Posted 10 January 12

On the 1st of January I left for Dubai, it was my first time there. Airplane and hotel booked just one day before… the best for a quick and not too complicated warm escape!

I stayed at the Grosvenor House hotel in the Dubai Marina area. It was the perfect choice. Rooms are comfortable (make sure to be in Tower 2, larger and newer rooms), service impeccable with various options of restaurants and bars in the hotel.

Only problem might be the beach, you have free access to the Royal Meridien, but I found it too crowded, too family-style and overall a bit “cheap”, excellent alternative is to go to The One & Only Royal Mirage during daytime.

My favourite restaurant was OKKU, in the Monarch Hotel; a dimly lit stylish and modern Japanese place, with a very international atmosphere. The food choice is really great, with a long list of options. I loved all the special makis! Wine and sake selection are also excellent.
(One, Sheikh Zaved Road -

One night we had dinner at Toro Toro, home of chef Richard Sandoval’s, and one of the hotels many restaurants, which serves pan-Latin food from Brazilian, Argentinean and Peruvian cuisine. I tasted some delicious tiraditos as appetizers and after a nice steak while drinking a Malbec from Argentina. Fun thing about Dubai you can taste a bit of everything in the world from a single place, for a night it seemed to be in Puerto Madeiro in Buenos Aires…

Afterwards go for a drink at Buddha Bar (also in the Grosvenor House) that is a fun very crowded restaurant and bar, it’s a bit over the top so you may love it or hate it. The bartenders love to entertain guests with fire juggling acts, make sure you get your drink before they start to jump on the tables spitting fire, or for 30 minutes no one will care about your cocktail!! But the show is amazing… look at the video below!

Al Mahara is one of the most famous restaurants in Dubai, situated in the Burj Al Arab. You descend in the restaurant thru a submarine ride that takes you to this underwater themed restaurant; the tables are located around a giant glass aquarium full of fish… It’s a bit tacky but since you are in Dubai it’s a must see! It serves seafood and the dress code is semi-formal.

You should know that restaurants are not allowed to serve alcohol unless they are in a hotel.

Mall of the Emirates is a must see shopping place, but apart from the possibility to ski, a fun but a bit aging idea, nothing is really impressive or different, I found it difficult not to spend most of the time in ‘Harvey Nichols’. It’s interesting to see its usual impeccable selection with a bit more of an Asian style…

If you want to see a bit more of local style you might want to check out S*UCE ( a very young and fun shop with a very interesting selection, I went to the one in The Village Mall which is much less touristic.. I loved the colourful Arabic women dresses they had!