dinner, do as the Emiratis do, and relax with a shisha (hookah pipe) before the lights
go down for dazzling stargazing. It’s a magical experience. Tuesday nights, the place
to be is Pier 7 in the Dubai Marina, where seven exclusive restaurants transform into
a multilevel venue with live music, international DJs, and a crowd who knows how to
have fun. No reservation required.
There is something for everyone in Dubai, and the bar Lock, Stock & Barrel is an
excellent spot to work up the courage to hit Lucky Voice, the karaoke bar next door.
For a fun night filled with island food, the New York City-born Jamaican “diner,”
Miss Lily’s, is Dubai’s popular reggae restaurant, which fills up by 11 p.m. and stays
packed all night. Don’t miss the jerk-chicken ramen. For a sports bar devoted to ’90s
Grunge, craft brews, and delicious chicken wings, the Bridgewater Tavern is an ideal
hangout to catch a game.
RELAX & DISCOVER
Despite its opulent nightlife, Dubai is also a spa
haven, and after a long night out, Zen seekers can
find their inner peace within the sanctum of Dubai’s
bountiful wellness scene. Most famous for traditional
treatments steeped in Middle Eastern roots, Saray
Spa, the 46,000-square-foot space inside
JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, is designed in the spirit
of a caravanserai, a place of rest and cleansing that
dotted the ancient trade routes of Arabia. Bathing
in a Dead Sea flotation pool or indulging in a warm
massage with milk, rose oil, and honey are traditional
options. But ancient Bedouin traders likely opted for
the exhilarating Turkish Hammam, a cleansing ceremony where you are scrubbed with a kese mitt before
being lathered in tingling bubbles and massaged with
herb-infused oils. Exfoliated and energized, it’s time to
take on another day in Dubai.
Dubai’s incredible canal system flows freely
throughout the city, and water taxis are a stealthy
mode of transport. After all, Dubai is a water town.
Travel west to Deira’s Old Souq Station in the old-
town and haggle in the souks — colorful markets
specializing in gold, textiles, and exotic spices. Head
estled between the Arabian Desert and the Arabian Sea, Dubai was
a once sleepy pearl-diving village that has transformed into a mind-
bending metropolis, whose unapologetic celebration of international
culture and cuisine has a penchant for opulence. Boasting the biggest
and fastest of pretty much everything, Dubai is a fantastical Middle
Eastern oasis that’s become one of the greatest playgrounds on the
planet, a city where anything is possible.
The golden rules to mastering Dubai are simple: set priorities, do
your homework, and befriend your concierge — they know what’s
going on. From there, finding an adventure is as effortless as hailing a
taxi, which are both inexpensive and plentiful. Dubai is an adventure
town. Daredevils can sail over the marina on the world’s longest zip
line, bungee jump off cranes for high-velocity skyline views, or hit
the slopes at an indoor ski resort in Mall of the Emirates. Serious
adrenaline junkies can take it up a notch by cruising through the air
in helicopters, racing Ferraris at the Dubai Autodrome, or sky diving
over the iconic Palm Jumeirah.
A unique adventure in this spectacular city, one that can only be
had in the Middle East and should not be missed, is a tour through
the Arabian Desert. For a truly one-of-a-kind experience, seek out the
Arabian Adventures Sunset Tour, which begins at the Dubai Desert
Conservation Reserve. There, you’ll observe endangered white oryx,
a falconry demonstration (the falcon is the UAE’s beloved national
bird), and spend a solid hour careening through the desert in an
SUV hitting dunes, and skidding out in the sand. When the sun goes
down, you’ll retire to a carnival-like desert village where you’re greeted
with camel rides, sandboarding, and local artists applying henna tattoos. Sip bitter Arabic coffee balanced with sweet dates before indulging in a traditional Arabic barbecue and belly-dancing show. After
Clockwise: An old
wind-tower house at
Bastakia Quarter. A
woman walks by an
architectural feature in
the Etihad Museum. A
Arabic co;ee set.
risotto from Pierchic.