Venture into Downtown Burj Dubai and chances are you’ll find yourself in the Souk Al Bahar. The name, meaning ‘Market of the Sailor’ derives from the traditional souk-style architecture; the narrow, natural stone corridors, high archways, soft light and waterfront location.
Compared to the real, bustling souks that surround the Creek, what the Al Bahar lacks in authenticity, it more than makes up for in entertainment value. There are over 100 outlets that include quirky design boutiques, handmade jewellery stalls and Arabian handicrafts all clustered within view of the Burj Dubai’s enormous lake.
The most popular attractions are proving to be the new restaurants, bars and cafes; perfect for enjoying a strong Arabic coffee and a little people-watching, or brunch with friends and family. The place du jour is the Rivington Grill. Opened by the Caprice group who own celebrity haunt, The Ivy, it brings its hallmarks of quality and simplicity in food, as well as a quintessentially British style of design and service.
Celebrated French brasserie Margaux have also opened an outlet at the Souk Al Bahar, serving classic French Mediterranean cuisine. The chef Julian Mercier trained with legendary chef Alain Ducasse, and transforms traditional flavours with modern cooking techniques. With an 800 strong wine list including rare and vintage varieties, expertly designed to compliment the dishes, you are treated to a real French culinary experience.
After dinner, the place to be seen is new club Hive. And if the retail therapy and amazing food and glamorous nightlife fail to impress, then you can always take a ringside seat at the Burj Lake to see the spectacle of the world’s biggest dancing fountain. It has to be seen to be believed.
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