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A Day in Dubai with Dina

May 11, 2020

Hi, I'm Dina (@dinasilva.ig) originally from Toronto, Canada and a lover of all things food and travel related, I’ve been (fortunate to work and live in four different countries.  All have been special and have provided me with invaluable experiences.  Currently, I am living in Dubai and absolutely loving this city.  It has such as cool vibe with a great restaurant scene and of course an abundance of luxury experiences.  


What is a typical breakfast and where would you go?

I love breakfast and love to hang out in a café and catch up on my digital reading. Organic, wholesome, grains and fruit are my current passion. I usually head to Tom & Serg. It’s set in an industrial chic space with both traditional and vegan options.  The smoothie and coffee list are extensive and delicious.  I usually have the gluten-free granola and sip on organic ginger breeze tea and then finish things off with a single espresso.

Tom & Serg | picture credit: @_tomandserg_

Where is your favourite place to grab lunch?

Lunch is usually near the office at DIFC. There is a multitude of great restaurants in this space with both dine in and take away options. At night, the vibe changes from suits-all-business vibe to a club-vibe with some of the best restaurants featuring happy hours and DJ sets.

If I want to grab something quick and healthy my go to places are Wild & the Moon or 1762. The former has super tasty vegetarian and vegan only dishes and detox juices. The latter is a deli-style counter with the most creative salad, soup and sandwich combinations. They usually have daily specials that you can never go wrong with.

If I have time for a sit-down lunch, then you will find me at Intersect by Lexus. Intersect is awesome!  This is a true hidden gem in DIFC and not too people know of it. It’s tucked away behind some art galleries and it’s a concept space that includes not only fantastic food but numerous book shelves stacked with interesting titles and some carefully curated fashion items. Their service is polished but unpretentious.

1762 | picture credit: @1762uae

What is the ideal afternoon activity in a city like Dubai?

Well, shopping, if that’s your thing. There are many malls with the two largest and most luxurious being The Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates featuring both national and international shops and an impressive Fashion Avenue with all the top couture names.

If you like water, then you can stroll around at La Mer which has shops, restaurants, a kid’s park and a public beach.  Or if you want to exercise by the water, head over to Kite Beach to jog or attend an outdoor yoga class.

Where are the best places for dinner?

This is a tough one!  There are literally hundreds of great places to eat in the city.  I’ll name a few of my favourites that I would go back to again and again. For fish and seafood – Rock Fish. For Japanese  fusion – Kayto. For Peruvian – Coya.

Coya | picture credit: @coyadubai

In the evening, what is the city like and where do you find yourself?

In the evening, the city comes alive with numerous bars, restaurants and nightclubs. There are a ton of cool spots in the city depending on your vibe, age group and budget. Many of the hotels also boast roof top bars and / or beach bars that turn into night clubs when the stars come out. I usually find myself at dinner with friends somewhere along Jumeirah beach or on the Palm where we can eat a great meal and then chill to music. Local tip: Tuesday nights are usually “ladies’ night” and most places offer complimentary drinks or ½ priced menus. Check out Time Out Dubai for updated details and venues.

In a busy city like Dubai, is there anywhere to chill?

My place of choice to chill is at Shimmers Beach Bar at the Jumeirah Mina A’Salam Hotel.  The bar is right on the sand with an unobstructed view of the beach where you can watch an amazing sunset while sipping on a cocktail or mocktail and listening to chill out tunes by the resident DJ.

Shimmers Beach Bar | picture credit @shimmersonthebeach

What is there to do for something fun and different?

One of the most beautiful sceneries in Dubai is the red desert sand at sunset.  For something completely different I would recommend a desert safari.  There are many tour companies that offer a variety of packages and price ranges. Make sure you pick one that includes dune bashing, sand boarding and dinner under the stars.  And bring your camera!

Where is the best area to stay/sleep for young travellers?

The Vida Hotels are vibrant and lively and tend to cater to a younger, creative crowd. The hotels are designed in clean modern lines with a host of hubs and social amenities that facilitate connecting with others.

What season would you recommend visiting?

I would recommend the period November to March. These are the coolest months with less humidity but the temperatures are still in the high 20’s Celsius.  The worst months are July and August as the temperatures sore into the 40s and it’s impossible to be outdoors for any length of time.

Is Dubai best for a family holiday, friends holiday or couple holiday?

Surprisingly, Dubai offers something for all three categories of travellers.  There are many hotels catering to families and quite a few attractions for children and adolescents. For example, theme parks such as Motiongate and Legoland, aqua/water parks, OliOli which has interactive activities for younger children, and Ice skating.

Group of friend activities are also in abundance depending on your preferences. You can sky dive from a plane over the Palm, Race a Ferrari at Ferrari World or go on a desert safari.  

For couples, there are also plenty of romantic beach hotels or you can go glamping in the desert as well…. a la Eva Longoria.

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