When it comes to tourist hotpots that also hold favour with Dubai residents, the Souk Madinat Jumeirah is usually one of the top picks.
Surrounded by three kilometres of waterways and with awesome views of the Burj Al Arab, the traditionally inspired bazaar is home to a wealth of popular bars and restaurants and usually frequented by locals and visitors alike.
Without tourists around, it's a lot quieter at Souk Madinat Jumeirah than it would normally be at this time of year, but things are beginning to come back to life as outlets reopen. With social distancing measures in place and pre-booking often required, here’s a guide to where you can go.
The waterfront McGettigan's at Souk Madinat is a popular choice for locals. The Irish bar is open daily, from 3pm on weekdays and from noon on weekends. Serving up plenty of Irish hospitality, there's also all-day drinks promotions. Social distancing measures are in place and pre-booking is required. It’s the second McGettigan’s outlet to reopen, after the branch in JLT.
If you’re craving authentic Mexican fare, you can do a lot worse than Maria Bonita. One of Dubai’s longest-running Mexican joints, this taco and Mexican grill serves up amazing tacos, burritos, quesadillas, fajitas and more. Don't miss the churros for dessert and, if you can brave the heat, enjoy a chilled beverage from the terrace where you’ll have awesome views of the Burj Al Arab. Open daily from noon until 10pm.
Taverna Greek Kitchen
While Greece may have reopened to tourists, you can't quite jump on a plane and head there just yet. But that doesn't mean you need to miss out on all of your favourite Greek food.
Tide yourself over with a visit to Taverna. It’s open daily until 10pm and you’ll have book a table. All customers will be welcomed in with a complimentary summer drink.
The Noodle House
A pan-Asian crowd pleaser, the Noodle House is a good pick when you’re not sure what you are in the mood for, but know that you want something comforting and tasty. This family-friendly haunt serves up favourites like bao, wok-fried noodles and Singaporean duck every day of the week from noon until 10pm.
If the stress of living in a global pandemic is getting to you – hands up everyone – then escape to Trader Vics where exotic Polynesian vibes are on hand to help you forget about the world for a while. Food portions are huge, drinks are served in coconuts and the staff are wearing tropical print face masks. There’s very limited seating thanks to social distancing measures so be sure to book ahead.
Rustic Tuscan dishes cooked with finesse are what’s on the menu at laid-back Trattoria, which has also reopened at the Madinat. Tuck into delicious plates of pasta, seafood and more by the waterside or opt to sit in the traditionally styled taverna. It’s family-friendly and open daily from noon until 10pm.
Perry & Blackwelders
Not only has this American smokehouse reopened, it’s gearing up for a big weekend with celebrations for the 4th of July. Happenings include Hollywood movies screened on a giant screen and a Yankee classics menu. Now that its open for business, this is a good one to add to your list anytime you're craving a slice of stateside.
If you’re craving traditional Belgian fries and mussels, then you might want to book a table at Belgian Cafe. The bar reopened on Thursday, July 2 and there are some special promotions to celebrate being newly back in action.
The vintage US inspired bar and restaurant has reopened and is serving up food and drinks every day of the week. The speakeasy-themed hangout also has daily offers on drinks and great value lunchtime promotions from Sunday to Thursday.
The Meat Co
Carnivores may want to beeline to The Meat Co which has been welcoming diners back since early June. Tables have been spaced further apart and staff are following strict new hygiene measures. Try going during the day when there's some decent lunch promotions to be found. It’s open daily from noon to 10pm.