A Guide to the Hidden Gems of Dubai

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Advisor - Zoé Gotti
Curated By

Zoé Gotti

  • Dubai

  • United Arab Emirates (UAE)

  • Luxury Travel

  • Boutique Travel

  • City Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • Family Travel

  • Off-the-Beaten-Path Travel

  • Wellness Travel

  • Hidden Gems

  • Outdoors

  • Sports

cityscape of a modern city from the ocean with cloudless blue sky
Curator’s statement

Dubai is the city of the future. Once a small fishing village on the Arabian gulf, Dubai is today one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. One of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, the city is home to more than 200 nationalities and offers an unforgettable experience to all visitors. Whether it is by the banks of the Creek, or at the top of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, Dubai lives and breathes a sense of possibility and innovation. Enjoy!

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Where to stay in Dubai

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Things to do in Dubai

an atv on the sand in the desert with a cloudless sky
  • Desert Safari with Platinum Heritage - They go all the way when it comes to making you fall in love with the desert, whether it's the tours, the material or the quality of the food and accommodation during your stay. P.S. you can request special packages for couples or proposals.

  • Hot air balloon in the desert with Balloon Adventures - They are the best. You will have to wake up early but it is absolutely worth it. The views are breathtaking.

  • Seva Experience - Your wellness sanctuary to feel grounded in this futuristic city. You will find yoga classes, aroma therapies, group sessions for sound healing and more.

  • Water Sports - you can rent a yacht from Dubai Marina and do wakeboarding, take a banana/donut ride and more.

  • Helicopter Tour - This one is a unique experience, you can book from a 15-minute up to an hour flight to take in the views of Dubai.

  • Surf House - You can get surfing and paddle boarding lessons here. A great place to meet people and enjoy the ocean.

  • Al Seef Heritage - Visit the olden souk of Dubai and the museum for a cultural submersion.

  • Top Golf - If you want to start learning how to play and get into golf, this is the perfect place to start.

  • Matcha Club - Try a padel game and fall in love with the atmosphere of the Matcha Clubs located in Al Quoz and Meydan Dubai.

Places to eat & drink in Dubai

a busy patio of a restaurant at sunset


  • Urth Caffe - Delicious organic food and drinks.

  • Brunch & Cake - Amazing brunch menu full of great dishes.

  • 100 Wellness Centre - Healthy spot for health lovers, all home-made.

  • Café Bateel - A local spot for delicious dishes & try the dates!

  • Single Fin Café - Located in Surf House they have amazing home made dishes.


  • Seva Table - Located in Seva experience, they have organic food in a beautiful garden.

  • Dibba Oyster Bay - Amazing seafood spot with fresh fish & oysters from the market.

  • SĀN Beach - Amazing food, location and beach club. Staff is lovely.

  • KYMA Beach - Amazing greek food, setting and atmosphere for a beach day.

  • Summer Salt by Kayto - Delicious Japanese fusion menu and amazing location with views on the Burj Al Arab.


  • Ninive - Amazing urban arab oasis in the financial center of Dubai DIFC.

  • French Riviera - Located in the Jumeira Al Qasr, it is the best French restaurant on the beach and by the pool with Burj Al Arab view.

  • Tomo - The best rooftop Japanese restaurant ever.

  • Dream - A great entertaining dinner with shows that will blow you away as much as the menu.

  • 101 Dining Lounge - Located in One&Only the Palm, the 101 lounge Marina is a unique dining experience with view on the marina and a delicious menu.

Need to Know

This is a list that I have meticulously curated from my own experience of visiting Dubai as a tourist and living there for the past year.

For more travel tips, check out my guide, The Hidden Gems of Sicily.

Advisor - Zoé Gotti

Travel Advisor

Zoé Gotti

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Dubai.