You’re looking rather smart today Time Out, what’s with the suit and tie?
We’re going to Dubai International Financial Centre, or DIFC as it’s known. It’s the commercial hub of the emirate and where city types congregate to make, talk and spend money.
But wait, I thought all the money here was in oil and construction. Isn’t most business done in the oilfields and on golf courses?
There is more to it than that. Dubai strikes a good balance between the time zones of Hong Kong and Tokyo in the east and New York and London in the west and is seen as an excellent hub for global corporations.
So we’re going to see offices?
Fear not. Employees in this part of town expect the best, so as well as offices, there are excellent restaurants in the district.
That’s more like it. Where do you recommend?
Some of the titans of Dubai’s dining scene are located in the corridors and alleyways of DIFC. Time Out Dubai’s Best Japanese restaurant Zuma, Best European restaurant Boca and Best French restaurant La Petite Maison all call the neighbourhood home, and set the standard for fine dining in the city. Plus, there is excellent Argentinian steakhouse Gaucho, contemporary Middle Eastern eatery Clé Dubai, sophisticated new Prohibition-themed lounge R Trader and new Beirut import Indie, located above Gaucho, all well worth checking out.
So you’re saying it is basically a millionaire’s food court?
We’ll admit, it is short on budget eats and there is a very polished air to a night out here, but it has a community feel, and if you can tolerate the style that comes as standard with the world of finance, you won’t find a greater concentration of interesting independent restaurants. New opening Dusty’s brings an edgier vibe to the area with graffitied walls and urban styling, not to mention decent prices.
Is there anything else?
It’s also emerging as one of the cultural centres of the city. It might not have the historic setting of the Al Fahidi District or the hipster charm of Alserkal Avenue in Al Quoz, but with around a dozen art galleries, it hosts regular events and exhibitions, which often attract art collectors and thought-provoking works.
Only at DIFC
Pan-African fine-dining restaurant Kiza serves up dishes such as nyama choma (a Kenyan lamb dish), thieboudienne (Senegalese barracuda) boerewors (South African beef sausages) and kushary (Egyptian rice and lentils) – a huge variety of flavours that should be sampled.