16 places to treat yourself on payday in Dubai
We’ve finally reached the end of the month…
It’s almost the end of March 2022, and hopefully you’ll soon receive the only SMS you actually want to receive 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.
This swanky new 12,000 square foot restaurant boasts an opulent restaurant, bar and lounge area and floor-to-ceiling windows. SushiSamba offers some of Dubai’s most iconic landmarks such as the Palm Jumeirah coastline, the Arabian Gulf, Ain Dubai, and the Dubai skyline. With a venue this impressive, you can bet that the food matches, and more. The menu is is brought to you by Chef Moon Kyung Soo, Culinary Director of SushiSamba Dubai. Signature dishes include crispy Hokkaido scallop, crispy yellowtail taquitos, Japanese A5 Wagyu beef gyoza, pulpo asado, Wagyu A4 Japanese claypot, ceviche platter and Peruvian corn salad.
SushiSamba Dubai, Palm Tower, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, Saturday to Tuesday 7pm to 2am, Wednesday to Friday 7pm to 3am. @sushisambadubai
The setting at Urla is undeniably pretty, with a large tree taking centre stage inside a spherical marble bar, with the world’s tallest building standing proud in the background. There’s plenty of tables dotted across the terrazzo floor, sectioned off with greenery and large umbrellas. Urla’s one of the pricier options in the area, likely thanks to the views, but definitely one to add to your list for a payday treat.
Urla, Address Downtown, daily, noon to midnight. Tel: (0)52 554 5997. @urla
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
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, Jumeirah 1, lunch 12.30pm to 3pm Sat and Sun, 6.30pm to 11.30pm Sun to Thur, 6.30pm to 12.30am Fri and Sat. mandarinoriental.com
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
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
For those who appreciate the high life, there’s a chic new cocktail bar in town, which can be found in the iconic Burj Al Arab hotel. Called Gilt, the luxe new bar is located on the 27th floor, offering incredible views of the city below. Under the supervision of acclaimed bartender Thibault Mequignon, the chic spot features an innovative cocktail menu with strong focus on flavours, combining craftsmanship and attention to detail into every drink.
Gilt, Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah, daily 6pm to 3am, reservations essential. Tel: (0)4 432 3232. jumeirah.com/gilt
Bar Du Port
The first of a duo of concepts open on the new Dubai Harbour development is Bar Du Port, a pretty new bar with bohemian décor, inspired by the Ligurian Riviera, Côte d’Azur and scenic Greek isles. With outdoor tables overlooking the harbour, yachts and Dubai Marina, guests can enjoy the ambient vibes throughout the cooler months, sipping on cocktails including ‘Go Fish’, ‘Côte d’Azur’, ‘Sailor’s Tears’ and ‘Collector’s Item’; as well as an array of premium wines, champagne, and spirits. On the menu, expect a fusion of French Mediterranean fare, with dishes like escargot, langoustine linguine, wood-grilled octopus and slow-cooked 250-day grain-fed Angus short ribs.
Bar Du Port, Dubai Harbour, Dubai Marina, Mon to Fri 5pm to 3pm, Sat & Sun 1pm to 3am. Tel: (0)50 969 9820. @barduportdubai
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
Fun things to do
Sky Views Dubai
At Sky Edge Walk in Sky Views Dubai you’ll strap yourself in to a helmet and harness before leaning off the edge of the open-air platform, 219.5 metres above ground. No windows, no barriers – brave participants will enjoy a rare opportunity to lean off a skyscraper.
Sky Views Dubai, Address Sky Views, daily, 2pm to 8pm. skyviewsdubai.com
Cinemacity is the luxury all-VIP dine-in theatre in Downtown Dubai, boasting five VIP theatres, and another licensed theatre and lounge for those who enjoy a tipple with their film-watching. The venue has 220 seats for movie-goers. All of the VIP Dine In theatres have reclining Club Class seats for Dhs75 and full reclining VIP Seats for Dhs150, which need to be booked in twos, for Dhs300. Whilst you relax and enjoy the film, you can order dishes such as Taiwanese popcorn chicken, Angus beef sliders with truffle fries or freshly made sushi rolls.
Cinemacity Dubai, Downtown Dubai, Dubai, daily 10am to 2am. @cinemacityuae
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
The 210-metre high attraction features a pool in which you can swim around the entire venue, without any obstructions. Sun loungers of various sizes fill the pool deck, with some taking prime position on pool islands for maximum tanning and views. The morning experience pass runs from 10am to 2pm, starting from Dhs200, For an afternoon slot, the timings run between 3pm and sunset, priced from Dhs225 and for the full day it’s Dhs425.
Aura Skypool Lounge, 50th Floor, Palm Tower, Palm Jumeirah, daily 10am to sunset, from Dhs200. auraskypool.com
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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
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
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