The Metro between Mall of the Emirates and Burj Al Arab (Al Quoz) just might be the most fascinating stretch in town. Really.
Opposing worlds collide as the Metro train moves from the seven-star opulence of the Burj Al Arab to what is perhaps Dubai’s most interesting neighbourhood – an industrial estate populated by factories, labourers and… peaceful, serene art studios. These two are must-see metro stops.
1 Gold & Diamond Park from Burj Al Arab station: The Gold & Diamond Park is a specialty mall with a great selection of 90 leading retailers showcasing their collections of gold, diamonds and fine jewellery. Try Cara Jewellers – it provides a wide selection, great value and even better quality. 04 347 7788, Sat-Thu 10am-10pm, Fri 4pm-10pm
2 Dubai Garden Centre from Burj Al Arab station: Sick of the sight of sand? Then Dubai Garden Centre is the place to go for some greenery. Stock up on everything from plants, soil and irrigation systems to patio furniture. 04 340 0006, 9am-9pm daily
3 Insportz from Burj Al Arab station: Tucked behind the Modern Bakery on street four, Insportz is a big facility that offers the chance to play cricket, football, basketball, volleyball and table tennis without the hassle of the heat. 04 347 5833, Mon-Fri 9.30am-10.30pm, Sat 9.30am-6.30pm
4 Times Square from Burj Al Arab station: Times Square has a range of stores, including the largest one-stop electronics shop in Dubai, Sharaf DG. It stocks a dizzying 300 brands. And let’s not forget the Chill Out lounge, where a fixed climate of minus 6C makes the complimentary thick coat and gloves a must. Enjoy the rare feeling of shivering while perching on chairs sculpted from ice and drinking mocktails from… what else? An ice glass. 04 341 8020 Sat-Wed 10am-10pm, Thu-Fri 10am-midnight
5 Meem Gallery from Burj Al Arab station: Close to Mall of the Emirates, Meem Gallery offers an ambitious programme of Middle Eastern and Arabic art, together with a well-stocked art library and occasional lectures. 04 347 7883, Sat-Thu 11am-7pm
6 thejamjar from Burj Al Arab station: With its combined concept of an urban DIY painting studio and art gallery, thejamjar is one of the most creative spaces in Dubai. Head there for exhibitions, workshops, master classes and occasional film screenings and musical performances. Seek it out in Al Quoz, behind Dubai Garden Centre. 04 341 7303, Sat-Thu 10am-8pm, Fri 2pm-8pm
7 The Third Line from Burj Al Arab station: Another exemplary Al Quoz art space, The Third Line exhibits contemporary Middle Eastern art and, in our humble opinion, is one of the best galleries in the region. 04 341 1367, Sat-Thu 11am-8pm
8 Ayyam Gallery from Burj Al Arab station: This world renowned Syrian art gallery has spaces in Damascus, Beirut and Dubai, promoting the finest contemporary Arab art. The Dubai space’s 8,000 square feet allows for large scale exhibitions. Find it off exit 43 of Sheikh Zayed Road, on street eight in Al Quoz 1. 04 323 6242, Sat-Thu 10am-8pm
9 Harley Davidson/ Custom Bikes from Al Quoz station: Calling all petrol heads: Harley Davidson on Sheikh Zayed Road is one of two Harley retailers in Dubai (the other being at The Dubai Mall), boasting one of the finest collections of brand new Harley Davidson bikes in the UAE. There’s also clothing, accessories and collectables for those looking to really rock the Hell’s Angel look. Also look out for Custom Bikes around the back – they’ve got everything it takes to pimp your hog. Or something to that effect. Harley Davidson 04 339 1909, Sat-Wed 10.30am-7pm, Thu 10.30am-4pm. Custom Bikes 04 338 5999, Fri-Wed 9am-7pm, Thu 9am-5pm
10 Natuzzi from Al Quoz station: Surprise, surprise, Dubai is home to… drum roll please… the world’s biggest Natuzzi store, a world leader in leather sofas and Italy’s largest furniture manufacturer. Every product is handcrafted, so attention to quality and style come guaranteed. Add a touch of cosmopolitan elegance to your Dubai pad. 04 3380777, Sat-Thu 9.30am-9.30pm, Fri 5pm-9pm