…especially if you treat them to a one of a kind, sequinned, bright and bendy pair of no-right-no-left-same-same little slip ons from the Bur Dubai market. They’ll walk and walk and walk, feeling all pretty and good about themselves, making you smile every time you tilt your head down to sneak another look at your feet.

DSC_0260DSC_0261While Mum was here, we got to explore some of Dubai’s finest hidden gems (and some not so hidden and very much in your face please come and buy ten pashminas and Gucci Prada Chanel just step into my shop right this way Gucci Gucci Gucci where are you from hello?) along the creek. We explored the old, traditionally built Bastakiya quarter, where we found galleries full of beautiful and thought provoking art, and quiet little courtyards serving delicate rose cheesecake and coffees.

I’d love to share some of my favourites from our walk, although there are of course enough sights and sounds and impressions and guided walks and talks and leaflets to fill a whole book. And someone’s most likely already done that, but.. These are some my faves, from that particular day. Of course we saw so much more, including a whole street of fabric shops, where we picked up some sweet, printed cotton fabrics. I’ve sent a whole bunch back with Mum, and I’m hoping she’ll be using her magic to turn them into something spectacularly cute and wearable.

And that blurred out lady in some of the shots? Well, she’s also my fave.


We literally stumbled into Hindi Lane, which I’d never even heard of, when we took a wrong (right?) turn. Such a fascinating place, this narrow lane, so calm and so beautifully adorned with Hindu prayer offerings, making you dream of India.


Freshly squeezed lime and mint cooler, beneath the shady trees at Arabian Tea House? Yes, please.


Majlis Gallery. Wow. So much beauty here, from furniture to large oil paintings to delicate ceramics to wood carving and photographs. I also discovered they run workshops for artists — sign me up!

DSC_0283 DSC_0284 DSC_0285XVA Art Hotel. What an experience. Not only is it an Internationally-acclaimed art gallery, it also houses an award winning vegetarian cafe. People who know me well, will know that means it ticks two major boxes of interest for me. Also, both Mum and I can highly recommend their rose cheesecake. So good. 

DSC_0289 DSC_0291 DSC_0293

Have you ever been to Old Dubai? What was your favourite part? When you travel and explore new places, what sort of things take priority? What are your must-do’s? Maybe it depends on the company you’re with at the time? I dare say a walk through Old Dubai and the Bastakiya quarter would not have been quite the same with Finley and Sienna, as it was with Mum.


PS. Remember that delicious chickpea salad I had last time I visited Arabian Tea House, when it was still called Basta Art Cafe? Sadly they changed it, and it was nothing near as good as I remembered it. Such a bummer. 

  1. Janet Finsnes said:

    When can I move out there? I want some bendy shoes and rose cheesecake. And that photo with the legs hanging down through that sort of tutu! Its too gorgeous for words! Xx

    Sent from my iPad

    • Welcome, any time, Janet! I’ll take you out for tea and cheesecake and new shoes :)

    • Thank you! It really was the most rewarding day… I mean, those shoes! Helloo! :)

  2. Jude said:

    Wow, I didn’t think Dubai was my sort of place but it looks amazing. Awesome photos.

    • Dubai was never somewhere I wanted to visit, let alone live..haha. But have to say, it’s surprised me in many ways – good and bad :) It’s full of contrasts, and very, very fascinating!

  3. I always thought Dubai was beaches and shopping. So as an expat in cyprus who is headed towards Dubai via London, I am very happy to see some more off the track cultural delights are awaiting me. Gorgeous photographs by the way.

    • Mimi, you will love it.. You’ve got to dig a little deeper to find the true gems, but wow such fun when you find them. Incredible galleries, and the arts community is growing so it’s exciting!!
      Thank you ;))

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