The opulence of its architecture, the exclusivity of the experiences on offer here as well as the extent of imagination that has gone into its modern development makes it difficult for a tourist not to fall in love with Dubai. Like any mega city, there’s plenty to do here and there’s ample to be discovered. But skipping the usual tourist encounters that the travel guides promote, we bring you five unusual experiences that you should give a try when in Dubai. We promise the list doesn’t include the Palm Islands, the Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab or the Dubai Mall.
Savour the Camel Milk Ice Cream at the Majlis Cafe
One of the most underrated cafes in Dubai; the Majlis Cafe is located right adjacent to the Jumeirah Mosque. Serving the traditional Emirati Cuisine, the Majlis Cafe is known for its sumptuous camel milk dishes and drinks that pack a punch of flavour. You’ll score a bonus if you go around Ramadan when the cafe serves its traditional Iftar meals, the ones that have who’s who of Dubai coming back for more. Though, the cafe also has a branch in the Dubai Mall now, the Jumeirah Mosque branch still remains more popular amongst those looking for a traditional and authentic experience.
Al Mamzar Beach Park
Away from Dubai’s glitzy face that is polished for tourists is the Dubai of the locals, the city where they can stroll or swim by the beach, picnic on the lawns under the shade of palm and coconut trees, barbecue their favourite dishes and enjoy water sports aloof from the maddening crowds. Al Mamzar Beach Park is one such attraction in the city where you can meet more locals than tourists and where you can spend a few leisurely hours to take a break from the chatter of the glamorous Dubai.
Discover art in Dubai at the city’s foremost art hub, the Alserkal Avenue. This industrial warehouse hosts some of the finest specimens of the city’s growing art scene in its many art galleries. These galleries run individual programmes focused on the emerging as well as established national and international artists. Additionally, some of the hottest exhibitions, talks and discussions pertaining art in the UAE are held in the Alserkal Avenue. Art lovers and curious tourists can easily spend a day between the many art galleries as well as the coffee shops that line up here.
The Coffee Museum
The private, artistic museum hosted inside a historic Emirati home, the Coffee Museum is the heaven on earth in our very stylish Emirati city for coffee lovers. The museum features an array of coffee beans from different parts of the world and has interesting trivia on the importance of coffee in different cultural groups around the world. One can also find old grinders, ancient pots and coffee roasters in the museum, perched alongside books dedicated to coffee and exquisite and fine crockery items. There’s also a cafe and a reading room in the premises for recreation of visitors.
XVA Art Hotel
Born from the fusion of history and heritage, XVA Art Hotel features 14 guest rooms, each highlighting elements and cultural motifs of the UAE. The Persian architecture transposes one to an era gone by, as the spacious courtyards, the wind towers and the starry terrace. The hotel features an award-winning restaurant and often finds itself in the list of ‘top places to visit in Dubai’ issued by leading travel magazines and publications. The former home of one Seddiqi family, XVA Art Hotel has a soul of its own, a fact that distinguishes it from many leading hotels in the city.