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Visiting the UAE: 5 Ways to Relax and Unwind in Dubai

Anyone who’s ever visited Dubai knows that the city has a lot to offer. Day and night, Dubai is pulsating with energy. You can start your day exploring many of Dubai’s architectural wonders before exercising your spending power in many of Dubai’s traditional souks (marketplaces) or ultra modern malls.

Then, you can finish the day off in one of Dubai’s many rooftop bars and restaurants, enjoying the stunning city vistas while sipping on a handcrafted cocktail. Yes, despite misconceptions, buying alcohol in Dubai is available to many tourists.

Whether you seek outdoor thrills or family-friendly activities, there are many ways by which you can get to know the UAE’s most popular emirate. Undoubtedly, though, this treasure trove of activities can leave you feeling rather spent.

To help you find your zen amidst all the exploring, we’ve got you covered. Unwind and carve out some me-time with the following indulgent experiences in Dubai.

1.Get your spa on

One of the best ways to relax and revitalize yourself is with a wellness experience. From targeted treatments to boutique day spas, Dubai is home to many world-renowned wellness sanctuaries ready to pamper you back to health. Of particular note is the Guerlain Spa.

The only Guerlain Spa in all of the UAE and located in One&Only The Palm, this calm oasis is synonymous with pure indulgence. Travelers looking for a wellness reset should consider the Désert d’Orient Ritual.

Lasting for up to 2.5 hours, this hammam-inspired treatment features a multi-sensory experience that includes deep body exfoliation, a body wrap, private steam session, an indulgent full-body massage, and personalized facial, resulting in relieving you of all tension and stress.

Other spas that transport you to a world of relaxation include the Heavenly Spa by Westin, Talise Spa in Madinat Jumeirah, and Amara situated in Park Hyatt Dubai. Each facility offers you an idyllic escape from the hustle and bustle of Dubai.

2. Explore the Dubai Creek

Take an idyllic tour back to Dubai’s sleepy fishing village past with an evening dhow cruise through Dubai Creek, the city’s cultural heart. The lifeblood of Dubai for many generations, Dubai Creek is now a heritage area where travelers can experience a traditional dhow ride along Old Dubai.

Sightseeing dhow cruises is a modern luxury experience that allows visitors to fully soak in the many sights of Dubai Creek, from the traditional gold, spice, and textile souks, the Grand Mosque, Heritage Village, and more.

Certain dhow cruises also offer a luxurious fine dining experience complete with onboard live entertainment like traditional singing and tanoura dance performances. Many of these cruises come with the option of pairing your meal with an alcoholic beverage like wine or other premium drinks.

You can also travel across Dubai Creek on an abra, a traditional wooden boat. The city’s most cost-efficient mode of transport, the abra “water taxi” costs a tiny sum, that is, one dirham. End your journey in one of the best steakhouses in Dubai, known for its specialty dishes such as beef butterfly steak and beef asado.

3. Start the day with brunch

Like everything else in the city, brunch in Dubai is elevated to a whole new level. A proper institution, Dubai brunches are lively atmospheric events that feature decadent feasts and endless entertainment extravaganzas.

And like most other travel destinations, brunches in Dubai tend to be quite lively.

As a weekend staple, these decadent affairs tend to run for three to four hours, making them a great way for travelers to blow off steam and start their weekend right.

Three brunch spots to not miss out on include:

  • Zuma. Helmed by German-born chef Rainer Becker, brunch favorites at Zuma include the miso-marinated black cod, wagyu ribeye, and the finest selection of sashimi, nigiri, and maki.

  • Couqley. This French bistro is known for indulgent brunch classics like freshly baked croissants, fluffy buttermilk pancakes, and eggs any way you like it.

  • Jumeirah Al Qasr. An age-old favorite, this international weekend feast offers a truly authentic Dubai experience. The many live cooking stations available allows you to indulge to your heart’s content.

4. Experience stratospheric views

A bucket list experience for many travelers, hot air balloon rides are a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. At 4,000 feet up, your exhilarating balloon adventure allows you to take in spectacular views of Dubai’s evocative skyline and the vast Arabian desert.

To fully maximize this exhilarating yet relaxing experience, couple your balloon adventure with an in-flight falcon show or a weekend desert safari, where you can relax and enjoy Emirati culture in the desert’s unique setting while glamping under the stars.

Of course, if floating 4,000 feet is too tame for your taste, consider taking a sightseeing flight by seaplane or discover Dubai on a helicopter tour. Both options offer unobstructed scenic views of Dubai’s skyline, including some of the city’s most iconic landmarks like Burj Khalifa, Palm Jumeirah, and Burj Al Arab.

5. Indulge in afternoon tea

A cherished British tradition, this mid-afternoon refresher is the perfect way to enjoy a leisurely few hours before dinner. While quintessentially British, Dubai has plenty of options available to travelers looking for an authentic afternoon tea experience.

When it comes to world-class luxury, few places rival the opulence of Burj Al Arab. Afternoon tea at the Burj Al Arab is an unforgettable experience. Sahn Eddar in the hotel’s atrium lounge is the perfect spot to relax in the middle of all the opulence the hotel is known for.

The afternoon tea at Sahn Eddar boasts a magnificent selection of dainty sandwiches, homemade scones, and a selection of cakes and pastries. Service like the setting is refined and the tea selection is impeccable.

For something with a little more altitude, dine above the clouds at the world’s tallest skyscraper. Burj Khalifa’s At.mosphere restaurant offers an afternoon tea menu that is as breathtaking as the surrounding views.

The menu includes an extensive list of teas, a selection of homemade finger sandwiches, and the finest patisseries, cakes, and English scones with traditional accompaniments. To fully enjoy the relaxing setting, be sure to reserve window seating.

6. Vacationing done right

Despite all of the thrills and excitement Dubai offers its guests, travelers can still find plenty of ways to treat themselves to a relaxing holiday. Whether you prefer rejuvenating spa experiences, being one with nature in the outdoors, or taking in the views of the city, Dubai has got you covered.

So, how do you detach yourself from the stresses of travel?


Valentina Chessa is the Retail Marketing Manager at African + Eastern, the largest alcohol retailer in the Middle East with a network of 29 stores in the UAE, 5 in Oman, and a team of over 400 professional staff. The company boasts an extensive portfolio of beer, wine and spirits, and customers can shop online or at one of its conveniently located stores.

Author: Valentina Chessa   

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