Earlier this month, I was invited to visit and experience Dubai with the tourism board (@mydubai) – and as you can imagine, I was stoked! I’ve always known Dubai to be synonymous with extravagance and cool architecture, so I couldn’t wait to finally see it in person. After an entire week in Dubai, I can honestly say that the food, architecture, culture, and landmarks live up to its reputation and were out of this world. Everyone needs to go at least once.
If you have Dubai on your bucket list, I’ll be sharing my travel guide today, covering the best restaurants to eat at, sights to see, experiences to try, where to explore and shop! Scroll ahead!
Renaissance Downtown Hotel
If you’re looking for recommendations on where to stay, I can’t suggest the Renaissance Downtown Hotel enough. Not only was the staff was so welcoming and helpful, but the rooms were spacious, modern, and luxurious. I couldn’t believe I had enough space to store all my clothes and shoes. It’s also situated in a great area, only minutes within the Dubai Mall and not too far from the Burj Khalifa.
Restaurants I Recommend
Being Armenian and Lebanese, I was most excited for the food in Dubai. Here, you’ll find many flavors I love, including Arabian flavors, Indian spices, and Persian ingredients. Here are my must-try restaurants:
Al Falamanki – While I love an upscale eatery, casual spots are my absolute favorites. Al Falamanki is a Lebanese restaurant with the cutest, vintage decor. The menu is full of classic Lebanese dishes with a few vegan and vegetarian options that are just as delicious. It can get pretty busy – people love to go here at 2 am after the bars!
Flamingo Room by Tashas – I fell in love with this place for the insane interior. It’s full of photo opps and not only that, but the food was amazing! You have to try the the fries + calamari dish that I featured on my Dubai Highlights.
BB DIFC – This restaurant is perfect if you want to switch up the flavors. They offer great East Asian fusion food, with options like baos, pho, ramen, and more. The wagyu steak mini sandwiches were my favorite.
Morimoto – If you’re into sushi, you can’t go wrong with Morimoto, which was conveniently located on the rooftop of the Renaissance Downtown Hotel, where I stayed.
Four Seasons Mercury Lounge – To experience the Dubai nightlife, the Mercury Lounge, situated on top of the Four Seasons hotel, is a must-see. I loved the vibes, the view, and music.
Sites To See
Dubai Frame – This is an iconic landmark in Dubai, dubbed the largest picture frame on the planet. It was such a cool experience especially with the glass floor that shows you how high up you are. You also get a stunning view of both old Dubai and new Dubai.
Miracle Gardens – If you’re all about Instagrammable places and you love flowers, the Miracle Garden will be a haven for you. It’s a place where you can spend endless hours walking around and taking pictures. There are a ton of structures and characters covered in flowers.
Burj Khalifa – When you’re in Dubai, visiting the tallest building in the world is obligatory. It’s more than 2500 ft above the city providing some insane views, including a snippet of the Persian Gulf. Catch it at sunset if you can!
Dubai Mall – As a fashion blogger, I can honestly say the Dubai Mall is a paradise for all shoppers. You can literally find everything you need inside from the most luxurious stores like Cartier down to & Other Stories. I also got to see an Off White store for the first time.
City Walk Dubai – I’m always down to explore a city like a local, and I think City Walk lets you take in that modern Dubai lifestyle. City Walk is a great place to hang out with friends and walk around since it’s a massive strip of high fashion retailers, restaurants and cafes, and other family-friendly attractions.
Things to Experience
Helicopter Tour Dubai – The tourism board really hooked us up with a helicopter tour of Dubai. The unobstructed aerial view was insane and such a beauty to take in. This was definitely an experience to remember.
Desert Experience with Platinum Heritage – Dubai is a culture-rich city that can be missed among the skylines and lavish shopping experiences. To properly experience its history and culture, I would recommend looking into the Desert Experience with Platinum Heritage.
We spent a whole day from 3pm – 10pm seeing different side of the city. I got to ride vintage 60’s Land Rovers in the sand dunes, which was so fun – and the desert was a nice change of pace and backdrop. As the sun started to set, we gathered around to watch Falconry, one of Dubai’s most popular sports, where Falcons swoop through the sky to catch game.
We ended the day with dinner in a camp where they served us Arabic coffee (my favorite!) and traditional Arabic food. I even tasted camel for the first time! There was also hookah, henna artists, camel rides, and a cultural dance show. Nothing beats this immersive experience.
Cove Beach – This is basically an upscale beach club located at a new hotel. It was the perfect way to finally relax and soak up the sun. We ended the night with delicious drinks, the best music, and dancing at the lounge by the pool.
Al Fahidi in old Dubai – Al Fahidi in old Dubai was my favorite area, lined with unique, historic merchant houses, art galleries, mosques, cafes, and hotels. I loved exploring the narrow alleyways of brightly colored silks, rugs, and courtyards of the past. This was definitely one of the most memorable parts of the city for me.
Emerald Palace Kempinski Spa – After so many days exploring and running around the city, I finally took a few hours to enjoy a spa day at the luxurious Emerald Palace Kempinski Spa. It was the best way to unwind and recharge, especially with such marveling interiors.
If you’re working on any travel plans this year, you definitely need to see Dubai. I loved every minute here and can’t wait to visit again!