26 Dubai must-dos

Stuck in Dubai due to the volcanic ash cloud? Stop stressing and start enjoying the city’s delights. Here are our top tips

Felix Burton, Basement Jaxx (played at Chi on April 15)
Felix Burton, Basement Jaxx (played at Chi on April 15)
Dave Cattanach, F&B manager, The Irish Village
Dave Cattanach, F&B manager, The Irish Village
Mikkas Skulstad, Djuma Soundsystem (played at Madinat Rooftop on April 15)
Mikkas Skulstad, Djuma Soundsystem (played at Madinat Rooftop on April 15)
Jenny Wood, Dubai resident
Jenny Wood, Dubai resident

1 Go up the Burj Khalifa. We thoroughly recommend you book your Dhs100 ticket beforehand (800 2884 3867). If you like views, try…

2 The gorgeous terrace at Uptown Bar, Jumeirah Beach Hotel (04 406 8181).

3 The art deco-inspired Neos Sky Lounge on the 63rd floor of The Address Downtown Dubai. (04 436 8927).

4 Vista Rooftop and Bar at the Holiday Inn Express Dubai, Knowledge Village. Superb food and views (04 427 5500).

5 Shark-spotting at Dubai Aquarium. The tunnel is worth every one of your Dhs25. See www.thedubaiaquarium.com.

6 Skate at Dubai Ice Rink. Check out the Olympic-sized ice rink (and don’t think about everyone watching you). See www.dubaiicerink.com.

7 Go on a desert safari. Prepare for dune bashing, sandboarding, a barbecue and shisha. We recommend Arabian Adventures (04 303 4888). While you’re out in the desert, try…

8 Quad biking. Arabia Horizons Tour (04 294 6060). Dhs450 for a three-hour ride.

9 Hot air ballooning. Amigos Balloons (04 289 9295). Dhs880 for a day spotting wildlife from the air.

10 Horseriding. Call Tina on 050 662 0969 or visit www.alawadistables.com.

11 Snoop inside a sheikh’s place. Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum lived in this house-turned-museum until 1958. Dhs2 entry (04 393 7139).

12 Visit Dubai Museum. This Bur Dubai fact-house is full of fascinating information about Dubai’s interesting past (04 353 1862).

13 Check out the art galleries of Bastakiya while you’re in the area.

14 Catch the fish market, where Pakistani and Indian men sell their catch. It’s in Deira, opposite Hyatt Regency. Open 9am-1pm, 4pm-10pm.

15 Get henna-ed. Try the Arabic Hi Beauty Saloon, in Jumeirah 3 (04 394 6669). The tattoos only last a week or so.

16 Grab a cheap mani-pedi too. We like NStyle for the looping Friends episodes on TV. See www.nstyleintl.com.

17 Have afternoon tea at the Burj. So much cake! Dhs395 per person (04 301 7600, www.jumeirah.com).

18 Afterwards, pop to 360° – still the most amazing location (04 406 8769).

19 Check out the Time Out Nightlife Awards’ best club, Chi (04 337 9470).

20 Try the Time Out Nightlife Awards’ best bar, Barasti (04 399 3333).

21 Have a posh dinner at the winner of Time Out’s Restaurant Awards, Rhodes Mezzanine (04 317 6862).

22 Shoreside. Our new beach crush (04 344 6705).

23 Eat as quickly as you can. At the Dusit Thani they’re charging Dhs2 per minute on Thursdays and Saturdays (04 343 3333).

24 Eat well. Try our favourite brunch at Traiteur at the Park Hyatt (04 317 2222).

25 Cross the Creek by abra for Dhs1, or pay around Dhs15 for a creek tour from the abra stations in Bur Dubai and Deira.

26 Or try a five-star, new abra at the Madinat Jumeirah – officially for those staying or dining there (www.jumeirah.com).

Who’s stuck?

Felix Burton, Basement Jaxx (played at Chi on April 15): ‘We went to a waterpark, we were playing golf yesterday and we’ve done some quad biking, so it’s good – we’re managing to tick a few things off that we’ve never done. It’s not a bad place to be stranded, really. [Band member] Simon was saying he quite fancies DJing again. I wonder if we can find somewhere to do that?’

Dave Cattanach, F&B manager, The Irish Village: ‘I’m supposed to be going back to the UK for my best friend’s wedding. We were born three seconds apart in the same hospital, grew up together, travelled to Italy to see our football team play when we were kids It’s not something I can get angry about. Strikes are one thing, but you can’t do much about volcanoes.’

Mikkas Skulstad, Djuma Soundsystem (played at Madinat Rooftop on April 15): ‘We’ve been to the beaches and are having fun, but we don’t have a lot of money so this “holiday” might drain us! But there are worse places to be. We became close friends with Seiji of Bugz in the Attic [who played Chill Out Fest on April 16] and we might work on some beats with him while we’re here.’

Jenny Wood, Dubai resident: ‘I came home to Aberdeen for a family wedding on April 7. I was due to travel back on Thursday 15, the day the dust started. I’ve been rescheduled several times and am hoping to get back on Tuesday, but I am doubtful about that. I miss the sunshine!’

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