Dubai : a place where new venues seem to sprout up virtually overnight. It’d be easy to get overwhelmed, so we’ve answered your dilemma of where to get the tastiest avocado toast, escape to a serene botanical garden, or cut through the crowds and fast forward to these 22 Vogue-approved locations – just for you.

The annually held Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) is the busiest retail season of the year in Dubai and welcomes millions of shoppers and visitors from around the world. In advance of DSF, Vogue has produced a series of five curated guides covering fashion, jewelry, beauty, culture, and lifestyle. Read on for Vogue’s lifestyle edit.

Em Sherif

Consider yourself warned: be prepared for a lavish and opulent Oriental feast at Em Sherif. Mireille Hayek’s passion for her Lebanese cuisine, her generosity, and her attention to her guests’ satisfaction have won her a devoted following. In a decor reminiscent of an antique oriental mansion, no menu will be presented. Instead, dish after exquisitely prepared dish of hot and cold mezze, fresh salads and vegetables, freshly baked breads warm from the oven, grilled meats, and desserts succeed until the table is completely obscured from view. Impeccable service is assured by the charming and discrete waiters. Head to the terrace afterwards for an optional shisha while enjoying the Burj Khalifa’s light and sound show.

Em SherifLower Lobby Level (Fountain Promenade), The Address Downtown, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai
Tel: +971 4 424 3000

Nusr-Et Steakhouse

Nusret Gokce started his career as a butcher in his native Turkey at the young age of 16. He now owns six Nusr-Et steakhouses in Turkey and one in Dubai, with another set to open in London. The Dubai restaurant at the Four Seasons Resort seems to be permanently booked out. Amidst the raw wood and leather decor, unbelievably tender prime cuts of Australian and Japanese Kobe Wagyu steaks are personally selected by Nusret Gokce himself. They are char-grilled to taste with a sprinkling of sea salt and a dash of black peppercorns, then served on a wooden butcher’s block accompanied by thrice-cooked fries, Brussels sprouts, or salad. If your meat cannot be rare enough, beef tartare will be prepared and seasoned for you at your table by the friendly, competent waiters. Servings are notably generous, but try to leave room for the house dessert of walnut baklava served straight from the baking tin, accompanied by a scoop of the famous Gaziantep “stretchy” vanilla ice-cream made with goat’s milk and without eggs.Nusr-Et RestaurantRestaurant Village, Four Seasons Resort, Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 2
Tel: +971 4 407 4100

Coya Restaurant

 Peruvian cuisine is having its moment internationally and it’s not hard to see why:
the tart freshness of ceviches and tiraditos marinated in leche de tigre, the variety of its vegetables — quinoa, choclo (white corn), yellow and purple potatoes — and the conviviality of the Para Picar concept (dishes for the whole table to share) all contribute to its success. Nobody does that better in Dubai than the multi-award-winning Coya. The space is vast enough to offer a variety of experiences. Try an infusion at the Pisco Lounge’s “library”. Take a seat at the Ceviche Counter (on a first-come, first-served basis) and watch the chef prepare your ceviche on the spot. Or watch your anticuchos being grilled at the Brassa Counter. But to truly experience Coya, nothing beats dining in the stunning restaurant, with its Incan decor of turquoise, ochre, and old gold studded with rare Peruvian antique finds.Coya Restaurant
Restaurant Village, Four Seasons Resort, Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 2
Tel: +971 4 316 9600

Rang Mahal by Atul Kochhar

Atul Kochhar, a two Michelin starred chef, has radically changed how people perceive and experience Indian cuisine. Rang Mahal (Palace of Color) by Atul Kochhar at the JW Marriott Marquis in Dubai showcases his unique and innovative take on modern Indian cuisine, incorporating the traditional flavors of his homeland. In the rich red and ochre dining room, Chef Kochhar’s tawa, tandoor (which is particularly impressive), tarka, curries, and biryanis bring the vibrancy and spice of India to life.

Rang Mahal
JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road
Tel: +971 4 414 3000


Tortuga is a laid-back Mexican restaurant within the Mina A’Salam hotel at Madinat Jumeirah with a great outdoor terrace and a magnificent view over the lagoon. Mexican chef Oscar Rito proposes freshly made enchiladas, burritos, and molcajete (melted cheese with a chili sauce appropriately presented on a volcanic stone slab) all served with salsa, sour cream, and perhaps the best guacamole in Dubai. Don’t miss the generous Friday brunch with open cooking stations and live music from the Mariachi band. There’s also a separate children’s buffet complete with entertainment (those under twelve-years-old eat on a complimentary basis).

Mina A’Salam, Madinat Jumeirah, Al Sufouh Road
Tel: +971 4 432 3232–bars/tortuga/

Miss Lily’s

When the Sheraton Grand Hotel’s silver lift doors glide gracefully open on the fifth floor, they reveal the surreal scene of a Caribbean beach shack with pounding reggae music and gorgeous wait staff in cut-offs carrying trays of beverages while jiving to the beat. Miss Lily’s is currently one of Dubai’s hottest spots: loud, rowdy, and fun. The cuisine is similarly emphatic with chef Adam Schop’s take of signature Jamaican dishes such as curry goat stew, jerk chicken, chili King crab with sides of sweet plantains, and Jamaican braised greens with black beans and pickled chili. Dance it off on the tiny dance floor (or on the tabletop should the mood take you — you won’t be alone) until the early hours. Wild.

Miss Lily’s
5th Floor, Sheraton Grand Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road
Tel: +971 4 354 4074

The Little Black Door

A rap of the brass lion knocker on The Little Black Door at the Conrad Hotel gives access into a place of understated elegance. Crystal chandeliers hang from the black leather ceiling against a backdrop of distressed brick walls. The beverage list is extensive and eclectic. The cuisine is also elegant with dishes such as LBD foie gras hot dogs, goats cheese with sautéed vegetables, grilled skewers (of prawns, chicken, or beef), and surprisingly, urban lobster poutine (Canadian Lobster pieces with tiny cheese chunks melted in gravy, served over a bowl of French fries).

The Little Black Door
The Conrad Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road
Tel: +971 55 623 1620

La Cantine du Faubourg

The legendary Parisian restaurant La Cantine 105 closed its doors on rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in 2006. Its cult status was due to its unique association of fantastic food paired with great music and contemporary art, all to a boho vibe.

Dubai’s La Cantine du Faubourg is located in the Emirates Towers hotel, with a spectacular garden terrace overlooking the DIFC (Dubai International Financial Centre) skyline.

Gilles Bousquet, a Michelin-starred chef from Mauritius, has created a sophisticated menu with signature dishes of yellow tuna tataki with sesame marinated in a sweet onion vinaigrette, grilled octopus in warm yuzu vinaigrette with ratte potatoes, and wagyu beef ribs glazed with honey, apples, and coriander. Thursday nights are particularly popular, as are the weekend’s pajama brunches.

La Cantine in Dubai also continues its commitment to contemporary art. The walls are hand-painted by local designer Nadine Kanso. The restaurant also currently features an exhibition from Lebanese multimedia artist Ali Chaaban, while 2017 will kick off with an exhibition by street artist Camille Walala.

La Cantine du Faubourg
First Floor, Emirates Towers Hotel, Trade Centre 2
Tel: +971 4 352 7105

Intersect by Lexus

Opened just about a year ago (with a party DJed by Mark Ronson, no less), Intersect by Lexus is located in the heart of DIFC (Dubai International Financial Centre). The concept, first launched in Tokyo, is meant to translate the “Lexus experience” through a mixed-use lounge, restaurant, library, and garage exhibition space, all created by world-renowned interior designer Masamichi Katayama. The stunning interiors draw specific references from Lexus vehicles: the banquette seating is made with the leather used in the Lexus LFA supercar, while the beautiful bamboo walls are an interpretation of the Lexus spindle grille. Even the striking light fixtures, from designer Lindsey Adelman, are worthy of mention. An ideal backdrop for a well-crafted drink and intimate conversation.

Intersect by Lexus
Gate Village, Building 3-7, DIFC (Dubai International Financial Centre)
Tel: +971 4 355 9524

The Jetty Lounge

Follow the winding stone pathway through the lush gardens of the One & Only Royal Mirage to access the Jetty Lounge and its private beach, one of Dubai’s most striking venues. Try to reserve one of the canopy-tented “lounges” between the palm trees at the water’s edge and enjoy the sunset over the Arabian Gulf against the backdrop of the Palm Jumeirah. To prolong the delight, a boat ride leaves the Jetty Lounge’s wooden pier to cruise across to 101 Dining Lounge and Bar (at the One & Only resort on the Palm Jumeirah) to complete the evening with dinner or a nightcap. Don’t miss the stuffed olives.

The Jetty Lounge
One & Only Royal Mirage, Dubai Marina
Tel: +971 4 399 9999

The XVA Art Hotel and Café

Heritage and history combine with contemporary art and design in this boutique hotel located in the heart of the Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood (also known as Bastakiya), one of the oldest heritage sites in Dubai. The XVA Hotel has just thirteen bedrooms, each individually decorated by a local artist or designer. The public area has three open-air, tree-shaded courtyards (air-conditioned during the summer). The XVA Gallery specializes in exhibiting contemporary art from the Arab world, both from the region’s established artists and young emerging talents. The boutique features original fashion made by the in-house tailor from fabrics sourced in the nearby textile souk alongside vintage pieces discovered by owner Mona Hauser on her travels. The Bastakiya Café serves up vegetarian dishes, including eggplant burgers with cucumber, tomato, and feta, pumpkin roti, to be washed down with the unmissable fresh mint lemonade or raw apple iced tea.

XVA Art Hotel and Café
Al Fahidi Street, Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood (Bastakiya), Bur Dubai
Tel: +971 4 353 5383

Market Outside The Box (Market OTB)

The successful Market Outside The Box (Market OTB) pop-up market is returning for the fourth consecutive year during DSF 2017. Situated in Downtown Dubai at Burj Park, Market OTB supports and features a mix of independent local labels as well as global brands, along with an entertainment program featuring live music, drama, dance, poetry performances, and even a pop-up cinema. A wide selection of food trucks and stalls will also be on-hand.

Market OTB will run for a 10-day period from January 19-28th, 2017.

Market OTB
Burj Park, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai

The Ripe Market

When Dubai embraces a new trend, it embraces it wholeheartedly. Every Friday, the Ripe Market sets up its stall under the lush green palms of Zabeel Park (at Al Barsha Pond Park on Saturdays and at Le Meridien Mina Seyahi on Wednesdays), to bring fresh, organic fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices, and freshly baked bread to those who adore healthy eating. Must-haves include the wild basil in season, local dates, and raw honey from the UAE. For those who can’t make it to the markets, the Ripe Shop takes online orders and makes next day home deliveries free of charge.

The Ripe Market
Zabeel Park, Gate 2: Every Friday from 9am to 3 pm
Al Barsha Pond Park: Every Saturday from 2pm to 9pm
Le Meridien Mina Seyahi, Dubai Marina: Every Wednesday from 2pm to 9pm
Tel: +971 4 380 7602

The Farm at Al Barari

Push through the wooden gate and revel in the blooms and flora at The Farm – a lush city getaway boasting a myriad of culinary delights in an idyllic outdoor setting. A 20-minute drive along a desert highway leads you to this secluded oasis where one can savor award-winning Thai, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Indian, and Asian food or prolong the day at the adjoining Heart and Soul Spa and Wellness center. Surrounded by green for as far as the eye can see.

The Farm at Al Barari
Nad Al Sheba Area (opposite Global Village)
Tel: +971 4 392 5660

Life ‘N’ One

“If you’re not barefoot, then you’re overdressed,” reads the sign outside Life ‘N’ One’s urban retreat. Shuck off your shoes and leave them on the doorstep with your cares and woes before selecting some treatments from the extensive menu. Choose one-on-one or group sessions of Pilates, yoga, or meditation classes with guest practitioners, aura and chakra readings, Reiki, gong meditation, or craniosacral therapy (CST). Not to be missed when the weather cools down: full-moon yoga on the rooftop overlooking the twin minarets of Jumeirah’s Grand Mosque.

Life ‘N’ One
Villa 5/1B, Community 332, 27B Street (behind Magrudy’s), Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 1
Tel: +971 4 343 6676

Wild & the Moon

Situated in a warehouse setting in the industrial Al Quoz district’s Alserkal Avenue, Wild & the Moon features an organic, plant-based menu by chef Sati Faulks and a conscientious yet tasty approach to healthy eating.

This local start-up cold presses its juices and vitality shots daily and creates inventive dishes such as the seaweed guacamole in addition to lovingly made desserts which contain zero refined sugar, chemicals, soy, dairy, wheat, or gluten.

And if you can’t get enough of Wild & the Moon in Dubai, you can get your fix in Paris , with three organic cafés just opened in the boho quarter of the Upper Marais district.

Wild & the Moon
Unit #77 Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz
Tel: + 971 4 343 3392

Mirzam Chocolate Factory

Mirzam Chocolate Factory — a 100% handmade in Dubai from bean-to-bar — is the latest innovative addition to Alserkal Avenue. (The word Mirzam is the Arabic name of the star used by sailors to navigate their passage through the Spice Route, with Dubai a key port.)

Cocoa beans from Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Madagascar, and Ghana are individually sourced for Mirzam’s single-origin bars. Visitors can partake in a guided tour of the entire in-house production process. The venue also includes a café, which offers tasting platters of the various chocolate bars: 62% chocolate with coffee & cardamom, dates & fennel, figs, star anise & cinnamon, orange & cinnamon, and the deeply sensuous dark chocolate & rose, all accompanied by a cup of Mirzam’s cocoa tea.

Mirzam Chocolate Factory
Warehouse 70, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz
Tel: +971 4 333 5888

The Sum of Us

When it launched in 2013, Tom&Serg (from creators Tom Arnel and Sergio Lopez) saw a gap in the local market for a friendly, down-to-earth café inspired by the independent coffee house culture of Melbourne. They have since found wide-reaching success, steadily expanding their culinary empire. From the same creators comes The Sum of Us café and roastery, now widely regarded as one of the best spots in town for coffee lovers and connoisseurs alike. Fair trade beans from Colombia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, and Panama are roasted on the premises to produce slightly bitter medium-roast blends adapted to local tastes. Espressos and cappuccinos are produced by in-house baristas on the La Marzocco espresso machines. The brunch here is also highly regarded.

The Sum of Us
Burj Al Salaam, Street 6, Trade Center 1
Tel: +971 56 445 7526

Surf House Dubai

Back in 1992, there were hardly any surfers in Dubai — but no shortage of waves along the coast. In 2005, Scott Chambers obtained a degree in Surf Science and Technology (yes, that’s real) and returned home to share his love of the ocean by founding Surf House Dubai. Today, it has over 3,000 members. Surf House Dubai offers classes for beginner-to-advanced students in surfing, standup paddleboard, and yoga (to reinforce posture, balance, and upper body strength). The store stocks world-class surfboards and equipment from Firewire, Lost, and Global Surf Industry, and clothing and accessories by Creatures of Leisure and Shapers Australia. Surf’s up in Dubai from October to April (December through February are the most consistently good months). Hang out at the Single Fin Café afterwards to enjoy the vibes.

Surf House Dubai
Villa 110, Al Soon Street, Umm Suqeim 2
Tel: +971 4 321 1309

Comptoir 102

Comptoir 102 was launched in 2012 by Parisians Emma Sawko and Alexandra de Montaudouin. The concept store is surrounded by palm trees in a villa by the sea, with an atmosphere more similar to a private home than a store. While the term “concept store” is no doubt overused by now, Comptoir 102 extends its philosophy from healthy eating to healthy living, surrounded by beautiful, eclectic objects.

Sawko also created the organic brand Wild and the Moon, whose products are available in the organic café or in the store’s food to take home corner. Furniture, including designs by Lebanese designer Nada Debs; lighting by India Mahdavi, Paola Navone, and Kafka Goes Pink; and homeware, including the exquisite hand-painted ceramic tableware by Astier de Villatte, are beautifully assembled. Visiting designers regularly stage events. And that’s not all: yoga classes take place on the beach, followed by a healthy breakfast.

Comptoir 102
102 Beach Road, Jumeirah 1
Tel: +971 4 385 4555

Riva Beach Club

The Riva Beach Club is located on the Palm Jumeirah with stunning views of the Arabian Gulf, Burj Al Arab, and the Downtown Skyline. With temperature-controlled swimming pools, a white sand beach, a gym, and some of the best water sports in Dubai (including stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, and a PADI dive center), alongside a delicious menu of pasta, pizza, and salads, Riva offers a day of fun for the whole family.

Riva Beach Club
Building 8, Shoreline Apartments, Palm Jumeirah
Tel: +971 4 430 9466

Kite Beach

Kite Beach is a paradise for watersports enthusiasts, spectators, and families with small children, as there are outdoor trampolines, a skate park, a play area for toddlers on the beach, and plentiful dining options along the boardwalk. Kite Beach is the place to head as soon as the wind rises. Watersports operators have kitesurfing, kiteboarding, and stand-up paddleboarding equipment for hire along the beachfront together with lessons from qualified instructors. Locating Kite Beach is a breeze: just look out for the multi-colored crescents floating in the sky over the jade and turquoise waves of the Arabian Gulf. And as the sun sets, sit back and enjoy the magnificent spectacle against the silhouette of the Burj Al Arab.

Kite Beach
Al Manara Road Junction, Jumeirah 3

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