6

R – Restaurants in Dubai | #AtoZChallenge

R – Restaurants in Dubai | #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z

A place only becomes cosmopolitan because of its inhabitants from all across the planet and when you have people from all across then they are surely going to bring their food along with it. Dubai is one such place where you will find every possible cuisine in the world.

There are a plethora of options to eat with almost every big brand present and some of the smaller authentic places available. Everybody knows about the Cheesecake Factories and KFCs of the world, let’s keep this post experiential and what I would like to highlight is the places where I had food and found it really amazing, delicious and authentic along with being easy on my wallet.

Contrary to the belief that Dubai is only for the rich, one can still find good food for as cheap as AED 5.

Sigdi

I have to begin with the place where I order the most. They have two outlets – one in Al Nahda and the other in Al Karama. I have mostly been to Al Nahda one. Whatever you order, it is simply home-like delicious. Order blindly from their Indian and Chinese cuisine options.

Must Try – Bhuna Chicken and Mongolian pot rice.

Cost: AED 120 for two.

Zaroob

Zaroob offers the most authentic Arabic street food in a more contemporary set up. They have about five outlets in Dubai. The word translates to ‘Small Alley’ and the ambiance literally brings back the old Arab days.

Must try – Falafel, Mana’oushe morsel, and Fateer.

Cost: AED 150 for two.

Bu Qtair Café

Bu Qtair was like a tea-stall in the 80s serving Indian tea to the pearl divers before becoming what it is today, an ultra-modern seafood shack on Kite Beach. Its simplicity lies in the fact that it still serves only three dishes, all of which are lip-smacking. Don’t even think of missing their Masala fish sauce.

Cost: AED 120 for two.

Tom & Serg

Tom is from Melbourne and Sergio is from Spain and when their paths crossed they collaborated to come up with ‘Tom & Serg’. It is a no frills café where you can just walk in, order food, sit and relax and just feel at home. It is located in the industrial warehouse region of Al Quoz and might be difficult to initially locate it.

Must Try: Breakfast & Brunches. Head to Alserkal Avenue after the brunch.

Cost: AED 190 for two.

Din Tai Fung

New York Times rates it as one of the world’s top ten restaurants and it is the best place to try Taiwanese cuisine. They have three outlets in Dubai.

Must Try: Xiao long bao, noodles and vegetable dishes.

Cost: AED 160 for two.

Calicut Paragon

A popular name for South Indian cuisines and a favorite among them. With their two outlets – Al Nahda & Al Karama, they bring the authentic aromatic spicy flavors of South India to the shores of Dubai. Their seafood are real showstoppers.

Must try: Cheese-stuffed mushrooms, crab masala, fruity mango fish curry, whole pomfret in a spicy rub and biryani chai.

Cost: AED 120 for two.

Pakistani Cuisines

A lot of Dubai’s working strata survive on Pakistani restaurants and cuisines given their cheap price and location availability. Ravi Restaurant, Karachi Darbar and Daily Restaurant are the prominent names among others. My favorite is Daily restaurant because of its genuine taste and the value for money.

Must Try: Nihari, korma and biryanis.

Cost: AED 50 for two – yes your read it right.

Al Ustad Special

Just like Zaroob, Al Ustad is a historical place offering the old-world charm. It is one of Dubai’s oldest establishments serving Persian and Iranian cuisine. If you can keep up with the average service you are going to love the food there.

Must Try: Kebabs.

Cost: AED 70 for two.

Arabic Cuisine

‘When in Rome do as Romans do’, well if you are in Dubai then not trying Arabic food would be criminal, isn’t it? Some of the best places include; Al Fanar, Al Safadi and Al Halabi. My favorite is Al Safadi. It is a little expensive but the food will surely make up for it. You are going to fall in love with their freshly made pita bread and hummus.

Must Try: Shawarma, falafel, pita bread and hummus.

Cost: AED 190 for two.

Indian Street Food

Well, who doesn’t love Indian street food! I will highlight a couple of options – one expensive and one economical – the taste varies as per price.

Bombay Brasserie by Taj – everything here is exceptional and the combos start at 199 AED. Try their brunches with beer combos.

Bhukkad café in Al Karama is an economical option for the lovers of street food. Do try out their Aam panna, vada pav and pani puris. Cost for two is around 100 AED.

Biryani

If you are a die-hard fan of Hyderabadi biryani then these two places are a must go. Shahran and Biryaniwala & co. They are decently priced with authentic flavors.

Thali Restaurants

Indians are a huge fan of thalis, wherever you travel you would definitely come across a local thali. Well, Dubai isn’t spared either and you can find multiple options suiting your location and budget. Some of the worthy places are; Rasoi Ghar, Chappan Bhog, Maharaja bhog and Rajdhani.

My personal favorite is Rasoi Ghar in Al Karama known for their Gujarati and Rajasthani thalis.

Special mention – Manisha’s kitchen – authentic home-style Indian cuisine place. Their Al Karama outlet is famous for Maharashtrian food.

Puranmal

There are not much places in Dubai where you would find authentic Indian ‘chat’. I believe all the ladies will agree with me how important the flavors, the tanginess of water and the spiciness of chat is. To make a perfect chat is an art.

The Puranmal outlet in Meena Bazar offers the best chat in town along with other Indian cuisine options.

Must Try: Indian Chat, Sweets and Gulab Jamun.

Cost: AED 100 for two.

Kulfilicious

The last time I checked they had about two outlets, now they have grown to 12. I have been to their Al Nahda outlet. Well, I cannot pick one since I loved all the flavors I tried. Their fusion kulfis are simply too good along with their quirky interiors.

Cost: AED 45 for two.

Tea

Currently, Dubai has become like India where every roundabout will have a tea place but the Filis Café started the culture of tea in the region. During my stay, there was one in my complex and would be our regular hangout spot. I think for tea Filis Café is the best, there are like the Chaipoint of Dubai with outlet available everywhere.

Must try – Zafran Chai and Oreo Shakes.

Tea starts from 4 AED.

Special Shoutouts

Pressman’s pressed sandwiches – for sandwiches.

Asia’s kitchen – amazing Asian cuisine.

Kebab bistro & Funky Café – for Parsi food and Iranian café.

Faadil – for their Lassi. Try the mango lassi.

The lighthouse in design district – for Mediterranean and Greek food.

Café Ride – for Black coffee.

Da Vinci in Millenium Hotel – For Italian cuisine.

For all the alcoholic beverage lovers there is a separate post coming in a couple of days. Keep visiting and watching the space for the love of Dubai.

For all those who love to dine out,

For all those who live to eat,

For all those who eat to live,

And

For all the lovers of food…

It’s not a goodbye,

But it’s a GOOD BYE.

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

This is the 18th post for the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z. My theme in Travel Category is ‘Dubai – the City of Gold’, where I would be covering everything about the city in the course of 26 posts.

Read the Previous post here: Dubai – City of Gold

Please do visit tomorrow for the next post with the letter ‘S’

I am also taking part in the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z using another theme –‘IPL – Indian Parliamentary League’. If you are keen on following key issues pertaining to the upcoming General Elections head over to the Politics Theme and share your feedback.

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2

Q – Questions | #AtoZChallenge

Q – Questions | #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z

It was just yesterday when I was discussing the issue of political candidates switching sides and today we witnessed two such cases. Both motivated by opportunism – one was a historic moment when two major rivals, for the past 25 years, decided to share the same stage, however reluctantly. The second just taught me a lesson. Till noon I was backing a move and had so much respect that someone took a stand against harassment and decided to value her dignity and ultimately quit.

By 1 pm, I was heartbroken when the same person joined another party whose history is only of harassment and hooliganism. They continue to harass women on a daily basis and flash it proudly across their badges. But nobody would dare to question the dignity and ideology that shifted base in a mere 12 hours. Let’s not digress!

The biggest motivation behind me choosing this theme was that this was the first time in the history of independent India that a Prime Minister has not held an open press conference i.e. simply means no direct hard questions were put across.

We all know what kind of tough questions are really being put across.

PSU after PSU is sinking while the PM’s picture is flashed across marketing campaigns of private firms. When the anchors and the ruling party brazenly highlight that the PM works for 18 hours a day, does that mean he isn’t accountable or does that mean we can’t question him?

He won’t appear on platforms, which are ready to put across those questions. The last time when that happened, I don’t want to write this, but he took a sip of water and simply ran away. If he was a man of what he claims to be he should have sat out the entire duration and should have answered, irrespective of how uncomfortable the questions were.

The ones on which he decides to appear are such outright cowards. I don’t take sides but honestly, I must say that dynast had the spine to appear against their so-called pseudo spokesperson. He knew he would be blasted with tough questions and given how his IQ is perceived nobody would be kind to him but to his credit, he still appeared. Did the same jingoist anchor put across the questions with equal ferociousness to the PM? I guess we know the answer.

It is like appearing for an exam for which you already know all the questions and ironically all the answers…since they too are prepared. The PM just has to get ready…appear…and enact or I should say act. The opposition leader might be dumb but dumber are those who are putting these pathetic dolly questions to the PM when the country is reeling under so many issues. And even dumber are those who still believe that these are fair questions and answers session.

I was taught, ‘Democracy is for the people, by the people, and of the people’ but when you taking away the power of putting across people’s questions and issues then you are literally cutting the people out of democracy and voting just becomes a sham.

They say not to question the supreme authority. Consider the scenario when you are working in a team in your company and every member has chosen a particular member to be their team leader. Now working on a project nobody was involved in the decision-making and later the project fails. Don’t we get disgruntled and try to pose the question as to why it happened or do you go to the company next to your office and ask them why it happened?

If somehow the project gets executed and reaches its desirable goal with the hard work of each and every member but when it comes to getting recognition, the team leader decides to hog all the limelight and tries to convince that it was all due to his decision-making that the team achieved the results. What would be your state? I am sure every one of us working in corporate has faced this kind of a scenario. Don’t we feel extremely gutted?

So if the project fails no questions should be asked and no accountability should be fixed but if it succeeds then it is just a masterstroke of one brain.

The same is happening in the country right now. When either the public or their representatives pose any serious question they are met with only diversionary tactics and not surprisingly the bootlickers begin to question the company next door.

The same PM, when he was a CM, awarded a compensation of Rs 1 cr to Karkare’s wife, which she royally refused. Today when he is the PM, he is fielding a candidate, a terror accused, who says that Karkare didn’t die at the hands of terrorists but because of her curse.

Think for a second that we are living in a parallel universe, and let’s believe each and everything she is saying and assume that Karkare was actually the one who harassed her…then also…if her curse is so powerful, shouldn’t she curse our enemy nation so that it gets destroyed or is there a bandwidth limitation to her curses? This isn’t stupidity any longer this is telling you on your face that we are going to take you, the public, for a ride and forget about doing anything, we won’t even let you ask a question.

I would again reiterate the same point that I presented in the first post; stop teaching and encouraging your kids to ask questions because in the end they have to get this rude shock that whatever is taught in school on the name of democracy is just to pass a standard and it does not hold any true logic in the real world.

For all those who are frustrated on how politicians are taking us for a ride,

For all those who hate the ideology of hate,

For all those who want an accountable government,

And

For all those who believe we should still keep Questioning…

It’s not a goodbye,

But it’s a GOOD BYE.

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

This is the 17th post for the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z. My theme in Politics Category is ‘IPL – Indian Parliamentary League’, where I would be covering some relevant issues with the General Elections 2019 through the course of 26 posts.

Read the previous post here: IPL – Indian Parliamentary League

Please do visit tomorrow for the next post with letter ‘R’

I am also taking part in the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z using another theme –‘Dubai – City of Gold‘. If you love travel head over to the Travel Theme and share your feedback.

10

Q – Quick Guide to Dubai Mall | #AtoZChallenge

Q – Quick guide to Dubai Mall | #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z

When visiting Dubai it would be criminal of you if you miss the Dubai Mall. It is the second largest mall by total land area and the world’s most visited shopping destination for a reason. Given its sheer size, it is practically impossible to cover everything in one go hence I decided to give you a quick tour of the mall and guide you to places that you shouldn’t miss.

Everybody visits a mall for shopping and with more than 1000 retail outlets your shopping cravings are well fed off. Through this post will try to highlight those places, which either I haven’t discussed earlier or are of interest.

How to reach

The Dubai Mall has many entrances, as it is located in the heart of Downtown Dubai. One can simply not miss Burj Khalifa in the center of it. If you traveling in a taxi you will be impressed with how organized everything is.

If you are taking a metro then get off at Dubai Mall, but it will still take another 10-15 min to reach the mall. There is also a free shuttle bus from the metro station to the mall.

Some of the places you can choose to visit depending upon your preferences:

Football in the mall

Yes, you heard it right! You and your kids can enjoy football inside the Dubai Mall. Go to the 2nd floor (p7) and head to the football pitch called ‘Goal’. It is a ‘Drop and shop’ concept where you can drop your kids while you go ahead with your disturbance-free shopping. It is ideal for kids of 10-15 years of age.

Caboodle

Caboodle is another ‘Drop and shop’ zone where you can leave your kids under a paid guidance and you can go ahead for hassle-free shopping. It is an indoor play arena with multiple activities for kids including an arts and crafts zone. It is one of the popular places for kids in Dubai Mall along with Kidzania.

Supervised Caboodle entry is AED 70 per hour per child.

Emirates A380 Simulator

For all those who wanted to become a pilot and fly a commercial plane, this is a must try for you. It is an amazingly realistic simulator where you get to experience what it is to take off, fly and land a commercial plane. To add to the authenticity you can take help of assistance during the flight. Head to ‘the Village’ on level G.

Tickets: starts at AED 325 for 30 min.

Hysteria

For all the thrill seekers, Hysteria is a haunted house, but way better than what we usually find in India. With the use of technology, the fear-based attractions are on a different level. There is a retail outlet at the exit where you can but some horror and fear related merchandise.

The ticket starts at AED 35.

VR Park

VR Park has replaced the SEGA Republic, which was a gamer’s paradise. The newly opened VR Park is a virtual reality indoor theme park where you can try your hands at many high-tech virtual reality games. When your beautiful half is busy trying multiple dresses and it might seem like ages to you…head to the VR park for some entertainment.

Prices start at AED 35

Print a 3D candy

I know it’s hard to believe but you can get a 3D printed candy at one of the cutest places in Dubai Mall. It is the world’ first 3D gummy printer, which can print up to 20 different designs – including the Dubai skyline. The candy can last for a year but would you let it last that long!

Drive an F1 Car

If you aren’t able to visit the Ferrari World, don’t worry; you can still try your hand at a Ferrari at the Ferrari store on Level 1, which is adjacent to the waterfall. You’ll find a purpose-built F1 simulator sent straight from Maranello (the Ferrari F1 factory). It uses the same software as Ferrari racers train with. Jump into the seat and go zoom!

Read the other post on Kids where you can find more details about Kidzania and Dubai Ice Rink.

Not everything comes at a price and there are many attractions that don’t require your wallet to shed weight.

Fashion Avenue

It is an ultra-modern fashion precinct housing brands such as Armani, Gucci and Chanel. You can not only shop here but also take a stroll around the vast space of 440,000 sq. ft. and click a picture. Fashion Avenue is one of the best places to take pictures inside the Dubai Mall. Even the restrooms are elegant and exquisite and just go there to experience luxury.

Dubai Aquarium

Located at the entry level right in the center of the mall. One can reach the Aquarium from anywhere in the mall. If you aren’t paying and going inside the aquarium and underwater zoo, you can still gaze at the marine life on display through a massive glass partition. This is one of the best places to take a picture in the mall and usually crowded, so finding a spot might be cumbersome. I would still recommend you to pay the price and watch the king croc, believe me, its totally worth it.

Timings: 10 am to 12 am

Rage Bowl Skate Park

It’s a hidden place on Level 2. It is one of the best places to try skating in Dubai. If you finally manage to locate it then you are in for a treat; one can skate there for free.

Meet a Dino

For all the Dino-lovers of all ages, head to the Souk area where in the middle there is full-size skeleton of a 155-million-year-old dinosaur. You will be amazed by the sheer size of the skeleton; just imagine what it would have been in flesh. The most important thing, this dinosaur skeleton is on permanent display and doesn’t require a ticket.

Dubai Fountain

The best place to spend your evening at the Dubai Mall. I am sure you will be tired by now. Head to the lower ground floor and in the opposite direction of the entrance. Take a seat at any of the lavish restaurants beside the lake and watch the Dubai fountain, the world’s largest choreographed fountain system. It is accompanied by a laser show for which the world’s tallest building is used as a canvas. You cannot imagine the scale; you have to experience it to believe it. The sound, the lights, the lasers along with the Fountain makes it for a mesmerizing experience and that too at zero cost.

Shows every 30 min from 6pm to 11pm; Abra rides AED 20 per person.

Where to eat

You can find every possible cuisine in the world at the Dubai Mall. There are a plethora of options at the food court on level 2.

Cake and Coffee addicts – Hummingbird or Magnolia Bakery

Tea – Café Bateel

Salads and grills at Wafi Gourmet

Pasta lovers – Vanellis, it is like the subway of the pasta world where you can decide what goes into your pasta.

TGIF with an amazing view of the fountain and Burj Khalifa.

French cuisine at the ultra-luxe café Angelina or Parisian-style bistro Aubaine.

Candy lovers – head to the world’s largest candy store, Candylicious.

Finish your day with dinner at Souk Al Bahar, an Arabic-style marketplace or enjoy cocktails on the terrace of the Address Boulevard.

I can keep going on and on but then this post will become as big as the Dubai Mall. You can always reach out to me if you have any questions regarding Dubai Mall or Dubai – City of Gold.

For all those who love candies,

For all those who are gaming freaks,

For all those who love fountain shows,

And

For all those who love the Dubai Mall…

It’s not a goodbye,

But it’s a GOOD BYE.

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

This is the 17th post for the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z. My theme in Travel Category is ‘Dubai – the City of Gold’, where I would be covering everything about the city in the course of 26 posts.

Read the Previous post here: Dubai – City of Gold

Please do visit tomorrow for the next post with the letter ‘R’

I am also taking part in the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z using another theme –‘IPL – Indian Parliamentary League’. If you are keen on following key issues pertaining to the upcoming General Elections head over to the Politics Theme and share your feedback.

26

P – Palm Islands | #AtoZChallenge

P – Palm Islands | #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z

The featured image

When I was a kid, I used to read a lot that the only man-made thing visible from the moon is the Great Wall of China. It was truly an engineering marvel in that era. Dubai has taken the definition of an engineering marvel to an all different level. Till now we have discussed the world’s tallest building, largest parks, largest gardens and so on. Today I will take you to an engineering project of astounding proportions – the Palm Islands.

The Palm Islands is a collection of three manmade islands; Palm Jumeirah, Deira Island and Palm Jebel Ali. Though the work has been stopped on Deira Island and Palm Jebel Ali since 2013 after the crashing of markets, Palm Jumeirah is completely sold out.

Sunset at the Palm Islands

The vision of Dubai’s Sheikh is truly amazing. He knows that the oil in the region is not going to last forever and hence he wants to create avenues that will continue to reap monetary benefits for Dubai. The only way to do was to increase the coastline. Once completed the Palm Jumeirah island alone has added a staggering 78 km to Dubai coastline.

Till 2001, there was only shallow gulf water then Nakheel, a local real estate conglomerate came up with a plan to make an island in the shape of a 17-fronded palm tree. For this, it dredged 3 billion cubic feet of sand from the seafloor. A crescent-shaped backwater was also made on the top of the tree to save the newly born island from the lashes of the sea. It required seven million tons of mountain rock to make it seven miles long.

It is technically not an island as a six-lane undersea tunnel connects the island to the beaches on the crescent. It is also been gifted with Middle East’s first monorail that runs the length of the island, which is connected with the Dubai tram that covers the Dubai Marina.

The trunk is converted into an array of luxury retail outlets and each of the fronds has residential spaces that have been bought by the likes of Beckham and Cruise. The island took more than a decade to complete and is the home to one of the most renowned hotels, The Atlantis.

The Atlantis Palm Hotel 

Atlantis hotel

It is a luxury resort at the apex of the crescent of the palm that is loosely named after the ancient underwater city of Atlantis. It has about 1500 rooms and is a popular place to spot Hollywood and Bollywood celebrities. There are fireworks on display almost every day. It is not as expensive as Burj Al Arab but is still quite capable of causing a serious dent to your wallet.

The complex also has an exemplary Aquaventure water park and the Nasimi Beach, which I have discussed in a previous post.

Aquaventure Water Park

It is the largest of all the waterparks in Dubai with some jaw-dropping record-breaking slides. You can definitely skip a heartbeat at the ‘Leap of faith’ slide, which has a 27.5 m plunge. One can try various marine activities along with relaxing at the beaches that have a separate children’s play area.

Access is free for in-house guests of Atlantis the Palm, while daily passes are available for visitors.

Timing: starts at 10 am.

Ticket: 330 AED onwards.

Dolphin Bay

If you are staying close to Palm Jumeirah and aren’t able to find time to travel to Dolphinarium, don’t worry you can still play and swim with the dolphins at the Dolphin bay which is in the same complex of Atlantis. The dolphins are well trained and will perform some wonderful stunts. When you buy passes to the Dolphin bay you get complimentary entry to Aquaventure Water Park & the Lost Chambers Aquarium on the same day.

Timings: 9:30AM – 5:30PM

Ticket: AED 325 onwards.

The lost chamber

The Lost Chambers

If you are a marine lover then UAE’s largest aquarium, The Lost Chambers, will definitely entice you. This Atlantis-themed aquarium has a seductive feel to it. You will be completely immersed in the architecture along with 65000 marine lives.

I will forever be in debt of my sister who took me to it as a gift on my first international birthday. If you want to get up-close and personal then there is a touch tank also where you can feed and touch some of the species.

Timing: 10AM – 10PM

Ticket: 135 AED

Sky Diving

If you really want to experience something that literally is equivalent to the opulence at the display and want to get mesmerized by the sheer magnificence of the Palm Jumeirah then go for a skydive at Skydive Dubai. It’s really simple, hop on a small plane, it will take you to a certain height, feel the adrenaline rush, jump off the plane and drop at 120 mph. Try to enjoy the view of the Palm…if you can!

Sunset captured

For all the other moderate adventure lovers they can definitely go on a yacht ride at the Dubai Marina. You can also try out a paddle boarding session or a kayak tour or a windsurfing lesson at the SeeYou, the only service provider in that area.

The area has some of the most renowned restaurants from celebrity chefs. Take out time to enjoy a brunch. You can visit and enjoy all the attractions of the adjacent Dubai Marina and Jumeirah.

These islands are causing ecosystem and environmental changes, but do you think that the Sheikhs are worried about that. Go and experience something truly unique.

For all those who are lovers of opulence,

For all those who think Sheikhs are too much,

For all those who have been to palm islands,

And

For all those who are in love with the Atlantis…

It’s not a goodbye,

But it’s a GOOD BYE.

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

This is the 16th post for the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z. My theme in Travel Category is ‘Dubai – the City of Gold’, where I would be covering everything about the city in the course of 26 posts.

Read the Previous post here: Dubai – City of Gold

Please do visit tomorrow for the next post with the letter ‘Q’

I am also taking part in the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z using another theme –‘IPL – Indian Parliamentary League’. If you are keen on following key issues pertaining to the upcoming General Elections head over to the Politics Theme and share your feedback.

16

O – Opera & Other Places | #AtoZChallenge

O – Opera & Other Places | #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z

An opera is a theatre form in which music plays the leading part but it is not a musical play. It originated in Italy around the 16th century and forms a base for western classical music. It is usually a collaboration between a composer and a librettist and is performed in an Opera house.

A western classical opera is the last thing that comes to mind when thinking of Dubai but keeping in sync with their motto where they have something for everyone it has an opera theatre, ‘the Dubai Opera.’

Dubai Opera

It is also situated in Downtown Dubai in the Opera district. It is the perfect blend of culture and art and truly showcases Dubai as a cosmopolitan hub. It is an excellent 2000-seat, a multi-format theatre that has an overwhelming collection of world-class abilities. The outside of it is designed to resemble a ‘Dhow’. Imagine opera in a dhow – that’s Dubai for you.

The theatre space is appropriate for large-scale drama productions, musicals, ballets, lectures, conferences and live entertainment options. There is an amazing rooftop restaurant, The Loft, and sky garden with The Dubai Fountain and Burj Khalifa in the backdrop. This is one of the best places to go out at night.

Timings: 10:00AM – 9:00PM

Price: AED: 50 to 550

There are other places of importance and of great interest to travelers. I would like to highlight them in this post before I miss them for this theme. Sadly there is only one ‘D’ in the alphabets and most of the locations in Dubai start with ‘D’. Some of them require a full post and would be taken up in detail after the #A2ZChallenge is over.

Dubai Miracle Garden

This is one of my favorite places to visit in Dubai. With a sea of colorful flowers and the aromatic breeze, this is a must visit for nature lovers, if you traveling during winters. When it is at its peak, there are more than 150 million flowers on display, which are used to create specific designs and colorful patterns.

You won’t be surprised when I say that it is the world’s largest natural flower garden. It opens from November till the end of April. Every year they come up with new structures that make it a must-visit every season.

Timings: 9am – 9pm Sunday to Thursday, 9am -11pm – Friday and Saturday

Tickets: Adult (12 years old above): 50AED, Children (12 years old and below): 40AED

Dubai Butterfly Garden

Though it is in the same complex of Miracle Garden it has a separate entrance and requires another ticket. By now you would be getting used to every time I mention that this is the world’s largest and biggest – It is the world’s largest and region’s first indoor butterfly garden featuring 15,000 butterflies of around 26 kinds.

I visited along with my father and sister and with so many butterflies fluttering around we ourselves became kids. Through its ten domes, it gives an opportunity to learn how butterflies evolve through each stage.

Timings: 9:00AM – 6:00PM

Tickets: Adults and Children (2 years and above): 55AED

Bollywood Parks

If you are a Bollywood lover and an adventure enthusiast then Bollywood Park would surely be fun for you. It is the world’s very first Bollywood themed park and has everything from rides, cafes, zones, stage performances, live entertainment based on Bollywood.

Bollywood is really popular in Dubai and our biggest stars are their biggest stars too. With 12 rides and 5 themed zones, it will keep you well entertained for the entire day. It is in the same complex as Dubai Parks and Resorts, where Legoland and Motiongate are.

They have separate winter and summer timings – Do check before going there.

Tickets: 99 AED onwards.

Inside of Dubai Gurudwara

Guru Nanak Darbar

It is the region’s biggest Gurudwara and is visited by people of all faiths. It is located near the Ibn Battuta Mall. It also holds a couple of Guinness records – Through “Breakfast for Diversity” it served around 600 people from 101 nationalities, the largest gathering of such kind. They also attempted to break the record for World’s largest distribution of saplings. It serves free food, ‘Langar’ to about 5000 people daily.

Timings: 04:30 AM till 09:30 PM

Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club

For all the rich people visiting Dubai for leisure and have lots of free time, then you will definitely have a wonderful time at the Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club. If you want to pamper yourself head directly to it. The things that you can enjoy at the club are – Gym, swimming pool, Zumba, yoga, horse riding, spa, etc. Dine world-class cuisines at – Palermo, Epona, Ippos, and the Splash Pool Bar.

Timings: 6:00AM – 12:AM

Tickets: AED 1620 onwards

When Papa posed like me 😀

Alserkal Avenue

An art and culture district made out of warehouses – yeah you read it right. The avenue was an area of industrial warehouses that have been converted into a wide array of galleries, facilities and platforms known as the Alserkal Avenue.

With 60 art houses, design and creative venues it was gathering the region’s artists. The best part is entry is free of cost.

Timings: 10 am to 7 pm (Friday closed)

Dubai Clocktower

The Clocktower is one of the most popular landmarks in the city, though it is not of architectural importance. It is a roundabout that is believed to be constructed by the people in Dubai lived during the 1960s. Its design resembles that of a clock and as the Telegraph newspaper once reported, Dubai Clock Tower is the prime attraction in Dubai and one of the 17 most beautiful clock towers around the world.

Hope you are enjoying this journey across the City of Gold with the Joker. If you want me to cover something in particular – Do highlight!

Come back tomorrow for more.

For all those who love opera,

For all those who enjoy theatre,

For all those who love flowers,

And

For all those who flutter like butterflies…

It’s not a goodbye,

But it’s a GOOD BYE.

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

This is the 15th post for the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z. My theme in Travel Category is ‘Dubai – the City of Gold’, where I would be covering everything about the city in the course of 26 posts.

Read the Previous post here: Dubai – City of Gold

Please do visit tomorrow for the next post with the letter ‘P’

I am also taking part in the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z using another theme –‘IPL – Indian Parliamentary League’. If you are keen on following key issues pertaining to the upcoming General Elections head over to the Politics Theme and share your feedback.

19

N – Nightlife in Dubai | #AtoZChallenge

N – Nightlife in Dubai | #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z

Dubai is the party capital of the Middle East and no party capital can be happening without its Nightlife. Every major metropolitan hub around the globe never sleeps – if endless corporate meetings mark the days and never-ending traffic jams then the nights never sleep because of their buzzing and exotic nightlife.

There is a reason why Dubai is known as the sin city of the Middle East and it truly lives up to that name. Dubai’s nightlife is not only about clubs and discotheques but there are amazing experiences that one can relish.

Play Golf in the night

No, I am not joking! One can literally play golf in the night at Faldo Golf Club. It is an 18-hole golf course that tests your golfing skills under the stars. Open on all days one can experience the grassy terrains from 4:00 pm until midnight and that makes it one of the best places to visit in Dubai at night. The bunkers, salt water and fresh water lakes make for an authentic golfing experience.

Timings: 4:00 pm – 12:00 am

Cost: Start from 230 AED

A Horse Ride in Full Moon

Ride a white horse for about 90 minutes in the moonlight through shrubby wildlife and sandy forests. It is an amazing and unique experience. You can take the ride at Mushrif Equestrian Club, Mushrif Park where an instructor will always accompany you. You don’t need to be an expert to soak in this experience.

Timings: 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM

Cost for Two: AED 600

Full Moon Yoga Session

Who said nightlife was only about unhealthy options. One can rejuvenate their mind and soul by going for a full moon yoga session. This is the latest trend and usually, is conducted at one of the public beaches. In a 90 min session experience blissful tranquility as you try asanas, soaking in the sea breeze of the Arabian Gulf with the magnificent Burj Al Arab in the backdrop.

Where: Talise Spa, Madinat Jumeirah

Timings: 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Charges: 119 AED onwards.

Twinkle Twinkle Stars

If you are a stargazer and a lover of the universe then Dubai Astronomy Group is a heaven for you. For astronomy enthusiasts, this is among the most delightful things to do in Dubai at night. This is absolutely free of cost and the gathering is usually on the outskirts of the city. All you need to do is a register using an email. Don’t forget to bring your telescope if you have one.

Experience the festivities

If you are travelling during the month of Ramadan then you are in for a different experience altogether. The days might be slow and quiet but the nights definitely make up for it that last till the wee hours of the morning. At the JBR there is a month-long event that exhibits the culture and tradition through different zones – food, art, and lifestyle. Go to the Ramadan night markets for food, handicrafts and other fun options.

Take a deep dive into marine life

This is an activity that professional divers (PADI certified advanced divers) who have taken a dive within the last six months can experience. Diving deep in the sea that too at night is not for the faint-hearted. The east coast of Dubai near Fujairah is used for these 45-50 min dives. It requires participants to carry/wear their own swimwear, however, the diving kit is provided in most cases.

Nightclubs

The best thing about Dubai’s hot spots is that their usual closing hours are around 3am. They generally start filling around 10pm so you have all the time to dress up in your best and burn the dance floor.

Best nightclubs in Dubai:

Club 360 – from my own experience, this is the best place simply because of its location – right in the middle of the sea next to Burj Al Arab. It is the home to the biggest parties of the region.

Timings: Sunday to Saturday from 5:00 PM to 03:00 AM

Cost for Two: AED 345

Barasti – It is a perfect place whether you are going in a group or as a couple. You can view the skyline as well as the Persian Gulf from the same spot.

Timings: 10:00 AM – 1:30 AM

Cost for Two: AED 470

Nasimi Beach – I had been to a foam party once at Nasimi beach – all I can say is it is like an ‘American Pie’ experience. Nasimi Beach lets you enjoy the clubbing experience on a 7 km long beach with the Atlantis in the background.

Some of the other popular party places include Chi@The Lodge, N’Dulge, Bar 44, Stereo Arcade, Buhayra Lounge, At.mosphere, Trilogy, Boudoir, and People by Crystal.

I have previously discussed experiences like the Dhow Cruise that you can take from the Dubai Creek or go on an overnight Desert Safari and camping. One can always head to the viewing deck at Burj Khalifa and get mesmerized by the Dubai Skyline.

Feeling hungry! Don’t worry you can always grab a late night Shawarma. Any trip to Dubai is incomplete without trying their lip-smacking Shawarmas. Some of the nicest places open late at night are Aroos Damascus and Al Shami Restaurant (Al Muraqqabat Road, Deira), Al Mallah (Satwa) and Reem al Bawadi (Jumeirah Road). You can always find one at the roadside for just AED 5 in areas like Bur Dubai and Karama.

Important things to remember

The weekend is Friday and Saturday, so try to go clubbing on Thursday and Friday nights.

‘Drink and Drive’ is strictly prohibited and one can end up paying really hefty fines leading to the cancellation of driving licenses. Always take a cab.

Don’t be caught with liquor without a license – best is to enjoy and have drinks in pubs and bars.

Don’t get involved in a brawl – again the fines and repercussions are severe.

Be careful about the dressing. Try to go for proper footwear as many of the lounges might not allow you to enter.

Always keep an ID handy – passports in case you are travelling from outside, for locals emirates ID is the best option.

For all those who are club hoppers,

For all those who are stargazers,

For all those who are adventure enthusiasts,

And

For all those who love nightlife…

It’s not a goodbye,

But it’s a GOOD BYE.

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

This is the 14th post for the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z. My theme in Travel Category is ‘Dubai – the City of Gold’, where I would be covering everything about the city in the course of 26 posts.

Read the Previous post here: Dubai – City of Gold

Please do visit tomorrow for the next post with the letter ‘O’

I am also taking part in the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z using another theme –‘IPL – Indian Parliamentary League’. If you are keen on following key issues pertaining to the upcoming General Elections head over to the Politics Theme and share your feedback.

21

M – Malls Of Dubai | #AtoZChallenge

M – Malls of Dubai | #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z

Dubai is famous for many of the World’s ‘largest’ and ‘biggest’ things and is equally rated as one of the top shopping destinations in the world. With modern cosmopolitan global cities, shopping and malls go hand in hand, which makes Dubai home to many of the world’s largest malls. In total, it has more than 40 places that qualify as shopping malls.

Dubai Mall

It is the second-largest mall in the world by total land area and is one of the world’s most visited shopping and entertainment destinations that welcome in excess of 100 mn visitors in a year. It is a part of the Downtown Dubai area with more than 1000 retail outlets. Some of the biggest names include; Topshop and Zara, and department stores such as Bloomingdale’s and Galeries Lafayette.

Inside of Dubai Mall

It is also home to some of the major attractions in Dubai – like the entrance to Burj Khalifa, The Underwater aquarium and zoo, Dubai Ice Rink, Kidzania, Reel Cinemas with 22 screens, VR Park Dubai, Rain Forest Café, Hysteria, Dubai Fountain and Souk Al Bahar.

It has connectivity with the metro through the Dubai Mall metro station.

Mall of the Emirates

Mall of the Emirates or MOE as it is famous in Dubai is another huge shopping mall in UAE. There has always been a debate about which among the both has a bigger shopping space. MOE is the place where you can find snow in the middle of the desert – Ski Dubai is a fun and adventure place for everyone especially kids.

With more than 600 retail outlets and 100 restuarants, it is one of the leading shopping destinations in Dubai. Some of the major attractions include – Magic Planet – one of the largest indoor family entertainment centers in Dubai, Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre and Vox cinemas with 14 screens. The famous restaurants are Tribes, Salero Tapas and Bodega and The Cheesecake Factory.

One can take a metro ride to reach the MOE.

Ibn Battuta Mall

Ibn Battuta is the world’s largest themed shopping mall and is named after the famous 14th-century explorer with the same name. In a way, this mall is a tribute to the travels of Ibn Battuta. There are six major courts whose designs are inspired by the regions he traveled – Andalusia, Tunisia, Egypt, Persia, India and China.

It is one of those malls that you can visit even if you are in no mood to shop. For travellers, it is a must and is my personal favorite because of the amazing detailed interiors of each court. You can find plenty of backgrounds to get clicked. It is also home to Dubai’s only Imax along with 21 other screens.

It is situated at the end of Dubai towards Abu Dhabi and has good metro connectivity.

Festival City Mall

Festival city mall is situated on the banks of the iconic Dubai Creek and it is one of the largest malls in Dubai. Just like Ibn Battuta Mall one can travel to the Festival City Mall for entertainment and leisure. There is an amazing fire and light show that takes place on the waterfront after the sunset. One can also enjoy the show from any one of the restaurants that silver line the waterfront.

The Festival city area is like a ‘City-within-a-city’ and you can find Dubai’s only IKEA there. Don’t miss Ikea’s sumptuous breakfast at a reasonable cost. The mall has the largest Aldo store on the planet and the only Mint Velvet outside the UK. The rock lovers can head straight up to Hard Rock Café – the only in UAE.

It is not connected via metro, hence a taxi is a best-preferred option.

Wafi Mall

Wafi Mall is another themed mall in the heart of the city and its styles are based on Ancient Egypt where you will find architecture reminiscent of Karnak, small pyramids, and images of pharaohs. It is a quieter mall compared to other malls in terms of foot-fall and makes it a perfect place if you are heading for a meeting over a coffee.

It also an immersive light and laser show in the evening depicting the era of pyramids. The place also has some of the best restaurant options in the whole of Dubai. Khan Murjan, an underground souk is famous for Arabic souvenirs.

Dubai Outlet Mall

As the name suggests, you will find factory outlets of all the major brands here. During my stay, I would regularly pay a visit to it to grab on some amazing offers which may range from 30% to 90%. It is a shoppers’ paradise with the location being its only drawback. It is located on the Al Ain Road and would take roughly around 30 min from the city to reach.

Make sure you visit on Mondays as they have extra offers on them. No direct connectivity with metro.

Mercato Mall

Mercato mall is a themed mall whose architecture takes you to the Italian Renaissance era. This mall is famous for its eateries and bakeries like Cakery Epicerie by Stephane Glacier and Alison Nelson’s Chocolate Bar for the city’s creamiest hot chocolate

Burjuman Centre

It has a long history and has the best location of all the malls – right in the heart of Bur Dubai. It has great metro connectivity with both the metro lines and you will find a taxi at any point of the day. Close to some of the main office locations it is the best place for a quick lunch getaway.

If you are staying in JLT, JBR and Dubai Marina then Dubai Marina Mall is the answer to all your shopping needs. Similarly, if you living near Mirdif and Deira then you can head to the Mirdif City Centre and Deira City Centre respectively.

Some of the other famous malls are DragonMart in International City, The Village Mall, The Beach and the famous City Walk.

Tips:

When going for a movie try for the smaller malls, as the chances of getting tickets are high there.

Do check out the location of malls as you may find one just next to you as there are so many of them.

Parking can be a huge issue on the weekend. Always note your location and drop the SMS for parking.

Carry a water bottle.

If you love shopping…then you will love Dubai…and its Malls.

For all those who love shopping,

For all those great at bargaining,

For all those who like discounts,

And

For all those who are always found in Malls…

It’s not a goodbye,

But it’s a GOOD BYE.

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

This is the 13th post for the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z. My theme in Travel Category is ‘Dubai – the City of Gold’, where I would be covering everything about the city in the course of 26 posts.

Read the Previous post here: Dubai – City of Gold

Please do visit tomorrow for the next post with the letter ‘N’

I am also taking part in the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z using another theme –‘IPL – Indian Parliamentary League’. If you are keen on following key issues pertaining to the upcoming General Elections head over to the Politics Theme and share your feedback.