Dubai is a metropolis celebrated for its cosmopolitan really feel, infinite seashores and all-over glamour. A glowing locale on the japanese fringe of the Persian Gulf, Dubai holds a spot on many prime 10 tourism lists and even boasts the world’s busiest worldwide airport. It’s exhausting to consider the town barely warranted point out in journey guidebooks not way back.
With its impeccable seashores, larger-than-life skyline and world-class delicacies, Dubai is ideal for each urban- and resort-leaning vacationers. However what did this daring, glitzy metropolis have to supply to a history- and culture-loving gluten-free traveler like me? I couldn’t wait to seek out out and was stunned to seek out it glad all of my wants from the historic to the gluten-free gastronomical.
Study Emirati tradition
The Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Centre for Cultural Understanding is simply the place to start out, whether or not you have got a bit of or so much to study concerning the United Arab Emirates and its tradition. Situated in Bur Dubai, one of many metropolis’s historic districts, the middle promotes cultural schooling with a collection of normal occasions. The cultural breakfasts and lunches are well-liked however rife with gluten-containing conventional dishes. Gluten-free eaters will probably benefit from the choices obtainable on the historic excursions extra.
Join one of many middle’s heritage excursions, which embrace a guided stroll by means of Dubai’s Al Bastakiya and Al Fahidi neighborhoods. Cool off with an icy beverage in a shaded café or underneath the historic wind towers, an early type of air con on this scorching metropolis. Afterward you’ll be handled to Arabic espresso or tea and dates, together with time for questions and solutions on the middle. In the event you’d favor extra perception into Dubai’s spiritual tradition, attend one of many middle’s day by day excursions of the Grand Jumeirah Mosque, situated on the southern finish of the town.
Go to the worldwide districts
Dubai is a melting pot in each sense of the time period. Solely about 15 % of the inhabitants right here is native Emirati, whereas the remaining 85 % of Dubai’s residents hail from India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Iran, the UK and the remainder of the world. The result’s a singular cultural combine that you simply’ll encounter from the structure to the music to the meals. For a style of the town’s international attraction, go to Dubai’s worldwide districts centered round Bur Dubai. It doesn’t matter what’s in your buying listing, there’s loads of bargaining available in Al Satwa and Al Karama. In the event you’re craving a homelike Indian or Pakistani meal, there are additionally numerous eating places serving in depth brunches and dinners right here. Many are naturally gluten free, however it’s all the time a good suggestion to inquire with the restaurant supervisor.
For a wholesome and worry-free lunch on this space, head straight for the fashionable Dubai Worldwide Monetary Centre, which towers over the southern finish of Bur Dubai. Inside is the Gluten-Free Kitchen & Café, a totally gluten-free store that focuses on vitamin and wellness. Proprietor Areej Jomaa has been baking gluten free for a few years, and her experience shines within the wide selection of candy and savory goodies. The quiches and breakfast sandwiches are nice for brunch, whereas the sandwiches and protein-packed salads make for a tasty and wholesome lunch. Don’t depart with out one of many Gluten-Free Kitchen & Café’s raspberry tarts, chocolate éclairs or my favourite, the uncooked coconut brownies.
Discover the previous metropolis
Although Dubai is constructing a well-deserved status for speedy progress and reaching new heights with its awe-inspiring skyscrapers, there’s lots to see, odor and expertise within the previous metropolis. Deira, the historic business middle, is the perfect place to get a really feel for previous Dubai.
Right here you’ll see alleyways bustling with buyers, souks or markets, crammed with distributors plying their wares and the small blue boats referred to as dhows, moored on the fringe of Dubai Creek’s equally blue water. The souks listed here are the perfect spot to buy a few of Dubai’s conventional items and check out your haggling chops.
On the Deira Souk, it’s straightforward to get misplaced among the many slender passageways, the place complete streets are devoted to specific gadgets corresponding to jewellery or textiles. On the spice and herb souks, for example, you’ll be greeted by mound after mound of aromatic dried spices, herbs, teas and flowers.
On the gold souk, greater than 300 distributors might be able to promote you the whole lot from gold bracelets to necklaces to crowns. On the textile souk throughout the creek, you’ll discover infinite rows of scarves, pashminas and headwear. In the event you intend to do some critical buying, it’s greatest to reach right here with a finances in thoughts. In fact in the event you’re simply wanting, Deira Souk can also be a enjoyable place to browse.
Marvel on the Burj Khalifa
Although you’ll have the ability to catch a glimpse of the Burj Khalifa tower from almost anyplace in Dubai, it’s value a visit to see the world’s tallest build up shut. Get a ticket to go to the highest of the tower, and also you’ll get to see the town from the world’s highest statement deck.
For a extra private expertise, reserve a desk at At.mosphere and luxuriate in a drink on the world’s highest restaurant. You gained’t discover gluten-free choices on the meals menu right here, so toast with a glass of champagne as an alternative.
The Dubai Mall, an enormous buying middle that gives rather more than simply retail shops, is adjoining to the Burj Khalifa. For a late afternoon nosh, go to Fortnum & Mason, the one worldwide outpost of the U.Okay. establishment that serves a basic afternoon tea.
The gluten-free model comes together with your selection of beverage, a number of tea sandwiches, recent scones and a choice of gluten-free baked items. The buttery scones have been a number of the greatest I’ve tried, particularly with liberal purposes of clotted cream and jam.
For a pleasant sit-down meal after an hour or two of purchasing and other people watching at Dubai Mall, attempt Carluccio’s. This Italian chain is predicated within the U.Okay. and fortunately has places throughout Dubai. All eating places have a gluten-free menu that includes every little thing from antipasti to pasta to grilled meats and fish. The pasta dishes actually stand out right here, from the Smoky Spaghetti Carbonara to the Frutti Di Mare, with prawns, mussels and calamari in a light-weight garlic sauce.
In the event you go to later within the night, you’ll even get to catch the Dubai Fountain’s efficiency within the mall’s courtyard space, proper on the foot of the Burj Khalifa. Yet one more superlative, that is the world’s largest choreographed fountain. Within the evenings, it places on a powerful present, full with music, lights and admiring crowds.
Bask in Jumeirah
As soon as a quiet expat group in Dubai, Jumeirah has grown into a big coastal space peppered with luxurious lodges and white sand seashores. Whether or not or not you keep in Jumeirah, that is one of the best place for a swim within the sea or a sleep underneath a shady umbrella.
Jumeirah Seashore options gentle sand and crystal clear water, whereas Kite Seashore has loads of actions for guests of all ages. Get a kite browsing lesson, be a part of a seashore volleyball recreation or attempt stand-up paddle boarding. At each seashores there’s additionally ample area to catch some rays and gaze out on the magnificent sail-shaped Burj Al Arab, a luxurious lodge constructed by itself artifical island simply offshore.
Again on land, Madinat Jumeirah is likely one of the space’s largest points of interest. A kind of modern tackle an Arab village, this complicated has an in depth market that appears like a contemporary model of the Deira Souk, together with a number of resorts and plush grounds. On the bazaar-like Souk Madinat, you’ll discover dozens of outlets promoting every little thing from antiques to textiles to handicrafts. Within the courtyard you don’t need to miss the sweets on the Gluten-Free Kitchen & Café kiosk or the natural market on the weekends.
Certainly one of my favourite Dubai experiences is hidden partway via the maze of Madinat Jumeirah within the Al Qasr lodge. Right here you’ll discover the lodge’s luxurious foyer area, Al Fayrooz Lounge.
From the lounge’s outside patio there’s a stunning view of the glowing Persian Gulf and the Burj Al Arab. However inside is the actual jewel. The environment right here is elegant, with native touches like wealthy materials and complex patterns, gigantic dark-paneled ceiling followers, and cozy sofas for enjoyable with family and friends.
Afternoon tea is a specialty on the lounge, and with just a bit advance discover, pastry chef Paul Hayward can put together a gluten-free tea match for royalty. From quiches to foie gras tea sandwiches, all the savory gadgets are completely delectable. The sweets, together with profiteroles with cream, ardour fruit cheesecakes, mango tarts, and scones with cream and rose petal jam, are virtually too lovely to eat.
Absolutely the star of the present, nevertheless, is the miniature chocolate fountain for dipping your fruit, jellies and gluten-free cake pops. For a very decadent gluten-free time in Dubai, don’t miss the tea at Al Fayrooz Lounge.
Journey the dunes
For those who’re in search of slightly journey in any case that decadence, a visit to Dubai isn’t full with out an tour into the desert simply outdoors the town.
Go for one of many excessive dune-bashing rides, which deal with the dunes like a pure curler coaster, or e-book one of many all-encompassing desert safari packages, with camel rides and stomach dancing. Some excursions are geared towards adults, whereas others are protected for teenagers, so when you’re touring with household make sure to get the inside track beforehand.
Take a day journey to Abu Dhabi
In case you can spare an additional day throughout your journey, make Abu Dhabi your vacation spot. Solely 90 miles away, the capital of the UAE is a totally totally different world. Whereas Dubai options nonstop motion, Abu Dhabi strikes at a a lot slower tempo.
If Dubai’s velocity has taken its toll, Abu Dhabi is the right respite. To journey between the 2 cities, you’ll be able to simply take a taxi or one of many frequent public buses. For a household, a taxi is probably the most handy choice, whereas the bus is an inexpensive selection for couples or solo vacationers.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is among the metropolis’s most fascinating points of interest and is the one Abu Dhabi website the place I want I might have spent a whole day. Take a self-guided tour of this large complicated. Your jaw will fairly actually drop as you’re taking within the crystal chandeliers, inlaid marble and calligraphy, to not point out the most important carpet on the planet. Outdoors, meditate on the reflecting swimming pools and loosen up with a wander via the landscaped grounds. Guided excursions are additionally obtainable, and it’s all free.
For lunch head over to one of many close by lodge eating places for an upscale gluten-free meal. Contained in the Souk Qaryat Al Beri lodge and buying space, Ushna serves a number of the most memorable North Indian delicacies.
Most of the dishes are naturally gluten free, however Chef Sandeep Ail can also be well-versed in protected gluten-free preparation. From the just about architectural aloo chaat, a splendidly recent potato and chickpea starter, to the dal makhani, a buttery black lentil dish, to the flourless chocolate cake, you’ll have a fantastically flavorful meal with a view of the Grand Mosque.
For an unimaginable Italian meal attempt Frankie’s Italian Restaurant & Bar within the neighboring Fairmont Bab Al Bahr lodge. The emphasis right here is on deliciously wholesome meals, and also you’ll discover separate menus right here for gluten-free, vegan and diabetic diners.
Chef Gianluca Cazzin also can simply customise dishes and can wow you with gluten-free variations of creamy polenta with burrata cheese or wealthy gnocchi with pink sauce. The gluten-free tiramisu is a should for dessert.
Within the late afternoon take a stroll alongside Abu Dhabi’s corniche, the boardwalk that stretches for miles alongside the seashore. It’s going to virtually definitely be sunny, however you’ll discover shady spots and locations to seize a cool drink, alongside together with your selection of seashores. Be sure you take a break and dip your toes into the glowing waters of the protected bay, simply off the Persian Gulf.
For dinner, reserve an early desk at Hakkasan, contained in the Emirates Palace on the western finish of the corniche. An outpost of the unique Michelin-starred location, the Abu Dhabi restaurant is an intoxicating mixture of conventional Chinese language and trendy Emirati design. You’ll want to ask for the gluten-free menu right here, however be assured that Chef Lee Kok Hua is a grasp at gluten-free Chinese language delicacies. Don’t miss the signature Roasted Mango Duck, the marvelously inventive Golden Fried Delicate Shell Crab, or the cool Housemade Sorbet.
When to go
It ought to come as no shock that on account of its desert location, Dubai is heat year-round. The temperature is lowest in late fall to early spring, however it’s all the time heat if not downright scorching.
Throughout my February go to the temperature averaged a pleasing 80 levels. The mercury frequently climbs over 100 levels from about Might to September, although. In case you do go to through the summer time, relaxation assured that you simply’ll discover loads of infrastructure in place that will help you keep cool. Dubai’s many purchasing malls and Western motels are properly air-conditioned, as is the metro system.
If Dubai lacks one factor, it’s walkability. When you can wander round in particular neighborhoods, it’s merely not attainable to cowl very a lot floor on foot. The town stretches for miles alongside the Persian Gulf and the Dubai Creek, and neighborhoods both aren’t related or are simply too far aside.
Fortuitously transportation in Dubai is reasonably priced. Licensed taxis are plentiful, and you may simply hail one at a lodge or buying middle. The Dubai metro may also take you to all main neighborhoods, and the system is straightforward to navigate.
The place to remain
Dubai has lots of of lodges, because of its booming tourism business and the town’s preparation for the World Expo in 2020. If you wish to expertise Dubai at its best, hunt down one of many metropolis’s quite a few beachfront resorts, the place you’ll discover a degree of luxurious in contrast to anyplace else. Should you’re on a tighter price range, there are many extra reasonably priced choices, from native inns to worldwide lodge chains.
Stay like royalty at Al Qasr, a palatial lodge inside the Madinat Jumeirah complicated. Designed as a summer time abode match for a sheikh, this lodge is sort of a luxurious little oasis. Stroll over to the Talise Spa for a beachside therapeutic massage, take a spin by means of the waterpark, or do some high-end buying on the adjoining Souk Madinat. For breakfast request a number of the gluten-free delicacies on the lodge’s Al Fayrooz Lounge.
A superb Western choice close to Deira, the Hyatt Place Dubai Al Rigga provides pleasant and considerably upscale lodging with quick access to the remainder of the town. The morning breakfast buffet is complimentary for all visitors, and also you’ll have your selection of a few dozen naturally gluten-free gadgets.
Gasoline up for a day of adventures with recent fruit, uncooked greens, hummus, cheese, scrambled eggs, juice and occasional. Don’t hesitate to inquire with the chef in case you have considerations about cross-contamination on the buffet.
Whether or not you’re touring for the historic points, the futuristic parts, or the luxurious lodging, Dubai is properly value a go to. You’ll discover lots to maintain your loved ones entertained or ample time to chill out. With a bit of advance planning you’ll have the ability to bask in Dubai’s multicultural world-class gluten-free delicacies as nicely.
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