We’re kicking off a series of neighbourhood guides with a snapshot of life on the chic Dubai area that is The Palm. Recognised the world over as one of Dubai’s most impressive landmarks, this amazing man made island is located off the shore at the Dubai Marina/JBR end of town and is rife with businesses, luxury hotels, apartments, villas and endless drinking and dining options.
The Palm Monorail runs along the trunk, connection the Gateway station with the Atlantis Hotel and linking with the Dubai Tram (whee you can jump on the Metro at Dubai Marina).
With the help of Palm resident and uber Sassy mama of 4, Edwina Viel, we’ve put together a guide to the island – read below for Edwina’s fave spots plus a few of our own suggestions mamas!
“I love the Palm because when you arrive home, it is tranquil and peaceful. It’s great for the children to have access daily to the beach. Unfortunately, it’s still limited for the children’s activities on the Palm, but they are building The Point and Nakheel Mall. We’re keeping our fingers crossed what will be in store for our children in 2016!”
Family Friendly Restaurants
We normally head over to Atlantis The Palm, which has a great range of restaurants. We love Asia Republic/The Burger Joint, which is a quick eat pan-Asian restaurant with The Burger Joint serving what it says on the tin opposite, and they’re flexible serving food from one restaurant to the other. It’s a perfect way to give more choice to our family of 6!
There’s also Yuan which is a favourite as they do a high quality non-alcoholic dim sum brunch on a Friday for AED188. Finally, Ronda Locatelli is great because they have amazing pizza and pasta with a new outdoor eating area, which is just easier with children!
Date Night Restaurants
There are quite a few options for date night including Nobu at The Atlantis, the less well-known Social by Heinz Beck at the Waldorf Astoria, and 101 on the Palm.
The Sassy Mama team are big fans of the uber romantic Anantara – read our Bushmans date night review, Ba Restaurant & Lounge at the Fairmont and The Rib Room at The Jumeirah Zabeel Saray.
Best Places for Brekkie, Lunch and Dinner
So let’s talk brekkie, mama. If you haven’t headed over before, we’re a little in love with West14th’s Mommy Day Off mornings where you’ll be able to score a Baker’s Basket full of delicious freshly baked pastries while the kiddos play over at Ocean Beach Club. The tots will be supervised by their staff and have a whale of a time with arts and crafts and various other activities, while you get to catch up with the girls. (And it’s all just AED 85 for a meal and an hour of child supervision!). This is also the perfect spot for a casual lunch or dinner with a view.
We’re also keen on breakfast at the Royal Mirage or Riva (check out our review!) located in the Shoreline Apartments between buildings 7 and 8. Roll your buggy in for a freshly squeezed juice or homemade cake (plus plenty of healthy homemade options for lunch or dinner) at Sophies, located at the Riva comples – this friendly little Palm Jumeirah local is a great morning pit stop. Then it’s onto lunch at Yuan or dinner at Ronda Locatelli.
There’s little shopping on the Palm unfortunately (or fortunately for the wallet!), however there are little boutique delis and clothing stores as below.
Cute Local Boutiques
For beachwear, head over to Atlantis where mums can grab cute bikinis at Via Rodeo while the boys can grab matching trunks at Hamac, which stocks Vilbrequin. Don’t forget to check out the children’s boutique Angels while your’e there for some great kids clothes, but that’s about it on the Palm!
Milk & Honey is a gourmet grocer inside Shoreline Building 10 – good for emergency milk purchasing or if you’re looking for high-end speciality produce. We use Organic Foods & Cafe in the Greens, Waitrose in Dubai Marina Mall, Market & Platters (a Sassy Mama fave – their fresh seafood is out of this world), and Spinneys for the everyday stuff.
Bliss Flowers on the Palm makes beautiful bouquets for those ‘treat yourself’ or hint at the hubby moments!
Nearby Shopping Areas
We really only have the Mall of Emirates and the Dubai Marina Mall close by. Sometimes we head down to JBR too.
One of our favourite places to hang out with the kiddos is Seagrill on 25° Beach Club, over at Fairmont the Palm. If the image above doesn’t have you convinced then maybe this will: you’ll get access to their amazing facilities including the resort’s swimming pools, access to the private beach as well as some delicious Mediterranean grub and seafood over at their restaurant and lounge. (Our own Sassy Mama Katy swears by the food!) If you don’t want to go all in on the membership (see prices), you can opt for one of day passes ranging between AED 150 – 200.
Best Parks and Playgrounds
On the Palm, there’s a running track with a few play areas, but the best one nearby would still be Umm Sequim Park or Al Barsha Park for the children. We do have Aquaventure, The Dolphins and The Lost Chambers Aquarium but they’re not necessarily everyday places to take the children. There’s also two marinas on the Palm, and we have friends that have boats there who kindly take our family on the weekends.
Soft Plays, Kids Clubs and Classes
Again, with no malls on the Palm there are currently no soft play areas. We like Cheeky Monkeys in Dubai Marina or the Al Barsha Mall (review here), Favourite Things at Dubai Marina Mall is also close-by. Further afield, we love Adventure HQ for the older children in Galleria Mall (review here), and Le Petit Palais in Dubai Mall (review here).
So let’s talk luscious locks, mama. Ted Morgan Hair, a salon exclusively run by Irish ladies, is one of the best places on the Palm to get your hair done. Each of their stylists has come over from the UK or Ireland with at least seven years experience taming tresses and know their stuff when it comes to your colour and cut – did we mention their complimentary signature head massage and free parking as well?
For great hair salons, try Shuiqi Spa or Vanilla by Jelena – there is also a great barber for boys with a small TV screen for them to watch while they are getting their hair down. Ask for Mustafa as he makes it a painless experience.
There are plenty of places to get pampered on the Palm because of the amount of hotels. I love SensAsia Urban Spa (check out our review here), the Atlantis Shuiqi Spa and the spa at the One and Only on the Palm. For manicures and pedicures there is a Tips and Toes, or for a luxurious treatment try the Bastian Manicure at the Atlantis. Finally, you can also organise the only botox party for your girlfriends at the Atlantis ShuiQi Spa.
Sassy Mama loves the Talise Ottoman Spa at the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray – the hammam is out of this world.
So there you have it Mama! If you know of any hidden gems that we’ve yet to discover, drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be sure to check it out!