Metro guide: DIFC

We check out DIFC metro in the latest in our series of guides

DIFC
DIFC
Caffè Florian
Caffè Florian
Zuma
Zuma
Gourmet Burger Kitchen
Gourmet Burger Kitchen
Gate Village Bridge
Gate Village Bridge
1/5

We might be in the midst of economic turmoil, but does that mean we shouldn’t have world-class restaurants, expensive boutiques and a setting that would make Gordon Gekko feel at home? Hell no! Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Dubai International Financial Centre – the buzzing commerce centre of Dubai.

1 Zuma: Sleekly designed, hugely hyped and always packed, Zuma was a worthy winner of Time Out’s 2009 Best Japanese restaurant award. Expect slick service and a buzzing atmosphere. It’s not cheap but, if you’re feeling the pinch, go for the set lunch menu, at Dhs110.
One minute walking distance from the station

2 Caffè Florian: The original café in Venice is known to be one of the oldest, if not the oldest coffee house in Europe. Three hundred years of history is a tough act to follow and Caffè Florian hasn’t captured the large crowds it needs to fill the two floors. But there are some decent dishes at very reasonable prices and the desserts are real standouts.
One minute walking distance from the station

3 The Edge: This two-storey restaurant, decked out like a high-class warehouse, is hard to locate but when you get there you’ll find one of the city’s best-kept secrets. The offerings change daily depending on what’s fresh in the market, and diners can choose from various set menus. Although not cheap, it is quite simply a sensational experience.
One minute walking distance from the station

4 Mado: This unassuming little joint has a wealth of Turkish breakfast options. We’re particularly partial to the Anatolia breakfast, with scrambled eggs, gosleme (a flaky cheese stuffed bread), olives, creamy chunks of feta and borek (filo pastry stuffed with spinach). The Turkish pastries, cooked in-house, are a marvel, too. Not only will you feel spoiled by the meal’s end, you’ll also feel amazingly peppy, thanks in part to the light yet seriously filling grub.
04 370 0377, 7am-10pm daily
One minute walking distance from the station

5 Gourmet Burger Kitchen: This being DIFC, even the burgers are posh. But don’t think they are bite-sized, artfully arranged offerings. GBK produces burgers so big you have to disassemble them to fit them into your mouth. The best on the menu is the blue cheese burger with stilton, along with crisp, golden fries. Great if you need some high-quality stodge, but bad if you need to be awake throughout the afternoon.
One minute walking distance from the station

6 Fitness First: This is one of the better Fitness Firsts in town, if only because it has windows. But, in case you want to know about the exercise part of the equation, the gym has more than 120 machines and a decent range of group classes.
One minute walking distance from the station

7 Empty Quarter: Dubai’s sole photography-only gallery, The Empty Quarter has carved out this niche area with an expert eye, presenting contemporary photographers from around the world who specialise in finding highly creative uses for the camera.
One minute walking distance from the station

8 Cuadro: Expect five or six different exhibitions going on at once in this labyrinthine art gallery that has ‘museum status’ because of its size. Don’t be put off by the profusion of security guards hanging around, though, they’re waxworks. It’s a contemporary and clever spot that’s worthy of attention on any gallery-hop.
One minute walking distance from the station

9 The Rug Company: Luxurious handmade rugs as well as soft furnishings – cushion covers and wall hangings, etc – that wouldn’t look out of place in any well-off home. This is modern rug design with lines by the best in fashion, including Paul Smith and Vivienne Westwood.
04 323 1161, Sat-Thu 10am-10pm, Fri 4pm-10pm
One minute walking distance from the station

10 Villa Moda: The new store has a very retro chic ’70s feel to it, which we can’t get enough of. This truly is one of Dubai’s top designer haunts and, with a men’s section an added feature of this outlet, Villa Moda has all bases covered.
04 382 5150, Sat-Thu 10am-10pm, Fri 4pm-10pm
One minute walking distance from the station

11 Vivienne Westwood: Although the pieces aren’t quite as out-there as they might be in London (and you won’t find too many safety pins), this store still offers a great taste of Westwood’s acute style, rebelliousness and individualism. You’ll find women’s wear lines, Gold Label, Red Label, and Anglomania and a range of accessories.
04 323 0277, Sat-Thu 10am-10pm, Fri 2pm-10pm
One minute walking distance from the station

12 Andrew Martin: We love this shop, not least because you feel ever so slightly like you’re on a Bond set. It’s packed full of one-off and vintage furniture pieces with designs that reflect cultures and peoples from around the world and throughout the ages – with the odd elephant thrown in for good measure (seriously).
050 188 8362, Sat-Thu 10am-10pm; Fri 4pm-10pm
One minute walking distance from the station

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