What's new in Dubai in June
As mentioned earlier you will always find some Dubai up-dates here in my Blog from new venues or activities that I have found on my usual discovery trips. My essential guide for all new happenings in Dubai and also a good purchase for tourists to know what is going on in the city is my beloved Time Out Magazine that has an online version as well on www.timeoutdubai.com.
So let's start with an area of Dubai that is currently going through a complete new look - Dubai City Walk. This area used to be an empty, sandy space populated with some old residential houses, which had to make way for this new development. City Walk is a kind of Open-Air Mall with various restaurants, shops and attractions like a cinema, the Playzone Hub Zero or a complete indoor rainforest at the Green Planet (www.citywalk.ae) . It has also different designs in the various areas like a futuristic looking Plaza or an English themed pedestrian street. You can also find some high end designer shops - even a fashion-inspired Chocolate Boutique (www.boutiquelechocolat.com)
The City Walk is also home to a new Boutique styled hotel - the La Ville Hotel & Suites by Marriott Autograph Collection (www.livelaville.com). On the rooftop you can find a new bar jewel in Dubai's Nightlife horizon - the Look Up Rooftop Bar. On my two visits it was still a bit quiet as it obviously has not spread the word that you can get nice drinks with spectacular views combined with good tunes here. What more for a perfect night out for tourists and expats alike......
Not a new venue in general, but first time for me to try out the Saturday Brunch at Zero Gravity (www.0-gravity.ae). As the majority of the city brunches are falling on Friday, the Saturday timing of this one is a welcomed addition to the busy weekend calendar. Also compared to other brunches this one is priced on a very fair level with 199,- AED for girls and 249,AED for food (various buffet choices and cuisines), drinks (from the main bars and small cocktail stations), good tunes and a nice crowd. And I must say this brunch is VERY popular - in the pool it was hard to find even a standing place (well, we do not want to think about now what all that drunk people might do in that pool :-)), the vibes are 100% on party. On the beach it is a bit more chilled for your afternoon siesta. You can also reserve larger pool beds and cabanas if you are coming in a bigger group. The party goes here far into the night.
Not new either but an activity that I had not done for long time - was to enjoy a pleasant desert night before the summer heat sets in at the Rooftopbar in Bab Al Shams Hotel (www.meydanhotels.com). Always when I enter the gate to this hotel I feel like in 1001 nights and miles away from the city life. Bab Al Shams is a beautiful designed Arabic desert resort. The restaurants and the rooftop bar is open for non-hotel guests as well. At the rooftop they serve nice Arabic fingerfood and some real nice pizzas. You can lean back here on comfortable pillows and enjoy the desert sky together with a hubbly-bubbly. On weekends you have life entertainment with an Arabic singer - but honestly I really prefer here the peace and silence of the desert without any background sounds. Further options at the hotel would be their International Buffet restaurant, an Indian restaurant and the famous Al Hadeerah Desert Camp with daily dance shows - a bit of Disneyland in the desert. Often on the drive to and from the hotel you can spot some gazelles or more rarely some desert rabbits (which are actually huge and originally imported from Australia).
Always when you have visitors in town you come across to do things that usually are not really on your schedule. So having my mum visiting we decided to try out one of the Sunset Yoga classes at Talise Spa (www.jumeirah.com)- and I must say it is highly recommendable if you had a hard day and really want to switch off. The setting is amazing with Burj Al Arab in the backdrop and the sea in front of you. Yoga is practiced on a small grass lawn and mats and towels are provided. The class is a mixed level class and suitable for all ages - the friendly yoga teacher will come around and have here and there some personal advice to improve your poses. Soooooo chilled!
Coming now to a real new venue - the Qasr Al Sultan Restaurant (www.qasralsultan.ae) which is part of the Dubai Parks & Resort project. Located in an empty space behind the new Dubai Outlet Village the approach to the restaurant by car feels already as you approach a secret desert oasis city. In the guest welcome area you have some souvenir shops around and a falconer for some first pictures. Your hostess will then show you around and leads you to your table. If you arrive early around 19.00 hrs you will have enough time to explore this theme restaurant a bit more before the dance shows are starting. Have a look at the small museum that will transfer you back to ancient times or have a visit at the reading room for some quiet moments, browsing through old photo books. Kids can ride on a camel or enjoy the small playground.
The mouthwatering buffet area is nicely set upped in the style of a traditional Arabic Souk (Market) with live cooking stations - you can visit the different"shops" that are offering various fresh food items as salads, hot starters, freshly made Arabic bread, cheese, sweets and much more. In the middle the huge grill station is located for freshly grilled meats and fish. Also the traditional Lamb Ouzi is prepared here. A whole feast for your eyes and your stomach.
Later in the night the entertainment begins - starting with an introduction show about the pearl diving history of the country. Afterwards it is followed by a Tanoura Dancer, Belly Dancer and the very good Dabke dance group.
Of course all in all similar as in Al Hadeerah at Bab Al Shams it is a sort of small Disneyland for tourists - but it is very nicely done and also the food is excellent, so it will be a great evening out there to enjoy all aspects of Arabian hospitality. Later in the year Qasr Al Sultan will also open a small Boutique Hotel in the same location.
And the last new place that I have discovered this month is the new St. Regis Dubai Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club (www.stregisdubaialhabtoorpoloresort.com), which is a bit a drive away from the city - but a new impressive property on the Dubai hotel horizon. As the name indicates all is designed here around Polo and horses, which makes them the brand's first ever equestrian-inspired resort worldwide. It is a tranquil oasis with Andalusian styles and I really like the modern and bright colored rooms. On my visit the hotel was still almost empty, but for sure that will change soon after the summer, when horse lovers can watch the Polo matches right from the terraces or balconies and get themselves into the horse action at the nearby riding stables. I am also looking forward to try out their Friday Brunch in the cooler month that will offer culinary delights paired with Polo on the field.