The Ritz Carlton Hotel, Dubai is located in the Dubai Marina district right next to the chic café-lined JBR Walk. Jumeira Beach Residences (or ‘JBR’ to those in the know) provide a backdrop of pale tower-blocks while views stretch across lush landscaped gardens, over a wide beach and out to the blue seas of the Arabian Gulf. The five star hotel is just six storeys high which makes a refreshing change from the Dubai hotels and sky-scrapers which tower over city. It’s Mediterranean style gives the hotel a pleasant resort feel, especially as it’s by a golden sandy beach.
Dubai is a diverse city with a range of things to see and do. Once you’ve had enough lazing by the beach or pool you’ll want to get out, explore the city and do some sightseeing. I’ve put together some Dubai must-dos which showcase five different characteristics of the city and its surroundings; nature, gastronomy, history, culture and, of course, shopping. So here are my top five – what to see and do in Dubai…
Arva Ahmed is passionate about Old Dubai, its people, their stories, traditions and food. We went with her on an authentic Dubai food tour of discovery to the heart of Old Dubai on a Frying Pan Adventure – A Food Lover’s Early Morning March.
We visited markets and souks, we crossed the creek and ambled through alleyways and back-streets on this food lover’s tour. We met traders, store-keepers and local people who shared with us their stories, their passions and spoke to us the ‘language of food‘. We felt the heartbeat of the city and discovered its true spirit in the corners and crevices of Old Dubai .
Dubai Food Festival was in full gastronomic swing when we arrived in the city last month. Celebrity chefs, pop-up dining, mystery dining tours and home-grown food all made appearances at the culinary collaboration. This was the second Dubai Food Festival which showcases the multicultural aspects, fine-dining and home-grown restaurants of Dubai’s food scene.
I’d never thought of Dubai as a leading gastronomic destination but with over 200 nationalities living in the city there’s a huge culinary diversity and range of flavours including the city’s own Emirati fare and Arabic traditions. The theme at this year’s Dubai Food Festival was ‘Find your Flavour’ and we set out to do just that in the few days we were in the city as we indulged in some of the festival’s delicious line ups.
The Burj Khalifa, Dubai’s iconic high-rise had been teasing me since I arrived in the city. My first jaw-dropping glimpse of the elegant spire was fleeting as I passed by on the journey from the airport. The next day it shimmered in the sunshine, stretching skywards, as we passed it on the way to old Dubai. At night it flirted with us as it winked and sparkled over the city. The Burj Khalifa really has a lot of love for itself. For two days it taunted, tantalised and beckoned until, finally, the day arrived to get up close and personal.
Dubai is an extraordinary place; home of The Burj Khalifa the world’s tallest building, palm-shaped island archipelagos, indoor ski-slopes and aquariums. It’s located on the warm waters of The Arabian Gulf, surrounded by sand dunes and has more than its fair share of sunshine. Before I discovered the city for myself I have to admit to having in my mind more than a cliché or two. Images of a pristine city with a skyline of gleaming glass tower-blocks; infinity malls bursting with bling, countless luxury hotels and innovative architecture. Of course it is all of that but there’s another side to Dubai. Amid the skyscrapers I found a city with an authentic Emirati culture, a rich heritage and a fascinating food scene. If you’re looking for adventure in Dubai you’ll find that too.