ELLE guide to the most progressive metropolis of the world
Dubai is not just a city. Dubai is a brand, a legend, one of the most incredible megacities in the world. The largest city in the UAE and the center of the emirate of the same name, Dubai literally grew up in the desert about 20 years ago. "City of Records" is amazing - it was here that the tallest building in the world, the most expensive hotel in the world, the largest shopping center, the hotel with underwater rooms, deep tunnels, a huge artificial island and much more were built. Dubai has become a symbol of all the most progressive and luxurious - of all the Muslim countries, the Emirates are considered the most convenient for expats. Actually, recently this is my city - I have been living in Dubai for almost two years, and I was very enthusiastic about the idea of creating a detailed city guide for ELLE.
In Dubai, there is no rich historical heritage and will take over the past, not counting the National Museum (Dubai Museum), which shows the life of the city in the period before the oil is here. Precisely because the city does not have the spirit of history, many criticize it for its sterility and the lack of a special atmosphere. However, Dubai lovers, among whom I also belong, see its special spirit in its futuristic appearance - such cities of the future should also be on the planet, and a demonstration of the greatness of a man who built a huge metropolis with skyscrapers, parks, artificial gardens and canals in the desert, and there is his special energy and character.
For me, Dubai has become an urban paradise that does not cause rejection. Living here is very convenient and comfortable. For each minus, which is transformed into a stable myth by the efforts of ordinary people, here there is an obvious plus. For example, Myth # 1: Alcohol is prohibited in Dubai. It's not like that at all. Under the complete prohibition of alcohol is only in the Emirate of Sharjah, in Dubai, you can easily order alcohol in restaurants, nightclubs or in your hotel. But there is a nuance. Alcohol is not sold in supermarkets and cafes and restaurants that are not located at hotels. The fact is that only hotels have licenses for alcohol, and therefore all the main restaurants, bars, lounges and night clubs are with them. This is quite convenient - instead of giving the taxi driver the address or name of the restaurant, you can simply name the hotel you want.
However, for residents, the situation is somewhat different than for tourists. To buy alcohol in Dubai, you need an alcohol license card, which can only be received by residents of the country. Officially, in Dubai you can not store and consume alcohol at home, if you are not a licensee.
Myth Two - Unbearably Hot in Dubai. Yes, from May to September, the thermometer column rarely drops below 45. However, as in Egypt, Israel and other countries in the region. In the summer there is no influx of tourists, and the locals prefer to take holidays in the summer and leave the country. However, in Dubai there is practically no non-air-conditioned premises - even in taxis, subways and at street stops there is air conditioning. Of course, electricity bills, if you live in Dubai, come a lot, but you will feel discomfort only if you spend time outside - however, the city’s infrastructure and all communications allow it to be avoided: every apartment building has an underground parking lot, from where by car, get to your destination. Of course, we are not talking about some neighborhoods in Deira, where migrants live - neighborhoods for visiting workers differ from areas for expats, locals and tourists. Important point: we speak only about summer months plus May and September. The rest of the time in Dubai is very comfortable weather, and in winter there is even a risk of freezing a bit in the evening, so you will definitely need a jacket, jacket and jeans in January.
Cafes and restaurants
In Dubai, almost all of the world's top gastronomic brands are represented, including the iconic Nobu and Zuma. Especially popular are either restaurants with a view, or special conceptual projects, or luxurious restaurants with the participation of top world chefs. As for the best bars, they, as a rule, are all with a luxurious look - for example, the Gold on 27 bar is located, as the name suggests, on the 27th floor of the legendary Burj Al Arab hotel and is famous for the most incredible designer cocktails and luxurious night view Dubai Another iconic place is the “360” bar, which is located right next to the “Bourges” and offers a view of the Persian Gulf from any of its points. Here are the best parties of the city under the performances of such stars as Hernan Cattaneo, Spirit Catcher or Milton Jackson.
Dubai's main seafood restaurant is the famous Nathan Outlaw at Al Mahara, which is also located in Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. It is precisely this space that comes as a promo to all significant reports - in addition to the original author’s interpretation of the classics, it is famous for having a huge aquarium with rare species of fish in the hall. Also, the Nathan Outlaw at Al Mahara space consists of a luxurious bar and patio overlooking the Persian Gulf. I especially recommend the risotto with a crab from the English chef of the restaurant - gourmets, not without reason, consider it canonical.
Nathan Outlaw at Al Mahara
Of course, you can not ignore the legendary restaurant At.Mosphere, which is located in the Burj Khalifa Tower (Burj Khalifa) - it is the main symbol of Dubai. To begin with, this is the highest restaurant in the world - it is located on the 122nd floor. Considering that climbing the tower is a must, if you have already arrived in Dubai, then it is better to combine this visit with dinner at a restaurant. I can not say that it is very tasty here, but an incredible view in this case is everything. Also, keep in mind that the "Atmosphere" is quite expensive - there is a deposit system for each guest, and you need to book places in the restaurant in advance.
Another unique project in Dubai is the Al Barari complex: a luxurious neighborhood representing a new concept of luxury. The incredible green eco-complex is part of the Nad Al Shiba territory - it occupies over 14 million square feet and is bordered by the Palace of His Majesty Sheikh Maktoum. In fact, it is an oasis in the desert, created by human hands - like the island of Palm Jumeirah. Al Barari differs in that there is no feeling that you live in the desert - the area is buried in dense gardens, waterfalls and lakes. Here are luxury villas designed by the best European architects, spa centers and The Farm (one of the best restaurants in Dubai). Its very name already speaks about the eco-concept - there is no alcohol in the restaurant, and all products are only organic, grown on a local farm. This is perhaps the only restaurant with “importation” food, due to which all its useful properties are preserved. In addition to the classic eco-food with delicious natural smoothies, there are many classic dishes like pasta with seafood. In a word, tasty, useful and atmospheric.
Absolutely incredible aesthetic place - the restaurant Social by Heinz Beck in the hotel Waldorf Astoria. This is a relatively new place, and this season it is called the most fashionable restaurant in Dubai. Its main feature is the famous chef, the owner of 3 Michelin stars, whose name, in fact, is indicated in the name of the institution. There are legends that the star of modern gastronomy was hunted for a long time, and he, having just appeared in Dubai, surpassed all expectations - today the most high-profile dinners and social meetings are held here. The cuisine in the restaurant is international, taking place in the category of modern gastronomy, but with a tangible Italian accent. Particular pride are the famous brunches from 12-30 to 15-30, which are met by the most secular audience of Dubai.
Social by Heinz Beck
Another super popular spot this season in Dubai is Sea Fu Restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel. As I have already said, all the best restaurants and clubs are located in hotels, and it would be easy to assume that one of the iconic restaurants in the city is represented in one of the hotels of the legendary chain. This is a very stylish restaurant in all respects - from a minimalist interior with bright details to, in fact, the food itself - Mediterranean cuisine here is presented not in a classic, but in an innovative version - with a tangible Asian flavor. Perhaps, if we talk about the direction of Asian-style seafood, then this restaurant can be called one of the best in the world. However, seafood in classic variations is also widely represented here, but thanks to the feed it looks innovative. Thus, the best bouillabaisse in the city is served as 2 different dishes, offering mix soup and seafood at will. The signature dish, a plate of seafood on the grill, is above all praise, and there are legends about the freshest oysters - they are rightly considered the best in the city. Add to this the luxurious terrace on the shores of the Persian Gulf and the signature service that is common to all restaurants at Four Seasons hotels, and you will forgive this fabulous place for an inhuman price tag.
Another place to visit in Dubai is a must, one of the most famous and luxurious hotels in the city of Jumeirah Beach, built in the shape of a wave. The hotel has many restaurants, and, in my opinion, one of the most interesting of them is Waterfront. Here they rely on a healthy diet - even scrambled eggs are made from organic egg proteins according to eco-standards. The special pride of the menu is sushi and vegetarian salads, exotic juices or smoothies. All this beauty is served on the open terrace overlooking the Persian Gulf. By the way, the Waterfront restaurant provides service on yachts in Marina Bay and organizes romantic dinners.
Hotels and accommodation
There are no such number of luxury hotels like in Dubai. Of course, speaking of this city, it is impossible not to mention its main hotel - Burj Al Arab (“Burj Al Arab”). Legend has it that once the ruler of an emirate decided that his emirate needed a symbol with which people would associate Dubai. Like it or not, it is not known for certain, but in 1999 a hotel appeared, which has no analogues to this day - it was not for nothing that it was given a non-existent category of “7 stars”. Judge for yourself: meeting at Rolls-Royce at the airport, helipad for those traveling by air, restaurants of Michelin chefs, only double-decker rooms, butler services, incredible design solutions - for example, the hotel's atrium is considered the highest in the world. And when it seemed that it could not be any better, new formats appeared in the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah - for example, the new terrace The Terrace with an infinity pool.
Also significant for the city is a sample of minimalism - the Armani hotel in the Burj Khalifa tower in the city center and the real Atlantis The Palm Palace is the first and only entertainment resort of its kind in the United Arab Emirates, located in the center of the legendary Palm Island.
The Ritz — Carlton Dubai
When I first came to Dubai and fell unconditionally in love with this city, I stayed at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel - the one located on the coast in the JBR area (there are two Ritz in Dubai - the second is located in the financial center). I still think that there is simply no better hotel in Dubai. The sincerity of my statement reinforces the fact that it was the Ritz-Carlton Dubai that my husband and I once chose to hold our wedding - the hotel is famous for its fabulous wedding ceremonies on the shores of the Persian Gulf. Luxurious white tents, flower arches, red carpet, green lawns, sea breeze - incredible romance! Guests and friends unanimously believe that it was almost Hollywoodly luxurious - one of the best hotel brands in the world is flawless, even in details. By the way, it is here that they go on a honeymoon - the Ritz is distinguished by pacification and a special rhythm - relaxation and tranquility, but it is worth taking a step from the hotel’s territory - and you will find yourself in the thick of the events of the noisy megalopolis.
Unlike the soulless futuristic structures of concrete and glass, The Ritz-Carlton Dubai is an oasis of beauty, peace and the right classic luxury, which has a special soulfulness. The local landscape is very colorful: low cozy Mediterranean-style buildings with a tiled roof and picturesque lawns against the backdrop of huge Dubai skyscrapers. Personally, I love this contrast, which is no longer in any hotel in the city. In a word, in order not to be cut off from urban landscapes, choose a hotel as cute and beautiful as the legendary Ritz Carlton.
If you decide to stay in Dubai for a long time, it makes sense to rent an apartment. The cost of apartments in Dubai varies greatly - it depends on the area, the quality of the furniture, the view from the window, the infrastructure, and the distance from the sea. In Dubai, a distinctive feature is the fact that absolutely terrible apartments do not surrender - you have to try hard to plunge into housing. However, it is better to choose the right areas - Dubai Marina, JBR or Palm Jumeirah (the latter option will be significantly more expensive). On average, the cost of a good studio apartment starts from 450 dirhams ($ 125) per day. Website for searching for apartments in Dubai, which is used by all who wish to rent housing: http://dubai.dubizzle.com/.
Beauty salons in Dubai a huge amount. Prices are similar to Moscow - an ordinary salon with Filipinki craftsmen is much cheaper than hotel salons.
By the way, about filipinok. Do not be afraid to trust them. They wield very quickly - and in 4, and 6 hands - almost everywhere you can do manicure and pedicure at the same time, and if you wish, at the same time you can increase eyelashes, make eyebrows correction, styling or coloring. At the same time, “multi-handiness” is not a VIP service, as in some salons in Moscow - parallel procedures are done according to the standard quite reasonable price list.
In Dubai, there are also salons, founded by our compatriots, where all the masters speak Russian - for example, Etoile Beauty Center & Tanning Studio.
By the way, there are even solariums in Dubai, but there are few of them and the cost of the service is quite high - apparently, due to the unpopularity of the procedure in the city, where the sun shines all year round.
The third myth: there are almost no pedestrian areas in Dubai. Firstly, it is not so. The beautiful Marina Walk promenade, pedestrian zones in the JBR area, parks, private quarters on Palm (this is about the artificial island of Palm Jumeirah, the elite area of Dubai), huge park areas, the Al Barari area - all these are great places to walk. However, taking into account the fact that we found out that it is very hot in Dubai in the summer, it is not recommended to go for a walk at this time. Yes, a total of pedestrian zones in Dubai is less than in other cities of the world, but this is quite logical - the city was built in the desert, in a hot climate. In its structure and logic, it resembles Miami - it’s also difficult to get somewhere without a taxi or your own car. However, in Dubai, a fairly cheap taxi available to every tourist. In addition, it is absolutely safe - all taxi drivers with licenses, perfectly know the city, work strictly on the counter and will never carry you around, such as in Istanbul, to increase the cost of the trip.
Myth Four - Dubai's prosperity is built only on oil production.. The history of the discovery and development of oil fields in the region has about 80 years. However, these reserves were not so great, and shrewd sheikhs invested petrodollars in the development of the region - as a result, giant skyscrapers appeared, and one of the largest airports in the world, and thousands of kilometers of modern road junctions, and all the usual luxury and beauty today. At the moment, oil provides only 20% of the national product. Trade and industry, services and tourism play a leading role in the economy. A good example for our country.
Fifth Myth - strict morals work in Dubai: you cannot walk with bare shoulders, hug in public, etc. Yes and no. On the one hand, you may suffer the fate of Samantha from the full-length "Sex and the City", which was expelled from the country for debauchery, but to indulge in this debauchery you need to manage in a public place. On the beach, in a hotel, in a nightclub, you can behave freely, but if during the day you go to the Dubai Mall, it is better to limit yourself to a walk along the arm and leave kisses with your loved ones for later. As for dressing, during the daytime everything on the beach, except for the topless sunbathing habit, is permissible. In the evening, the dress code is quite free - in clubs, cafes and restaurants full of girls in mini, with a neckline and in Herve Leger. Here the main thing is to know when to stop you being mistaken for a call girl, of which there are enough in Dubai, given the generosity of the local gentlemen. The UAE is the most democratic Muslim country, but it also has its own unspoken rules, which are quite easy to follow if you are not used to shocking the public and look for adventure on your head.
By the way, about morals. There is a reverse side of the coin. Officially, Dubai is a city of strict rules. However, as in any other city in the world, there is prostitution, which has one peculiarity - it exists under cover and is somewhat veiled, but only formally. In a city where so many expats live, it’s simply impossible to imagine a principled position on this issue. Most often, priestesses of love can be found in nightclubs - girls look quite glamorous and decent, but it is difficult to be mistaken that they are at work. Another kind of paid love - salons, where Asian masseuses work.
Myth Six - expensive in Dubai. Смотря с чем сравнивать. Дубайское такси дешевле европейского в разы. Поход в хороший ресторан обойдется в те же деньги, что и в Москве. Единственное, чем Дубай действительно не подходит любителям бюджетного туризма — отсутствием хостелов и очень экономичных вариантов размещения. Отели 3 звезды найти в городе можно, но в основном, конечно, здесь сделан акцент на отели категории 4 и 5 звезд. Цены на них абсолютно идентичны европейским.
А теперь — адреса-пароли-явки для тех, кто собирается в Дубай.
The largest mall is not only Dubai, but also one of the largest in the world - the Dubai Mall. There are a lot of malls in the city, but this one became the brand and symbol of the city - located next to the main attraction of Burj Khalifa - the tallest building in the world. It has everything for shopping - shoes, clothes, gastronomy, household goods and much more. Remember how the mantra: the main shopping in the city is here!
One of the most important points for gourmet homebies is the local “Alphabet of Taste” - a network called Waitrose. Here you can find the highest quality products - ready-made cooking, organic food, as well as delicacies of the type of one of the best oyster varieties bred by French scientists - Gillardeau. Pork is also sold here - a product that is banned by Muslims. It is at Waitrose that the largest range of pork products is sausage, Parma ham, tenderloin, chops, sausages and even soup bouillon cubes, which you will not find in every store. You need to look for these products in the department with the sign "For non-muslims" - it is obligatory, so as not to offend the feelings of those who do not eat this product.
Also in some stores you can find Russian products. For my husband and I, this story is very relevant, as nostalgia at home sometimes wakes up. Since in Dubai such products are imported wonders, the simplest and most inexpensive ones like dumplings and pickles are easy to find, but prices will not be the most humane.
Seafood lovers will appreciate the small elite Market & Platters store located in the Dubai Marina district. Here is a large assortment of fresh fish, oysters, crabs and other seafood, as well as vegetables, fruits, cheeses, terrines and other products of excellent quality.
For those who want to save on food, there is a Geant supermarket - an analogue of our Auchan, most of whose visitors are migrants - Indians, Filipinos and Pakistanis. The quality of the products here is acceptable, but do not expect frills.
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Moscow, st. Shabolovka, house 31b, 6th entrance (entrance from the Horse Lane)
What it is?
What is Dubai? This is one of the emirates (as the subject is called in this state) of the United Arab Emirates. It is located on the shores of the Persian Gulf and is located approximately at sea level. In the west, Dubai is washed by the waters of the Persian Gulf, and the length of the coast is more than 70 kilometers.
The population of this emirate is not so large, its number does not exceed 2.5 million people. In terms of area, Dubai ranks second among the rest of the emirates, and first in terms of population. The capital of the emirate is the same name. The emirate is divided into two parts by the Kriik Strait, through which several bridges and even a tunnel are laid today.
A bit of history
Dubai was founded in 830, but then it was not like a metropolis and even a small city. It was a small fishing village. And until the beginning of the last century, he remained so. The area was only 4 square kilometers, and there were no more than 10 thousand inhabitants.
But then in 1966, in the course of research, there was literally found a gold mine in this place, namely, a source of oil. And it was precisely oil that turned Dubai into the richest city in the world and into a real metropolis. Surprisingly, the name translates roughly as “locusts that emerged from the larvae”.
To travel to Dubai you will need a visa. You can make it through the travel company, whose services you use, the visa center or the embassy, and even through the hotel, the room in which you booked.
A regular tourist visa is issued for 30 days, and it will be ready in about a week after applying. Often, tourists receive a visa upon arrival in the UAE, but before departure you need to get a written permission to issue. The cost of receiving is about 60-70 euros. For registration you will need the following documents:
- passport and its copy,
- color photo size 3,5x4,5,
- passport of a citizen of the state and its copy,
- completed form,
- copy of the ticket,
- The document confirming the reservation of the hotel (for at least three days),
- letter of guarantee from a travel agency (or from the applicant himself).
All documents, by the way, can be submitted without leaving home, in electronic form.
Cost of vouchers
The prices of tourist trips to this beautiful place can vary from 600-700 to 1500-2000 euros per week.
The climate of Dubai is not the most favorable, this place is not for nothing considered one of the hottest in the world. So, in the summer there is about 35-40 degrees Celsius during the day and about 28-30 degrees at night. The coldest month is January, but even in the midst of winter it is very warm here. Thus, the average temperature in December and February is about 19-25 degrees.
Rain does not occur often in Dubai, the largest amount of precipitation occurs in the period from February to April. But from May to October-November here is very dry. And that is why the rest in Dubai will be wonderful in November and even in winter.
The traditions of the United Arab Emirates are famous for their restraint. The main religion of the state is Islam. Locals dress more than modestly: men wear long robes that cover their legs, women cover not only their body, but also most of the face. You will not see any revealing outfits here (except perhaps for foreign tourists).
Arabs are rather restrained, but at the same time hospitable people. They will gladly invite you to their home, but will not tolerate the liberties of the guests.
The laws of Dubai and the UAE as a whole are very strict and sometimes incomprehensible to residents of European countries. Here are some of them that tourists need to know:
- You can not throw garbage on the streets, it should be thrown out only in the bins (the fine is about 100 euros).
- If you decide to meet or even speak on the street with an unfamiliar woman (this applies more, of course, to the stronger sex), then be prepared to pay for it.
- You can not take pictures of people. Women can not shoot at all, but men need to ask permission.
- It is also not recommended to take photographs of buildings, as each of them may be an object of state importance, in which case the photographer may be perceived as a spy.
- Do not touch other people's things (even if they lie in the middle of the street), you may be mistaken for a thief, and theft in Dubai is punished very severely.
- Outside the water park or the beach you can not be in a bathing suit or beachwear.
- You can not dress too openly, for example, expose the legs above the knee or show most of the chest.
- It is not recommended to enter into any conflicts either, it can cost you dearly.
- Playing with the ball in public places is also not recommended, you will disturb others.
- Punishable and obscene gestures.
- To show feelings in public is also impossible. So if you decide to kiss or even hug your other half, you better do it later in the hotel room.
- By the way, in some hotels, couples who are not married, it is not recommended to live in a room together.
- The use, distribution or possession of drugs is punishable by life imprisonment or the death penalty. But the list of narcotic drugs includes some of the tools that we all used to take, such as pain or coughing. So find out in advance the list of such funds.
- You can not dance in public and in public places.
- It is forbidden to smoke in inappropriate places.
- Making noise or behaving indecently is also prohibited.
Generally, going for a walk, it is best to take money with you, as you can be fined almost out of the blue.
How to move?
Dubai transport is very developed, there are as many types of it as there are in most European countries. Here are some travel options:
- Taxi. A lot of machines, so do not have to wait long.
- More budget option - buses, too many of them.
- In 2009, the Dubai Metro was opened.
- There is also an innovative type of transport - monorail road.
- In 2012, a tram was launched in one of the districts of the capital of Dubai.
- You can navigate in water on water buses.
- You can also ride on a water taxi.
Where to stay?
Hotels in Dubai are different: budget, for the middle class and for the richest. But there are not so many guest houses and hostels here, because there is simply no point in going here with a small amount (that's exactly what the government of the emirate thinks).
If you prefer to enjoy your meal, then in Dubai you will absolutely love it. There are incredibly many various cafes and restaurants for every taste and budget. You can taste dishes of almost any cuisine of the world: Italian, Indian, Thai, Indonesian, French, American, Filipino, Australian and many others.
But remember that the majority of institutions where you can eat, begin to work in the evening after dark (these are the religious characteristics of the UAE).
Things to do?
What can you do in Dubai? There are several options:
- There are a lot of various entertainment complexes in which you can have a great rest with children. There are a lot of rides, gaming machines.
- Want to plunge into the underwater world? Then choose some water fun. This could be, for example, diving or even pearls from the bottom of the Persian Gulf.
- Go to the beach. Dubai beaches are incredibly beautiful and clean.
- You can visit the tour.
- If you have extra money (although they are rarely superfluous), then by all means spend it on shopping. In Dubai, you can buy almost anything.
- Visit one of the parks in Dubai, they are all very beautiful.
- Be sure to take a boat ride.
- Here you can do sports.
- Go to the indoor ski resort "Ski Dubai", located in the entertainment center "Mall of the Emirates."
- Visit one of the festivals, they arrange here quite often.
What to see in Dubai? Here are the most interesting places:
- Be sure to take a look at the largest aquarium located in the entertainment center "Dubai".
- Burj Khalifa is the tallest skyscraper that ever existed in the world. Its height is as much as 828 meters! The building has 163 floors and more than 50 elevators, moving at a speed of 18 meters per second.
- Burj Al-Arab is a hotel in the form of a sail, it is one of the most luxurious and luxurious in the world.
- The Dubai Fountain is a unique musical fountain whose height of jets is about 150 meters.
- It is worth seeing a sculpture called "Together", which is an Arab couple in traditional clothes. This masterpiece is made of black granite and white marble.
- Bastakia is an old and very beautiful part of Dubai.
- Be sure to go to the Dubai Museum.
- Palm Island is an archipelago of man-made artificial islands. People already live on Palm Jumeirah, Palm Jebel Ali is also gradually settling in, and Palm Deira is the newest.
Be sure to go to Dubai, but carefully prepare for this trip.