Luxurious Middle East: A model’s guide to Dubai
Australian-born Jessica Kahawaty is considered Middle Eastern royalty: she's hosted Project Runway, is the ambassador of IWC for the Middle East, a top model and also an international human rights lawyer. She's now based in Dubai, and knows the city like no one else.
Below, Jessica talks us through some of Dubai's biggest and best highlights:
Best coffee shops
1. The sum of us
I love how they make everything from scratch – they even bake their own bread. It has such a wholesome vibe; it’s definitely one of my favourite spots to go with my mum.
Burj Al Salam 6th St, Dubai
2. % Arabica
The owner actually bought the coffee farm in Hawaii, and now has access to the best Japanese roasting machines in the world. The coffee is literally roasted on the spot, and they only have 9 locations worldwide, two of which are in Dubai.
Several locations, Dubai
3. Seven Fortunes
This coffee hotspot has such an urban feel and is my go-to for any daytime meetings and catch-ups.
Street 26,Al Quoz Industrial Area 4, Dubai
Best brunch spots:
It's a trendy furniture store, café and fashion boutique all in one. They have incredible juices, almond milk mixes and daily healthy food dishes.
102 Beach Rd Jumeirah 1, Dubai
2. La Serre Bistro & Boulangerie
This is your ideal weekend brunch spot. The menu consists of delicious breads and pastries. Crowd favourite? The almond croissant - it's my absolute favourite.
Vida Hotel, Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown, Dubai
3. Jumeirah Al Qasr
This is brunch on steroids. It expands across three different rooms with cuisines ranging from South America, Asia and the Middle East. The desserts are also out of this world with a big selection of ice creams, pastries and fondues. Warning: come with an empty stomach.
Al Sufouh Road, Dubai
Best lunch spots:
1. La Petite Maison
French cuisine is one of my favourites and LPM has the best appetizers and desserts in town. The crème brulée and paid perdu are ridiculously mouth-watering.
Gate Village No, 8, Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai
2. Em Sherif
The restaurant has no menu - instead, they'll just continue to bring food out to your table. Ideal for a big group of friends and if you love all things Mediterranean.
This is my go-to for Japanese when guests are in town. With a pumping bar, cool music, and all-round cool vibe; makes Zuma one of the trendiest places in town.
Gate Village 06, Podium Level, Al Sa'ada St.، DIFC, Dubai
Best dinner spots:
Home to the "salt bae" chef, Nusr-Et is one of the best steakhouses in the world. After indulging in a piece of meat, make sure you finish off with the baklava with ice-cream - It's worth it.
Restaurant Village, Near Four Seasons Hotel، Jumeirah Road, Dubai
With opulent views of Dubai Opera, water foundation and the Burj Kjalida, makes this restaurant a truly magical dining experience by the water.
The Palace Downtown Dubai,Downtown Dubai, Dubai
This South American restaurant is famous for their exotic dishes, live bands and a secret private members area.
Restaurant Village Four Seasons Resort Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 2, Dubai coyarestaurant.com/dubai
Best hotel picks:
1. Address Boulevard
This Downtown hotspot has an inner city but also the feeling of being in a luxurious home. It's really a resort within the city with 2 incredible pools, great food and lots of palm trees.
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard Road, Dubai
2. Four Seasons Hotel, Jumeirah
If you're after a resort vibe, this is for you. It's right on the water and has a very relaxed ambience throughout the property. Rent a mini cabana on the beach and sip on fresh coconut water to really submerge yourself in the holiday zone.
Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 2, Dubai
3. One & Only, The Palm
This resort is at the end of the palm so there is nothing but the horizon in sight. The travel time from the airport or getting downtown can be a little timely - but once you reach the One&Only, it's totally worth it. I suggest catching a boat as your means of transport.
Best places to shop:
1. Dubai Mall
Here is your one-stop-shop for all designers like Tom Ford, Dolce & Gabbana, Dior, and Louis Vuitton. It also has a great variety of independent cafes for an afternoon delight like Angelina, Fachon, and Armani café being the crowd favourites.
Financial Centre Road، Downtown Dubai, Dubai
Located inside Fashion Avenue at Dubai Mall, this gorgeous boutique is filled with regional and local designers including All Things, Mochi, Bouguessa, Madiyah Al Sharqi and Okhtein.
The best art galleries:
1. Art Sawa
Home to a beautiful variety of international and contemporary artworks. It hosts a series of educational programs, which fosters interaction between the public and art.
Gate # 8,Gate Village, Al Sa'ada St, Dubai
2. Ayyam Gallery
This is one of the leading arts organisations in Dubai, with lots of international collaborative projects and non-profit arts programmes. It features some of my favourite artists like Athier and Samia Halaby.
3. Opera Gallery
Opera Gallery is one of the biggest galleries with a wide variety of art from modern to post-war and contemporary. You'll see everyone from Banksy to Yue Minjun.
Gate Village 03 Sheikh Zayed Rd, Dubai
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