Long-term Dubai resident, Vrushali Nadkerni, reveals her favourite Dubai hotspots
An amazing city to live in
I moved to Dubai in ’98 and it’s been an amazing 19 years. Our kids were young, so having a city with so much to do was perfect. Being nature lovers, the ability to visit nearly any landscape, from green parks to beaches and from mountains to sand dunes, was incredible. In addition to the various views that make up Dubai, the city also has great waterparks, discovery centres, museums and sport centres making it great for families, especially those with young kids.
The cosmopolitan culture in Dubai is lovely. There is so much exposure to wonderful people and their incredible cultures. With the start of the Happiness Project, Dubai is becoming an even more wonderful place to be. I love the emphasis placed on everyone’s happiness in Dubai.
Shopping is always a great idea
I enjoy visiting Dubai’s local markets and souks. It’s fun to bargain and the shopkeepers always give you good deals. The Deira Souk, Murshid Bazaar and Meena Bazaar are some must-visit souks. The quality of products is super and you can find anything from soft cottons with beautiful prints to sequins work and nets. At the Market in Deira and Bur Dubai, you can find herbs, spices, dry fruits and saffron for good prices, and everything is fresh and can be bought in bulk. My favourite place to buy jewellery would be the Gold Souk, which has some awesome shops. Tourists are also known to head there because of the wide selection of souvenirs.
Have a bite
My favourite dining spots are always changing, but those that remain constant are some of the local authentic restaurants or roadside cafes. A must-try is Al Mallah; they serve delicious shawarmas, falafel and meat platters. Other gems include The Retro Café at Mirdif Mall, Century Village and Irish Village in Garhoud. Some good Indian places are Venus for South Indian food; Sind Punjab, India Palace and Gazebo for North Indian food; Peshwa for Western Coastal Food; and Eric’s for Goan food.
Best for kids
We love to go to Global Village; it’s an incredible festival where you can try different cuisines and buy some great souvenirs and products from each country’s exhibit. Another fun family trip is camping in the desert; it’s wonderful to sleep under the stars and cook outdoors on a grill or campfire. Here, kids can run around and find their own fun. Summer outings that are perfect for kids include Wild Wadi Waterpark in Jumeirah or Ski Dubai at Mall of the Emirates. The Dubai Mall offers many activities like ice skating or themed-zone, Kidzania; while you’re there, don’t miss the massive Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo. The Beach at JBR has games and an artisan market on the weekends, while Kite Beach has its own skate park and trampoline set along with a variety of outdoor activities.
Years in Dubai: 19
Hobbies: gastronomy, travelling, shopping