Categories Travel Junkie Diary of UAE

Alamira Noor Bani Hashim

Thursday, May 16, 2013
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We are in the U.A.E with Alamira Noor Bani Hashim, one of the most influential Emarati woman in her country, the U.A.E. Is one of the founder of The Dinner Club by No.57 which is a new way of experiencing food by way of an underground supper-club. Every month, her business partner, Buthaina Al Mazrui and herself choose a different location, gather a group of unique individuals, and serve delicious, beautiful, mouthwatering food. Think of it as a surprise underground party for your senses. But better. Based between Abu Dhabi and Dubai and her incredible busy schedule, it is so hard for her to find time to travel, so she resorts to local escapes “Plus, there really isn’t anywhere more beautiful than the UAE!” {*Photo Credits to Cherry Pick Dubai}

We are so excited to have Alamira Noor Bani Hashim here on Travel Junkie Diary!

Here is her diary in the U.A.E

Favorite hotel Mina Al Salam in Dubai is a classic getaway.

In your suitcase 

The U.A.E has incredible weather for most of the year and all you really need is a light sweater over whatever you are wearing especially from December to April. People here tend to dress up a little bit more than usual, so make sure you bring your finest when visiting. The summer gets really hot and humid, so make sure to pack things in light materials like cotton. But don’t forget that everything is super air conditioned and you’ll need a jacket for when you step inside somewhere, like the mall. Also, please always respect the U.A.E modest culture when dressing.

Dined at

La Petite Maison. Their food is very homey and their portions are surprisingly big. The Burrata, Penne Arrabiata and the Calamari are incredible. It is very hard to find a booking for the weekend, so make sure to do so well in advance. I also really enjoyed Smiling Bkk, which is a hole in the wall Thai Restaurant in Dubai. I love that their place-mats are random pages ripped out of magazines. Something else that is really fun to do is Ateliers des Chefs in Dubai. You can book it out with a bunch of friends, cook a meal all together and then enjoy it. It is so much fun and you get to learn a few tricks!

Shopped

S*uce is great for super quirky items, and Spera in J3 mall is perfect for those long flow dresses and skirts. Comptoir 102 in Jumeirah is this amazing new converted villa that has everything from gold head pieces to dainty rings and chairs. Their newly opened café serves super healthy smoothies that actually taste delicious.  Oh! I can’t wait for the opening of The Luxury Arcade in Abu Dhabi that will hold all these insane designers that you can’t find anywhere else. It will be in The World Trade Center next to the old souk. And after all that shopping and running around, the best place to get pampered in is JetSet for hair and Nbar for nails. They do such an incredible job and get you looking pretty and ready to hit the town! I recently also discovered this tiny thrift bookstore in Abu Dhabi that has the most beautiful old leather bound books that are tattered and falling apart and for such a steal. It is behind behind Hamdan Street, right in front of the Mosque.

Diary

If you are looking for something more relaxed, then Abu Dhabi is probably a better option. There are a lot of beautiful places to go visit like the Sheikh Zayed Mosque and Emirates Palace. Most of your time will be spent at cafes or relaxing at people’s homes. Dubai is where all the glitz and glam lies. It is perfect for all the shopping you want to do (I have yet to go to all the stores in Dubai Mall!) or relaxing at the beach. Their roster of fine dining restaurants is endless: Zuma, La Petite Maison and Roberto’s top the list. Make sure to book ahead of time because they get full quick. There is a whole slew of new cool laid back café’s in town like Comptoir 102, The Archive and The Pantry for late morning brunches. For nice weekend getaways, so many people loved Bab Al Shams out in the middle of the desert for star gazing at night and a more traditional experience.

Tips The best time to visit the U.A.E is in the winter time ( November to March) because the weather is so wonderful and there are so many places to go and see! One of the nicest places to go is Bein Al Jisrein in Abu Dhabi because you get a wonderful view of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. I can never get enough of it.

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