Dubai has a name for being an incredible place to sample cuisines from all over the planet. Combine this with its worldwide reputation for decadence and outlandish experiences, it is no surprise that you need never get bored of the same old drinks here. Here are 10 of the best or most unusual places to experience non-alcoholic drinks in Dubai:
Dubai has hundreds of coffee shops, many of which are the multinational brands everyone is so familiar with. However, combining a great reputation and a more independent spirit, Seven Fortunes is a bean roasting company with a passion for producing unique coffee to the highest standards. While not technically a cafe, you can sample the exquisite range in Al Quoz before taking some home to brew yourself. Or you can find their coffee in a few cafes across the city, including Culinary Boutique on Jumeirah Beach Road.
If you are tired of average coffee in average places, then Cafe Rider can turn things around. With a great reputation for its drinks, it could also be argued that Cafe Rider is the coolest cafe in Dubai. It features a glass walled workshop where motorcycles are customized and modified, as well as a foosball area and sophisticated leather couches. This cafe epitomizes the trend for modern industrial cool.
If you are seeking a more authentic, local experience you need to try a true Arabian coffee experience. Gawah (or Qawah) is a rich, strong and spiced coffee served in small cups without handles. Poured from a classical Arabian coffeepot called a Dallah, it has a ceremonial feel. Good places to try it include The Coffee Museum in Al Fahidi District (brush up on local coffee history here, too) or the nearby Arabian Tea House Cafe.
Coffee is the true drink of the Middle East but other popular drinks include Jallab and Karak Chai. Jallab is a traditional Arabian drink made from grape molasses, dates and rose water and is a truly authentic taste of the Middle East. Karak Chai is a heavily spiced, milky tea-based drink which reminds us of the strong historical trade and cultural links between the Dubai area and India. Seek them out at Al Habbab in The Dubai Mall and Mezza House in Downtown Dubai.
Less than a decade ago Shake Shack was a one-cart affair in Madison Square Garden, NYC. It quickly gained such a cult following that a fan set a webcam so that customers could check out the wait before they headed over. They’ve now bought their incredible shakes and floats to 6 locations across Dubai, including The Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates. Loyal customers head back at least monthly for their shakes of the month.
Also falling into the American shake category, Black Tap has quite a reputation for its outlandish shakes. Probably the most popular is the Sweet n’ Salty peanut butter shake. It’s topped with an array of candy, a chocolate frosted rim, whipped cream and sauce; it really is quite a work of art. Also as dazzling is the Cotton Candy, a strawberry shake with a candy floss topping.
If sugar is your thing, then look no further than Sugar Factory for an array of sweet treats. They’ve built their reputation on outlandishness, and serve some of the craziest drinks we’ve ever seen! For an afternoon treat, try one of their amazing hot chocolates, or perhaps a frozen version; all the deliciousness of a regular hot chocolate but more suited to the Dubai climate.
If you’ve overdone the milkshakes and frozen hot chocolate then you might feel the need to detox with a super healthy smoothie or juice. @Blend on Palm Jumeirah is the perfect place to rejuvenate. These guys know the science behind their ingredients and serve some amazing drinks to boost your well-being. Try the avocado and kale packed Greenometer or The Elixir of Youth, a mix of fruits and almond milk.
360° at Jumeirah Beach Hotel is often tipped to be the best place to see a Dubai sunset. Sitting out in the water and accessed by the marina walkway, it offers spectacular views combined with ambient music, great food and drinks and is the perfect place to relax at the beginning of the evening. 360° serves a delicious range of mocktails and soft drinks.
Finally, for a sophisticated evening, it is hard to beat sipping a mocktail while enjoying the spectacular city views Dubai has to offer. The Mercury Lounge at The Four Seasons at Jumeirah Beach is the perfect setting for just this. Try the delicious Ginger Peach Iced Tea or the frivolous sounding Lollipop.
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