Insider’s guide to Dubai, ranked #11 in our countdown of ‘100 Most Incredible Cities in the World’.
Director of public relations and content – Europe, Middle East and Africa, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
Salt Burger truck at Kite Beach
An old-school metallic food truck on the beach, Salt offers just three types of burger – Original (with pickle), Hook (with jalapeno) and Cheetos Chicken, which as the name suggests is a fried chicken burger with melted cheese loaded with Cheetos.
You get two in each serving (slightly larger than a typical slider) in a buttery bun with melted cheese.
The place is always packed with locals, but it’s open until 2am every night. Go early evening or late night, and order as many burgers as you think you can manage!
Abra crossing of Dubai Creek
There aren’t many things you can get in Dubai for one dirham, but a ride across Dubai Creek on an abra boat is one of them.
I could spend all day shuttling back and forth, watching the painted wooden dhows taking their cargoes of refrigerators, household goods and occasionally cars across the Arabian Gulf to Iran.
Hop on board, pay the driver, smile at your fellow passengers, and sit back as you watch the skyline of the historical Al Fahidi district, with its mosques and wind towers, glide by.
Bu Qtair Fried fish shack at Umm Suqeim
Hundreds of people line up at Bu Qtair nightly for mouth-watering plates of Keralan fried fish and spicy prawns.
Nothing more than a Portakabin in a vacant lot, you stand in line under the fluorescent lights to order your meal (fish, prawns, rice, chapatti and curry sauce being the sum total of what’s on offer), and then stand in line to wait for a plastic table and stool to open up.
The place will be packed and if you leave it too late they may run out of prawns, so come early, soak up the atmosphere, and enjoy this Dubai experience like no other.
Mercury Lounge at the Four Seasons Hotel
An amazing rooftop bar; from one side you have the sea with a beautiful sunset every night, from the other the crazy Dubai skyline. Really gorgeous.
When in Dubai, rent a unique place to stay from a local host at airbnb.com/100