My easy guide to Dubai
As an anthropologist, I love to go into deep dives about places that I know and love - especially in the Middle East. However, I appreciate that not everyone has the time, or patience, to read long passionate travel posts. So for those who want to skim through the highlights, I have created a quick summary of my tips and tricks for your holiday in Dubai to be as awesome as possible!
17 Places • 2 Saves • ago
Free

Dos and Don'ts

Do

 -- Read my list of 7 things to do in Dubai

- Rent a car, It's so affordable and the easiest way to get around.

- Take a picture of your car to remember where you parked at the malls. You'll see what I mean!

- Get a Vodaphone phone sim from the airport, Instead of Du.

- Use a multi-currency credit/debit card. 

- Respect local customs

- Get out of the city and into nature.

- Check out Time Out Dubai for events and deals.

Don't

- Travel to the UAE in Summer. It's really too hot to enjoy much.

- Go to the malls on a weekend.

- Book a hotel on the Palm.

- Bring in medication without checking if it is legal first. 

- Spend too much time in the Marina area, it's mainly short-term expats and foreigners.

- Do a cheap desert safari.

- Swear or make rude gestures in public.

Best places to stay

XVA Art Hotel
@lucymmulcahy
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Details
Zabeel House by Jumeirah, The Greens
@lucymmulcahy
Add to
Details
Jumeirah Mina A'Salam
@lucymmulcahy
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Details
Palace Downtown
@lucymmulcahy
Add to
Details

Activities I'd recommend: 

Art and Culture

A Food Tour of 'Old Dubai'

Al Serkal Avenue

Jumeriah Mosque

Jumeirah Mosque
@lucymmulcahy
The Jumeirah Mosque stands as a beloved architectural gem and a prominent tourist destination in Dubai. Its architectural style draws inspiration from Syria and Egypt, with a capacity to accommodate around 1500 worshippers. It has been open to non-muslims since 1998 providing an opportunity for tourists to interact with guides, ask questions, and capture moments through photography. Register at the Majlis, where you can enjoy light Emirati refreshments before the presentation begins.
Add to
Details

Expo City

Expo City Dubai
@lucymmulcahy
Add to
Details

AYA universe experience

Al Fahadi Art galleries 

The Museum of the future

Museum of The Future
@lucymmulcahy
Add to
Details

Tourist Attractions

The Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa
@lucymmulcahy
The tallest building in the world needs no introduction. I haven't been to the top myself because of my fear of elevators. However I can say that I have always been told that it is much better value to go to the Atmosphere Lounge on the 122nd floor, than the viewing point at the top. You have more time, and as everyone is seated you get a real chance of taking in the view. However I've been warned that the restaurant is not worth the prices, so make sure you are booking at the lounge. Another great option is to book the Sunrise + Morning Treat package on the weekend, which is only 159aed (cheaper than general admission), for some of the most stunning views of the city.
Add to
Details

The Dubai Frame

Dubai Frame
@lucymmulcahy
Add to
Details

A tour of Dubai Marina at Night

Adventure

Skydive Dubai

Skydive Dubai
@lucymmulcahy
Add to
Details

Dubai Jet Ski

Dubai Hiking

Arab horse riding 

Hot Air Balloon

Luxury experiences 

The Highest Infinity Pool In The World

AURA SKYPOOL Dubai
@lucymmulcahy
One the highest infinity pools in the world, The Aura Skypool offers a spectacular 360* view of Dubai and The Palm island. There is a reservation fee and the food/drinks are overpriced, but you definitely want to experience this view at least once. I'd recommend going for the slightly cheaper morning/sunrise slot and don't worry about paying extra for a particular view because you can swim all around the 360* pool and admire whatever you please. I was surprised at how welcoming and relaxed the atmosphere was. The limited seating means that it never gets overcrowded and they offer premium Dubai-style service. It is a unique experience that is well worth the detour.
Add to
Details

A Luxury Spa, straight out of 1001 Nights.

Talise Spa, Jumeirah Al Qasr
@lucymmulcahy
Add to
Details

A Premium Desert Safari

A Michelin Star Dinner 

Stay by Yannick Alleno
@lucymmulcahy
A spectacular establishment, in the most luxurious hotel in Dubai. STAY by the three times Michelin chef Yannick Alléno, is sublimed French cuisine at its finest. The restaurant takes a ‘less is more’ approach to highlight some outstanding ingredients, that are probably flown in, the morning before, from France. It may be the only restaurant in Dubai to have 2 Michelin stars. Of course, the price tag matches the luxury of the experience, a 500AED deposit is required to book. It is the kind of up-market restaurant where is is better not to look at the prices on the menu at all. This being said, if you want to have the most crafted, beautifully conceived and elegant dining experience in town, there is no doubt that STAY is where you need to be.
Add to
Details

Other fun activities

Global Village

Global Village
@lucymmulcahy
Add to
Details

Miracle Garden

Dubai Miracle Garden
@lucymmulcahy
Add to
Details

Wild Wadi

Wild Wadi Waterpark Jumeirah
@lucymmulcahy
Add to
Details

Atlantis Aqauventure

Aquaventure Waterpark
@lucymmulcahy
Add to
Details

Local "Must-Eats"

 - Ragag Bread

- Karak Tea

- Emirati Breakfast

 - Saffron Latte 

 - Luqaimat

- Chips Oman Sandwich Street Food

For more foodie recommendations, see below 

It's no secret, I am a huge fan of the food scene in Dubai. As a multi-cultural, cosmopolitain city, the variety of restaurants and cuisines is unmatched. And it’s not just Michelin stars and bottomless champagne brunches. There are so many surprises in this city, including delicious low-key eateries, that cater to the many different nationalities that make up the UAE's population. Whether you want to eat local Emirati food, try Yemeni or Ethiopian, or enjoy Indian food bursting with flavour, there is so much to discover. Japanese, Thai, Chinese and Korean cuisines in particular have been trendy in Dubai for years, ranging from the authentic to modern fusion. The restaurant scene is so competitive, it has started to attract creatives and celebrity chefs from all over the world who want to make their mark in the city. This being said, Dubai is also a minefield where you can find yourself in a soulless restaurant, that looks the part, but serves average food for haughty prices. To help you navigate the city, I’ve made a list of places that I would honestly recommend, sharing some of my personal favourites, my secret spots as well as classic Dubai institutions that HAVE to be mentioned. Below you'll find both cheap-eats and luxury catering and many options that are veggie and vegan friendly.
Business • Gluten-free / Celiac • Female Solo • Plus Size • Vegan • Vegetarian • Groups • Halal • Family • Couples • 50+ • Foodie • History • Luxury
Free

* * *
CURATED BY
Hello! I'm Lucy. I work in the business side of the film industry and I am passionate about people, culture, history and above all: stories. Having visited 31 countries, I like to travel-write in my spare time, mostly in journals and scrapbooks. As I find myself often recommending spots, itineraries and "things-to-do", to friends and family, I have FINALLY decided to start typing my notes up and publish them online. So far I have lived in the UK, the UAE, France and Spain. I want to take you on a deep dive of theses countries, so that you can experience them to the fullest, avoid the tourist traps and enjoy where I like to call home. I like to sprinkle a little history and anthropology into my guides - putting my masters in Political Anthropology to good use! I am also a big "foodie" and wannabe restaurant critic, and I can't wait to share my recommendations. Let's give this travel blog thing a try.
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My easy guide to Dubai
As an anthropologist, I love to go into deep dives about places that I know and love - especially in the Middle East. However, I appreciate that not everyone has the time, or patience, to read long passionate travel posts. So for those who want to skim through the highlights, I have created a quick summary of my tips and tricks for your holiday in Dubai to be as awesome as possible!
17 Places • 2 Saves • ago
Free

Dos and Don'ts

Do

 -- Read my list of 7 things to do in Dubai

- Rent a car, It's so affordable and the easiest way to get around.

- Take a picture of your car to remember where you parked at the malls. You'll see what I mean!

- Get a Vodaphone phone sim from the airport, Instead of Du.

- Use a multi-currency credit/debit card. 

- Respect local customs

- Get out of the city and into nature.

- Check out Time Out Dubai for events and deals.

Don't

- Travel to the UAE in Summer. It's really too hot to enjoy much.

- Go to the malls on a weekend.

- Book a hotel on the Palm.

- Bring in medication without checking if it is legal first. 

- Spend too much time in the Marina area, it's mainly short-term expats and foreigners.

- Do a cheap desert safari.

- Swear or make rude gestures in public.

Best places to stay

XVA Art Hotel
@lucymmulcahy
Add to
Details
Zabeel House by Jumeirah, The Greens
@lucymmulcahy
Add to
Details
Jumeirah Mina A'Salam
@lucymmulcahy
Add to
Details
Palace Downtown
@lucymmulcahy
Add to
Details

Activities I'd recommend: 

Art and Culture

A Food Tour of 'Old Dubai'

Al Serkal Avenue

Jumeriah Mosque

Jumeirah Mosque
@lucymmulcahy
The Jumeirah Mosque stands as a beloved architectural gem and a prominent tourist destination in Dubai. Its architectural style draws inspiration from Syria and Egypt, with a capacity to accommodate around 1500 worshippers. It has been open to non-muslims since 1998 providing an opportunity for tourists to interact with guides, ask questions, and capture moments through photography. Register at the Majlis, where you can enjoy light Emirati refreshments before the presentation begins.
Add to
Details

Expo City

Expo City Dubai
@lucymmulcahy
Add to
Details

AYA universe experience

Al Fahadi Art galleries 

The Museum of the future

Museum of The Future
@lucymmulcahy
Add to
Details

Tourist Attractions

The Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa
@lucymmulcahy
The tallest building in the world needs no introduction. I haven't been to the top myself because of my fear of elevators. However I can say that I have always been told that it is much better value to go to the Atmosphere Lounge on the 122nd floor, than the viewing point at the top. You have more time, and as everyone is seated you get a real chance of taking in the view. However I've been warned that the restaurant is not worth the prices, so make sure you are booking at the lounge. Another great option is to book the Sunrise + Morning Treat package on the weekend, which is only 159aed (cheaper than general admission), for some of the most stunning views of the city.
Add to
Details

The Dubai Frame

Dubai Frame
@lucymmulcahy
Add to
Details

A tour of Dubai Marina at Night

Adventure

Skydive Dubai

Skydive Dubai
@lucymmulcahy
Add to
Details

Dubai Jet Ski

Dubai Hiking

Arab horse riding 

Hot Air Balloon

Luxury experiences 

The Highest Infinity Pool In The World

AURA SKYPOOL Dubai
@lucymmulcahy
One the highest infinity pools in the world, The Aura Skypool offers a spectacular 360* view of Dubai and The Palm island. There is a reservation fee and the food/drinks are overpriced, but you definitely want to experience this view at least once. I'd recommend going for the slightly cheaper morning/sunrise slot and don't worry about paying extra for a particular view because you can swim all around the 360* pool and admire whatever you please. I was surprised at how welcoming and relaxed the atmosphere was. The limited seating means that it never gets overcrowded and they offer premium Dubai-style service. It is a unique experience that is well worth the detour.
Add to
Details

A Luxury Spa, straight out of 1001 Nights.

Talise Spa, Jumeirah Al Qasr
@lucymmulcahy
Add to
Details

A Premium Desert Safari

A Michelin Star Dinner 

Stay by Yannick Alleno
@lucymmulcahy
A spectacular establishment, in the most luxurious hotel in Dubai. STAY by the three times Michelin chef Yannick Alléno, is sublimed French cuisine at its finest. The restaurant takes a ‘less is more’ approach to highlight some outstanding ingredients, that are probably flown in, the morning before, from France. It may be the only restaurant in Dubai to have 2 Michelin stars. Of course, the price tag matches the luxury of the experience, a 500AED deposit is required to book. It is the kind of up-market restaurant where is is better not to look at the prices on the menu at all. This being said, if you want to have the most crafted, beautifully conceived and elegant dining experience in town, there is no doubt that STAY is where you need to be.
Add to
Details

Other fun activities

Global Village

Global Village
@lucymmulcahy
Add to
Details

Miracle Garden

Dubai Miracle Garden
@lucymmulcahy
Add to
Details

Wild Wadi

Wild Wadi Waterpark Jumeirah
@lucymmulcahy
Add to
Details

Atlantis Aqauventure

Aquaventure Waterpark
@lucymmulcahy
Add to
Details

Local "Must-Eats"

 - Ragag Bread

- Karak Tea

- Emirati Breakfast

 - Saffron Latte 

 - Luqaimat

- Chips Oman Sandwich Street Food

For more foodie recommendations, see below 

It's no secret, I am a huge fan of the food scene in Dubai. As a multi-cultural, cosmopolitain city, the variety of restaurants and cuisines is unmatched. And it’s not just Michelin stars and bottomless champagne brunches. There are so many surprises in this city, including delicious low-key eateries, that cater to the many different nationalities that make up the UAE's population. Whether you want to eat local Emirati food, try Yemeni or Ethiopian, or enjoy Indian food bursting with flavour, there is so much to discover. Japanese, Thai, Chinese and Korean cuisines in particular have been trendy in Dubai for years, ranging from the authentic to modern fusion. The restaurant scene is so competitive, it has started to attract creatives and celebrity chefs from all over the world who want to make their mark in the city. This being said, Dubai is also a minefield where you can find yourself in a soulless restaurant, that looks the part, but serves average food for haughty prices. To help you navigate the city, I’ve made a list of places that I would honestly recommend, sharing some of my personal favourites, my secret spots as well as classic Dubai institutions that HAVE to be mentioned. Below you'll find both cheap-eats and luxury catering and many options that are veggie and vegan friendly.
Business • Gluten-free / Celiac • Female Solo • Plus Size • Vegan • Vegetarian • Groups • Halal • Family • Couples • 50+ • Foodie • History • Luxury
Free

* * *
CURATED BY
Hello! I'm Lucy. I work in the business side of the film industry and I am passionate about people, culture, history and above all: stories. Having visited 31 countries, I like to travel-write in my spare time, mostly in journals and scrapbooks. As I find myself often recommending spots, itineraries and "things-to-do", to friends and family, I have FINALLY decided to start typing my notes up and publish them online. So far I have lived in the UK, the UAE, France and Spain. I want to take you on a deep dive of theses countries, so that you can experience them to the fullest, avoid the tourist traps and enjoy where I like to call home. I like to sprinkle a little history and anthropology into my guides - putting my masters in Political Anthropology to good use! I am also a big "foodie" and wannabe restaurant critic, and I can't wait to share my recommendations. Let's give this travel blog thing a try.
Send A Tip
Support Lucy Mulcahy’s work.
Select your tip amount
$5
$10
$20
$50
Or type in other amount
Powered by Thatch
The home for unique & authentic travel
Powered by Thatch: Where great trips are made.
© Lucy Mulcahy Privacy Terms