Sure, a little patriotism is in order during the upcoming weekend, what with parades, fireworks displays, and themed dining experiences marking National Day at every turn. But how about taking the four days to also cross some of the city’s latest spots – the ones you keep meaning to visit, but haven’t – off your list? We don’t discriminate between lavish bookstores, lazy beach days, large-scale art installations, heavy eating, and hefty doses of adrenaline, so here are our top ten picks of places to explore.
Jameel Arts Centre
If you can't get enough of contemporary art.
Nothing fills us with anticipation quite like the opening of a new cultural hub – and the stunning new Jameel Arts Centre did not disappoint. The contemporary arts institution features ten gallery spaces, the region’s first open-access arts library, seven desert gardens, a restaurant, and an onsite shop. But that’s not all. It’s worth a visit for the adjacent open-air sculpture park alone.
Caesars Bluewaters Dubai
If a flight to Las Vegas is out of the question.
Caesars Bluewaters Dubai isn’t exactly the Caesars Palace you’re picturing, but it won’t play to second fiddle to the Las Vegas property either. Here, guests staying at any of the 194 luxury rooms or 80 hotel apartments will enjoy access to the recently relocated Cove Beach, the award-winning Qua Spa, killer views of Ain Dubai, and six different eateries – Hell’s Kitchen by Gordon Ramsay included. But don’t take our word for it. Caesars Bluewaters Dubai is now accepting reservations, so book here.
If you need a new, well, hideout.
If you’ve (finally) made peace with the fact that Societe is no more, take the long weekend to discover The Hideout. Its claim to fame? That it’s the city’s first ‘gastroclub’. This new spot in Marina Byblos Hotel offers everything from gaming nights and evening brunches to nightly live performances. It’s accented with resident DJs spinning hits from the 80s and 90s to circa now – which means we can all hide out here.
If you're a risk-taker – and proud of it.
While man has mastered the ability to fly planes, the thrill of flying solo is still reserved solely for birds – a train of thought being adequately defied by the newest offering at XDubai. Adrenaline junkies can now propel 120 meters over sand and water as they stretch their limits through the rather aptly named ‘Slingshot’. In this regional first, daredevils will feel a gust of air wrap their body while reaching speeds up to 100km/hour in just 0.5 seconds. Think you can handle it? Book here.
Museum of Illusions
If you'll do just about anything for the 'Gram.
A little less adrenaline, a lot more laughs come courtesy of the Museum Of Illusions. This recently opened attraction promises an entirely interactive experience as you’ll be part and parcel of the exhibits – upside-down rooms and vortex tunnels included – and encouraged to take as many photos as you want. Bonus? With 80 visual and sensory tricks, the outpost in Dubai is the largest worldwide.
If authors are your rockstars.
Never underestimate the ability of a book to take your breath away – we knew that to be true the second we walked into Maison Assouline. Only the second outlet besides the one in London’s Piccadilly Circus, the luxury culture concept store is located in the ‘Fashion Avenue’ of The Dubai Mall and boasts antique furniture, fashion accessories centered around famous literary works, gift items, and even food and beverages inspired by Assouline’s most captivating titles. But let’s not forget the pièce de résistance: stunning coffee table books as far as the eye can see.
Hatta Sedr Trailers
If you can't escape the city fast enough.
Hatta is always, always, always a good idea – but in this weather? Even better. Explore this exclave of Dubai in style by staying overnight in the luxury Hatta Sedr Trailers. The first of its kind in the region, the concept features trailers that have been repurposed to create a boutique hospitality experience like no other. You’ll have your very own terrace as well as access to a common area equipped with a fire pit and barbecue facilities. Nothing beats the surrounding mountain views, through. Book your trailer here.
Mohalla, Modi, and More
If food is what you plan your weekend around.
Can we please take a minute to discuss the importance of dining out over a long weekend? That’s precisely why we’re recommending Mohalla for its emphasis on the greatest hits of Indian street food, Modi for waiters that suddenly spring into dance as you feast on Georgian staples, Catfish for its cross between wellness and African cuisine, and Urth Caffé if you’re in the mood for a trendy LA export. Each has a distinct personality of its own – and all four are worth a try.
If you want to play on The Palm this weekend.
There’s no dearth of beach clubs in town, but we love the idea of exploring a new one – especially one inspired by the shores of Tulum. Enter: Playa Nomade, which many just know as El Chiringuito’s replacement. The vibe here, however, is entirely different. With dance and electronic tunes taking center stage – and plenty of live acts on the horizon – this is where beachside parties will go well into the night. Reserve your spot here.
If ice cream is your cure-all.
You’ll need ice cream over the weekend – the tail end of the weekend, at least – because nothing cures the end-of-a-four-day-break blues better than ice cream dipped in everything from rose petals and dried raspberries to coconut shavings, slivered pistachios, lashings of chocolate sauce, and even chilli flakes. We are, of course, suggesting you go straight to the new Magnum store outside VOX Cinemas in Mall of the Emirates for this one. Just don’t forget to capture your customized treat before the first bite; there’s a dedicated photo booth designed for the perfect Instagram post.