A lost city on Palm Jumeirah, aerial views from Dubai Marina and Expo 2020. Just some of what we’ll cover in this, the 5th and final episode of #myDubai Guide.
Palm Jumeirah and Dubai Marina are Dubai’s showgirls. Flashy, but they need to be to draw attention from other Dubai beauties.
Here’s an overview of where to #eat #drink #explore #shop & #stay on Palm Jumeirah and at Dubai Marina.
As part of the Palm Island development by Nakheel, along with Palm Jebal Ali and Palm Deira, Palm Jumeirah has been through its share of drama.
Initial development saw “The Crescent” – an unbroken breakwater surrounding the fronds of the palm – cause stagnant water to occur inside. A “simple” reconstruction opened gaps on The Crescent’s east and west allowing tidal flow eliminating the problem.
An article in The New York Times in 2009 put Palm Jumeirah back in the spotlight when a small ground survey firm was quoted as having discovered the Palm was sinking by 5mm per year. These claims were refuted in a Dubai court and Nakheel won the case.
Dramas aside, Palm Jumeirah is an absolute must for inquisitive travellers. Taking the mono-rail from Marina Mall to the resplendent Atlantis, consider this island consists of 5 square kilometres of reclaimed land, has added 78 km to the original 72 km of Dubai’s shoreline and provides residential space for 60,000 occupants.
Nine luxury hotels grace The Crescent alone with more on the trunk and fronds bringing a plethora of dining and entertainment venues. Let’s take a look.
Bushman’s Restaurant & Bar (Anantara The Palm, Crescent Road East. Ph: +971 4567 8304)
An Australian restaurant in a Thai hotel in Dubai, well we have to take what we can get to have a little piece of home and Bushman’s delivers on that. Unpretentious down to earth staff, quality Australian game and seafood and a relaxed vibe with indoor and alfresco dining.
Chargrilled Kangaroo loin is on the menu with Queensland scallops and a tableside traditional Aussie Pavlova performance. Settle, Kiwis, I know you think it’s yours but….
Reserve a table for Bushman’s Lazy Saturday Lunch. With the smell of the barbie, close your eyes and you could be in a backyard in Aus, open them and the view of Burj Al Arab reminds you where you are.
The nightly happy hour from 5 – 7 pm makes for a perfect sundowner venue.
Ossiano Underwater Bar & Restaurant (The Avenues, Atlantis the Palm, PH: +971 4426 2626)
Kill 2 birds with 1 stone by dining at Ossiano while visiting Ambassador Lagoon. 70cm of glass separate you from one of the world’s largest aquariums’ sea life.
Winners of Time Out’s Best Seafood category for 4 consecutive years, dining at Ossiano is a breathtaking experience. Yes, you can translate that as pricey.
To enjoy this venue without breaking the bank, reserve your table between 1:00 and 3:00 pm for a 3 course set menu lunch.
Ibn AlBahr (Club Vista Mare, Palm Jumeirah Ph: +971 4553 9575)
Fresh seafood and Lebanese mezze on the beach at the Palm. Sound ok? What about catching it yourself?
Ibn AlBahr offers half and full day fishing trips for up to 8 people (4-6 is comfortable) and they prepare the catch on your return. It doesn’t get much fresher than that.
The affordable menu includes cold mezze of stuffed vine leaves, muhammara, moussaka and more. Hot starters of sardines, calamari and clams and a selection of various sauces and cooking methods for the main attraction.
Ibn AlBahr also offers Zomato Gold members a deal of 2+2 on drinks and they’ll prepare shisha at your request.
101 Dining Lounge & Bar (One & Only Resort, Crescent Road West Ph: +971 4440 1030)
101 Lounge is one of those special locales we expect in Dubai. This overwater lounge bar is adjacent to One & Only Resort’s private marina allowing arrival by your own private seagoing vessel.
A perfect location for pre or post-dinner drinks with spectacular evening views of Dubai Marina. A late night tapas menu is also available.
The Beach House (Anantara The Palm, Crescent Road East. Ph: +971 4567 8888)
Open from 12 noon The Beach House, indoor or outdoor, offers a relaxed scenic vibe. As the sun sets and the stars come out, signature cocktails, shisha and tunes by the resident DJ join in.
Clear nights expose glittering views of the Dubai skyline and a casual dining menu is available when you’re peckish.
Bidi Bondi (Between buildings 3 & 4 Shoreline Apartments, Palm Jumeirah Clubhouse 2. Ph: +971 4427 0515)
The Palm can be a little overwhelming when surrounded by its 5-star luxury so when the time comes to chill and all you crave is a burger and a beer, then head to Bidi Bondi. This laid-back Aussie/ Kiwi Sports Bar has a pub menu and some excellent booze deals.
With 17 screens you can watch all the Aussie Rules and Rugby you can handle and they televise the PGA, footy with the round ball and motorsports.
Fridays see “brunch” deals and DJ Rossi from 3 pm.
Aquaventure Waterpark (Atlantis The Palm Ph: +971 4426 2000 – 24 hours)
There’s a reason Atlantis is one of the first Dubai icons introduced on your Emirates Airline flight, it’s a mini-city at the end of the Palm. The dining, shopping and entertainment available could keep you amused for your entire Dubai stay.
Take Aquaventure for example. With 7 waterslides ranging from rollercoaster style to an almost vertical Leap of Faith and another taking you on a shark safari, these alone will keep everyone amused for hours.
Grab a tube and discover over 1.5 km of river rapids or body surf through The Torrent, a wave generator creating swells over a metre high.
Don a tankless-hoseless scuba helmet and immerse yourself in a Shark Safari. Suitable for all ages, Shark Safari commences with a safety briefing and explains about the marine life you’ll meet.
Lost Chambers Aquarium (Atlantis The Palm Ph: +971 4426 2000 – 24 hours)
Discover the secrets of the lost city of Atlantis wet or dry through navigated tours. Look in or out of the aquarium as you decide for yourself whether Atlantis is fact or fantasy.
For those who missed their yoga session, roll out your mat every Tuesday and Friday from 8:00 – 9:00 am surrounded by 65,000 occupants of the aquarium staring out at you. See how that affects your asanas. 😉 (bookings are essential)
Music Hall Dubai (Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Crescent Road West, Tel: +971 56 270 8670)
Artist, producer, politician and businessman, Greek-Lebanese Michel Elefteriades opened the first Music Hall in Beirut in 2003. 10 years later Music Hall Dubai opened in the luxurious Jumeirah Zabeel Saray.
What you’ll experience is a range of music styles from Middle-Eastern, Russian, Rock, Gipsy fusion, French, American Pop, Salsa, Indian and Persian.
Up to ten international artists perform live Thursdays and Fridays for about 10 minutes each interspersed by International DJ sets.
This cabaret-style venue is licensed and dining is available in booths or snacks in the lounge area. For world music fans, this is an experience not to be missed.
Atlantis The Palm (The Avenues, Palm Jumeirah Ph: +971 4426 2000 – 24 hours)
As you’d expect there is shopping at Atlantis. Aquaventure Waterpark and Barracuda boutiques offer a range of everything surrounding swimming and water adventures. Goggles, sunnies, rash vests, swimsuits, sunscreen, towels and beachwear.
Dolphin Bay and Legends of Atlantis Boutiques are where to head for your Atlantis and Dubai specific souvenirs.
The offer steps up a notch at Nassimi Beach Boutique with international and regional designer jewellery, accessories and clothing.
Unless there’s something here you simply must have, save your moolah and wait until we get to Dubai Marina and Marina Mall.
As mentioned in the intro, at last count, there were 9 luxury accommodation resorts just on The Crescent surrounding the Palm. There are more on the trunk and the fronds.
Booking.com features 36 properties. Resorts, multi-bedroom villas and apartments with balcony views.
Follow this link to Booking.com for availability at your time of travel.
The Marina is a well established Dubai accommodation, entertainment and residential hub. Easily accessed via metro, its vehicle access is less attractive. Infrastructure is currently being expanded, however, at peak times traffic can be an issue so keep your metro card handy.
Shopping at Marina Mall, casual and stylish restaurants, funky bars and clubs, beach access and boating, all make the Marina an attractive base in Dubai.
Palm Grill (The Ritz-Carlton Dubai, The Walk, Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) Ph: +971 4318 6150)
Slip off your shoes and feel the sand between your toes. Yes, this is a barefoot dining experience with spectacular views. Experience 180° views of the Arabian Gulf from the not-quite-completed Dubai Eye and Singapore-esque Super Trees to Palm Jumeirah and the runway for Skydive Dubai.
Arrive for Social Hour between 6 & 7 pm every day and you’ll be rewarded with special prices on beer, wine and cocktail jugs.
The menu for Palm Grill’s main attraction, their charcoal grill, is a delectable list from land and sea. Expect Black Angus and Aussie Wagyu steaks (assorted cuts), Canadian Lamb Chops and for the less red meat inclined, try the corn-fed chicken.
From the sea; salmon, sea bass, octopus, prawns and lobster make choosing difficult. If it’s impossible to decide, a mixed seafood platter offers a delectable selection. For those of you craving land and sea, the Surf & Turf is for you.
Open for dinner only through Dubai’s warm summer months, Palm Grill will reopen for lunch from October. The fabulous Chill n Grill Brunch will be back then too.
Asia Asia (Pier 7, Level 6, Dubai Marina Ph: +971 4276 5900)
Under the same umbrella as Karma Kafe at Souk Al Bahar, Asia Asia travels the spice route from Asia Minor to the Far East. An eclectic mix of flavours combining China, Japan, Thailand, Korea and the Middle East, Asia Asia’s menu is one for sharing and experiencing the variety.
Asia Asia’s Friday Brunch offers the perfect solution with an open menu including sushi, sashimi, salads, soups and a long list of starters. Order as much or as little as you like then add your main. With free flow Prosecco, wine and a selection of cocktails, Asia Asia’s Brunch is perfect for a group celebration.
Barasti Beach Bar (Le Meridien Mina Syahi Beach Resort & Marina Ph: +971 4318 1313)
Beers at the beach, who can resist? Hardly anyone, so it’s fortunate Barasti Beach Bar is huge!
Bring your bathers and take advantage of free access to the beach and spacious pool. The new Roof Garden is perfect for sundowners and views of the marina. Middle Deck is a bar on a grand scale. Indoor and outdoor seating with screens strategically placed allow for plenty of sports action.
Barasti reward patronage with deals.
Sunday to Thursday from 11 am to 5 pm buy a drink and get the 2nd free. From 5 – 8 pm every day they’ll take 30% off house beverages.
Duty-Free Tuesdays mean from 5 pm until closing a selection of drinks are 1/2 price and ladies, Sunday, Monday & Tuesdays we’re all welcome to the beach where free-flow frosé is served all day and we save 50% ordering from Barasti’s food menu.
Cargo (Pier 7, Level 3, Dubai Marina Ph: +971 4361 8129)
Pier 7 in Dubai Marine is 7 floors of dining and drinking, 8 if you count Atelier M’s rooftop. Each level is a single venue with outdoor terraces hugging this circular building offering spectacular marina views.
Cargo, on the 3rd level, has an Asian flavour with street food and curry nights. Their AED 27 drink deals are an attraction but the new 2 for 1 offer on cocktail pitchers has really got our attention. Grab your mates and head there Wednesdays for this attractive deal.
Skydive Dubai (Al Seyahi St, Mina Seyahi, Dubai Marina Ph: +971 4377 8888)
Are you ready to jump out of your comfort zone? At Skydive Dubai, they promise: “An intense wait, a racing heartbeat, a surge of adrenaline, moments of insanity, a strong gust of wind, before freefalling at 120 miles per hour!
It’s widely known that “Fazza”, to his friends, or Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to the rest of us, is an adrenaline junkie. With his blessing, H.E. Nasser Al Neyadi began Skydive Dubai around 2010.
Tandem skydives at 13,000 feet over Palm Jumeirah make for some incredible Instagram memories, but if you like your feet safely on the ground, you can put your toes in the sand, order a glass of wine and watch as Skydive Dubai planes take off at Palm Grill, 😉
Here’s His Highness Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in his element 7 years ago.
Dream Walker Skydive Dubai (Al Seyahi St, Mina Seyahi, Dubai Marina Ph: +971 4377 8888)
Check out another of Skydive Dubai’s adrenaline pumping activities.
Marina Mall (Exit 32 directly off Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai Marina Ph: +971 4436 1020)
By now, you’d have an inkling Dubai doesn’t mind a shopping mall and you don’t need to go far for retail therapy at Dubai Marina.
Marina Mall has a tiny offering of 104 shops, but it’s oh so lovely to be able to get in, find what you need and get out. For those of you who crave prolonged therapy, there are still 17 different eateries for you to take a break in and Reel Cinemas provide air-conditioned entertainment.
For hardcore shopaholics, you’ll be pleased to know Marina Mall doesn’t close until midnight Saturday to Wednesday and remains open an extra hour Thursdays and Fridays.
With more than 40 hotels and resorts in and around Dubai Marina, you’ll have no problem finding somewhere to rest your head. It’ll come down to what you’re prepared to pay.
At the top end, One & Only Royal Mirage lays on the luxury and facilities are shared with their sister resort on the Palm.
Le Meridian Mina Seyahi Beach Resort with 5 pools and essentially the same beach as O&O is less than half the price.
Check out the link to this Dubai Marina Hotel map and see what suits your budget.
Expo 2020 (Jebel Ali adjacent to Al Maktoum International Airport DWC)
The first in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, Dubai is preparing for Expo 2020. The theme, “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” is centred on 3 categories.
Opportunity questions education, employment and new industries.
Mobility embraces evolving transportation, personal mobility and travel.
Sustainability focuses on the creation of sustainable cities, green economy and dealing with climate change.
From October 20, 2020, until April 10, 2021, Dubai invites all of us to be part of the future. I know I wouldn’t miss it for the world.
Please refer back to #myDubai Guide Part #1: The Historical Hub where Islamic laws and sensibilities have been outlined.
In #myDubai Guide Part #4’s beach dominated area, swimwear and beach attire are totally fine, but still be mindful when dining and moving around the resorts.
Religious holidays will affect restaurants and bars opening times and the serving of alcohol. Check the Islamic calendar before confirming your stay.
The Über app works without a hitch, however, if supporting local is important to you, download the Careem app. Careem allows booking in advance, on the spot and fixed priced fares to neighbouring emirates. Join through this link and we’ll both save a few dirhams on our next ride.
Taxis are inexpensive and plentiful in Dubai. The different roof colours indicate specific taxi companies and a pink roof will have a female driver.
Using the metro is economical too, with the red line beginning at Dubai International Airport and following Sheikh Zayed Road all the way to Jebel Ali in the south.
Rental cars are reasonably priced in the UAE. Insurance covers all Emirates but if your plan is to cross the border into Oman special insurance is required. Ask about this before booking your car to avoid any misunderstandings.
Emirates Airline, Dubai’s national carrier, operates 3,600 flights per week through Dubai International Airport connecting over 150 destinations.
Add another 110 or so with Fly Dubai (Emirates’ low-cost arm) and then many more with other international carriers and getting to Dubai via air is as easy as booking online.
That’s a wrap!
I hope you’ve enjoyed #myDubai Guide. We visited Old Town in Part #1 to see where it all started. Part #2 took us to the Beating Heart of Downtown and the Financial District. We stayed mainly along the coast with Parts #3 and #4 and finished with 2 popular manmade marvels in this, our final episode.
Thanks for joining me as a tourist in my own backyard. Dubai is everchanging so there will be more in the future, and that’s a thing we love….
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