Nestled in the heart of the United Arab Emirates is one of the most exciting and glamorous places on earth, Dubai. If you are fortunate enough to visit Dubai then these places should be at the top of your “must see” wish list
Every time I visit Dubai I begin to get butterflies on the plane on the way out there just thinking about my first crisp, cool beer on the deck of Barasti Bar. Barasti Bar (or just Barasti as the locals call it) is a hype of activity every day of the week. It is one of, if not, the most iconic bars in Dubai. As you pull up to an unassuming back entrance you wind your way through the car park to the adjoining marina and then suddenly you are met by an expanse of decking large enough to house 2400 revellers. Split into three levels, Barasti has something for everyone. By day, it’s a casual beach bar showing every sport under the sun on its many televisions that are dotted around the place. By night, it descends into a hype of glamour. At the weekends a DJ sets up on Barasti’s own private beach where you can pull up a bean bag and listen to the sweet sounds of house music whilst sipping on a mojito. Alternatively, if you prefer listening to bands then the middle tier houses a fantastic duo of musicians who fill the dance floor by playing an eclectic mix of old and new classics.
Not only is Barasti a fantastic bar, it’s also a wonderful restaurant. If you go, try and book a table on the edge of the decking overlooking The Palm Jumeirah because as darkness descends, the view of the lit up Atlantis Hotel in the distance is simply breath taking.
The Souk Madinat
Dubai has a habit of doing everything big, bold and beautifully and the Souk Madinat is no exception. Based on a design of an original Souk, the Madinat has a modern twist in which some of Dubai’s most exquisite restaurants, shops and bars are housed. The Souk Madinat has something for everyone. If you are looking for a quick bite on a budget then The Noodle House is a great choice. They have a fab ordering system too where you tick boxes on your own menu of what you want and just hand it in to the nearest waiter. The food is fantastic for the price with a meal for two averaging around £30. If you are looking to treat yourself then a pre-dinner glass of wine at The Agency is an absolute must. Try and get a table outside as the view of the Burj Al Arab will leave you speechless. Last time I went on a Monday and ladies got two free glasses of Prosecco which went down rather well (and rather quickly!)
If you’re a carnivore then dinner at The Meat Company is an absolute must. They sell steaks by the weight and the canal side setting makes quaffing beautiful Argentinian red wine and dining on equally mouth-watering steak a decadent but essential experience.
The Mall of the Emirates
When I think of huge shopping malls I initially think of the USA however the malls I have been to in the US do not have a patch on The Mall of the Emirates. Complete with the world’s largest indoor ski resort (yes, that’s right, skiing does happen in Dubai!) The Mall of the Emirates houses hundreds of stores and restaurants from high street brands to exclusive designers. The mall also benefits from its own hotel and supermarket. Whether you’re a keen shopper or not The Mall of the Emirates is an absolute must, even if you go simply to sit in the viewing gallery of the ski centre. There is something very surreal about sitting with a hot coffee and watching people ski whilst knowing that it’s pushing 30 degrees outside. The ski slope is not just a novelty factor either. My brother who is a keen snowboarder has tried and tested the slope and assures me it’s some of the best boarding he’s experienced.
All in all, Dubai for me is one of the most incredible places in the world and the list of must see places is endless and shortening it to three has been very difficult. I cannot recommend Dubai highly enough. So if you’re looking for fun, sun and completely over the top glamour then you must pay Dubai a visit.
Ginny is a travel and lifestyle blogger over at http://www.shrinkingvioletinthegate.com By day she works in internet marketing and by night she’s an avid blogger who likes to document all the wonderful experiences travelling and life have to offer