Palm Jumeirah isn’t all million-dirham villas. Here's where to frolic on the fronds for less
Asymbol of the city and a feat of engineering, the Palm Jumeirah is hot property. Home to some of the most desirable real estate in the emirate, the man-made island attracts wealth and the wealthy. But a string of recent, more accessible, openings on the Palm mean you don’t need to have a billionaire’s bank balance to have a good time on its fancy fronds.
1 Atlantis The Palm
The resort sits proud, pretty and pink in the middle of the island. But as grand as it looks, there are plenty of deals to be had. UAE and GCC residents get ten percent off all rooms and suites for bookings up to January 2016, and UAE residents can save Dhs65 on a fun day out at Aquaventure waterpark just by showing a valid Emirates ID on entry. Dining here can be reasonable, too. Head to The Avenues for casual spot The Burger Joint, and when night falls, check out N’dulge, with ladies’ nights on Wednesdays and free entry Saturdays. www.atlantisthepalm.com.
2 Barrel 12
This sports bar opened just a few months ago. The casual gastropub is that rare thing in Dubai of a standalone (i.e. not set within a hotel) venue, and offers traditional grub such as weekend roasts, Buffalo wings and fish and chips. This bright and airy spot has plenty of screens showing football, rugby and all manner of sport. Open Sun-Thu noon-midnight, Fri-Sat 8am-midnight. Palm Views East, www.facebook.com/barrel12dubai (04 552 4000).
This cosy antipodean sports bar has been a stalwart on the Palm for the past seven years. It may not be the biggest in the city, but it has plenty of atmosphere, quiz nights and food offers such as a Sunday roast with all the trimmings for Dhs99. Open daily 10am-midnight. Clubhouse 2, Shoreline Apartments between buildings 3 and 4, www.emiratesleisureretail.com (04 427 0515).
4 Al Ittihad Park
Right in the middle of the trunk, this public green space is free and open to everyone. Ideal for runners, there’s a 3.2km jogging track lined with palm trees, and you’ll often spot bootcamps in action along the route. Golden Mile between buildings 2 and 3.
5 La Roche Beauty Salon
Located on the ground floor of Clubhouse 2, this beauty salon offers a number of treatments including facials, threading, waxing, eyelash extensions, henna, manicures and pedicures and more. Residents of the Palm as well as Emirates and Etihad Airways crew get 30 percent off any treatment, and on Sundays, anyone can buy one treatment and get another one free. Just make sure to call ahead to book. Open Tue-Thu and Sat-Sun 9.30am-9pm, Fri 11am-9pm. Closed Mondays. Shoreline Apartments between buildings 3 and 4, www.larochesalonandspa.com (04 431 2992).
6 Biber Bar and Lounge
This stylish sports lounge has had a recent facelift. Here, residents and visitors alike can enjoy deals on food and drink, including a five-hour-long happy hour where guests get two-for-one on house drinks from 5pm every day. You can also warm up your vocal chords in the private karaoke room, which is free to hire. Open daily 5pm-2am. Rixos The Palm Dubai, www.thepalmdubai.rixos.com (04 457 5454).
7 Fitness First Golden Mile Dubai Fitness First’s first branch on the Palm is due to open its doors on October 18. The 1,900 square metre facility includes top-of-the-range cardio and strength building machines, plus an outdoor training area and sprint tracks. Try the gym out for free by signing up online. Open Sun-Thu 6am-11pm, Fri-Sat 9am-10pm. Golden Mile building 7, www.fitnessfirstme.com.
8 Sun& Dubai This laid-back Mediterranean lounge offers a happy hour from 5pm to 8pm on weekdays, featuring bucket and bottle deals. Pop in on Friday evening and enjoy six tasting dishes and three house beverages for Dhs202. Sun-Thu noon-midnight, Fri-Sat 8am-midnight. Palm Views West, www.sunand.ae (04 375 933).
9 Sophie’s Café
Get fresh salads, wholesome meals and smoothies topped up with wheatgrass at this café and wholefoods store. This is a great spot for a fair-trade coffee after a chilled out paddleboarding session. Sun-Sat 7am-9pm. Lower Ground, Riva, www.sophiesme.com (04 451 5982).
10 Platinum Black Hair & Beauty salons
There are two of these salons on the Palm, one within Rixos and another in the Kempinski, so both the East and West crescents are covered. Both salons have regular offers on treatments, manicures and hairstyling. Check the Facebook page for their latest offers. Open daily 10am-9pm. Rixos The Palm Dubai, Crescent East (055 562 2904), Kempinski Hotel & Residences Palm Jumeirah, Crescent West (055 562 3447), www.platinumblack.ae.
11 SeaYou Learn to paddleboard and take a tour around the fronds from the beach at Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa to Atlantis The Palm. Classes are led by qualified instructors and you can get fit and see the sights all from the calm of the Arabian Gulf. Book tours online. Dhs125 (lesson and tour). Daily 8.30am- 5.30pm. Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa www.seayou.ae (04 420 6100).
12 Riva Ristorante, Bar & Beach
Combining restaurant with private beach and bar, this club is a great place to chill and isn’t overrun. Members get access to the gym, temperature-controlled pool and sun loungers, as well as discounts on food and drink. Non-members can pay a day rate (Dhs100 weekdays, Dhs175 weekends) for access. Open daily 7am-7pm (beach club), noon-11.30pm (restaurant and bar). Shoreline Apartments Building 8, www.riva-beach.com (04 430 9466).