For those who already use the metro, the seven new stops opening this week should herald a much smoother, faster journey (no more object-defeating taxi rides to reach the nearest station). For those who are yet to experience the joys of zero traffic jams and super-cheap travel, it’s time to hop aboard. We love the metro: if you use our handy destination guides to the all-new stations, you will too.
1 Al Baraka Restaurant: This small café next to the petrol station serves Indian food. It’s the only eatery for miles around, so take advantage if you’re feeling peckish.
5-minute walk, (04 286 0308).
2 RTA HQ: You should have ditched the car now that the Red Line is almost fully operational, but if you have any queries about vehicle licensing, parking permits, or indeed any of Dubai’s public transport, this is the place to go.
5-minute walk, (800 9090, www.rta.ae).
3 Fairground: Catch the F09 bus from the metro station to Festival City and ride the big wheel at the fairground. Find it at the end of the Marina Promenade.
5-minute bus ride.
Airport Terminal 1
1 Blue Elephant: This gimmicky Thai restaurant (there’s a bridge and a fish pond in the middle) has one of Dubai’s best meal deals: Dhs159 for all you can eat and drink on Tuesdays.
6-minute walk, Al Bustan Rotana (04 282 0000).
2 Natural Elements Spa: Try the green coffee wrap treatment (Dhs495). It’s supposed to do away with cellulite – apparently green coffee helps to break down fat, although it does involve being wrapped in a sweaty cocoon of foil. Eek.
Le 5-minute walk, Le Méridien Dubai (04 702 2550).
5 Dubai International Airport: It may seem like a no-brainer, but new budget short-haul airline Flydubai provides the perfect excuse to get off at the airport for a spontaneous weekend getaway. A one-way flight to Muscat can cost just Dhs250. 3-minute walk, (www.dubaiairport.com, www.flydubai.com).
1 Manvaar: Dubai’s top Indian eatery (according to Time Out’s Restaurant Awards) is on 20b Street, near the fish market. Colourful décor and amazing (but spicy!) Rajasthani food awaits.
10-minute walk, (04 336 8332).
2 Al Karama Ayurvedic & Yoga Centre: Find authentic Indian ayurveda and yoga on the first floor of the Karama Centre, behind LuLu Hypermarket (near the post office). Massages start at Dhs150. Bargain.
8-minute walk, (04 335 5288).
3 Galaxy Sports: Also at the Karama Centre, this is the place for professional cricket helmets, bats and pads. It does a good range of football gear, too.
8-minute walk, (04 336 5462).
4 Snooker point: One of the most buzzing spots in Dubai’s ‘Little India’, find Snooker Point near Al Nasr cinema. If potting balls isn’t your thing, there are pinball and foosball tables on which to test your skills.
15-minute walk, (04 334 1551).
5 Karama Park: It may be small, but it’s pretty and always abuzz of an evening, when families have moonlight picnics and play in the cooler temperatures. We love the real community feel.
6-minute walk, Opposite LuLu Hypermarket.
2 Rachal: This hair salon and beauticians is a popular spot for men and women.
8-minute walk, Find it inside Al Durrah Tower, near the Crowne Plaza. (Men: 04 332 9066; Women: 04 332 7720).
3 The Rib Room: Great steak and trendy surrounds makes The Rib Room a reliable spot to sate carnivorous cravings.
3-minute walk, Emirates Towers (04 319 8088).
4 Vu’s: This tiny bar on the 51st floor of Emirates Towers gives a great view over the city.
4-minute walk, (04 319 8088).
5 Karaoke: The roaming mic at Harry Ghatto’s in Emirates Towers gives everyone a chance to belt out a classic.
6-minute walk, (04 319 8088).
Dubai Internet City
1 Toshi: Somewhat unexpectedly, this Asian restaurant in the Grand Millennium hotel gets packed even on weekdays. The food is well worth seeking out – we recommend the lobster curry. Finish off with a beer on the terrace of the Millennium’s all-new Belgian Beer Café.
3-minute walk, (04 429 9999).
2 Prego’s: The in-house salumeria at this Italian restaurant in the Media Rotana hotel serves the best cured meat in Dubai.
6-minute walk, (04 435 0000).
4 The Scene Club: Make your way to nearby Knowledge Village on the last Thursday of every month for a free film screening in Conference Centre 1. The Scene Club promotes world cinema, and you get free popcorn and soft drinks, too.
10-minute walk, www.thesceneclub.com.
5 Eton Institute: Also at Knowledge Village, the Eton Institute offers tuition in more than 100 languages.
10-minute walk, (800 3866).
1 Bristol Middle East: Dubai Marina is all about luxury. But if, like us, you can’t quite afford your own super-swish yacht, you can at least rent one from here and feel like a superstar for a day. Prices start at Dhs1,450 per hour.
5-minute walk, (04 366 3538, www.bristol-holding.com).
2 Sarai: Saunter over to The Walk at JBR to try Dubai’s finest kebabs at Sarai, winner of the Best MENA title at the Time Out Restaurant Awards.
10-minute walk, (04 438 0640).
3 JBR beach: After a snack at Sarai, cross the road to the free open beach on The Walk, where Dubai’s beautiful people pack out the sand to top up their tans.
4 Spa Dunya: Hidden up on Shams 1 Plaza in JBR (right at the end of The Walk), we like the funky-coloured robes and soothing massages at this colour-therapy-themed spa.
15-minute walk, (04 439 3669).
5 Marina Walk: It seems obvious, but Dubai Marina itself is a lovely location for a stroll before stopping off at one of the water-side cafés. Go at night for fairy lights and a puff of shisha while looking out over bobbing boats.
1 IMAX: Dubai’s only IMAX screen is at the mall’s Grand Megaplex in China Court. Measuring up at an impressive 44ft high and 70ft wide, it often shows films in 3D, too (although hopefully they’ve stopped showing Avatar by now).
3-minute walk, (04 366 9898).
2 Shop outside, inside: The mall’s Tunisia Court is decorated to look like the lamp-lit cobbled streets of Tunisia, complete with a starry night sky above. Behold another typically surreal Dubai photo opportunity.
3 House of Prose: House of Prose in Andalusia Court sells stacks of second-hand books. Bring a book back after reading it and you’ll be refunded half of what you originally paid.
9-minute walk, (04 368 5526).
4 Sky Dubai: Ever fancied riding in a giant helium balloon? Visit the SkyDubaiAdventure kiosk in Egypt Court to rise high above Dubai – you’re tethered to the ground, so you won’t float too far.
6-minute walk, (04 363 6552).
5 Lime Tree Café: Many residents are unaware that the legendary café on Beach Road isn’t the only Lime Tree in Dubai. Find the second one in China Court, complete with a big outdoor area.
3-minute walk, (04 349 8498).
Oh, such a perfect day…
How to make the most of a (very busy) day aboard the metro.
8.30am: Emirates station
Breakfast at Bistro Madeleine.
10am: Airport T1 station
Have a relaxing morning at Natural Elements Spa.
12.30am: Al Karama station
Munch lunch at Manvaar, Dubai’s best Indian restaurant.
2.30pm: Emirates Towers station
Work off lunch gently with the golf simulator.
4.30pm: Dubai Internet City station
Take a language lesson at Eton Institute.
7pm: Dubai Marina station
Dine at Dubai’s Best MENA Restaurant, Sarai.
9pm: IBN Battuta station
Spend the evening with a larger-than-life movie
(possibly in 3D) at the mall’s IMAX cinema. •