Dubai has a ski slope, why have we never been there Time Out? We’re regulars in the neighbourhood. Jump in a taxi, we’re going to Al Barsha, Dubai’s most versatile neighbourhood.
Versatile, what do you mean? It has a bit of everything. There are villas, towers, quiet sandy streets, bustling city blocks, bargain cafés, leafy parks and even, as you say, a ski slope.
That is a lot of stuff. It’s a popular neighbourhood then? Not as popular as you might think. It doesn’t have the beachy style of Jumeirah, it lacks the high-rise glamour of Dubai Marina and the well maintained impressiveness of Downtown Dubai. It’s less sparkly than better-known neighbourhoods.
Why are we going then? As we said, there is a lot going for it. Think of Barsha as the gateway between Old and New Dubai. Accommodation is relatively affordable and there are some good buildings if you’re willing to look away from more celebrated locations. Plus it has some must-visit gems and locations to scout.
Do tell. The jewel of Barsha is Mall of the Emirates. That’s where you’ll find Ski Dubai, hundreds of shops, the charming Ductac theatre and the brand-new Brunswick Sports Club at the Sheraton hotel. Al Barsha Pond Park is another location that attracts visitors from across the city. Built around a large lake, it has a 1.2km jogging track, tennis and basketball courts, picnic spaces and children’s playgrounds.
And you said something about lesser-known highlights. We are huge fans of Pinky Furniture. It’s always worth a look. Plus, there is The Change Initiative, which sells some neat, environmentally-friendly products, has a good café and organises interesting talks and events. Oushé Bakeshop, Koreana restaurant and Shakeism Milkshakes are also worth a visit. Any final thoughts? British curry takeaway specialist Brick Lane is also in the area. It tends to divide opinion (with fans of dishes such as korma, tikka masala and onion bhajis insisting it is a favourite) and is unlike many curry joints on the UAE.
Only in Barsha
Chock-full of beautifully handcrafed furniture and knick-knacks, it’s hard not to fall instantly in love with Pinky Furniture. Originally selling antique Indian pieces from its Sharjah warehouse, Pinky’s has found more demand for modern offerings that are given a distressed look by hand. Behind Mall of the Emirates, opposite Dubai American Academy, www.pinkyfurnitureuae.com, (04 422 1720).