Quick guide to Madinat Jumeirah

<em>Time Out Dubai</em> visits Madinat Jumeirah. Here's a quick guide to things to do at Madinat Jumeirah, with restaurants and shops at the iconic souk in Dubai

This looks interesting. What is it?
The Madinat (which means city) is a sprawling beachfront complex in Umm Suqeim, designed to look like an old Arabic town, complete with traditional wind towers. It consists of the Souk, and Al Qasr, Mina A’Salam and Dar Al Masyaf hotels. Abras ferry guests around the waterways between each.

Sounds posh.
It does, and it is. But even if you’re not in the market to splash out on one of the Madinat’s five-star suites, there’s plenty worth visiting for – particularly in the Souk.

That’s a market, right?
It is, though Souk Madinat is more like a shopping mall, just laid out in the style of a traditional marketplace. Most of the stores are geared towards tourists, and include date, nuts and Turkish delight vendors, swimwear brands, and art galleries and trinket shops selling high-quality souvenirs of Dubai. If you’re buying gifts for people at home, don’t forget you’re in a five-star resort – so don’t expect to pay Karama prices.

What else is going on besides souvenir shops?
Since it was built more than a decade ago, the Madinat has been hugely popular for its restaurants and bars. Some favourites include The Agency grape bar (grab a stool on the small terrace for great views of the Burj Al Arab at night), Pacha Ibiza UAE, Shimmers beachside restaurant at the Mina A’Salam and Pai Thai at the Al Qasr.

Sounds good. Did I hear about some new openings recently?
More than likely, there have been a few over the past couple of months. One worth checking out is new meatery The Hide, and the recently relaunched Zheng He’s, which now does a special Chinese duck brunch on Fridays. One of its long-standing waterside Italian eateries also recently relaunched as Trattoria Toscana. It’s open all day, so a good shout for lunch.

Anything else to do nearby?
You’re only a couple of minutes’ walk away from Wild Wadi Waterpark and its plethora of rides, so if you fancy throwing yourself down the Jumeirah Sceirah (the highest water slide outside of North America), knock yourself out.

Only at Madinat Jumeirah

Madinat Theatre

Comfortably seating an audience of 450, the complex’s theatre hosts a wide range of productions, from stand-up comedy to children’s plays. Notable performances from the past few years include Misery and Whose Line Is It Anyway? Keep an eye on its Facebook page for announcements about upcoming events.

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