In a city as international as Dubai, visitors can expect the gastronomic scene to run the full gauntlet from local Emirati street food to Michelin-starred chefs specialising in fine dining, catering to all tastes and budgets.
While many of the luxury hotels, the last word in style and service, have excellent restaurants and eateries – Jamie Oliver, Marco Pierre White and Gary Rhodes all have outposts in Dubai – you can discover the city’s foodie scene under your own steam with a food tour with Frying Pan Adventures, which will lead you around the backstreets of the city to find regional dishes. Other quirky gastronomic experiences include luxury resort Jumeirah Zabeel Saray’s weekly Music Hall, or BBQ Donuts at the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, where you can grill your own barbecue and float on the Creek.
Dubai’s packed events calendar also has much for foodies. If you’re in town this March, the annual Dubai Food Festival showcases the city’s staggering wealth of restaurants and food heritage. But if you can’t wait all year for a taste of the world, check out one of Dubai’s Friday brunches. They are a tradition among groups of expats and locals, and see friends and families come together at many of the stylish hotels to enjoy a vast array of food and themed entertainment. One of the best brunches is Bubblicious at the Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi, or the more informal Double Decker at the Al Murooj Rotana, but you’ll find almost every hotel has a unique twist on the tradition.
But the fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down – if anything, Dubai lights up more at night, with hundreds of licensed bars and nightclubs, all with a different vibe. Well-known nightlife destinations include the Jetty Lounge at the One&Only Royal Mirage and expat favourite Barasti, which has huge screens for showing sports games. For something more refined, head for cocktails at elegant Neos at the Address Downtown or At.mosphere atop the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.