Laura Chubb Around Town, Books, Community and Film editor
Day one It might be the end of Ramadan but there’s no harm in keeping up the community spirit. First I’d head to Holy Trinity Thrift Store in Oud Metha to browse the books and DVDs. It’s great if you can find a hidden treasure and know the money’s going to a good place as well. In the evening I’d grab a group of friends and go to The Scene Club screening in Knowledge Village. Held on the last Thursday of every month, it’s the only place in Dubai to see independent world cinema. We’d take full advantage of the free popcorn and soft drinks, too. Holy Trinity Thrift Store (04 337 8192); The Scene Club (www.thesceneclub.com)
I’d enjoy haggling with the shopkeepers in the Spice Souk and hearing how they, like me, have a brother in Yorkshire in the UK (undoubtedly a lie). Then I’d take a stroll by the Creek, watching the men at work on the dhows. If I was feeling energetic, I’d keep walking to Sheikh Saeed’s house and marvel at the photos of old Dubai and how barren it once was. Then it’d be fun to take a desert tour in a 4x4, hitting the dunes at full speed and ending with a massive barbecue under the moonlight. Spice Souk, Al Khail Road in Al Ras; Sheikh Saeed’s house (04 393 7139) Al Khaleej Road; Desert Rangers (04 222 2808, www.desertrangers.com)
Day one I’d cobble together a quick picnic tea and head down for a paddle at Umm Sequim public beach. Dad would turn up later bearing a tub of something scrummy from Bacio Gelato – delicious and relatively healthy – and we’d gobble that down while ooh-ing and aah-ing as the sun sets over the Burj Al Arab. Bacio Gelato (04 323 2949) Al Barsha
Day three We’d hook up with other families and head off to Dreamland Aqua Park – in our opinion the best waterpark in the UAE for those with little splashers. We’re huge fans of the grassy open space, and the journey there yields ample camel and goat-spotting opportunities. Fling the worn-out kids in bed before getting a delicious (and cheap as chips) takeaway shawarma and fruity concoction from Antar. Dreamland Aqua Park (06 768 1888) Umm Al Quwain; Antar (04 395 5722) Al Wasl Road
Daisy Carrington Food & Drink, Body & Mind and Consume editor
Day one I’d start the long weekend off with some morning yoga at Angsana Spa in the Marina. I’d then get a proper pampering at the Thai Privilege Spa during a full day package, which includes five-and-a-half hours of massage, reflexology and a body scrub, for the total of Dhs3,150 (ouch!). Angana Spa (04 368 3222, www.angsanaspa.com) Town Centre, Meadows Drive; Thai Privilege Spa (04 348 9678, www.thaiprivilegespa.com) Uttamah Villa 1047, Al Wasl Road
Day two I’d hit up my favourite spot for a leisurely weekend meal (aka brunch – or, in this case, drunch): The Warehouse. I love that I can order as much as I want off the à la carte menu (no stale buffet tables here) while sipping on unlimited mojitos. I’d follow that up with an evening learning how to cook any number of yummy dishes at the L’Atelier des Chefs, the nifty cooking school that’s right next door. The Warehouse and L’Atelier des Chefs (04 217 0000) Le Méridien Dubai, Garhoud
Day three I’d finally get around to having a dress tailor-made to my tastes and size at Dreamgirl Tailors in Satwa after picking up some fabrics from the nearby Deepak’s fabric store (they have some really breathtaking threads in their collection). Dreamgirl Tailors (04 349 5445) Satwa; Deepak’s Textiles (04 344 3536, www.deepakstextiles.com)
Day one Most people would use up their Eid holidays through the week, but for me the best stuff happens on the weekend. After a hard week typing nonsense in the office, it’s a pleasant change of pace to talk nonsense in a bar. Nothing too flash, mind you – I don’t much like getting dressed up, so bundling everyone out of the office and into somewhere like The Irish Village or The Dubliner’s is the best course of action. Once they’ve had their fill of Irish theme pubs, we’d then roll back out to a (licensed, of course) house party in a funky villa. A perfect start to a perfect weekend. The Irish Village (04 282 4750) Garhoud; Dubliner’s (04 702 2508) Le Méridien Dubai
Day two Much of Friday would be taken up by brunch at Choices in the Al Bustan Rotana, which offers fantastically good value at Dhs180 with regular drinks or Dhs 199 with alcohol. I wouldn’t be organising the big brunch outing, though – just taking advantage of someone else’s hard work to enjoy good food and chat. After relocating to The Warehouse in the interim, we’d then head over to Alpha for its eclectic See You Next Friday nights. Al Bustan Rotana (04 282 0000) Garhoud; Alpha (04 217 0000) Garhoud
Day three I’m not as young as I used to be (well, nobody is – that’s the passage of time for you), so a post-Friday blowout would consist of blearily watching DVDs (monster-bashing action/horror show Supernatural is a lot better than you’d expect) followed by a trip to Al Mamzar Beach Park to catch the last rays of sun on the soft sand of beach number four. Al Mazmar Beach Park (04 296 6201) Deira
Day one I’d start up with an exhibition launch at one of the city’s galleries, where I’d round up the free drinks (The Third Line and B21 are always good for this) and hopefully talk my way into the after-party. I’d wind up the day with a pineapple smoothie and a fattoush at Al Mallah on Diyafah Street, Satwa. The Third Line (04 341 1367, www.thethirdline.com); B21 Art Gallery (04 340 3965, www.b21gallery.com) Al Quoz; Al Mallah (04 398 4723) Diyafah Street, Satwa
Day two Falling out of bed, I’d make a headache-cleansing beeline for the pool before strolling down to the Creek for a cheap breakfast at Basta Art Café in Bastakiya. After a morning of inactivity I’d grab my tent and cab my way to to Dibba, rendezvousing with Absolute Adventure for an afternoon hike through the now preserved Wadi Wurrayah. After cooling off in the wadi’s pools, I’d pitch my tent on Dibba beach and wait for a momentous sunset. Basta Art Café (04 353 5071) Bur Dubai; Absolute Adventure (www.adventure.ae)
Day three I’d wander down to Le Méridien Al Aqah in Fujairah for a morning’s fishing. After nailing a dorado as tall as me (hey, this is in an ideal world) I’d head back to Dubai and drop in at The Shelter for some magazines. Then I’d retire to the abandoned lifeguard’s tower that I’ve converted into my own private hut. Sorry, the location is a secret. Le Méridien Al Aqah (09 244 9000); The Shelter (04 434 5655) Al Quoz
Raisa Lozado Naqvi 19, Filipino-Indian, student at AUS University
Day one Every Eid al-Fitr I get up bright and early and start texting all my friends to wish them ‘Eid Mubarak’ [Blessed Festival]. Then I go and spend some quality time with the family at home.
Day two I’d get up late (because I would have been whooping it up with the family all night) and head out to meet friends at Dubai Festival City. I’d then have a sit-down with the girls in Yo Sushi! followed by window shopping.
Day three I’d have a gathering at home with family and friends and play a good old-fashioned game of carrom. Then we’d go for a drive beside Jumeirah Open Beach, before picking up some Kitsch Cupcakes.
Day two I would do what all people do on days off: go shopping at The Dubai Mall. Then I would get together with close friends at the swanky Address hotel.
Day three I’d treat myself to some steak at Butcher Shop & Grill in Mall of the Emirates, followed by a movie in Gold Class. Then I’d relax with a shisha at Bazerkan in JBR – in my opinion, the best restaurant in town.
Day one I’d meet with friends for a few drinks in BarZar then sneak off early for a takeaway without telling anybody.
Day two I’d play a round of golf at Al Hamra in Ras Al Khaimah, followed by a trip to Barracuda to stock up on a few essentials. In the evening I’d catch a film at Mall of the Emirates and grab dinner at Al Hallab.
Day three I’d spend the morning in the pool at JBR catching some rays. Then I’d relax and watch the footy on TV, wondering where all my days off had gone.
Shayan Vaiz 28, Pakistani, IT and forensic security analyst
Day one I’d start the day off bright and early by going to Aquaventure at Atlantis (although not so early I’d come out looking like an overbaked cookie!). Then I’d have a blast at the hotel’s Sanctuary nightclub.
Day two I’d go on a Desert Safari around the Hatta Mountains, followed by a good old-fashioned camp out on the beach with some friends. Barbecued meat would definitely be on the menu! We’d tell stories into the night around a campfire.
Day three I’d browse through Ibn Battuta Mall looking for Eid sale deals, then head to Chili’s for some scrumptious steaks with the family. A perfect ending to an utterly perfect three days.
Day two The late afternoon would be spent in the desert, when the light on the sand is beautiful.
Day three I’d get up early to go diving on the east coast or around the Musandam peninsula; one of my favourite experiences is being in water that’s just teeming with living things. In the evening I would go somewhere great for dinner – Zuma, maybe – with lots of my close friends.
Day two I’d go on a desert safari tour and spend all day bobbing up and down on the dunes, ending with buffet dinner under the moon, smoking shisha and watching the belly dancer.
Day three Dubai is perfect for shopping, especially now that we have the new Dubai Metro to make travelling with shopping bags even easier! I’d head to Mall of the Emirates, browse and go skiing. Then I’d have lunch at Karam Beirut.
Amna Kazim 19, Emirati, student at American University Sharjah
Day one Road trip! The family would head out to Le Méridian Al Aqah in Fujairah to begin the perfect Eid weekend. We’d lounge around on the beach and finish with a relaxed dinner at the Gonu Bar & Grill.
Day two I’d have a volleyball match with the relatives (there are enough of us to make two teams). After the match (my team would win, of course), I’d go scuba diving. The day would end with dinner at Mango Tree back in Dubai.
Day three After trying every watersport available from Club Mina, I’d throw in a bit of time at the Jacuzzi, try the salon, have dinner at Vu’s and then return to reality…