This year’s edition of the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), one of the biggest shopping extravaganzas on the planet, is now at its fag end. If you wish to take a break from all the shopping craze and unwind once DSF is over, then here are five ways to do so. By Satarupa Paul

1. Stroll Through The Historic Neighbourhood Of Al Seef:

Al Seef
Al Seef:  Photographed by Satarupa Paul

The heart of Dubai where local fishermen, pearl-divers, weavers and tradesmen once gathered to trade, Al Seef is today a beautiful waterfront promenade that blends the city’s rich past with its sleek, modern present. Walk through the charming sikkas (alleyways) in the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, where old gypsum and coral buildings have been painstakingly restored to their original glory. Several of these house galleries display Arabic calligraphy, modern art, a coffee museum, boutique hotel, cafes and shops. The Arabian-style open air Al Seef Heritage Souk is dotted with wind-towers and sandstone buildings, where you can spend a leisurely afternoon imbibing traditional Emirati customs and glimpse an authentic flashback into the lifestyles of past generations. 

2. Swim, Surf & Watch A Blockbuster By The Beach At La Mer:

La Mer in Dubai

Dubai’s eclectic new beachfront destination, La Mer features shops, restaurants and cafes in minimalist contemporary designs, along 2.5 kilometres of soothing white sand. The landscaped open squares leading to the beach are lined by 55 indoor and al fresco dining spaces. Over 40 boutiques and concept stores offer beach essentials. The beach itself is ideal for sunbathing and swimming, and you can even rent a cabana for the day to rest in with views of the Arabian Gulf. A range of water sports, including surfing, paddle boarding, jet skiing, kayaking and etc. are available, but if you wish to simply sit back and relax, then hit the new cinema multiplex that screens blockbusters by the beach. 

3. Take A Walk In The Shadow Of The Burj Khalifa At Burj Park:

Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, needs no introduction. Located in the shadow of this impressive feat of engineering is the Burj Park—a beautiful green lung area surrounded by the skyscrapers of busy Downtown Dubai. The park nestles on a small island on the shimmering blue Burj Lake—home to the dazzling Dubai Fountain. You can take a long relaxing walk or work your muscles and cycle to the park through connecting bridges. Burj Park is also the venue for various events throughout the year, including the peppy pop-up market of food stalls and designer boutiques called Market Out Of the Box. 

4. Indulge In World Cuisines At The Hottest Fine Dining Restaurants:       

Dubai shopping festival
Dubai culinary scene

From Gordon Ramsay to Nobu Matsuhisa to Instragram celeb ‘Salt Bae’, everyone has outlets of their restaurants here. Among the newer dine-ins that are worth checking out is The Hide that boasts an extensive menu of steaks. Inspired by the meateries of America, this haven for meat lovers brings a fresh twist to the Dubai culinary scene. Overlooking the landmark building of Burj Al Arab is Summersalt Beach Club that houses Umi Shio—a new Japanese fusion pop-up concept created by Japanese-Argentinian chef Cristian Goya. Each dish here is a work of art and an amalgamation of flavours that leave you in blissful food coma. If a lazy brunch is on your mind, then head to Khyamat Al Bahar that does a huge breakfast spread, with views of the sea for company. 

5. Experience Luxury Living At A Beach Resort:

Dubai shopping festival
Jumeirah Madinat in Dubai

If you have a day or two to spare after the frenzy of the Dubai Shopping Festival, and wish to experience a slice of the luxurious lifestyle of Dubai, then check yourself into one of the top beach resorts here. Set across its own private beach, the Jumeirah Madinat comprises four grand hotels, 50 restaurants, a souk, spa and fitness centre and much more… all of which is connected by over 3-kms of landscaped gardens and a canal. Accessible by battery-operated buggies and boats, each hotel is unique in its offerings—from the contemporary rooms of the newly opened Al Naseem to the quaint Arabian style villas of Dar Al Masyaf, a stay here is all the luxe unwinding you’ll need.

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