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Attractions to see and things to do when living in Dubai

Dubai has fast become one of the most thriving and advanced locations in the world. Expats can do everything they would do and more than they would in the UK, but in a sunnier climate.


  • Bars & Restaurants
  • Golfing
  • Shopping
  • Cinema
  • Other fun activities

Dubai has fast become one of the most cosmopolitan places in the world, with the new industries and thriving tourism sector and it’s easy to see why many British people are opting to emigrate there.

The economy in Dubai is constantly improving, as a location it is recovering from the 2009 financial crisis at a faster rate than anywhere else in the world and the accommodation is world class.

However, as a new resident of Dubai, you might wonder what you can do in the sandy emirate. Well fear not, as a place it is so developed that you can do pretty much anything over there that you can do here in the UK, even if your favourite pass time is sitting in the pub with a pint of cold Guinness.

Bars & Restaurants

You can find the McGettigans Irish pub at Jumeirah Lake Tower, it’s just like being in an Irish pub in the UK except the sun is shining outside. Here you can get a slice of Ireland with the food and drinks on offer with traditional pub grub such as fish and chips, BBQ chicken, scampi and being an Irish pub, you can get an Irish stew and a pint of Guinness.

One of the most popular places for expats to live in Dubai is the marina and here you can find a number of bars and restaurants to enjoy a well-deserved drink at the end of a busy week.  The Address hotel and resort on the marina has a number of wine and dine opportunities available including ‘Shades’ a chill-out lounge and the perfect place to spend an evening after a busy day at work, ‘blends’ which has more of a sophisticated ambience where you can enjoy a range of vintage and sparkling wines and an array of cocktails.

Alternatively, Grosvenor House on the marina has a selection of award-winning restaurants and bars including the Rhodes Mezzanine from Michelin star chef Gary Rhodes, here you can enjoy a taste of home with British cuisine with an added French flair. Other international cuisines at Grosvenor include Turkish and Mediterranean at Ottomans, Asian delights at Buddha bar and Indego by Vineet whilst stylish places to get a drink include The Gallery, Bar 44 and the Bar.


Whilst football is the national sport of the UK, Brits love nothing more than a spot of golf. Keen golfers will not have to give up their favourite sport upon moving to the emirate, infact the golfing opportunities available in Dubai are arguably better than some of those in the UK, plus the added bonus of the lack of rain in Dubai.

Majlis is the flagship course at the emirates golf club, with the par 72 course being surrounded by lakes and greenery indicating why it has won numerous awards with the club also being home to the impressive Faldo course.

The Dubai Creek and Yacht club is also visually striking with the course being surrounded by palm trees as well as the creek and some artificial lakes. Located in the Garhoud area, the golf club has also won numerous awards whilst both have a range of dining facilities making the clubs the perfect place to play sports and meet and socialise with friends.


Like Brits, Emirati’s love to shop and with shopping being one of the favourite pass times of Dubai residents it is easy to see why the emirate is host to a range of shopping facilities.

Dubai Mall in Downtown Burj is said to be the biggest in the world and it’s easy to see why. Not only does it boast a range of high street fashion stores, there is also an array of designer outlets and department stores just steps away from the Burj Khalifa Lake. Department stores include international favourites Bloomingdales, Debenhams and Marks & Spencer can be found at the mall whilst high street stores for men and women such as Miss Selfridge, Topshop, Topman, Mango, Forever 21 and the Spanish branded Stadivarius can also be found. Designer brands like Chanel, Calvin Klein, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana and Christian Audigier are also featured in the mall along with perfume and cosmetic brands such as Molten Brown, Jo Malone and MAC as well as other Emirati cosmetic outlets.

Similarly Mall of the Emirates has a range of high street and designer stores from Aldo to Christian Louboutin and Bershka to Balenciaga with fashion for both men and women. Both malls feature an array of fast food outlets as well as café’s and restaurants so you can get anything from a Burger King to an Indian feast.

The BurJuman mall pride itself on being upper class and is home to a number of designer shops and chic restaurants. It is of a mixed-use functionality so whilst there is the impressive mall, there is also residential areas and work spaces whilst Deira Coty Centre is a shopping centre of more of a traditional sense with a range of shops, a food court and entertainment facilities with the 11-screen VOX cinema and arcade/amusement area.


Keen cinema-goers will also find their home in Dubai, as well as the VOX cinema there is also a Reel cinema in Dubai Mall showing national and international movies as does the Reel cinema located on Dubai Marina.  Other cinema’s in Dubai showing an array of films from around the world include the Grand at Festival City, Cinemacity at the Arabian Center and the Meydan IMAX theatre to name a few.

Living in a new place means that you probably don’t know a great deal about the history there.  Visiting the museum is the perfect way to spend the day and you will get an insight as to what Dubai was like before all of the design and development took place.

Other activities

Golfing, shopping and visiting the cinema are all things that people do on a regular basis, but of course you will want to explore the fun elements of living in a new city. Attractions that are definitely worth a visit include the Wild Wadi Water Park, which is themed around the tale of Juha, an Arabian folklore character. Being in the location that it is, there are also a number of white, sandy beaches for residents to visit, it’s like going to the seaside without the wind, rain and rock and you can also make the most of the nearby desert, taking a trip and exploring an unknown climate and location.

When you say that you’re moving to the Middle East you immediately think of a sandy and sparse location, but in reality, Dubai is so much more than that.

Over the past few years the emirate has expanded rapidly into one of the biggest tourism hubs and expat locations in the world and with all that it has to offer, it’s easy to see why.

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