Week 18 – So much in one day!

Wow, this week has so many new things, all rolled up into one day!

  1. Brunch at Okku, H Hotel
  2. Quick drink at The Vault, JW Marriott Marquis
  3. Hard Rock Café, Festival City

JPEG won a brunch for 4 people at Okku so a bunch of us joined forces and off we went to try out this brunch that we’d heard so many good things about.

It was fantastic – from good service and fun atmosphere to great music and excellent food… especially the chocolate fondant dessert!!! Quite possibly the best I have ever tasted 🙂

While the brunch is normally a little on the expensive side (AED499 for the bubbles package), it is in the Entertainer and at AED250 pp, this is one not to miss!

From there we headed over to the JW Marriott Marquis to see what the fuss is all about over The Vault…. specifically the view. Well! Do yourself a favour and head over there, even if only for one drink as we did. The view is simply superb!

And from there we decided to get a bit more lively and went down to Hard Rock Café in Festival City for some nachos and live music (I’ve never been to this Hard Rock before, hence it being ‘something new’ for me).

All in all a great fun day / night was had by all of us – tons of laughter and giggles, great food, fun times, good music, and the best of all – no hangovers the next day 🙂

Week 36 – Dubai in 72 hours

Last weekend my cousin was here for his first-ever visit to the sandpit so I spent the weekend showing him around in true Dubai style! It was a busy weekend! I managed to get a fair amount of stuff done so I thought I’d share my weekend plans with you in case you’re ever stuck looking for ideas on what to do with visitors if they’re only here for a weekend… I hope you enjoy 🙂

Thursday arrival 

  • Fetch visitors from the airport in the morning √
  • Chill out at home with a coffee / tea / freshening shower √
  • Head out for a drive along the Palm √

It was a pretty warm day so we did as little walking as possible, but when Atlantis wanted to charge us AED150 for valet parking, we had to do some additional, unplanned walking… and unfortunately then didn’t even get to enjoy seeing Atlantis 😦

We tried to go in through what I have always known to be the main hotel entrance but I was told it is now the Residences entrance and we need to use The Avenues. So off we went. We entered through here and said that we want to go for lunch but were told we were not allowed through without a reservation which can only be made online. Nobody there told us that you could pay AED30 to enter and just go look at the aquarium without eating lunch / having a reservation or being a hotel guest (Roomie told me this later on in the afternoon!) Next time I’ll know!

  • Visit JBR The Walk / The Beach √

Again, with it being stupidly hot the place was pretty deserted, but we decided on a place for lunch and were pleasantly surprised when we walked in to find the restaurant was almost full!

This was my first visit to Eggspectation at The Beach and I loved it! The food was great, the service was great, the decór is great… just a generally great place 🙂

  • Head home for a nap / down time before heading out for sundowners & dinner √
  • Head over to Bahri Bar @ Mina al Salam for sundowners √

Unfortunately the weather was pretty crap so we didn’t get to experience a decent sunset, and sitting outside was a bit difficult, but overall Bahri Bar never fails to disappoint with views 🙂

  • Dinner and drinks with mates after finding your way through the maze of Madinat Jumeirah √

Friday brunch

  • Have a little lie-in after last night’s enjoyable time out √
  • Get yourself all done up nicely and head off to brunch – an institution! √

I had been invited to a friend’s birthday brunch so I took my cousin along to this knowing that it would be a big crowd and therefore a very lively Friday afternoon… and it did not disappoint!

This was my first visit to Asia Asia (for brunch) and it was fabulous! At AED400 per person for the ‘house package’ it seems a little steep, however when you consider the food quality and quantity that you get, as well as the exceptional service we experienced, it is well worth it! But, fear not… there are Entertainer Vouchers for those who are watching the budget strings just a little bit 🙂

Unfortunately no photos were taken that are worthy of showing off here so here’s a Google Photo:

  • Follow brunch up with a visit to the local pub / bar / live music venue and party all night √

Saturday sightseeing

  • Enjoy yet another morning lie-in √
  • After a small bite to eat at home, head off to the cooler climes of Ski Dubai and enjoy an afternoon drink at Aprés (or have a snack here – they have fantastic food!) √
  • Brave the traffic of the malls on a Saturday afternoon and next head over to Dubai Mall √
  • After having pre-booked your Burj Khalifa At The Top tickets online (saves you a bucket-load of money), arrive bang on time for your reserved ticket time √
  • Enjoy the splendid views that being on the 124th floor has to offer!
  • Watch the Dubai Fountain Show from Burj Khalifa √
  • Watch the sunset from Burj Khalifa √

Again, not the greatest weather for a sunset visit – we booked for 6pm, and eventually made it up there around 6:30pm – but it’s still an absolute marvel looking down at all the already incredibly tall buildings around you 🙂

  • Head off to a traditional Arabic / Lebanese dinner at Al Halab √
  • Watch more Dubai Fountains and spectacular lighting on Burj Khalifa from the balcony at dinner √

  • Head off home, but not forgetting to stop off past the aquarium on your way out 🙂

Sunday farewells

I had to work on Sunday so I said my farewells to my cousin at home in the morning, booked him a cab ride for a bit later that day and headed off to work. I believe he spent the morning relaxing 🙂

I had wanted to include a visit to Deira / the Creek but the heat and the need to have mornings lying in outweighed the need to head out to an area of Dubai that I’m not very familiar nor very comfortable with. But it would totally be do-able to include a visit to the Souks out that way too!

PS – click on any of the images above to open up larger gallery views of the different sections 🙂

Week 31 – Stereo Arcade Brunch

The week of 4 August (when this should have been posted) was yet another week in which I didn’t have very much planned other than the normal routine of Dubai life…

However, there was a brunch planned in that week – a brunch that I nor any of my friends had done before.

Stereo Arcade, a pub / dance venue located at the Double Tree Hilton, JBR, is a relatively new spot – possibly been open for about a year, give or take.

The idea of the whole place is a games arcade – as you walk into the place there are video games lining the walls and bright colours everywhere… even the toilets have been decorated to make you feel as though you are a character in an 80’s video game!

The brunch takes place in the pub side of the venue (the dance area is only open at night). There is a one-man-band performing – Jeremy, he was very enjoyable – free-flowing drinks of multiple varieties and a small menu to choose your food from.

You are given a starter and a main meal token and get to choose one of each from the menu – there are only about 4 or 5 choices of each so not a huge selection, but as far as pub food goes, it’s tasty enough. The venue is geared more at being a pub for drinks and not a restaurant, anyway.

Unfortunately the day that we went was extremely quiet – not sure if this is the usual brunch crowd here, but there must have been no more than 30 people in the place… and that’s possibly pushing it.

Although Jeremy was doing his best to get the crowd going with his music, allowing requests and picking songs that were crowd pleasers and sing-alongs, the vibe was pretty flat. When he finished his set the DJ came on, but that didn’t help liven the place up much, and once people started disappearing from their seats to go play games, the pub emptied out rather fast and left those inside feeling close to bored…

While it wasn’t a terrible experience – we didn’t experience any bad service or anything going wrong – the brunch needs to find a way to liven itself up. At one of the cheaper brunches around (AED250), you would think that the place would be a lot more exciting.

But, we made the most of our afternoon out, enjoying live music, eating some tasty food (and for once at brunch not totally stuffing our faces), trying something new and getting in a few beers while at it… 🙂