“This entire structure of seven floors has no visible columns supporting it, and no corners either!” Our guide at the newly- opened Museum of the Future (MOTF) proudly shows off the most unique building of the world. Dubai’s numero uno attraction is worth the advance reservation; it’s booked for weeks on end. Turning the concept of a museum on its head, MOTF showcases prospects and projections of what lies in store for humankind. You’re encouraged to use all five senses to participate in what the future might hold of us, through experientials. The key theme is a fascinating journey into space, in 2071, with technology ensuring that it’s a riveting experience for us non-ISRO folks.
Post-pandemic, the mega-city is welcoming visitors back with a fervor-other attractions awaiting travellers include new adventure experiences, art shows, and of course, trending culinary hotspots. But as ‘extravagance’ is Dubai’s middle name, it’s doing this in luxe-mode.
Another way to be closer to space is to head to the 52nd level of the Address Sky View. Slip into the provided harnesses, and step out onto the edge of the skyscraper. A guaranteed adrenaline rush awaits! It’s not every day that you hang with your back to the 220 m drop, video-call your mum and go, ‘Look ma, no hands!’ ‘Cause there’s excellent network up there (the Airtel-user in me was shocked beyond belief). Termed the ‘Edge Walk’, the experience promises to be among the most memorable 15 minutes of your life. You can even go live on Instagram for your followers to behold the insane views of the city. If glittering city views post sunset are more your scene, drive to Palm Jumeirah’s The View at The Palm, and head up to its highest viewing deck, on the 54th floor. Unlike a regular observatory deck, this one has accompanying lounge music.
For greater lounging joy, set off for a private cruise on a luxury yacht from the lesser-crowded marina, the Dubai Creek Harbour. The Boat by The Address is a gleaming little vessel (85 ft long), perfect for a brunch or a sundowner with friends. It offers an unusual acquaintance with Dubai, through its canals and mangroves. For a more formal lounging experience, hit up your network to see who holds a membership to the Dubai outpost of the historic The Arts Club, London. You’d pass through stately-appointed corridors into dining rooms abuzz with the crème de la crème of Dubai; don’t forget to dress sharp!
A(RT)NOTHER SIDE OF DUBAI
The UAE has been actively pursuing opportunities to engage with artists and increase its cultural footprint. An endeavour in this direction is the Alserkal Avenue, a short ride away from the glinting glass towers of downtown Dubai. It presents itself as a beautiful melting pot of art and craft showcases, cafes and co-working spaces, and vintage restoration stations. A cultural district spread over 5,00,000 sq feet, Alserkal Avenue exudes an inclusive, cool vibe, distinct from the rest of Dubai. Art NFTs and ceramic studios share the space, both located a stone’s throw away from the garage that restores classic cars, and an Italian atelier that custom-makes shoes.
During my recent visit, I got to view some incredible artwork — the massive 3.5 X 8m long painting titled Guernica for the Siriocene, by multidisciplinary artist and storyteller Raghava KK; Jitish Kallat’s first major solo exhibition in South Asia, Order of Magnitude, which is open for viewing until July 1, 2022; and so many more. If that’s any indication of the wonderful day you’ll spend in and out of art galleries, here’s a bonus: When you attend a perfume-making workshop at Oo La Lab, you get to custom-create a fragrance, name it, and carry home the labelled bottle.
DINE WINE & DINE
If all of this sounds like you working up an appetite, that’s perfect, because stellar culinary experiences are synonymous with Dubai. SushiSamba, headed by chef Moon Kyung Soo brings you an unheard of melange—of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisines and culture. The restaurant enjoys a coveted spot on the 51st floor of The St. Regis The Palm, affording unobstructed 360 degree views of the Palm Jumeirah coastline and the Arabian Gulf. Another new hotspot is Tamoka, The Ritz-Carlton Jumeirah Beach Resort’s vibrant Antillean-inspired bohemian dining venture. You’d be at ground level here, with sand in your feet, as head chef Cesar Bartolini sends out his culinary masterpieces.
For alfresco lunches in the heart of the city, head to the La Cantine du Faubourg. In an interesting twist, this fine-dining restaurant is decorated with graffiti-inspired artwork on the walls. Located in the heart of the Dubai International Financial Centre, La Cantine du Faubourg manages to draw a reaction from patrons as their cars pull up to the door—the majestic MOTF feels so close, that you’d instinctively stretch your arm to touch it. (But you actually can’t!)
Images courtesy: Dubai Tourism
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