter you´re dazzed by a very powerful yet alluring scent. It´s arabic style oriented though really well balanced almost as if with a slight touch of minimalism.
This place is full no matter the time of day, furthermore its one of the places that closes the latest in Dubai, so when you walk in at 2 am and there´s a waiting list you definitely get the feeling of arriving to the right place while double checking to make sure it isn´t actually 11:00 pm.
A thing to mention though, this is a quite place, well known for its service and tasty Sheisha, so don´t expect people dancing or very loud music.
The food is excellent, I went to this place a couple of times (was jet lagged and it closes really late) so I tried several of their dishes, and they were all very good, my favourites were the Quinoa Salad and the Chicken Livers (yeah I know its weird but they´re great).
That´s it for now, if you find this information useful and you decide to check any of these places out, great!
FYI. I´m not getting payed to write about any of these places, they´re genuinely of my preference!