Going to Dubai this festive season? Here are some tips for you
In the last few years, the number of Kenyans travelling to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates during the festive season has significantly grown, with the rise of the middle class in the country also playing a key role in this surge.
But like every metropolis around the globe, Dubai marches to its own drumbeat, with its multicultural composition making it accessible to every type of traveller; from thrill-seekers to bargain hunters.
The city’s appeal lies with its larger-than-life personality, its myriad inspirations, and its intrinsic inclusiveness, with a new generation of Dubai dwellers redesigning its urban landscape and new course.
For explorers who enjoy travelling off-script and digging beneath the surface, this list of the essential Dos and Don’ts will allow local visitors experience Dubai in a whole new light.
Eating like a local
For gastronome used to discovering new destinations through its cuisine, Dubai is a culinary playground, with restaurants by Michelin-starred chefs from across the world.
A new generation of culinary maestros cook up a storm, blending Emirati culinary heritage with global inspiration, like Harees, Thareed, Ouzi and Karak Chai prepared in kitchens such as Al Fanar, Klayya Bakery and Sweets, Bait 1971, and Milas.
Local favourite Frying Pan Adventures also offers a Middle East Food Pilgrimage that covers Emirati, Palestinian, Lebanese and Iranian specialties. The affordable tour features a 2.8km walk lasting over four hours, with chances to sample regional treats and purchase saffron, baklava, Arabic cookies, Iranian dates, pomegranate molasses and nuts.
A stroll down Alserkal Avenue is a must for any visiting aesthete; from works by contemporary artists to collectors’ fairs to art house screenings brimming with all sorts of artistic creations and inspiration.
For those looking for a more immersive creative experience, there is also an opportunity to grab a paintbrush and canvas for a DIY painting session at thejamjar.
With an unlimited supply of paint, your own canvas and a relaxed environment, the space oozes fun and can help you create a piece of take-home art – with painting packages priced between AED 110 (Ksh 3,082) and AED 350 (Ksh 9, 800).
Theatre-holics, the nearby Courtyard Playhouse is the perfect platform to check out local talent.
Visitors to Dubai will not be short of vantage points to absorb the city’s epic landscape – head to the At The Top observation deck in the world’s tallest building for an incredible bird’s eye view.
There’s also the state-of-the-art metro, bus and taxi system as you watch the different cityscapes whizz by.
Area-specific shuttles –traditional abraboats on Dubai Creek, a tram line in Dubai Marina, a monorail on Palm Jumeirah and an old-fashioned trolley line in Downtown Dubai, offer the leisure sights and sounds.
A new way to view Dubai’s alluring skyline and vistas is in the pipeline, through the revolutionary Hyperloop One, featuring super-speed pods able to cover a distance of 99 miles in 12 minutes and will ferry passengers between Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the pilot of the new technology.
Arabs are mainstreaming their unique sense of style away from modesty to beautifully designed versatile abayas and other designs that are adding a unique richness to the fabric of global fashion.
Local designers such as Ayten Al-Khayat (Raw by Ayten),Yasmin Al Mulla(YNM),Huda Al Nuaimi(Huda Al Nuaimi), Ahmad Al Sayed and Saleh Al Banna (House of Nomad) offer Middle Eastern yet global attitude.
From underwater suites to Versailles-inspired penthouses, Dubai is ahead when it comes to next-level hospitality.
Featuring helipads and waterparks, Dubai’s hospitality scene has an aura of activity and luxury and for a more subtle and authentic experience, with the XVA Art Hotel brings to life the art, architecture and traditions of Dubai.
Just a stone throw away from the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, which facilitates cultural excursions, XVA offers a great launch pad.
On the other hand, those who like to wake up to a different breathtaking view each day, RV rentals through Airbnb offer the best deal available here– a vista of your choice and a road trip adventure that could rope in not just Dubai, but the whole of the UAE.
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