Don’t be surprised if you get lost in Barsha; this dusty ‘hood behind Mall Of The Emirates has lots of winding streets and dead ends. Luckily, we’ve found a few hidden gems.

Dine at… Cravin’ Cajun

craving cajun

Get a slice of The Big Easy at this New Orleans-inspired restaurant where the portions are big and the atmosphere is even bigger. Not a place to go if you’re watching your weight, go here to splurge on mac n’ cheese and chicken and waffles.

Novotel, Al Barsha, Dubai, Mon to Sat 7.30pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 3049000. Metro: Sharaf DG. 

Drink at… The Huddle

the huddle

With two large screens and 14 TVs dotted around the place, this is a bar for the true sports fan who doesn’t want to miss a kick, a throw or a pass. All the usual suspects are on the menu, such as fish and chips, nachos, burgers, and wings. The Huddle is always jammed to the rafters so get there early for a big game.

Citymax Hotel, Al Barsha, Dubai, daily noon to 3am. Tel: (04) 4078000. Taxi: Citymax Hotel. 

Check out a hidden gem… The Shoe Butler


These guys provide an excellent service, reviving tired old shoes to make them look brand new. It’s a tiny shop on a side street, but they collect and deliver your shoes promptly free of charge.

Al Barsha, Dubai, Sat to Thur 9am to 7pm.Tel: (04) 3794400. Taxi: Next to Al Zahra Hospital.

Check out a hidden gem… Mega Stitch Tailoring

A hive of activity at all times, Mega Stitch does speedy work on men’s and women’s clothing. The prices are good too: just Dhs20 will get your new trousers hemmed quicker than it takes to say pincushion.

Saleh Bin Lahej Building, Al Barsha, Dubai, Sat to Thur 10am to 9pm. Tel: (04) 4227376. Metro: Mall Of The Emirates. 

Shop at… The Change Initiative


This two-storey shop is a shrine to eco-friendly things. It just so happens that, as well as being kind to Mother Earth, many of those things are lovely to look at – glasses made out of recycled bottles, for example, or sofas made from cardboard. There are clothes, toys, and shelves of food, an ice cream parlour and a café too.

Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Barsha, Dubai, Sun to Thur 8am to 9pm, Fri and Sat 9am to 10pm. Tel: (800) 824. Taxi: Next to Al Zahra Hospital. 

Dance at… Casa Latina


It’s not much to look at during daylight hours, but on Thursday and Friday nights, this Cuban-themed bar comes alive hosting some of the city’s most eclectic music nights.

Ibis Hotel, Barsha, Dubai, daily 7pm to 2am. Tel: (04) 3996699. Metro: Dubai Internet City.