Tips from 35,000 Feet: Dubai

By: Katie Manning

January 9, 2013

We can’t go to the UAE city of Dubai anymore without visiting Burj Kahlifa, the tallest building on earth at 829.2m from the ground. We think there’s a way to do more than simply check it off your list – stay there! We just can’t get enough of the Armani Hotel Dubai, designed by Giorgio Armani himself. Not only is it the last word in understated elegance, but the views of the Dubai coastline are sublime – the hotel does go up to the 39th floor after all. Perhaps our favourite aspect of a stay here is that guests are fast-tracked through the queues for the At The Top attraction, which is a real time saver.

Armani Hotel DubaiArmani Hotel suite © Armani Hotel Dubai

Dubai is certainly not short of stellar restaurants, but one of our favourites is Okku in The Monarch Dubai. We love indulging in their Japanese fusion food (which is prepared in front of you at a long, dark wood bar) while watching the jellyfish in the giant fish tank. The wasabi rock shrimp and spicy tuna with crispy rice are must-tries and, if you come at lunchtime, you’ll discover the set menus are an absolute bargain!

Okku | Dubai

Okku, Dubai © Okku

The nightlife in Dubai is always buzzing, and Barasti in Le Meridien Mina Seyahi is no exception. It’s one of the liveliest bars in the city, with cover bands playing upstairs most nights and a DJ playing downstairs on the weekends. Sitting on their white sofas on the sand with an ice-cold beer in hand, while soaking up the views out over the sea really is the most memorable experience and one not to be missed in our opinion.

Barasti | Dubai

Barasti, Le Meridien Mina Seyahi © Barasti

If you have children, or if you’re a big kid yourself, then we can definitely recommend a trip to Dubai Creekside Park. It’s got everything. You’ll find a dolphinarium, a mini golf course, snack bars, restaurants, roller skating, cycling, boat rides as well as the place to embark on one of the best journeys in Dubai: the cable car running along Dubai Creek. We love spending a whole warm sunny day around here and you can tell from the enthusiastic pointing and gasping that it’s a memorable day out for the children too!

Creekside_Park1©Kathrin_Gaisser.jpgCreekside Park, Dubai © Kathrin Gaisser/Flickr

One word of warning for those who enjoy addresses to get themselves around – there are none in Dubai! People here navigate by landmark – so be sure to keep your eyes open, which, lets be honest, isn’t a hard thing to do in this city.

Visiting Dubai? Virgin Atlantic operates direct flights to the UAE. What are you waiting for? Book your flight today.


Katie Manning

Katie is an author for the Virgin Atlantic blog. Despite her urban London residency, Katie can often be found exploring far-flung corners of the globe in search of exciting new experiences and stories. A self-confessed night-owl, she makes it her mission to search out the best cocktail bars and live music venues on each and every expedition. Follow Katie @kt_saramanning

Categories: Our Places