Top 15 Dubai Hidden Gems from Food to Attractions

Top 15 Things to See and Do in Dubai


Top 15 Dubai Hidden Gems from Food to Attractions

Thinking about travelling to Dubai once this pandemic is over? Well, you couldn’t have chosen a better destination to spend your next vacation! Dubai is much more than what meets the eye.

From contemporary art galleries that will make the most sophisticated man cry to mouthwatering food at independent cafés, Dubai is an amazingly complex city. It has that wonderful allure of the luxurious lifestyle mixed in with the local culture of the Arabs. Forget about everything you’ve heard so far and let this intoxicating city blow your mind.

Are you ready for the cultural experience of your life? Then, let’s dive into Dubai’s top 15 hidden gems!

1. the farm in Al Barari

This restaurant is a little hidden oasis mostly unknown to most tourists. Founded in 2012, The Farm is the perfect escape from the overwhelming heat of the city. It’s located in Al Barari, opposite the Villa and it boasts some sixteen kilometres of themed gardens, falls, lakes and greenery.

The Farm was conceived as a culinary experience and social hub for UAE residents in search of some quiet family time while sampling delicious food, surrounded by calming landscapes.

It has some of the best international flavours that you can find in Dubai. From Thai to Mediterranean, and Indian food, The Farm offers a true culinary delight.

Perhaps this is the reason why it has been awarded many times for its cuisine! However, The Farm offers a wholesome experience. On top of the amazing food, this restaurant offers art and cooking classes, afternoon tea for moms and can be used for corporate events like talks and training.

2. life’n one

Following the calming path to a better life, there’s Life’n One, another sort of oasis for yogis hidden away in a place called Jumeirah 1. Life’n One was founded in 2014 with a relatively new concept for locals – “Well-Being”. Creators Gungor and Bhagti saw the opportunity when they realized that Dubai lacked this kind of place.

What’s so innovative about Life’n One is that it used to be an old villa, but it has now been transformed into a beautiful and secluded place for loving yogis. At Life’n One, you can practice a vast array of classes like yoga and meditation, as well as some interesting alternative ones like reiki, aura readings, and hypnotherapy.

If you’re feeling a bit ravenous after the calming encounter, you can head into a raw vegan café that you will find waiting in the cooling shade of the garden.

In there, you will find some raw vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free delicacies that will nourish not only your body but also your soul.

3. al qudra lakes

If you’re looking for an outdoorsy family day surrounded by mother nature, then you might want to take a stroll down to Al Qudra Lakes. These lakes are manmade, but we promise you they feel exquisitely natural. You can find this idyllic spot beyond the Arabian Ranches (right in the middle of the dessert).

You can expect to see ducks, swans, and practically every single type of bird in the world. And if you want a spectacular end to your day, stay to witness the setting sun.

al qudra lakes

4. ripe market

This lively market takes place in many places across Dubai, and it’s truly a wonderful local experience. Ripe Market is so much more than a food market. Everything they sell is organic, and they offer more than fruit and veggies. You can also expect to find organic skincare, jewelry, clothes, and homeware.

What’s more, at Ripe Market, there are live events, sports classes, workshops, and educational talks. It’s truly a wonderful festival full of liveliness.

5. Cafe Maisan 15

If you are one of those people whose heart soars at the sight of art, then this place is a must for you.

Founded by UAE’s very own Rami Farook, café Maisan 15 feels like stepping into an artist’s secret studio. With books all over the place, you’ll be instantly reminded of Warhol and Hirsts.

In spite of the visual stimulation, it’s the food that you’re truly here for, and we’ll tell you why. Maisan 15 is best known for its homemade bread and all the best grandma food you’ll ever taste.

Surprised? You should be. Maisan 15 offers all the classics but with a modern twist. So, if you’re looking for a sophisticated culinary experience, this is the place to visit.

6. the majlis café

Following on from point 5, if you’re looking for more than just a café, you’ll definitely be surprised by this one. Majlis is Jumeirah’s finest camel milk cafe.

You’ll find this wonderful place inside the Jumeirah Mosque, surrounded by the cooling shade of some ghaf trees. If you’re looking for a lovely place to grab a coffee while enjoying a respite from Dubai’s sweltering heat, Majlis’s Café is the place to go.

Enjoy the best camel milk coffee you’ll ever drink while you munch on a wide variety of milk-based goodies (like ice-cream and milkshakes).

“Dubai is much more than what meets the eye.”

7. The penthouse

If the setting sun catches you wandering about the streets of Dubai, we have a cool suggestion for you. This hidden gem is located on the 16th floor of the FIVE Palm Jumeirah Hotel.

This place is luxury itself. It offers a panoramic view of the Dubai skyline and two wonderful glass-lined swimming pools which you can frolic in.

If you’re a bit concerned about the prices here, well… you’re right to be. This place is a bit expensive, but if you have some money to splurge, we strongly advise you to spend it here.

The views alone are simply mesmerizing, and you can have a nice dinner while overlooking Dubai in all its splendour.

8. XVA art hotel

This hotel offers a unique experience. How do 14 individually designed rooms and an award-winning restaurant sound to you? Yeah, we thought so too!

If you’re looking for a wholesome experience, try renting a room at this wonderful hotel. Situated in the historical heart of Al Fahidi, this hotel offers mouth-watering cuisine, unique rooms, and three beautiful shaded gardens to escape the heat of the city.

9. Snoopy island

Are you wondering why this island is called Snoopy? If you thought of the cartoon figure first, you’re right!

This island proudly claims its name because of its shape which resembles a sleeping dog on his doghouse, and you can find this gem off the coast of Fujairah.

Be prepared for a day filled with sparkling blue waters and fun outdoorsy activities like kayaking and diving (there are reefs to discover!).

Afterwards, you can head over to one of the prestigious coastal hotels like the Sandy Beach Hotel and Resort to enjoy the rest of the evening and relax.

the snoopy island

10. Hatta dam

Now moving on to landscapes, Dubai has some pretty stunning gems hidden all over. The Hatta Dam is one example, sat in a secluded area surrounded by beautiful mountains.

This place has become a little more touristy over the last few years, but we have a little secret for you. If you visit mid-week, you’ll pretty much have the dam to yourself.

You can find this gem 90 minutes away from Dubai by car and, once you’re there, you can rent a boat or kayak and enjoy the soothing waters of the lake.

11. Al Ain Oasis

This amazing place is the only UNESCO World Heritage site that you’ll find in the UAE, and it’s worth a visit!  If you decide to make the trip, you’ll be blessed with three landscapes in one – desert, oasis, and mountains. There are even some ruins from the Neolithic period!

There are over 3,000 acres of oasis for you to discover, in which you’ll find the remains of the traditional falaj water system and some vestiges of Bedouin life.

12. Cinema Akil

Movie addicts and indie enthusiasts will absolutely love this place. Located in the city’s art district, Cinema Akil offers regular screenings of both international and regional indie films.

The schedule changes weekly, so you will never get bored! And the best part is that it hosts events with directors and actors.

Check their website to learn when these special events will be held!

13. Al Wathba fossil dunes

Last but not least, we bring you a true wonder of nature that not even the locals are aware exists! These dunes, sprinkled in fossils of old, are just 30 minutes away from Abu Dhabi.

We truly recommend paying a visit to this place, especially if you have a passion for exploring. These dunes are remarkable, and they take you back in time so fast that you will feel otherworldly almost instantly.

14. Al Ustad

Are you a fan of kebabs? Then, you need to dine at the best Iranian restaurant in Dubai.

Al Ustad first opened its doors more than four decades ago. So, it’s kind of a legend around Bur Dubai, especially if you keep in mind that Dubai was founded around the same time. We suggest you start your evening with a bowl of lentil soup and then make your way to the main course – the char grilled meat called Kebab.

Want a plus? The staff is super friendly, and the place is very cheap. So, don’t be put off by the queue, it’s totally worth it.

15. Concrete

Amidst factories and warehouses in Alserkal Avenue sits Concrete, an architectural masterpiece designed by architect Rem Koolhaas.

Inside, you will find a vast array of art exhibits, ranging from design and fashion to performing arts. So, if you’re an art enthusiast or architectural lover, don’t miss the chance to visit!

And the best thing about Concrete is that it can shapeshift to accommodate whatever is being hosted inside every time there’s a new exhibition.

concrete al serkal

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