miss b's quote

'I haven't been everywhere yet but it's on my list' Susan Sontag

Thursday, 21 June 2012

miss b loves........ Dubai, old and new

The contrast between old and new Dubai is something which has always fascinated and attracted me to this unique city. The traditional souks with their inexpensive wares and the extravagant malls selling high-end luxury branded goods..... the  windtowers and the futuristic skyscrapers.....the Creek and Dubai Marina ...the old wooden abras and the millionaires' yachts......the courtyard cafés and the stylish restaurants in the most beautiful hotels.

So.... let's start with the old.....

Dubai's souks are definitely worth a visit to experience the bustling atmosphere and the traditional way of doing business. The spice souk has a unique aroma with every kind of spice...there's frankinsense and myrhh.......

The souks are on both sides of the Creek and you can cross in less than ten minutes in one of the wooden abras for a ridiculously cheap 50 fils (about ten pence!)

Traditionally, dhows from the Far East,India and Ceylon(now Sri Lanka)and East Africa would have their cargo unloaded at the creek and the goods would be haggled over in the souks next to the dock. Dubai's pearling industry which used to be the main sector of the city's economy was based on expeditions in the creek before the invention of artificial pearls in 1926. 

One of my favourite places in Dubai is the Bastakia Quarter, a picturesque heritage site built by Persian merchants in the late 19th century. Many of the restored buildings have windtowers, an early but efficient form of air conditioning.

It's such a calm and peaceful area with art galleries and traditional cafés......Local House, XVA and the serene Basta Art Café for a refreshing mint lemonade..........

Basta Art Café

and now to new Dubai and our first stop is Dubai Marina...............

I continue to be amazed by the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world....just breathtaking!

Views from the observation deck.........

The iconic Burj al Arab Hotel designed to mimic the billowing  sail of a boat remains for me the symbol of Dubai and I can never resist taking yet another photo of this beautiful structure by day.......
and by night when it changes colour from green to blue to yellow.....red to purple........
The Jumeirah Beach Hotel has been built in the shape of a breaking wave............... 

Madinat Jumeirah Resort is a recreation of Old Arabia with meandering waterways, two grand boutique hotels, courtyard summer houses, a souk and numerous shops, restaurants and bars.

Dubai Metro

One of the latest futuristic buildings I spotted during my last visit, in April, was Infinity Tower with its twisted shape giving the upper floors amazing sea views. When completed, it will be the world's tallest high rise tower with a twist of 90°.

Of course no trip to Dubai would be complete without shopping both old style .......for traditional arabic lamps.........

to new ultra-modern shopping malls with every conceivable international shop.......from high street favourites Zara, M&S, Sephora.... to all the designer brands Armani, Chanel, Mulberry........and department stores including Harvey Nichols, Galeries Lafayette and Bloomingdales (complete with a Magnolia Bakery!)

Chocolate shops with the most
amazing displays

So many cafés but I just have to mention a couple of favourites.....Fauchon 
....Armani Caffè....
...Ladurée, of course.......
and I mustn't forget to mention  my favourite local café which deserved its own post here - Chocolat Chic!

The restaurants are so varied with every type of cuisine from the legendary Ravi's

to famous London eateries including The Ivy......

The The Jetty Lounge at the The One and Only Royal Mirage Hotel  is the perfect spot to enjoy a cocktail on the beach in very chic surroundings ..... 

From the jetty, a boat takes diners to the 101 Restaurant and Bar at the sister hotel on The Palm - a very romantic night out and definitely one of my favourites!

Giant lanterns at the
 One and Only Hotel,
The Palm 
Watch the Dubai Tourism 2012 video if you would like to see more........

miss b's reviews of more Dubai restaurants, cafés and bars......

Chocolat Chic
Shakespeare and Co
Hey Sugar (formerly Sugar Daddy's)


  1. I've never been to Dubai, but the contrast of old and new is so striking. It's such an interesting place. Thanks for sharing. :)

  2. Dubai is number one on my to travel to list. Right now it may be a bit too hot for me to go there but definitely an option for autumn/winter. Thanks for sharing this post; it's giving me some ideas...

  3. Very cool pictures! I've never been to Dubai, but it sounds (and looks!) amazing!

  4. Lovely camel, absolutely adorable! Dubai is at the top of my to do list. Seems like so much fun!

  5. Wow this is a great guide from an insider, if I go back to Dubai again this will serve me very much. So also Laduree opened there, didnt know. Bookmarking this post now : ) Have a lovely weekend : )

  6. Friends of mine have been there, maybe I´ll go too one day!

  7. On my to go to list..seems so mysterious. Is it?

    1. It's just different - unique but I don't really find Dubai mysterious.

  8. Those spices .. a treat to take in the interesting aroma! Dubai is all the rage these days and is on my bucket list. Macaroons, Louis V.? Well there you have it!! :) and that camel at the top looks like he is laughing! How fun is that!


  9. Beautiful pictures---I love the contrast between old and new!

  10. Dubai is a city that I would love to visit!Thanks for sharing!


  11. Great post missb! Dubai looks amazing!

    Hugs, Stephie x

  12. I love Dubai and can't wait to visit again:) Great post!

  13. Wow, great post Mis B. and wonderful pics! Dubai is certainly in my places to visit list! All that tradition, culture and contrasts, the impressive architecture and all that mystery behind those veils...
    Thanks for sharing it, dear!



  14. Nice post. I am intrigued by Dubai,
    I have so many friends and colleagues to are working there and the new structures and buildings I see on the photos they send are amazing.

  15. I would like to spend more time there... bookmarked The Ivy! Wonderful post! Thanks for sharing. xxoo

  16. It really is a fusion of old and new isn't it. It looks amazing! :D xx

  17. Miss B, this was wonderful! I didn't know ANYthing about the old Dubai! Here in the States, we only hear about the glitz and glamour of what is NEW. It is so beautiful. I'm in awe of the architecture and fabulous malls. What an awesome way to shop! HaHa Those arabic lamps are simply lovely!

    1. I'm so pleased you have now found out about old Dubai too, Kim. I think it's generally new Dubai which we so often read about.

  18. I'd love to go - looks so interesting:)
    Brilliant post thanks for sharing.

  19. OMG! There are things that are exactly just like Qatar !!!. Even the Armani Café which will open soon in the Pearl!.Can you believe I have been living in Qatar for 2 years and I haven´t been in Dubai yet? Next time you come, let me know !.


  20. Such a lovely post, I love your blog¡¡
    Take a look and if you want we can follow each others: http://loscaprichosdediana.blogspot.com.es/


  21. What an interesting place !
    I've never been to Dubai ... thanks for sharing !

  22. I wish I could go there, I'm fascinated by that city! Abu Dhabi is equally amazing, though. ;)
    I'm following you now. :D If you want, you can find me on: http://the-wandering-heart.blogspot.com
    Have a nice day! Kisses from Serbia! :*

    1. Thank you, Jelena for deciding to follow. I shall pop over to have a look at your blog soon!

  23. NIce post :)))


  24. I can really see myself under the sails in the Art cafe sipping on tea and eating dates, love all your photos especially the first.

  25. How lovely this tour of Dubai is. I love to look at pictures from different places. I have always wondered what frankinsense and myrhh smelled like. How interesting.
    The cafe drinks looks delightful.
    ~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

  26. great pics :D and blog :) may we could follow each other? :) it will be a pleasure for me :D

  27. Great Post! So intersting! Love this kind of Post!
    Have a good day!

  28. wooow it looks amazing!!
    thanks also for your lovely comment in my blog!!

  29. This makes my jaws drop and my mouth watery! What a different world from ours! I very much would like to buy some of those spices it looks like 1001 nights. Very interesting and the camel is very charming! Christa

  30. This place looks amazing but I don't think they would like me there because I'm Jewish....oh well. Thanks for sharing!

  31. I would like to visit Dubai! It looks like a really interesting city.


  32. Wow! Great post! Looks like an amazing city :)

    Abbey x

  33. the pictures look so inviting. i've heard so many things about dubai, the main thing across the board, though is EXPENSIVE! the weather i heard is hands down perfect. thanks for sharing - so glad i came across your blog!



    1. It can be expensive but it doesn't have to be. There are many inexpensive restaurants and bargains to be found in the souks and regular sales!

  34. I would KILL to go to Dubai!! Ahh!

  35. What a large Contrast. Thanks for these photos.

  36. Loved his post. I grew up in Dubai so watched the it grow from a dessert to what it is today.
    Truly miss that place and can't wait to visit end of this year!



Thank you for taking the time to write a comment on my blog. I really do appreciate it. miss b

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