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Where to eat:

Dubai is awash with incredible restaurants - pretty much every celebrity chef has a post here. You should probably just pick one for your trip though as it will likely bankrupt you (we’re talking £100+ per head). We can personally vouch for the quality at Rhodes Mezzanine in Grosvenor House, while a night at Refletts par Pierre Gagnaire is akin to stepping into a jewellery box and eating food from a fairytale.

Souk Madinat Jumeirah is a great evening destination - even if it does look like a film set. Pick from the many bars and restaurants overlooking the man-made canals with fairy-lit abras chugging by and the Burj Al Arab looming in the background.

For a budget meal, try heading into Karama or Deirafor a dearth of great Indian restaurants, or go for a cheap and cheerful Lebanese joint such as Al Hallab, which is as close as you will get to local cuisine; Emirati food is not big on the dining scene as it takes hours or even days to prepare and cook.

Where to party:

The weekend in the UAE is on Friday and Saturday, and Friday brings with it the mammoth brunch. Pretty much every hotel offers these all-you-can-eat-and drink sessions, with varying prices and quality. For exquisite food and a sophisticated setting try Traiteur in the Park Hyatt, for one of the biggest brunches in town try Al Qasr back at the Madinat, and for a messy brunch that inevitably turns into a drunken food fight, try Yalumba.

If you manage to survive, you can spend the rest of the night at The Music Hall for a cool cabaret show, or head to 360 for drinks on an open-air ‘island’ (it’s on the end of a pier), with views across Dubai’s shore line and the ever-present Burj Al Arab (yep, it’s again – they own a lot of the big resorts in the city).

If you prefer a place with sticky floors that serves pizza to anyone who lasts until the 3am finish, end your night at the infamous Rock Bottoms in Bur Dubai (no website, probably because it’s not owned by Jumeirah, but the taxi driver will know where to take you).

Where to stay:

If you’re holidaying in Dubai, you may as well go all out and kiss goodbye to your month’s wages (plus you won’t find any hostels here). A popular spot for celebs is Jumeirah Beach Hotel, probably due to its beach-front location and close proximity to the best bars and clubs.

The Royal Mirage One & Only would be our personal choice: it’s luxurious but in a classic Arabic way, not loud and garish; it’s quiet, low-level and pretty, plus it’s still close to the action. For a ‘budget’ stay, the Citymax Al Barsha offers good rooms in an ugly part of town, but it’s still only a short taxi ride from anywhere (and the taxis are cheap as very cheap chips). For your own infinity pool overlooking rolling sand dunes, rent a car and head to the desert oasis Qasr Al Sarab.

Love to visit the Middle East? We offer a range of awesome trips there - find out more here.

Want to carry on reading? Check out July's eMag - it's all in there!

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Big trip: The Middle East
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