There’s a (Very) Valid Reason Not to Travel Over Eid

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You’ve been “meaning to” try one of the new restaurants in town. You’ve been “meaning to” explore other emirates. You’ve been “meaning to” broaden your horizons with a brand new workout. Well, here’s your chance.

According to astronomers, Eid Al-Adha will start on August 11, which means we’re looking at a five-day weekend ahead. And while the thought of a Netflix binge in bed sounds incredibly appealing right about now, this holiday is the perfect time to explore some of the newer offerings in Dubai. From a Nutella-centric eatery and raveworthy restaurants to ingenious workouts, a new wellness destination, and yet another reason to explore Sharjah, these are our picks.

Start with Dessert

Calories don’t count over a holiday weekend (or so we’d like to believe). Enter: the new Nutella Bar at Vox Cinemas in Mall of the Emirates, where every single menu item – be it crêpes, waffles, funnel fries, pancakes, or pretzels – have one thing in common: a hefty side of your absolute favorite spread of all time.

Hop Aboard

A ferry service between Dubai (Al Ghubaiba Marine Station) and Sharjah (Aquarium Marine Station) has just been launched, marking the first marine transit service operated between the city and any other emirate. A whopping 42 journeys – 21 in each direction – will take place daily, with free WiFi on board to boot. What this translates to is this: less traffic and one more reason to finally explore Sharjah.

Luckily for you, we’ve long waxed lyrical about the merits of our neighboring city, even putting together the definitive guide on how to spend 24 hours in Sharjah. From singing in the rain and discovering a soda dating back to the 1920s to checking into a hotel unlike any other in the country, it’s all in there. And you can read it here.

old souk doors sharjah
Photo: Courtesy of @souqalshanasiyah

Break a Sweat

For a workout with a novelty factor, there’s now an endless ski slope rather aptly named Infinite SKI in Al Quoz. Designed somewhat like a treadmill – the speed of the belt and the angle of the slope are adjustable – the two state-of-the-art Maxxtracks indoor ski slopes are ideal whether you’re a complete novice looking to try skiing or snowboarding or just a shredder looking for a fix.

Spoil Yourself

The newest wellness destination in town, Zaaz, is now open in Jumeirah, promising a holistic approach to beauty and R&R – and a jaunt to Morocco. Not only are the ambience, architecture, and décor elements here inspired by our favorite country in the continent of Africa, but its menu is also dominated by hammam-based treatments. 

Having said that, everything from massages and hair services to grooming, manicures and pedicures, and private consultations are on offer. Most importantly? Zaaz only uses chemical-free products, joining forces with Izil, which creates products featuring some of the best and rarest ingredients found in Moroccan beauty rituals – think: prickly pear seed oil, black soap, ghassoul, orange blossom water, and honey.

Photo: Courtesy of Zaaz

Play the Game

A long, lazy weekend offers itself ideally to an evening spent at Unwind, a new café in Barsha that feels like a throwback to much simpler days. The pièce de résistance here is the over 500 boardgames – including the usual suspects like Scrabble, Ludo, Cluedo, Monopoly, and Uno – that are complemented by coffee, homemade sandwiches, and freshly baked desserts.

Oh, and leave it to Unwind to introduce you to games you’ve never even heard of, like Nyctophobia, which entails escaping a maniacal predator with zero visibility and was designed to include a blind uncle of the designer who loved boardgames. Bonus? Breakfast is served all day.

Chew on This

Have you tried keeping up with the countless restaurant openings in Dubai? We have – phew. After sampling our way through town in the name of research, there’s one in particular that gets our vote: Paru. Located on the rooftop of Caesars Resort Bluewaters Dubai (read: epic views), this contemporary Japanese eatery serves everything from signature rolls and elevated entrées to crowdpleasers like ‘Miso Black Cod’, ‘Crispy Calamari’, and ‘Rock Shrimp Tempura’.

For the foodies amongst you, however, we have to take a moment to recommend that you (blindly) trust the head chef and ask for the “Modern Omakase”. You’ll choose between five or seven courses, and what follows is the perfect melody of salads, signature cold plates, special warm dishes, hearty mains, and – of course – dessert. And considering Paru is the latest venture by celebrity chef Akira Back, now is the time to be adventurous.

Photo: Courtesy of Paru
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