Dubai

Dubai wasn’t on my travel list for quite a while, but much has changed since the last time I visited the city and it is definitely worth going back. The restaurant scene is simply amazing. You can find everything from great Mexican food to the best health food. Art galleries, shops and interior stores are the places to look for inspiration and take home a stylish souvenir. The UAE also became much more health-conscious and when I was visiting in January, the Health Conference was on and I saw a lot of news about the construction of more outdoor running tracks and communal places where people can get together, relax and follow a healthy lifestyle. Read more

MANZIL
This typical courtyard café takes you away from the hustle of the street. Enjoy refreshing mocktails, smoke a shisha and enjoy the Arabian cuisine with its rich flavors of herbs and spices. We love it in the early evenings, when the locals just hang out and relax.

MUCHACHAS MEXICAN CANTINA
A Mexican place with a Floridian design, a playful tropical vibe in a candy colour theme. They are known for their house-made corn tortillas (the real thing!). A great variety of tequila cocktails make up the bar component. Not really Mexican food, but fun.

MISS LILY’S
80s-style Jamaican diner vibe in Dubai with black-and-blue linoleum checkerboard floors and walls adorned with Jamaican vinyl record covers. Cool design paired with delicious Caribbean food and music. We love the Jerk Chicken Ramen.

NIKKI BEACH RESORT DUBAI
The latest addition to the sprawling Nikki Beach Empire is located on the Pearl, the latest man-made Peninsula in Dubai. It is the perfect retreat if you want a design version of luxury. There is an amazing beach (you can even surf) and if you want to party hard, just walk down next door to the famous Nikki Beach Club.

DESERT PALM
Located about 20 minutes from Downtown Dubai, this luxury boutique hotel lies at the heart of the Dubai Polo Club amidst four lush green championship polo fields, a riding school, stables, rare birds, endless sunshine and vast green landscapes. Emiratis take their weekend breaks here. We love their RARE restaurant.

VIDA DOWNTOWN
Not far from Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Mall, this downtown hotel with a buzz exudes a contemporary, Arabian vibe. Morning brunches by the pool are a must and hanging out at night on their comfortable day beds along the pool makes you feel like an Arabian princess.

SHISEIDO BEAUTY BOUTIQUE
Just opened now in the heart of Dubai at the City Walk 2 leisure complex, this new beauty boutique is a heaven for all skincare and body treatments branded by the Japanese cosmetics maven.

ANJANA SPA AT RIXOS THE PALM
Indulge in a traditional Turkish hammam, aromatherapy and a massage. The treatments will end in a typical Arabian way with chocolate-dipped strawberries and, if you like, some bubbly.

REAL PILATES
Real Pilates in Jumeirah offers state-of-the-art facilities with award-winning trainers. Choose between 70 classes a week and find the one that keeps your body fit and svelte.

DUBAI OPERA
This beautiful, dhow-shaped building is located close to the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. It opened in August 2016 with a performance by legendary Spanish tenor and conductor Plácido Domingo and hosts a number of exciting performances, not just opera, but concerts, dance and musicals as well.

ALSERKAL AVENUE
One of the most significant hubs of contemporary art in the Emirates. An industrial compound hosting warehouses in the industrial zone of Al Quoz. Open air cinema, galleries and cafés form an exciting contrast to the glamorous backdrop of glitzy Dubai.

DESERT PALM RIDING SCHOOL
The Desert Palm Riding School is part of the Desert Palm Resort, which is about a 20-minute drive to the outskirts of the city. The 45 riding school horses were selected from the UK as being suitable for beginners and intermediate riders. All of the horses are kept in top condition by a loyal team of grooms and instructors and are housed in Spanish-style buildings, air conditioned in the hotter summer months and covered in Bougainvillea. The school has the luxury of grass turn-out paddocks, a rarity in the UAE.

COMPTOIR 102
A Francophile, bohemian place where you can shop fine jewellery (French Vogue voted this shop amongst the best jewellery outlets in the world), all the French must-love brands and eat at their healthy restaurant on a sun flooded patio, which is transformed into a yoga studio three times a week.

THE GOODLIFE SPACE DUBAI
This is sneaker heaven in Dubai set in a garage in Al Quoz: In this minimalist setting it's just shoe boxes, no shelves, with a large selection of the latest limited editions. And did we mention the music is great, too?

LA GALERIE NATIONALE
Gallery specializing in original art furniture made by top designers representing the 20th century. Here you can find the originals from designers ranging from Jean Prouvé to Pierre Paulin. And don’t miss The Apartment, a 1950s–70s design exhibition, for which they built a whole flat into the gallery space.