16 places to treat yourself on payday in Dubai

We’ve finally reached the end of the month…

It’s almost the last day of March 2021, and hopefully you’ve already received the only positive SMS on your phone: Salary has been credited into your account. Now, obviously we all have rent, bills and payments to make but after that, we deserve a treat.

Here are 16 places to go and enjoy yourself once you do get paid.



MODUB - Netsu Japanese Steakhouse

Nothing says treat yourself than an extensive menu of premium Japanese cuisine. That’s what Netsu offers, and we guarantee you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the combination of knowledgeable friendly service, creative culinary concoctions and tasty cocktails. The space centres around a glass-walled kitchen with the largest Warayaki oven (straw fire cooking) outside of Japan.

Netsu, Mandarin Oriental Jumeria, daily 6.30pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (0)4 777 2232. mandarinoriental.com


alici bluewaters island best restaurants

Alici is the Amalfi coast-inspired restaurant located on the waterfront of Bluewaters island, and walking inside feels like stepping into a cosy family-run trattoria on the Italian coast. It’s brought to you by the people behind Il Borro, and is every bit delicious as it is beautiful. The menu is mostly seafood so if you love crudo, oysters, seabass, caviar and swordfish then you’re in for a treat but there’s also a selection of meat dishes including Wagyu beef tenderloin and grain-fed baby chicken.

Alici, Bluewaters, Dubai Marina, daily noon to 3.30pm and 7pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 2752577. alici.com


Chef Izu’s Gaia is beautiful. With its muted colour palette of smooth concrete greys, white painted woods and cream walls, warmed by perfect lighting and brought to life by the whiff of fresh seafood, Gaia is arguably one the most attractive restaurants in town, made even more so by its new alfresco terrace. The Greek menu is varied, with dishes ranging from lobster spaghetti to baby goat. You know a restaurant is a winner when even the bread basket is mouthwatering.

Gaia, DIFC Gate Village 4, Dubai, daily 12pm to 3am and 7pm to 2am. Tel: (04) 241 4242. gaia-dubai.com

Zhen Wei

This high end pan-Asian restaurant is a must-go for Asian cuisine lovers. The interiors mix traditional oriental styles with a contemporary flair. Every detail and design has been carefully thought out, from the open industrial-style kitchen right down to the gold-tipped chopsticks. The dim sum is exceptional, as is the black tea-smoked sea bass which will melt in your mouth as soon as you taste it.

Caesars Bluewaters Dubai, daily noon to 3.30pm, 6pm to 10.30pm. Tel: (04) 5566666. caesars.com


twiggy dubai

It’s hard to believe that this stunning spot is in Dubai. A 100 metre infinity pool overlooks the Dubai Creek, while palm trees line the outskirts of Park Hyatt’s pristine man-made beach. It’s a haven of private to spend the day soaking up the sun. Twiggy combines a supermodel of a beach club with a stunning French-Mediterranean restaurant. It comes from the team behind Dubai hotspots La Cantine du Faubourg, Ninive and Lana Lusa, who bring their hospitality nous and on-point aesthetics to the fore.

Twiggy, Park Hyatt, Dubai Creek, daily 9am to 7pm. Tel: (04) 602 1105. @twiggydubai


zuma salmon

Few people haven’t heard of Zuma. A decade old and still arguably the most popular spot in the city for Japanese cuisine, the menu is sleek and sophisticated, as is the decor. The split level space quickly packs out every week so you’ll want to book ahead several weeks in advance to bag the best table. The menu is always outstanding, delivered with effortless elegance every time. For fans of real Japanese food, served to a high level, this is the place to find it

Zuma, Gate Village 6, DIFC, Dubai, lunch 12pm to 3.30pm, dinner 7pm to 12am. Tel: (04) 425 5660. zumarestaurant.com


Buddha Bar

This popular spot in Grosvenor House offers guests a wow-worthy experience every night of the week. With plenty of hand-crafted cocktails, the vibe is uplifting and electric – perfect for getting you in the weekend mood. The menu offers a great selection of pan-Asian bites, from soft shell crab in Chinese bao to black cod with yuzu miso.

Buddha Bar Dubai, Grosvenor House, Dubai Marina, daily, 7pm to 1am. Tel: (04) 317 6000. buddhabar-dubai.com


clap DIFC

Clap is a unique rooftop space in DIFC, where the bar is decorated with colourful Japanese figurines, a huge toy-chandelier lives above the reception and books are used like bricks to build furniture around the venue. With the open-kitchen on one side, giving an insight into the culinary experts at work, and a large 360 degree bar on the other, Clap is alive with activity most nights of the week.

Clap Dubai, Gate Village 11, DIFC, daily 12pm to 1am. Tel: (0)4 569 3820. claprestaurant.com


This chic French restaurant has long been a firm Dubai-favourite for its chic setting and lively atmosphere. Whilst the entertainment is hold for the moment due to current restrictions, the restaurant is still a fabulous place to visit for dinner or post-work drinks.

Bistrot Bagatelle Dubai, Fairmont Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, open from 8pm daily. Tel: (04) 354 5035. bagatelledubai.com

Fun things to do

Take a gyrocopter flight over Dubai Marina

Part of Skydive Dubai, Skyhub organises gyrocopter experiences that see you soaring 1,500 feet above the emirate’s most iconic landmarks. There are three options of gyrocopters, open, semi-open, or closed, you will be asked to choose which you’d like to fly in. The 20-minute flight is a very smooth ride, it’s unlikely you will feel uneasy during any part of the flight, but you can share any concerns with your pilot. As you soar through the sky, you’ll get a bird’s eye view of Bluewaters, Palm Jumeirah, Burj Al Arab and Dubai Marina.

Skyhub Dubai, Skydive Dubai Drop Zone, Dubai Marina, open daily weather permitting, Dhs999. skydivedubai.ae/gyrocopter

Visit IMG Worlds of Adventure

IMG theme park

IMG Worlds of Adventure is the world’s largest indoor theme park and is comprised of three park zones: Marvel, Lost Valley and Cartoon Network. Superhero fans will love Marvel’s adrenaline-packed rollercoasters where they can help Spider-Man save New York or become immersed in an Avengers battle. Young ones will love the dinosaur themed Lost Valley with gravity defying rides and the Forbidden Territory experience.

IMG Worlds of Adventure, Dubai, weekdays 11am to 8pm, weekends 11am to 10pm, Dhs285 adults, Dhs265 children. Tel: 04 403 8888. imgworlds.com

Ride the longest urban zip line

XLine Dubai Marina

XLine Dubai Marina will see you zooming past the skyscrapers of Dubai Marina and soaring above rippling waters and hundreds of yachts. This zip line allows adrenaline junkies to ride Superman-style, belly down, as they zip from one of the Amwaj towers in JBR, 170 metres in the air, down to the terrace of Dubai Marina Mall. The line totals at 1km in length with an incline of 16° and reaches speeds of an average of 80 kilometres per hour.

XLine, Dubai Marina, Thurs to Tues 3.20pm to 6.20pm, closed Wednesday, Dhs399 single, Dhs720 couple. Tel: 056 507 6366xdubai.com

Chill time

DRIFT Beach Dubai


This premium beach club is a total treat, with stunning infinity pool, extended beach views and a calm laid-back atmosphere. Located in the swanky One&Only Royal Mirage, DRIFT is described as a destination where “luxury beach chic meets casual simplicity”. Perfect for taking some time to relax and reflect, with soothing beachy house tunes played in the background. There’s also a restaurant serving up Provençal cuisine and an extensive wine list. Open until July 6.

DRIFT, One&Only Royal Mirage, Al Sufouh. Pool and beach open daily 10.30am to 7pm. Packages start from Dhs200 for a sunlounger with beach and pool access. Tel: (04) 315 2200. driftbeachdubai.com

Talise Spa


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We all deserve a relaxing spa day every now and then, and you can’t go wrong with Jumeirah’s Talise. The award winning spa, located in Madinat Jumeirah, makes you feel calm from the moment you enter the lobby. There’s a range of treatments on offer, starting from Dhs590, from aromatherapy massages, to crystal facials and a hammam experience. You’ll also find sauna and steam rooms, plunge pool, yoga classes and relaxation area.

Talise Spa, Madinat Jumeirah, Al Sufouh, Sunday to Thursday 11am to 9pm, Friday & Saturday 10am to 9pm. Tel: (04) 366 6818. jumeirah.com


Nammos Dubai terrace

Tucked next to the main entrance of the Four Seasons Resort Dubai, Nammos Dubai has its own private beach, terrace and restaurant. There, swathes of white linen invite you to sink into a white-washed timber chair and hunker down for the day. It’s the ideal spot to relax after a long month, and treat yourself to some deliciously fresh seafood by the beach.

Nammos Dubai, Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, daily 12.30pm to 12.30am. Tel: (058) 1210000. @nammos.dubai

Zaya Nurai

airbnb zaya nurai

A little bit further afield, but totally worth the trip, Zaya Nurai is the luxury resort located on Nurai Island, Abu Dhabi. Reminiscent of the Maldives, you’ll need to take a private boat to reach the island, where on arrival you’ll find boutique beach club, Smokin’ Pineapple. It looks out onto the clear blue waters and features an infinity pool, water sports and plenty of loungers and hammocks on the beach for lazing the day away. Guests can redeem a day pass for a more reasonable Dhs480, which includes the boat transfer to the island, pool and beach access, and Dhs420 to redeem on food and drink, spa treatments or water sports.

Zaya Nurai Island, Nurai Island, off Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, day passes Dhs480. Tel: 02 5066274. zayanuraiisland.com