Eat, drink and shop
There’s a huge choice of restaurants in Dubai Marina; the waterside promenade is home to an abundance of eateries and cafes, and more line The Walk at JBR. The variety of cuisines is staggering and there’s something to suit all different tastes and budgets, from those seeking a sophisticated starched white napkin affair, to those in a Johnny-Rockets-need-a burger mood. Other fast and slow options can be found at the food hall in Marina Mall, accompanied by coffee shops and big brand retail outlets. Everything from opticians to pharmacies, clothing shops to book stores can be found here and there’s also a Waitrose supermarket for those must-have foodie items. Several other supermarkets are scattered about the area and there’s also a small outdoor market at JBR selling clothes, souvenirs and tourist items. A raised corridor runs from Marina Mall to the popular Pier 7 restaurant complex that overlooks the waterway. Each of the 7 floors houses a different eatery with its own cuisine: including French at Fumé, Mexican at O Cacti, British at The Scene, or Far East favourites at Asia Asia. Book in advance for terrace tables with splendid views across the marina – provided you find boat masts and rudders splendid, that is.
Location. Location. Location.
Land meets water at JBR, with the marina located slightly inland; its central waterway joins at each end to the Arabian Gulf, forming an island —connected by several access roads — upon which the beachfront community is built. Jebel Ali Port and the JAFZA free zone sit at one end of the area, which is sandwiched between the waters of the Gulf on one side and Sheikh Zayed Road on the other.
Out and about
There are lots of things to do in Dubai Marina and JBR. The beachfront and the 7 km marina walkway play host to joggers, walkers and cyclists, and it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for stray parachutists aiming for the landing pad at nearby Skydive Dubai. Water plays an important role in this area, the busy waterway and surrounding Gulf waters are home to yachts, motorboats, kayaks, party boats, paddle boards, jet skis and other aquatic vessels. Just offshore, kids can exhaust themselves climbing over an inflatable assault course, while parents kick back and soak up some sun on the beach. If you prefer solid ground underfoot, Marina Mall has a cinema and a kids’ play zone, or there are many gyms, spas and exercise classes in the area, with nail and beauty options, too. Some hotels have health and fitness clubs that accept non-guests, for a fee. This is one of the few places in Dubai where it’s common for people to stroll between destinations: the beachfront and marina walkway are well used by both visitors and residents. Scheduled water taxis are in operation and for longer distances, the Dubai Tram services both districts.
Primary to secondary
There are a number of pre-school options, including Willow Children’s Nursery in the heart of Dubai Marina, and Toddler Town British Nursery, Monroe’s Nursery and Kidville Nursery in JBR. Primary and Secondary options are a short drive away by car or school bus and include Dubai British School in The Springs, Emirates International School in The Meadows and Regent International School in The Greens.