Known for its extravagant shopping and striking skyline, Dubai exudes all things luxurious. Here, Nancy Muennig from the One&Only Royal Mirage, shares her ultimate must-dos for anyone visiting this exotic destination.
Toast the town
When my friends are in town, I take them for a drink at Pier 7. It’s in the heart of the Dubai Marina, with wonderful water views. There are seven floors and each has a different restaurant and lounge; I like O Cacti – it’s Mexican, and enjoying a sangria in its outdoor area is one of my favourite experiences. I also like Asia Asia for its beautiful ambience and drinks.
The restaurant that best shows off Dubai is At.mosphere, on the 122nd floor of the Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest building. It has astonishing views of the Dubai Fountain and pretty much everything else.
It’s the business
La Petite Maison, in the heart of the Dubai International Financial Centre, is where I go for a business meeting. It’s ideal for lunch or dinner and is quite popular with the corporate crowd due to its central location. The service is attentive.
Eat with the locals
And a place that’s really popular with locals is Al Fanar Restaurant & Cafe, in Dubai Festival City, with its authentic Emirati dishes and Bedouin interiors. You can dine in a private tent with floor seating, which is very traditional. The naghar nashef, a cuttlefish dish, is a must-try.
If you want a nightclub experience, go to Cavalli Club, which is set over three levels and is one of the hottest nightclubs in Dubai. The interiors are as glamorous as its designer, Roberto Cavalli, and entertainment is provided by the best DJs in the business.
Flat out fantastic
For the best coffee, I go to Tom & Serg, with its industrial interior, casual atmosphere and specialty brews. One of the owners, Tom Arnel, is a chef from Melbourne so Australians would love the flat whites.
Shop ‘til you drop
For designer fashion, visit The Dubai Mall. It’s home to just about every major fashion brand in the world.
Do the time warp
And for vintage shopping, the place to go is The Odd Piece, a two-level gallery with a striking collection of decorative interior pieces, on Al Serkal Avenue. Also visit Garderobe, which is housed in a villa on Jumeirah Road, for a great selection of preloved clothes and accessories.
Relax and reconnect
For a romantic experience, couples should book a treatment at Guerlain Spa at One&Only The Palm. It’s quite popular with locals who want to escape city life, particularly on the weekends.
Get out of town
The best daytrip is Abu Dhabi, an hour-and-a-half’s drive away. Explore the beautiful Sheikh Zayed Mosque then ride the world’s fastest roller-coaster at the Ferrari World theme park. Make sure you visit the Emirates Palace hotel – I love their Arabic high tea.
Feel the heat
If you want a desert experience there are lots of options. You could go for a camel ride or have dinner in the middle of the desert. But my favourite is riding a quad bike up and down the dunes. At some point you’ll probably fall off but it’s a lot of fun.
SEE ALSO: Top 10 Things to Do in Dubai