In a city known for size, we look at the more miniscule things in life
Whatever project Dubai is embarking on, the mantra always seems to be, ‘go all out, or go home’. This is a city that boast’s the world’s tallest building, highest apartments and once served up the largest doner kebab on the planet. And then there’s the recent New Year’s Eve fireworks display, which broke all existing records in less than five minutes. In a place that prides itself on laying claim to an impressive collection of superlatives, some of its smaller – yet hardly less fabulous – assets can be overlooked. But that’s all about to change as we introduce you to Dubai’s champions of the anti-superlative. Our list is by no means scientific or quantified (we went for fun and informative, instead) but we do hope to guide you towards a handful of subjects well worth checking out – and if you’ve got a nomination of your own, get in touch!
Dubai’s teeniest carrot cake Leave it to The Lime Tree Café, the people responsible for Dubai’s almost unseemly obsession with carrot cake, to create the city’s most microscopic version. If you fear buying one of the café’s gargantuan originals will lead you to consume the entire thing and enter a three-day food coma (a very real danger, trust us on that one) picking up a tray of these smaller yet no less delicious versions (which are 4cm each in diameter) is the safest way to go. While the downside is that they can only be bought as a minimum order of 24, it at least means you’re more likely to share, rather than heading home, grabbing a fork and locking all the doors. Dhs165 for 24 mini cakes (banana and chocolate also available). The Lime Tree Café & Kitchen, Jumeirah Beach Road, www.thelimetreecafe.com (04 325 6325).
Dubai’s smallest entertainer From musicians to magicians, acrobats to aerial silk artists, Dubai has simply hundreds of talented performers. Perhaps the smallest of them all can be found at Cirque Le Soir, Dubai’s most intriguing nightclub, where 74cm (or 2ft 4.5inch) tall Ravi (pictured above) stars as part of the talented line-up of performance artists. A singer, dancer and all-round entertainer, he regularly performs in costume – with one routine seeing him dressed up as the late king of rock ’n’ roll, Elvis Presley. Free. Daily 10.30pm-3am. Cirque Le Soir, Fairmont Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (056 115 4507).
Dubai’s smallest sushi restaurant Cute Japanese eatery Café Sushi makes the best of its small floor space in the belly of the Fairmont Dubai. Built around a small circular kitchen, the 50sqm (or 538sqft) eatery’s short but impressive menu features soft shell crab sushi, seared tuna salad, scallop sashimi and even sea urchin, making it a popular lunch spot for office workers. And while it may be small, you can still pick your favourites from a rotating conveyor belt, which runs around the kitchen’s circumference. Open Sun-Thu noon-9pm, closed Fri-Sat. Fairmont Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 311 8316).
Dubai’s shortest athlete While 162cm (or 5ft 3inch) tall jockey Mickael Barzalona certainly wouldn’t make the NBA, he’s by no means a lesser sports star. In 2012, the slight Frenchman won the city’s most prestigious sporting event when he and horse Monterosso stole to victory in the Dubai World Cup. A jockey for Goldolphin, the stables of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice- President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, you can watch him in action at the Meydan race nights as part of the Dubai World Cup Carnival. Upcoming events take place on Thursday February 6, 13, 20 and 27 from 6.30pm – visit the website for the full schedule. Free, hospitality packages available. Meydan Racecourse, Nad Al Sheba, www.dubaiworldcup.com (04 327 0077).
Dubai’s smallest movie theatre There were several strong contenders for this title, and while Jumeirah Zabeel Saray’s 39-seater and Vox Cinema’s 34-seater myVox boutique screen came close, it was Grand Millennium Dubai’s G Movie Theatre that stole the unofficial title. With 12 seats, the tiny cinema is open only to in-house guests (in contrast to myVox, which takes private bookings from the public) and screens a different film each day, completely free of charge. Grand Millennium Dubai, TECOM, www.grandmillenniumdubai.com (04 429 9999).
Dubai’s tiniest ice-cream parlour Tucked away to the side of the main restaurant, Reform Social & Grill’s tiny ice-cream parlour only has enough room to offer six flavours of home-made gelato at any one time. What’s on offer changes on a regular basis, with flavours ranging from classic vanilla to British-themed versions such as sticky toffee pudding and blackberry ripple. To complete your scoop, there’s also a selection of old-fashioned toppings and sauces, ensuring each order becomes the ultimate treat. From Dhs14 per scoop. Reform Social & Grill, The Lakes, Emirates Living, www.reformsocialgrill.ae (04 454 2638).
Dubai’s shortest meal deal A tiny 10-minute window during which you can nab 50 percent off the chef’s special – for the majority of Dubai’s perennially tardy population, this is going to be a hard one to get their mitts on. The 50 @ 5.50 deal is available every day at The Huddle Sports Bar & Grill in Bur Dubai to punters who place their order between 5.50pm and 6pm. While the dish changes daily, you can expect something along the lines of classic pub grub, such as shepherd’s pie, cod and chips, lamb shank, bangers and mash or a hearty burger. From Dhs39 (before discount). Daily 5.50pm-6pm. The Huddle Sports Bar & Grill, Citymax Hotel Bur Dubai, Kuwait Street (050 100 7065).