Driving into MotorCity, past the Dubailand sales office with its model motocross rider and rollercoaster, visitors are greeted by the strikingly futuristic shape of the Dubai Autodrome buildings. The intial impression is like something from Arnie’s Total Recall, though delve further and you’ll find MotorCity couldn’t be further from those gritty, grimy Martian cities.
Aside from plenty of motorsports options (check out our sport pages this week for a rundown on the kartdrome in particular), the main strip features shops, salons and fast-food eateries, regularly abuzz with activity. Behind lies a quiet neighbourhood of apartments and three-storey townhouses that better resemble London’s exclusive Belgravia than Mars.
Despite the potentially kitsch inspiration, it’s an attractive community, with plenty of greenery (admittedly not on the main road) and spacious terraces and balconies dotted with hanging baskets and window boxes. With little through traffic, a number of play areas and community pools, it’s a great place for families.
This ladies’ grooming centre offers a comprehensive range of services, including haircare options such as blow-dries, extensions, cuts, colouring and bridal styling, as well as facials, make-up, massages and scrubs, spray tanning, nail care and hair removal. There are even pampering options for kids.
Threading from Dhs10 (chin), manicures from Dhs55, cut and blow-dry from Dhs150. Open daily 10am-8pm during Ramadan. Normal hours Sun 9am-8pm, Mon 9am-9pm, Tue-Thu 8am-9pm, Fri 10am-8pm, Sat 9am-9pm. Uptown Boulevard (04 447 0926).
You’ll find fuss-free men’s grooming in this barber shop, which offers everything from wet shaves to a simple trim for both your beard and hair.
Hair cut from Dhs50. Open daily 10am-7pm, 8pm-11pm during Ramadan. Normal hours daily 10am-midnight. Uptown Boulevard (04 447 0926).
Chi Nail Spa
This women’s nail salon goes beyond the usual mani-pedis, offering special anti-ageing treatments for hands and feet, as well as other therapies such as aromatherapy massage.
Manicures from Dhs65. Open daily 9am-9pm. Detroit Building (04 457 2485).
Gyms seem to be flocking to MotorCity at the moment: Bodyworx has just opened a new centre here. It boasts a group fitness studio featuring mounted TRX points, a cardio theatre housing bikes, treadmills, cross trainers and rowing machines, a spinning studio, and fixed- and free-weight training areas.
Membership Dhs229-400 per month. Open Sun-Thu 6am-11pm, Fri-Sat 8am-10pm. Kojak Building (04 374 0355).
A respected studio chain, this branch of Exhale offers yoga and Pilates, as well as a number of fun-sounding toning and dance classes including Zumba, fit ball cardio, ‘legs, bums and tums’, cardio reformer and Latino cardio. Classes from Dhs60 per person, packages of 10 from Dhs550.
Open Sun-Wed 8am-9pm, Thu and Sat 8am-noon, closed Fri during Ramadan. Normal hours Sat-Thu 8am-9pm, closed Fri. Uptown Boulevard (04 447 4220).
MotorCity houses one of the nicest branches of this gym chain, with floor-to-ceiling windows that allow plenty of natural light to flood in. It’s also one of only two branches to do swing yoga classes.
Membership from Dhs449 per month. Open Sun-Thu 6am-11pm; Fri 7am-9pm. Control Tower (800 348 6377).
Most health concerns can be addressed by this clinic’s staff, who include dentists, doctors, eye specialists, psychologists, GPs, gynaecologists, physios and more. They can also assist in minor emergencies. The clinic has 15 insurance affiliates: details can be found on the website.
Open Sat-Thu 8am-10pm, Fri 8am-4pm. Uptown Boulevard, www.medicentres.ae (04 360 8866).
This party shop sells all manner of novelty items, from balloons and hats to party bag fillers.
Helium balloons from Dhs4.50. Open daily 9am-9pm. Uptown MotorCity (04 450 8383).
New Era Books
A reasonably-priced book store selling everything from kids’ fiction to adult bestsellers, plus local interest titles.
Books from Dhs5. Open daily 8am-9pm. Uptown MotorCity (050 658 6317).
This specialist bike store can set you up with everything you need to hit the road, or help you fix mechanical or cosmetic problems.
Adult mountain bikes from Dhs1,800, kids’ bikes from Dhs750. Open Sun-Thu 10am-7pm, Fri-Sat 11am-3pm. Apex Atrium, just after the main strip (04 369 7441).
As well as selling pets, this store also takes in stray cats, dogs, birds and hamsters to help them find new owners.
Pet grooming from Dhs135 for a small dog. Open daily 10am-8pm. Apex Atrium (04 457 2216).