Dubai’s Ten Top sides you have to take

The make-or-break decisions that make us have an existential crisis. Every. Time.

10 Kids in restaurants – yes or no?
Time Out doesn’t like to divide and rule. We like harmony and smooth contentment. There are certain issues in our city, however, which defy compromise. Whether you knew it or not, you have to fall on one side of the debate or the other. Fence-sitting is not allowed. Take the example of children in restaurants. They’re either galloping, screaming brats who are about as welcome as a rat in the larder, or the next generation of gourmands learning adult behaviours and developing their taste buds. Where do you stand on kids in restaurants? (Other than their toes if they try to get to the dessert counter before you.)

9 Escalators – stride or stand still?
There is still no social convention on this. While some march ahead and are forever speeding onwards to the next level, others are happy to take a rest and enjoy the ride. Your choice probably says a lot about who you are, although,
we’re not sure what exactly.

8 Exercise classes – pain or gain?
For every advocate of group workouts, there is a lone ranger who prefers to plod their own course on the treadmill. So, do you sweat in public or on your own?

7 Foie gras – ethical disgrace or just really tasty?
You are a good person. We don’t doubt that for one second. There are people, however, who would shun you depending on how you feel about the force-feeding of ducks to make them taste like all your favourite dreams dipped in butter and served up hot.

6 Emojis – modern poetry or utter, juvenile nonsense?
A colleague, somebody you have previously thought to be of sound mind, suddenly starts messaging you “:)” instead of responding to your questions about the quarterly sales report. Are they a master communicator or do you think a nine-year-old schoolchild has stolen their phone?

5 Air-conditioning – hot or cold?
Offices, marriages and friendships have wilted under the stress of this hot topic. Ancient elders have told us there exists a mythical temperature that keeps everybody happy. A delicate balance between too hot and too cold, which pleases an entire room full of people. When they said that, however, they were sitting under a blanket while we were sweating, so we’re not holding our breath for this one.

4 Food – sweet or savoury?
They say there is no right or wrong answer to some questions. Whoever “they” are, obviously they’ve never had to choose between the burrata or a Ferrero Rocher fondant. We’ll take a main course as a standard, but how do you pick between a starter or a dessert? Chocolate and fancy things done with prawns both make equally compelling arguments.

3 DJs – atmosphere conductors or glorified mixtapes?
We can all agree that a DJ presiding over a dancefloor plays an important role. Reactive to the crowd, with the showmanship to get us all on our feet, they’re invaluable to a great night out. At 6pm on a weeknight, however, what is all the knob-twiddling, headphones readjusting and posturing really doing? Could they be replaced with a compilation album and the volume turned down?

2 VIP rooms – luxury enclave or atmosphere deterrent?
Most people clamouring to get into the VIP area of a concert or club have probably never been inside. Or else they’d know there is less atmosphere and fewer seats. Having said that, the toilets are usually much nicer, and you’re more likely to get snacks. Canapés or entertainment – it’s a close call.

1 Dream home – apartment or villa?
Not the home you have, but the one you want. A penthouse in one of the city’s premier skyscrapers has the view, the facilities and the location your fantasy lifestyle deserves. Or would you prefer the privacy, space and perhaps direct beach access of a luxury villa? After deciding that, you can move on to “Private Jet or Private Yacht”.

Will Milner is a contributing editor. We can all agree that he is usually very wrong.

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