08:00: Breakfast at an indie café
The Sum of Us, Trade Centre Roundabout
There’s no better way to start your day than with a hearty and healthy breakfast at this quirky café, roastery and bakery. One of a small handful of indie cafes launched by foodie entrepreneurs Tom Arnel and Serg Lopez, The Sum of Us is all about fresh ingredients - prepared and served in innovative ways. Add an in-house micro-roastery and an artisan bakery, and you have the perfect recipe.
Menu suggestion: Cold-brew coffee, the roasted fennel omelette or ricotta pancakes, and any of the bakery’s buns.
10:00: Catch up with colleagues
Café Bateel, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC)
Boasting a generous terrace overlooking the heart of the city’s financial district, Café Bateel is the place to catch a quick coffee and a bite between meetings. DIFC is home to more than 1,750 institutions from around the world, each facilitating trade and financial flows between the Middle East, Africa and South Asia – a $7.4 trillion market of which Dubai is the centre.
Menu suggestion: Any of the smoothies: the Wild Berry is filled with mixed berries and a raspberry sorbet
13:00: Lunch with the movers and shakers
Al Nafoorah, Jumeirah Emirates Towers (JET)
Treat yourself to an exquisite Lebanese meal among public and private sector leaders at JET. This is where deals are done and you’re as likely to see a UAE royal or minister, as you are global icons such as Bill Gates or Jack Ma.
Menu suggestion: Ask for recommendations for their cold and hot mezze – and don’t forget the hummus bil lahma (with minced lamb and pine nuts)
15:00: Stroll among street art
City Walk, Al Wasl
Shake off the day with a pre-dinner stroll at City Walk, an outdoor destination that blends retail options with upscale gourmet outlets… and giant spray painted murals depicting everything from 20ft-high rodents, to comic book panels blazing with colour and imagination. That’s because City Walk is home to work by legendary street artists from around the world – from full wall installations to tiny examples of pop-up model art, there’s plenty to discover and appreciate.
Menu suggestion: None – but check out the rainforest microclimate (and resident sloth) at Green Planet, Dubai’s first biosphere
18:00: An intimate dining experience
Kohantei, Opera District
Size isn’t everything, and that’s certainly the case at this 28-seat, eight-table kaiseki restaurant in the Opera District. Kaiseki, a traditional Japanese multi-course dinner, is meant to be served in humble surroundings, and Kohantei obliges happily: shoes off at the door, tatami mats, bright lighting, tiny tables and kneeling service are all part of the experience.
Menu suggestion: Kohantei offers set menus that combine sashimi with A-grade beef – try the 6-course sakura that serves up black wagyu steak
21:00: Marvel at a show
Dubai Opera, Opera District
From opera to ballet, musicals, theatre, Arabic and world music, comedy, family shows, rock, pop, jazz and more, Dubai Opera is the city’s must-visit venue for live entertainment. Relax, sit back and take in a show at this beautifully designed 2,000-seat multi-format theatre – you’ve earned it.
23:00: A view from the top
At.Mosphere, Burj Khalifa
Menu suggestion: If you’re feeling decadent, At.Mosphere stocks the leading French caviar producer, Sturia