We weren’t all born marathon runners, and we certainly haven’t all been putting in the months of preparation required to run the 42.1km from Downtown to Jumeirah Beach Hotel – and back again. If you’re not planning to run the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon on Friday January 25, why not recreate the experience with a trip to nearby cafés and restaurants along the route? Some open early so you can watch the runners as you dine, while others are perfect for post-race celebrations. Time Out’s gluttons have compiled the ultimate guide to eating and drinking your way from Downtown to JBH – no running shoes required.
1 Leila The rose-tinged interiors of this Beiruti café are charming, and the outdoor terrace is a perfect place to stop for breakfast and soak up the marathon atmosphere. Open daily 9.30am-midnight. Claren Building, Downtown Dubai (04 448 3384).
2 Nezesaussi Grill Get loaded up with a hearty meal at this Antipodean pub – the breakfasts are the stuff of legend. Open Fri noon-2am. Al Manzil Hotel, Downtown Dubai (04 428 5888).
4 Barakat Fresh and Easy Café This is an ideal spot for something light and healthy, specialising in freshly made soups and juices. Get here early to bag a table and watch the runners jog past. Open daily 7am-11pm. Jumeirah Beach Road (800 227 2528).
5 Boteko Brasil For ladies only, and formerly ‘Sweet Brasil’: the original branch of Dubai’s home-grown Brazilian café is worth a mid-marathon pitstop. Open daily 9am-6pm. Dubai Ladies Club (056 759 4586).
6 Uptown Bar Ride the elevator to the 24th floor to Uptown’s great north-facing terrace, which offers good views of Jumeirah Beach Road. Open daily 6pm-1.30am. Jumeirah Beach Hotel (04 406 8999).
7 McGettigan’s Stop off in the new incarnation of this Irish pub, sure to be buzzing post-race. Open daily noon-2am. Dubai World Trade Centre (800 6247).
9 Gaucho Tuck in to a revitalising Argentinian steak – you deserve it after all that hard work (well, spectating is tiring, you know). Open daily 11.30am-11.30pm. DIFC (04 422 7898).
10 Double Decker Located on the final stretch of the race, stop off for a celebratory pint at this Brit-themed pub. Open daily noon-3am. Al Murooj Rotana (04 321 1111).
Arrive early The start area in Downtown Dubai can get very busy, so if you want a decent view it’s essential to arrive well ahead of the 7am starting gun.
Check out the entertainment Live bands and DJs will be playing throughout the day both at the Burj Steps and neighbouring Marathon Village. Get into the spirit here. Don’t drive Much of Downtown Dubai will be closed to traffic on race day, and the roads that do remain open are likely to be heavily clogged. If you must drive, park on the Safa Park side of Sheikh Zayed Road and walk to the start area using the two metro walkways at Business Bay station and The Dubai Mall station.
Wrap up warm Organisers are expecting race-day temperatures of 15°C when the gun fires – perfect for runners, but spectators are advised to bring a jacket. www.dubaimarathon.org.