Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 12 November 2019

Where to eat in Umm Suqeim, Dubai: plus things to do and the best place to stay

From the best burgers in town to plenty of great coffee: here's your guide to the suburb that is home to the Burj Al Arab

Kite Beach gets busy with surfers on windier days. It's one of Umm Suqeim's most lively areas. Photo: Chris Whiteoak / The National 
Kite Beach gets busy with surfers on windier days. It's one of Umm Suqeim's most lively areas. Photo: Chris Whiteoak / The National 

The suburb runs from the beach near Burj Al Arab inland towards Sheikh Zayed Road. The side streets are home to the city’s swankiest villas, but also some of its best small, independent eateries.

From breakfast to dinner: where to eat in Umm Suqeim

The breakfasts at Turkish restaurant Kaftan are so good you’ll need to book a table (sit in the garden). Go with a group and share as many dishes as possible, but definitely order the moreish bal and kaymak, aka honeycomb and thick cream (Dh42). Other must-try breakfast places include Neighbors, where they bake their own sourdough, Palestinian soul food restaurant Mama’esh, and Balkan bistro 21 Grams, where the coffee is great, but the burek (Dh32) is unmissable.

Neighbors on Al Thanya Street bakes its own bread, including sourdough, fresh daily. Photo: Nyree McFarlane 
Neighbors on Al Thanya Street bakes its own bread, including sourdough, fresh daily. Photo: Nyree McFarlane

For lunch and dinner, there is the famous Salt burger spot on the beach, while down the road Bu Qtair is known for its Keralan fish with paratha and dahl (warning: it’s cash only). You can’t go wrong with the Lebanese fare at Al Safadi on Sheikh Zayed Road. Meanwhile, you’ll find the best burger in Dubai at the tiny hole in the wall High Joint, which is in a backstreet next to traditional bakery Quraishi, known for its piping-hot, Afghan-style bread filled with za’atar.

The map of all of our top picks:

The best thing to do in Umm Suqeim

Kite Beach on a Saturday evening is prime people-watching time. There are families having picnics, groups playing beach volleyball, people power-walking or sprinting along the seven-kilometre running track and then those sitting on the sand eating a tasty morsel from a food truck. The whole area transforms for events, too – right now, you’ll find free workouts there as part of Dubai Fitness Challenge. Start at Sunset Beach for the perfect Burj Al Arab view, wander to Kite Beach and end at the Jumeirah Fishing Harbour (next to Seaview Restaurant), where many fishermen both live and work. That’s about a seven-kilometre round-trip walk and the perfect weekend activity.

The public beach near the Burj Al Arab (just next to the Park Regis hotel) is colloquially known as Sunset Beach. Reem Mohammed/The National
The public beach near the Burj Al Arab (just next to the Park Regis hotel) is colloquially known as Sunset Beach. Reem Mohammed/The National

Shop: When it comes to groceries, you’re spoilt for choice: the Waitrose on Al Thanya Street is always busy, but we’re particular fans of the Union Coop on Al Wasl, where you’ll find cheap, incredibly fresh fruit and vegetables and excellent fish. There is also the small market in Jumeirah Fish Market at the harbour (officially called Souk Al Bahar 4 Fish), home to a range of fishmongers.

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - DECEMBER 30, 2018. A woman at the vegetable section in Union Coop in Umm Suqeim 2. (Photo by Reem Mohammed/The National) Reporter: Section: NA STANDALONE
The vegetables at Union Coop in Umm Suqeim are some of the freshest in town. Photo: Reem Mohammed / The National

Where to stay in Umm Suqeim

Umm Suqeim is home to Burj Al Arab and the whole Madinat Jumeirah complex. A cheaper option, however, is the Park Regis Boutique Jumeirah next to Sunset Beach, where rooms cost from about Dh400 a night, depending on the season.

Plus ... there's a great coffee scene in Umm Suqeim

There’s nothing more Umm Suqeim than a drive-by drink pick-up. The speciality coffee scene is strong: we love Nostalgia on Al Thanya, Brew Cafe on Jumeirah Beach Road and No. 5 on Al Wasl. There are also many juice bars. You’ll struggle to find parking on a Friday night, but we’re fans of the Magical Mango concoction (Dh24) at Blends on Jumeirah Street.

The coffee at Nostalgia is excellent. Photo: Nyree McFarlane
The coffee at Nostalgia is excellent. Photo: Nyree McFarlane

Updated: November 4, 2019 12:22 PM

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