Jumeirah Beach Residence
 

Places to Visit and Things to Do

Cultural

Arabian Dhow Creek Cruise

There are many dhows along the Creek offering cruises for a (negotiable) fee. If you’ve a Big Bus tour ticket you’re entitled to a free one hour Creek Cruise on their own dhow. It’s a perfect and very relaxing way to experience the stimulating combination of old-meets-new that so characterises this city. 

Arabian Tea House Cafe* (formerly Basta Arts Cafe)

Ideal for a relaxed lunch or snack, in a courtyard, within easy walking distance of Dubai Museum (Old Al Fahidi Fort), Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum’s House, Heritage Village and the Creek. 

Basta Arts Cafe Bastakiya Quarter

Bur Dubai Textile Souk*

Here you'll find textiles imported from all over the world in almost every colour and every fabric. Strike a bargain on your chosen fabric and have it made up into a garment of your choice whilst in Dubai - it'll be much cheaper and quicker than having it done at home. You may find a tailor in the textile souk to do this for you, but it'll probably be cheaper if you take your cloth, along with a picture of the design you want it in, to a tailor in the Satwa or Karama districts.

Burj al Arab*

‘Afternoon Tea’ at the Burj on Jumeirah Beach is a great way to pamper yourself whilst having a look at this 7 star hotel. It’s not cheap, but whether you’re infamous or ostentatious you’ll surely love it! Tel: 301 7777. Also whilst splashing out at the Burj why not visit the Sky View cocktail bar for a great view of the Palm and the Jumeirah area. The best view is just before sundown. The actual design of the hotel mimics the sail of a boat, quite apt considering the building stands on an artificial island. Watch the external colour of the 'sail' change at night. You'll hardly ever see a picture of the Burj from out at sea - try to work out why!

Camel Riding

Everyone should try it at least once if only to experience the getting up and the sitting down as their front legs bend first, propelling you forward so you almost fall off the hump. Riding on the back of a camel through the desert is a UAE rite of passage and, if you've not been on one of the hairy humpbacks before, then why not take the opportunity to do so on a safari tour. Have a look at www.arabiannightstours.com, www.opdubai.com (Oasis Palm) and www.cyclonetours.com to see what's possible.

Deira Gold Souk*

Perhaps the city's best known souk, from the days when Dubai was known as The City of Gold. There are lanes literally full of small shops selling gold, silver, pearls (another plank of Dubai's history), precious stones and jewellery of every type. It's a dazzling experience in every sense of the word. Check the price per gram of gold, on the day, before you go!.

Deira Perfume Souk*

Near to the Gold Souk. To find it just raise your nose to the air. Alright, it might be the spices that first attract your attention, but try to pick out the aromas eminating from the traditional, Arabic spicy ittars, incense powders, designer perfumes, woods and crystals that can be found in the perfume souk. If all else fails, just ask where it is.

Deira Spice Souk*

This is the place to put your sense of smell to the test! Perhaps the 2nd best known souk in Dubai and luckily right next to the Gold Souk. The colours and smells of the various spices on sale is almost intoxicating. Talk to the shopkeepers to find out what the spices can be used for and try a small sample. You can also buy dried fruits and nuts here as well as a whole range of incense burners and shisha pipes.

Desert Safari

Usually departing mid afternoon for the thrill of dune bashing in a large Toyota Landcruiser with an expert driver. Driving in the sand dunes is a completely different driving skill and you never know what you’ll encounter as you go over the dune tops. The safari could also possibly include sand-skiing and sandboarding, along with sunset in the desert, camel riding, Arabic tea and coffee, BBQ dinner, shisha, henna painting and the obligatory belly dancer. Try visiting www.arabiannightsstours.com, www.opdubai.com (Oasis Palm), www.cyclonetours.comwww.funtoursdubai.com or www.deltaadventures.ae to discover a range of tours, trips, city tours and other exciting possibilities.

Dubai Museum*

Dubai Museum - (Al Fahidi Fort - erected 1787) Explore the history of Dubai, from desert houses with their typical wind towers to modern Dubai. See old maps of the Gulf and aerial photos showing the development of Dubai over recent decades. See the diverse collection of exhibits including knives and swords, and gain a fascinating insight into the rich history and cultural heritage of Dubai. Walk the streets of a 1950’s era souk. It's impressive and cool out of the heat as it's largely underground. Free entry if on the Big Bus (red/city) Tour, which stops literally just outside. Tel: 353 1862

Explore on Foot*

You'll do this on most holiday trips but it's not something you can do in many parts of Dubai. But you can in the areas just mentioned above. It’s a leisurely experience to walk through this historical area of Dubai, visit the various souks, try a bit of bartering and walk along Dubai Creek, which is probably at its most interesting on the far (Deira) side. See all the dhows lined up, sometimes five or six side to side, loading or unloading every type of product imaginable. Look at the toilets on the back of the dhows – they’re still used out at sea! Stop off for a coffee or a meal. A most pleasant and leisurely experience!

Grand Mosque - Bur Dubai*

Considered one of the largest mosques in the UAE, it's an important landmark in Dubai able to house 1200 worshippers at the same time. It has Dubai's tallest minaret (listen out for the call to worship), many beautiful domes and lots of hand-made stained glass. Regrettably non-Muslims are not allowed in the mosque, but it's worth a visit just to see where it is to put it into a Dubai context, to see the incredible exterior and no doubt take a photo or three.

Hammam

Treat yourself to a proper rub-down at the largest Turkish hammam in the Middle East. This traditional treatment will get rid of dead skin and leave you feeling smooth all over. Visit the Talise Ottoman Spa which you'll find at the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray on Palm Jumeirah. Tel: 04 453 0000

Hatta Mountain Safari

Leave Dubai going inland and you’ll pass through scrub-like desert before getting to the proper golden sand desert and sand dunes. Look for camels – they look fantastically sleek and natural in this environment and nothing like the ragged, spitting, biting camels you may have ridden in other tourist areas. After an hour and a half you’ll reach the Hatta mountain area. But don't go without a map, your charged mobile/cell phone, lots of water, a full tank of fuel and some form of headgear - they could save your life! And tell someone where you're going.

Heritage & Diving Village (Hatta Village)*

A great introduction to traditional Bedouin coastal village life with potters, weavers and other artisans practising their crafts amid exhibitions and pearl diving demonstrations. When it’s in full swing (which is not always) it’s near the mouth of the Creek in Bur Dubai. It's constructed around an old settlement, with housing recreated in the Hatta style. A large fort and tower built in the 1880's to protect the city from external attacks, overlooks the village. Take a step back in time and experience some of Dubai's culture and heritage. Tel: 04 3937151

Jumeirah Grand Mosque*

Learn more about the Muslim religion and culture with a visit to one of the few mosques in the Middle East that’s open to non-Muslims. Tours are available Saturdays, Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10am but plan to get there early. Small entry fee. Shoes are left at the entrance and visitors must be appropriately dressed. You can borrow a head scarf or abaya if necessary. Tel: 04 3536666

Musandam Trip

For a fun day out, a weekend getaway or a week-long holiday within a holiday go the Musandam Peninsula in nearby Oman (take your passport) with www.sheesabeach.com where you can enjoy a relaxing dhow cruise with snorkelling, fishing, swimming and scuba diving. The Musandam is a stunning remote location, ideal for a relaxing break or an adventurous escape. Take a two-day dhow cruise (groups of up to 18 people welcome) and it'll likely turn into a 48-hour party. Alternatively have a new Dive experience or try remote camping on a secluded beach. It's all possible with Sheesabeach. Tel: 02 638 6551

Pro Art Gallery

A sales art gallery that promotes finely curated exhibitions of artists from all over the world. The collection of masterpieces, lithographs and sculptures is one of a kind, be it contemporary or an impressionist art piece. They also do framing. Contact info@proartuae.com for up to date details. You'll find it at Palm Strip Mall, F21 First Floor, Jumeirah Beach Road, opposite Jumeirah Mosque. (Closed Fridays) Tel: 345 0900

Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU)*

An organisation set up by the ruler as a means of helping others understand the customs and religion of the UAE. SMCCU organises tours, courses, cultural breakfasts and even coffee mornings. You'll find it in the Bastakiya Quarter as you wander around. Otherwise ring 04 3536666 or visit www.cultures.ae.

Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum´s House

Began life as the seat of Dubai’s government in the late 1800s. Also the residence of Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai (1912-1958), the grandfather of the present ruler of Dubai. Soaring ceilings, elegant wind towers, photographs and other memorabilia will give you a unique insight into old Dubai. (If on the Big Bus tour, ask the guide for a free entry ticket.) It stands proud at the Shindagha end (the outer end) of Dubai Creek.

The Bastakiya Quarter*

Stroll round this largely traffic free area to experience the part of Dubai that was home to wealthy Persian merchants. Today it’s a small area of beautiful, sophisticated homes dating back to the 1900’s and built of coral and limestone. Book an evening meal at the Bastakiya Nights restaurant where if you book a set meal they’ll tell you what you’re having and how to eat it. A real experience! Friends loved it.

* This attraction is at or near a stop on a Big Bus Tour.

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