42 Things We Love About the UAE!

To celebrate the UAE's Expo 2020 bid and mark National Day, we've asked celebs, local personalities and our readers the reasons they heart the UAE
BySarah SwainSunday , 24 November 2013
42 Things We Love About the UAE!

1. National Day
“National Day is a source of pride for all residents of the UAE. It symbolises the progress, glory and greatness of this country that we residents witness every day.” Anjaan, Presenter on Josh 97.8

2. Sandance
Sure, we moan about the queues, but which other event brings top acts like Florence + the Machine or The Killers on a regular basis, not to mention giving us the opportunity to dance with the sand between our toes? Anyone who’s forgotten what it’s like on a Friday night at their local Ritzy/Paradise Lost/Faces back home should revisit their past nightlife options and then count their chickens. INFO: www.sandance.ae

3. Taxis
Where else in a cosmopolitan city would taxis be so accessible and affordable? 

4. Awesome buildings
“I love that there’s so much to see, and that every building is so interesting and beautiful.” 
Khloé Kardashian, reality TV star

5. Dubai Metro
Speedy and slick, it’s the best way to zip around Dubai – take that, traffic on Sheikh Zayed Road! Clean, fast, cheap and usually not too crowded, it’s a fab way to get about.
INFO: www.rta.ae/dubai_metro

6. Ski Dubai
“My favourite thing in Dubai is Ski Dubai in Mall of the Emirates and I can ski a little bit. I like that and I like to ride the dune buggies. Four-wheelers, thrill-seeking, all that stuff… I love it.” Ludacris, actor and rapper INFO: www.skidxb.com

7. Yas Marina Circuit
“There aren’t many places where you can get within 10 feet of a speeding F1 race car! A trip to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is an unforgettable experience.” Swainy, Ahlan! Features Writer
INFO: www.yasmarinacircuit.com

8. Yas Water World
“Thanks to Yas Water World for the second-best six seconds of my life.” 
David Hasselhoff, actor [what was the first?] 
INFO: www.yaswaterworld.com

9. Barasti
Hailed one of the world’s best, this top beach bar is particularly good during the daytime – it’s like being on holiday. Did you know the name reads ‘It’s Arab’ backwards? INFO: www.barastibeach.com

10. Brunch
“Nowhere in the world does brunch like Dubai – from Yalumba to Spectrum on One to the newcomers springing up weekly, we’re spoilt for choice. I can’t find a decent brunch anywhere in London.”
Sarah Hedley Hymers, Ahlan! Group Editor

11. Unity
We especially love how the whole of the UAE has banded together to get behind the EXPO 2020 bid. That’s what you call ‘The Spirit of the Union’

You can get McDonald’s delivered to your door!
Cat, Ahlan! Picture Editor INFO: www.mcdelivery.ae

13. The Dubai Fountain
“The fountain show on the Burj Lake at Downtown Dubai is spectacular and it’s also nice to see how much everyone else is enjoying it. The Fountains speak an international language that never fails to leave you breathless!” Maureen Hall, Owner/CEO COEGA Sunwear

14. The Mani/Pedi
With a salon on literally every corner, there’s no excuse for having manky nails. Ever.

15. Cheap Petrol
There are so many places to discover and people to see in the UAE, so it’s great to know that you can zoom around the Emirates without having to pay a fortune for fuel. At Dhs6.50 ($1.77) a gallon, ours is the fifth cheapest place in the world to fill up your tank! 

16. Generosity
From the millions of dirhams’ worth of aid donated to the Philippines in the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan to simple iftar meal programmes for the less fortunate during Ramadan, the people of the UAE always display an unparalleled sense of charity and community spirit. INFO: www.dubaicharity.org.ae/en/

17. Staying Safe
“The low crime rate in the UAE is a total blessing – you can walk around safely at night and don’t have to be paranoid about your belongings everywhere you go.” Fariel Greenwood, Ahlan! reader

18. Celeb Chefs
The culinary scene in the UAE is a fiercely competitive one; something that’s not lost on celebrity chefs Gary Rhodes, Marco Pierre White, Pierre Gagnaire and Giorgio Locatelli, all of whom have restaurants here.

19. Atlantis
“One of my favourite hotels in the world is Atlantis! It is gorgeous, and whether you’re going to Aquaventure or Nobu you feel like you’ve stepped into another world.” Neeraj Khanna, Ahlan! reader

20. Tax-Free Haven
“Great weather, great lifestyle and, better yet, great value! What’s not to love about living in a tax-free bubble?” Lindsay Judge, Ahlan! Fashion & Beauty Editor

21. Emirates Airline
“Serious SATC swag going on! The best plane I’ve ever been on!” Kim Kardashian, reality TV star

22 Riding in the Desert
“In Dubai I went out to the desert and I got to ride camels as the sun was setting – it was really magical. There are just so many moments that I’ll never forget.” 
Tom Cruise, actor

23. Rhythm Nation
“The sound and rhythm of the Middle East is off the scale – we don’t have anything like that in the USA. That distinctive sound, much like the sound in Africa, is so rich and vibrant.” Timbaland, singer

24. Old Meets New
“I love how you can go from new Dubai’s glitz and glamour to old Dubai’s tradition and beauty in mere minutes!” Tan Isha, Ahlan! reader

25. The Fashion Scene
“We see such a diverse group of designers who are either from the Middle East or who have chosen to make it their home and represent the region through their designs.” Bong Guerrero, Founder & CEO of Fashion Forward

26. Burj Khalifa
We’re not ones to boast, but the world’s tallest building is right here on our doorstep.

27. Macaroni Burgers
The World’s largest Cheesecake Factory is based in Dubai at Mall of the Emirates. “Not only is its cheesecake amazing, but there is nothing quite like the Macaroni Burger, which is a regular burger with a fried macaroni cheese ball on top. It’s amazecheeseballs.” Gillian Fletcher, Ahlan! Art Editor
INFO: www.malloftheemirates.com  

28. Shops, Shops & More Shops
“The UAE’s malls has taken the best of every shopping experience internationally and made it their own, whether it’s US faves like Banana Republic, Aussie brands like Cotton On or Brit staples like Topshop. It certainly helps to quell homesickness pangs when you can take refuge in Waitrose, Marks & Spencer or Debenhams.”
JJ Anisiobi, Ahlan! News Editor

29. The Dubai Mall
“This mall is so big and has the best stores! Huge!” 
Paris Hilton, reality TV star

30. The Music Scene
“Since I’m in the music business and I started DJing at a young age, I witnessed the progress of the UAE becoming a renowned music hub worldwide.”
Saif Al Naji, Radio 1 Presenter and DJ 

31. Al Ain
Renowned for its gardens and greenery, we love taking in the peaceful vibe of this nearby city. A hike up Jebel Hafeet is always great exercise, and the view is out of this world!

32. Daiso
Anything and everything you could wish for is available from just Dhs7. You can even furnish your home from here if you want to! Look out for its branches at Ibn Battuta Mall, The Dubai Mall and Mirdif City Centre.

33. UAE Souqs
“Mooching through the UAE souqs, whether it’s the old blue souq in Sharjah or the antique souq in Al Quoz, there is always something to fall in love with.” Becky Balderstone, Founder of Ripe

34. Vision
“It’s a city with vision. I’d like to share it with my family and friends. It’s awesome.” 
John Travolta, actor

35. Karama
We love the experience of picking up ‘original fakes’ and other bargains in this older part of Dubai.

36. The City That Never Sleeps
“No matter what time of the dayor night it is, the city is still lit up and there is always something you can find to do.”
Barney Ribeiro, Nervecell Guitarist 

37. Dubai World Cup
In line with the UAE’s passion for equestrianism, it’s only fitting that Dubai should throw one of the most glamorous events of its kind annually. It’s a great excuse to dress up in a fancy hat! Plus it’s the most lucrative horse race in the world!

38. Picture Perfect
“I loved the beautiful view from my balcony at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray.” 
Selena Gomez, singer and actress

39. Satwa
“Anything can be fixed, mended or created ‘same same’ in Satwa, better than new.”
James Piecowye, Dubai Eye Presenter

40. Beach Clubs
Comfy sunbed? Check. Towel? Check. Man to spray you with water? Check. You can feel like an A-lister by lounging at a beach club for the day. Pure indulgence! One of our top spots is RIVA Beach Club on The Palm, Jumeirah.
INFO: www.riva-beach.com

41. Ladies’ Nights
Free cocktails? Must be Ladies’ Night! And they’re not just on Tuesdays any more – every night of the week has one now. Check them out at www.ahlanlive.com/entertainment.bars-and-clubs/ladies-nights

42. Nightlife
Nowhere else in the world can you go from Cavalli Club to Armani/Privé in one night – probably because you wouldn’t normally be let in! We love how accessible everything is here. 

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