Frank Porter Guide to Downtown Dubai and DIFC

So you’ve decided that on your next Dubai trip you’ll stay in DIFC or Downtown (good choice!). Now all you need to do is decide where to eat and how to make the most of your trip. Here are our top tips on what to do, where to eat and how to spend your time.

 

Downtown Dubai

Things to Do: 

  • See the Dubai Fountains who were made by the same people who created the famous Bellagio Fountain in Las Vegas. Throngs of people, smartphones held aloft, line the edges of the water outside The Dubai Mall to record the daily performances to music (which takes place every 30 minutes in the evenings).
  • Check out the Dubai Mall’s Olympic-sized skating rink. Skate hire and a 2-hour session is Dhs50. Kids will be able to move around, have fun and sharpen their skating skills on Dubai’s most popular ice rink.
  • See Dubai from soaring heights at The Top by Burj Khalifa. The observation deck on the 124th floor of the Burj Khalifa, referred to as At The Top, is the world’s highest outdoor sightseeing platform. Amazing shots of the Dubai Fountain and the Burj Khalifa Park await you – after you have taken the longest elevator ride in the world.
  • Immerse yourself in the underwater world at the Dubai Mall Aquarium. This huge attraction features a 270-degree walk-through tunnel, an Underwater Zoo – located on Level 2 above the main aquarium tank – and presents the bio-diversity in different ecological zones including Rainforest, Rocky Shore and Living Ocean.
  • Shop Dubai Mall, the world’s largest mall. Whether you want to revamp your wardrobe, relive childhood memories and purchase masses of sweets at Candylicious or find something tasty to eat, there’s so much on offer at The Dubai Mall.

Restaurants/Cafes: 

  • Ce La Vi: This Southeast-Asian inspired restaurant, on the 54th floor of the Address Sky View, has fast become a default date-night destination. If you can steal yourself away from the view, you’ll find chef Howard Ko’s mod-Asian menu equally exciting.
  • Thiptara: Located at Palace Downtown Dubai, Thiptara offers diners exemplary Thai cuisine with a focus on Bangkok-style seafood. Aptly named Thiptara, meaning ‘Magic of the Water,’ the restaurant overlooks the Dubai Fountain, making it one of the most romantic restaurants in Dubai.
  • Prime68: If you’re after impressive views and a strong contender the best steak in the city, you need to check out Prime 68. Located on the 68th floor of JW Marriott Marquis, Prime68 is the perfect spot to enjoy a steak, with panoramic views of Downtown Dubai.
  • At.mosphere: With its eye-popping views from the 122nd floor, and the title of world’s tallest restaurant, At.mosphere is a Dubai icon for good reason. But it’s not just the views that are wow-worthy – its modern European menu is served up for breakfast, lunch and dinner in the restaurant, with an elegant afternoon tea available in the lounge during the afternoon, and an upscale a la carte lounge menu and cocktails available until late night.

 

DIFC

Things to Do: 

  • Spend a day getting lost in the many art galleries that line Gate Village in DIFC. Coming in all shapes, sizes and spends, there is something for everyone amongst the many shops.
  • Head to The Clinic and experience the highest level of medical and dental services ranging from routine check-ups and acute illness adult/family medicine, pediatrics, diet and nutrition, physiotherapy, cosmetic dentistry to full mouth rehabilitation.
  • Pay a visit to Christie’s, the first international auction house to operate in the Middle East. Since inception, Christie’s Dubai has firmly established itself within the region, holding record-breaking auctions of Modern and Contemporary Middle Eastern Art and Important Watches, and hosting cutting-edge exhibitions and events. Visit their DIFC offices for auction valuations for all collecting categories, and to preview highlights from Christie’s global sale calendar, including watches, handbags and jewellery.

Restaurants/Cafes: 

  • Indochine: The French-Vietnamese restaurant offers tropical décor and chic interior design alongside signature dishes including Vietnamese ravioli, made with rice noodles, chicken, shrimp and shiitake mushrooms, alongside new additions such as lamb char siu – slow-cooked lamb neck in a honey glaze, and amok cambodgien, steamed sea bream in banana leaf, coconut lemongrass custard, chilli sauce, scallions and ginger. There’s also an inventive range of mixed drinks. 
  • Carnival by Tresind: Catering to the myriad of cultures that flaunt the bustling corporate hub of DIFC, Carnival by Tresind is a celebration of Indian food, where Indian food comes of age to shed its erstwhile glamorous modern avatar and take leaps ahead to enter the post-modern era. Dining at Carnival is a gastronomic fiesta that pushes the boundaries of fine dining to transcend into a nostalgic culinary experience which revokes childhood memories and takes you back to your days of yore.
  • MINA Brasserie: MINA Brasserieis a modern, bustling brasserie for breakfast, lunch and dinner, serving a selection of hearty dishes, in partnership with award-winning celebrity Chef Michael Mina. The air-conditioned outdoor terrace is alive with lounge seating, lush green trees and the gleaming golden bar of MINA Brasserie features a collection of classics, with an emphasis on traditional aperitifs and a wonderful gin selection from our gin trolley.
  • Avli by Tashas: Avli by tashas is a testament to the resilient culture of Athens, abundant in sophistication, a soulful spirit, and abundant in arts and culture. The Greek inspired cuisine caters for every palate in this beautifully designed space reminiscent of the rustic courtyards of the Mediterranean. The menu offers authentic meze, salads, vegan delicacies, seafood and slow-cooked meats and the setting screams style and sophistication.