Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City
Down beyond Sheikh Zayed Road, near the airport, sits Festival City – a fairly new complex containing a huge mall, restaurants, bars and, of course, a couple of hotels. Crowne Plaza Festival City is a new ‘city-centre’-type hotel, full of modern amenities (the glass-walled bathroom within the bedoom is pretty funky), suitable for short breaks and as a base for exploring the city. Festival City mall, which is attached to the hotel, offers a huge range of designer and high street stores and is one of the prettiest malls in town, as it sits on man-made canals, complete with hirable gondolas. Right next to the Creek and the Festival City marina, you can go for an evening stroll, watch the yachts float past and settle down to an al fresco meal at one of the many restaurants. There’s also a health and fitness centre at the hotel, a 25-metre pool and three other pools on the ‘leisure deck’, that boasts views of Dubai's skyline.
• A visit to the hotel’s Belgian Beer Café is a must for pots of mussels and draught Belgian beers. In the winter months, a terrace table is the one to get.
• Jamie Oliver’s first restaurant recently opened at Festival City, imaginatively called Jamie’s Italian.
• Fancy a spot of indoor skydiving? Try it out at Mirdif City Centre mall, a short taxi ride away.
• For a taste of expat life, head to the Irish Village bar in Garhoud – where you’ll find its large terrace around a duck pond always bustling.
• Time Out’s 2011 Restaurant of the Year, Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire – an exceptional French restaurant, is next door at the InterContinental hotel.By Time Out Dubai staff
Time Out Dubai,
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