Dubai is a very special place for my grandma and I. The first time we came to visit was a year after her suicide attempt. I wanted to bring her somewhere sunny and beautiful. Since it’s not a long flight from Athens, Dubai turned out to be the best place to visit during the cold months in Greece. We have been coming almost every year since then and love it. The beaches are beautiful, the restaurant selection is out of this world incredible, the malls are fun to visit and there are some incredibly beautiful gardens and sightseeing.
Where to Stay
Four Seasons Resort at Jumeirah Beach This hotel is spectacular. It is beautifully set by the beach and houses the trendiest restaurants in town. The breakfast buffet is one of the best hotel breakfasts I have seen.
There are various stations with different cuisines from around the world, including a gluten-free section. Fresh juices and smoothies are available to order as are delicious crepes with Nutella and banana, made to order omelettes and a large variety of cold cuts.
The hotel is equipped with three pools, two outdoor and one indoor. The two outdoor pools are separated – one is created just for families with children and the other has a pool bar and cabanas for adults only. The beach offers many water sports and the poolside service is definitely Healthy with Nedi approved. There are waiters who walk around the pool with refreshments such as chilled wheatgrass shots, pomegranate sorbet, and carrot smoothies. Their spa is also divine and if you’re looking for some adventure and exploration, the concierge can arrange a day trip to Abu Dhabi as well as desert safari’s (my grandma and I did both, click here for a full report and photos.)
Mandarin Oriental Jumeirah – A stunning hotel overlooking the beach. The rooms are spacious and filled with sunlight. The spa is stunning and there are incredible restaurants!
Where to Eat
Nusr-Et – this is one of my favorite restaurants in the entire world! They serve Turkish classics as well as some of the best cuts of meats in the city. My favorite dishes are: Beef Sushi, Spaghetti Nusret (the meat is so thin that it twirls like spaghetti), Loukum, 8-Hour Roasted Short Ribs and Mushrooms. For dessert Baklava is a must.
Scalini – Scalini in London is a classic so its only natural we dined at the venue in Dubai. The atmosphere is elegant, great selection of wines and incredible seafood and pasta dishes. Highly recommend the Aubergine Parmesan, Grilled Seabass with Spinach and Lobster Spaghetti.
Gaia – Incredible Greek restaurant with a fun lounge downstairs! Each dish showcases the true essence of Greek–Mediterranean cuisine. Try the Watermelon Salad, Zucchini Salad, Keftedakia (Greek Meatballs), Tuna with Truffle, Gemista (Stuffed Vegetables) and a Grilled Fish with side of veggies.
La Petite Maison – a beautiful French restaurant nestled in the heart of the Dubai International Financial Centre DIFC. Their Niçoise Salad is the best salad in Dubai.
Avli by Tashas – Greek inspired cuisine in a beautiful setting. The village sea bass and lobster pasta are to die for!
Nassau – a brand new restaurant from the popular Bulgarian Chef Silvena Rowe, taking diners on a culinary tour of the Mediterranean. The team source fresh local produce and often works with sugar and gluten free dishes, meaning the restaurant is a great choice for guilt-free indulgence without sacrificing on flavor.
Amazonico – this is a stunning rainforest inspired restaurant located in DIFC. It is originally from Madrid, opened in London and now in Dubai. The atmosphere is beautiful and food packed with so much flavor! The palm hearts salad and the roasted Peruvian pumpkin with goat cheese are two of my favorite dishes.
Flamingo Room by Tashas – A gorgeous restaurant filled with pink seating, gold accents, and Insta-worthy dishes! The Butternut Carpaccio and the Peri Peri Baby Chicken were so delicious.
Coya – located at the Four Seasons Resort, this Peruvian restaurant has many tasty dishes, a lively bar scene and a live band. Make sure you try the Pez Limon, Vegan Sushi Roll and Chilean Sea Bass served in a clay pot.
Jean Georges – Jean Georges is one of the world’s best-known chefs and his Dubai outpost at the Four Seasons Resort does not disappoint.
The MAINE Oyster Bar & Grill – a seafood brasserie with a cool vibe and deliciously fresh North American-inspired dishes.
Tasca by Jose Avillez – this Michelin starred restaurant is located at the Mandarin Oriental and has one of the most beautiful views. It is great for lunch or dinner!
La Serre – from the owners of La Petite Maison, La Serre is an elegant venue that houses a café and bakery downstairs and serves modern Mediterranean cuisine upstairs.
Sass Cafe – Sass Cafe has a trendy, sophisticated vibe complete with a DJ and serves a delicious Southern France inspired menu.
Zuma – no matter where in the world, Zuma never disappoints. The Dubai location is a stylish, expansive space that serves exceptional Japanese food.
BiCE Mare – beautiful Italian restaurant overlooking the fountain water show at the Dubai Mall. Ask for a table outside and enjoy dinner while gazing at the mesmerizing show outside.
Em Sherif – this is a phenomenal Lebanese restaurant – the best in Dubai. Not only does it have an excellent menu, it also overlooks the water show at the Dubai Mall.
Play Restaurant – the menu is created by a former Zuma chef and it is absolutely stunning. The venue is impressive and features a lively scene later on into the evening.
Ramusake – Japanese staples are given a modern twist at this stylish eatery located at the Dubai Marina. You must try Ramusake’s Tuna Sashimi Pizza with Truffle Ponzu – it is so much better than pizza and doesn’t have all of the carbs (Healthy with Nedi style!:)
Catch – Catch was named Dubai’s seafood restaurant of the year 2017 by Time Out and it is well deserved. It is a seriously cool restaurant that serves only the freshest ingredients.
Bagatelle – Just like its New York location, Bagatelle Dubai is sophisticated, fun and very French! The staff is excellent, the food is divine and the atmosphere is always buzzing.
Novikov – this is the perfect restaurant for a fun night out in a high-end, swanky setting. The food is also fantastic.
Amal at Armani Hotel – this eatery serves beautifully prepared, flavorful Indian food in a sophisticated setting.
Where to Lounge Day or Night
Nammos Beach – the well known Greek beach club is the hottest new spot in Dubai.
Cove Beach – this beach club is open all day and night and serves a delicious menu of easy-to-share classics so you can continuously dance to the beats of the DJ.
Mercury Lounge – a classy rooftop at the Four Seasons Hotel overlooking the Arabian Gulf and Dubai’s skyline.
At.mosphere – this fine dining lounge is located at the top of the Burj Kalifa, the tallest building in the world. This stunning venue is a must see during your visit in Dubai.
What to See
Dubai Mall – this is the best place for shopping at the largest mall in the world by total area.
Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo – the largest suspended aquarium in the world. It is beyond beautiful and a really fun experience for the whole family.
Dubai Fountain – This spectacular dance show shoots water up to 140 meters high in sync with a terrific light and music show.
Dubai Miracle Gardens – The most beautiful garden I have seen. It features 150 million flowers arranged in colorful patterns, formed in myriad shapes – truly magnificent.
City Walk – Take a stroll through the best of designer stores and restaurants.
Dubai Marina – a beautiful place for a walk and home to some of Dubai’s newest and most fascinating buildings.
Spice Souk – this market offers a large variety of amazing aromatic spices.
Gold Souk – only a short walk from the Spice Souk, the Gold Souk is a covered, air-conditioned mall that holds over 300 jewelry stores.
Fruit and Vegetable Market – this market is about a half hour drive from central Dubai and is an incredible clean, undercover market with around 120 stalls.
Kite Beach – one of the best beaches for kite surfers, watersports and many beach activities.
Skiing at Mall of the Emirates – Dubai is the only place in the world where you can literary go from the beach to the slopes! Dubai Ski is an indoor ski resort with 22,500 square meters of indoor skiing.
Legoland – this is the ultimate theme park for children.
Aquaventure Waterpark at the Atlantis – spend the day splashing around the water slides and other marine adventures with the kids. You can also swim with dolphins!