Looking for new things to do in town? Cue Dubai’s fleet of water taxis. Introduced in July, the catamarans are more akin to aeroplane lounges than regular taxis. The 11m x 4m vessels are kitted out with business-class seats, each with an LCD screen on the back and tray table. Although the boats seat 11, the concept requires that you phone and request a voyage for yourself and however many are in your group – they don’t continue to pick people up until they are full. They also differ from standard public transport in terms of price: regular journeys start at Dhs50 for one stop, rising to Dhs570 for a trip between the two farthest stations. ‘The taxis are designed for tourists, rather than everyday commuters,’ explains Dr Khalid Mohammed Al Zahed, the RTA’s director of marine transport. Why not find your sea legs this weekend? Available daily 10am-10pm.
Call 800 9090 to book, or see www.rta.ae
Our pick of the best stations
Al Mamzar: Naturally, the beach park is ideal for sprawling on the sand, an is open daily 9am-6pm (04 296 6201). If you have time, try out the almond pastries at the Italian café in Al Mamzar Mall, too.
(04 297 6666)
Al Sabkha: Nab some tasty curry ingredients, saffron and frankincense at the spice souk: a sensory experience for tourists and residents alike. Open Sat-Thu 10am-1pm, 4pm-10pm; Fri 4pm-10pm; Al Sabkha Road, Deira.
Baniyas Square: The Ramee International Hotel boasts a club filled with vintage cars and an old bus that have been hollowed out to house tables and chairs (04 224 0222). Dubai Festival City There’s always something on at DFC – the latest being the new brunch at Anise at the InterCon, with added live cooking, a barbecue and live music. Dhs375 with house drinks.
(04 701 1111)
Al Shindagha: Heritage Village, the ‘living’ museum, is full of craftspeople, potters and weavers and portrays the living conditions of pearl fishers and fishermen in the past.
(04 393 7151)
Bur Dubai: Bastakiya boasts the XVA Gallery and café (04 353 5383), as well as Basta Art Café (04 353 5071) and, most importantly, Local House restaurant – where they serve the curious camel burger.
(050 734 9926)
Dubai Creek Park (A,B): Everyone must try the plastic-fantastic cable cars near Wonderland at least once. The view doesn’t compare to the Burj Khalifa, but it’s far cheaper at about Dhs20.
(04 336 7633)
Jumeirah Open Beach: Head to Jumeirah Mosque for a tour at 10am on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday or Thursday (04 353 6666), or try little-known Arabic eatery Ali Baba in Regent Beach Resort.
(04 344 5777)
Jumeirah Beach Park: We all know the park offers both a beach and chilled-out parkland for just Dhs5. But head across the road to Beach Park Plaza and you’ll find some of the city’s best and most affordable bird at Duck King, as well as another feet-eating fish clinic in the near future.
(04 342 8041)
Jumeirah Beach Hotel: Jump off the boat and you’ll find a strip of massage places, including the deal-tastic Thai Privilege Spa (04 348 9679). Stay on the boat and you can ask the driver to stop to allow you to capture some stellar shots of the back of the Burj Al Arab.
Dubai Marina: Barasti remains everyone’s favourite bar, and this month it’s running its annual competition extravaganza – the Big Deal. If you’re already one of 30 T-shirt winners, you may earn yourself a trip to Los Angeles, Hawaii and Dhs20,000. If not, you can at least watch the ecstatic winners as they find out
(04 399 3333, www.dubai92.com/bigdeal.php)