15 places to treat yourself on payday in Dubai

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The countdown until the end of the month is officially on…

It’s the final stretch before the all important pay day, and most of us are already dreaming about what we’ll do once we receive the only SMS we appreciate: 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 15 places to go and enjoy yourself once you do get paid.

Restaurants

Alici

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 Boro, 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

Gaia

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 the most attractive new restaurant in town. 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

Brunches

Ocean Vibe at Pierchic

Located at the end of a vast wooden pier, emerging from luxury beachfront resort, Jumeirah Al Qasr, there’s no denying Pierchic is one of the most exclusive ‘bucket-list’ restaurants in Dubai. The food is some of the best we’ve ever tasted, with fresh seafood balancing powerful flavour with soft textures. The Saturday brunch is priced at Dhs375 for the five course sharing meal. An extra Dhs200 is applied if you want to make use of the four hour drinks package which includes organic wine, sparking and beers. A minimum booking of four guests per table is required.

Ocean Vibe, Pierchic, Jumeirah Al Qasr, Madinat Jumeirah, Saturdays 12pm to 4pm, Dhs375 food only, Dhs575 with beverages. Tel: (04) 432 3232. jumeirah.com

Zuma

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. There’s a buffet for the starters and desserts but guests can choose their main made-to-order. Sushi is prepared to perfection and laid-out as a lavish spread, which you can devour main courses such as black cod and grilled lobster.

Zuma, Al Sa’ada Street, Dubai, Fridays, 12.30pm to 4pm, Dhs450 soft, Dhs595 house, Dhs655 sparkling. Tel: (04) 425 5660. zumarestaurant.com

The Loft at Dubai Opera

Among the cooking stations dotted around the glorious sun-dappled rooftop of Dubai Opera are an oyster counter (complete with friendly oyster shucker, rapidly opening oyster shells as quickly as his merry hands can move), a barbecue counter, where marinated steak and large prawns sizzle, a pasta and risotto counter, lovingly prepared on a huge Parmesan wheel, and a couple of cocktail stations thrown in for good measure.

The Loft Terrace, Rooftop, Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai, Fri noon to 4pm, Dhs495 with soft drinks and caviar, Dhs695 with champagne, house drinks and caviar. Tel: (04) 3627312. facebook.com/theloftatopera

Nightlife

Q’s Bar and Lounge

A new resident musician is in town for the summer over at Quincy Jones’ Q’s Bar and Lounge. In the luxurious, sound proofed all-leather interiors of the jazz club over at Palazzo Versace, soul siren Brenna Whitaker takes to the intimate stage with her larger than life presence and haunting vocals. A favourite jazz and blues act with many of Hollywood’s celebrities, Whitaker regularly plays to audiences at the W Hotel Hollywood’s famed Sunday night jazz sessions. The setting for her regular performances will be as intimate as if she was singing to you in your own living room. Running until August 17.

Q’s Bar and Lounge, Palazzo Versace Dubai, Tue to Sat, 7pm to 2am, Dhs350 minimum spend on Thur and Fri. Tel: (04) 5568888. palazzoversace.ae

Buddha Bar

This popular spot in Grosvenor House offers guests a wow-worthy experience every night of the week. With long-time resident DJ Mario and 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 DXB Sessions Vol 5 Mykonos, Buddha Bar Dubai, Grosvenor House, Dubai Marina, 7pm to 2am, Friday March 29. Tel: (04) 317 6000. buddhabar-dubai.com

Billionaire Mansion

Swanky nightlife brand Billionaire Mansion is the brainchild of Italian F1 boss Flavio Briatore. Its electrifying dinner show offers quality Italian and Japanese food served up by local hero chef Reif Othman, to a backdrop of dance and acrobatics. The shows are every half hour and change regularly, with performers often migrating from the stage into the crowds of diners for an interactive touch. The venue operates a strict door policy so dress to impress.

Billionaire Mansion, Taj Dubai, Burj Khalifa Boulevard, Business Bay, Dubai, daily 5pm to 3am. Tel: (04) 5103100. billionairemansiondubai.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 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 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

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

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

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