Dubai – A romantic getaway

by Laura @buyknowbloglater on 15 October 2015, 16:10PM

Dubai is a city offering everything from pristine beaches, mountains and vast stretches of desert sand. It’s a perfect destination for a romantic break with plenty of fun and relaxing activities on offer. In the second of our ‘Expats Guide’ series, blogger and Dubai expat, Laura, (@buynowbloglater) takes us through her itinerary to make sure you get the most from your romantic getaway and experience the city like a true local.


Welcome the day

Avoid the temptation to lie-in, skip the hotel breakfast and venture just a little further afield. In the last few years there has been a burst of new bistros opening up, offering everything from healthy acai bowls to plates heaving with fluffy pancakes. The Sum of Us, just off Sheikh Zayed Road, is a great option. Tucked away, it’s popular with residents who praise the poached eggs, salted caramel French Toast and freshly roasted coffee.   If you’re marina bound then take a quick taxi ride to Jumeirah Lake Towers and pay a visit to Friends Avenue Café. This is a small diner with a big heart. The food is fresh and the coffee comes with the most Instagram-worthy latte art.

If your visit happens to fall on a Friday then consider skipping breakfast altogether to wait for brunch. Brunch is an institution in Dubai and the hotels all put on a show with endless supplies of cuisine and drinks from around the world. Couples should check out Vida Downtown’s picnic brunch. You can reserve a cabana by the pool all to yourselves and use the cute picnic baskets to pick up any wine, champagne, salads, pastas or breads.


Experience the culture

Suitably fuelled for the day, spare some time to visit Bastakiya near the famous Creek. A 20-minute taxi ride away from Marina, this tiny quarter, established in the 19th century, is one of the city’s most engaging places. It’s a must-see labyrinth of buildings housing art galleries, cafes and boutique hotels with architecture unlike anything else you will see in Dubai. The Majlis Gallery has beautiful and unique ceramics and calligraphy on sale and after getting suitably lost in the hidden lanes, find a shady courtyard to enjoy a sweet tea. The Arabian Tea House is a classic.

Treat yourselves

If retail is on your mind, then you have come to the right place. The two main stops are typically Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates. Dubai Mall is good for large departments stores like Bloomingdales’ and Galleries Lafayette and is also home to the world’s largest shoe store – Level. Mall of the Emirates is a reliable stop, home to most high street and designer brands.

Now if it’s jewelry you want then do not miss the Gold and Diamond Park. This mini mall is packed full of jewelers and one of the best to pay a visit to is Cara. Prices are comparatively low – particularly for diamonds - but don’t be afraid to haggle to secure the best deal and always pay less than half of what they first quote you.

Catch the magic hour

Once the shopping and exploring has been taken care of, don’t miss the sunset. Both locals and tourists head to Jumeirah’s beaches for the best view – Kite Beach being the preferred spot. You can grab a drink and watch at a leisurely pace or if you want to make this truly memorable consider renting a paddle board from The Surf House and slowly navigating your way through shallow water. Beginners and pros alike can enjoy this experience – don’t forget the (waterproof!) camera as the photos of the sun falling behind the Burj al Arab will be spectacular.

Dine in style

The dining options in Dubai are endless but if you want a spectacular end to the day then head down to Dubai Mall and a fountain view vantage point. Forget about the obvious spots though and consider reserving a table at Armani’s Hashi restaurant.  This sophisticated Japanese restaurant, located at the foot of Burj Khalifa, has uninterrupted fountain views that are hard to beat – not to mention a food selection and quality that ranks as one of the best in the city. Get a table outside and the fountain performance will feel like your very own private show: a perfect way to end any day.

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