Dubai's Top Restaurants
Meals With Local Flavor
Not only is the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding a nonprofit organization aimed
at helping visitors get a better understanding of the culture and customs of the UAE, but it serves authentic dishes prepared in the home of the organization's founder. Offerings range from Arabic coffee to mhammar (small local fish spiced
and served whole with carmelized onions).
BLVD on One
Open kitchens and wooden interiors await guests at this global brasserie in the luxurious FIVE Palm Jumeirah Dubai, featuring dishes from Africa, China, India, Sweden and more.
The food, the views — Pierchic is in a class of its own. Set on the end of the pier at Al Qasr Hotel, this "over-the-water" dining experience is an excellent way for groups to experience the splendor of Dubai. Dining on choice Mediterranean seafood while taking in the sheer majesty
of the Arabian Gulf is a breathtaking experience.
Qasr Al Sultan
This shopping and dining experience immerses attendees in traditional Arabian luxury and hospitality, starting with plush cushions in the bakhoor-scented
majils, a traditional lounge. The Qasr Al Sultan Souq showcases clothing, jewelry and traditional arts and crafts, and leads to the Qasr Al Sultan's Food Bazaar, where visitors enjoy dinner and a live stage show.
Extending Your Trip
The Dubai Mall, said to be the world's largest and most-visited retail and entertainment destination, spans 5.9 million square feet, with more
than 1,300 stores and 200 food-and-beverage outlets. This bustling city-within-a-city features most major brands, an Olympic-sized ice-skating rink and an amusement park, as well as the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, with thousands of aquatic
animals. The mall's VR Park, a first-of-its-kind attraction in the Middle East, welcomes visitors into a virtual- and augmented-reality theme park.
Perhaps the most recognizable of Dubai's
many attractions is the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, which rises an incredible 2,716.5 feet into the sky. This 160-story monolith stands as the
magnificent centerpiece of downtown and is adjacent to the 900-foot-long Dubai Fountain, one of the world's largest water, music
and light spectacles. A full experience here requires whizzing to the top of the tower or, for a VIP experience, a visit to the Atmosphere Restaurant & Lounge on level 122, with stunning views in an upscale setting.
One of the fastest-growing destinations in the world, Dubai is also one of the wealthiest. There is no better place to see its riches on display than at the
country's souks, or traditional Arabian markets, set in the original heart of the city. Colorful, noisy and fascinating, these shops
offer plenty of entertainment along with their taste of Middle Eastern history. For something flashier, the Gold Souk features gold bracelets, necklaces and even breastplates, along with the colorful (and pungent!) sacks of spices, herbs, rice and
dried fruit at the Spice Souk.
While today's Dubai teems with glamorous sports cars, motor bikes and private helicopters, this once was a city that relied mainly on abras — gondola-like boats —
to transport people and goods up and down Dubai Creek. This is still a popular and scenic way to get around and offers a chance to watch
old dhows (traditional sailing vessels) plying the Gulf's waters.
Spend an afternoon playing polo like you've never experienced it — on the back of a camel, the UAE's most treasured animal. Your group will be divided into teams, and after a champagne toast will get instruction in how
to swing a mallet. Next come the camels; professional riders control the animals upfront while the players hold on behind, wielding their mallets to (hopefully) score goals.
This activity has attendees piling
into four-by-four vehicles that take them on an Al Maha Desert Safari Experience. After a thrilling ride up and down the dunes, your group will come upon a verdant oasis deep within the desert, decked out with an Arabic feast. After dining. attendees
can take part in traditional henna painting and hookah smoking while watching a traditional fire dance
No matter the time of the year, slaloming down the slopes in the middle of the desert is offered by
Ski Dubai, the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East. Along with skiing, groups can enjoy snowboarding, ziplining and tobogganing — plus up-close-and-personal
encounters with 20 friendly snow penguins.
That's the Ticket
Dubai World Cup
Dubai is home to one of the world's richest horse races, the Dubai World Cup. Next year's competitions, which will take place from
Jan. 3 to March 9, include musical performances and massive fireworks displays.
Dubai Desert Classic
Referred to as the "Major of the Middle East," the Dubai Desert Classic golf tournament attracts an elite group of players every year and has crowned 24 winners from 13 nations since its founding in 1989, when the European Tour first visited the area.
Dubai's Palm Island is famous for being the world's largest man-made island — visible from space. Each frond
of its palm-tree shape houses a vast number of residential, commercial and entertainment properties, including several uber-luxury resorts like the Atlantis and, at the trunk, the ultra-modern FIVE Palm Jumeirah Dubai.
Focus on Happiness
mandate from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai, is to make people happy. "The job of government is to empower people, not to have the power over them. The job of government is to achieve
happiness," he writes in his book, Reflections on Happiness & Positivity. This isn't just idle talk: Last year, Sheikh Mohammed appointed the country's first minister of state for happiness to promote positive attitudes in government and life.
Guest Rooms - 1,608
Meeting Rooms - 23
Largest Conference Room - 14,000 sq. ft.
Total event space - 45,045 sq. ft.
Room Rate Range - $121-$319
Guest Rooms - 579
Meeting Rooms - 13
Largest Conference Room - 1,515 sq. ft.
Total event space - 44,699 sq. ft.
Room Rate Range - $86-$334
Guest Rooms - 492
Meeting Rooms - 19
Largest Conference Room - 4,672 sq. ft.
Total event space - 40,000 sq. ft.
Room Rate Range - $86-$172