Travel

Dubai International Financial Centre

Establishment neighborhood
Galleries at Gate Village
Gate Village, Dubai International Finance Centre
The village surrounding the DIFC's Arc de Triomphe lookalike, the gate, is also home to some of the city's best galleries. You'll find the classic upscale operations here (Christie's, for example, has their office in this area) as well as some local galleries that are more than worth touring, like Ayyam Gallery (they also have a location in Beirut). You can cover all the art spaces an hour or so, but check the calendar for their art nights, which bring live music and performance to the space in the evenings.
Jones the Grocer
Trade Centre, Dubai International Financial Centre
Originated in Sydney in 1996, Jones the Grocer's gourmet cafés are now in over seven countries (four cafes residing in Dubai alone), making it an easy-to-find standby for a solid meal and great host/hostess gifts in the form of gourmet chocolates, cheeses, jams, and other kitchen goodies. The café is a great place to set up with a coffee and sandwich for a few hours of work. There are also locations in Al Manara and Al Safa.
La Petite Maison
Gate Village, Dubai International Finance Centre
A spinoff of the London La Petite Maison—a restaurant by Arjun Waney (the investor behind Zuma) based on the restaurant of the same name in Nice—the food here has a distinctly southern French soul. Plates come small and to share, so you can theoretically sample it all. The salads and carpaccios from the starter menu shouldn't be missed, and for the main course, the fish is always excellent. The real star of the show is the black-leg-roasted chicken, though. Order it right when you sit down; It takes about an hour and twenty minutes, but it justifies the wait.
Zuma
Gate Village, Dubai International Finance Centre
A few years ago, it felt like nobody could stop talking about Zuma. Sometimes too much hype can turn you off a restaurant, but that’s not the case here. More than ten years after the original London opening, with locations in what seems like every major city, it's still one of the best meals anywhere. Tokyo-based interior designer Noriyoshi Muramatsu (who's done several Zumas) differentiates Zuma Dubai, which sits within the Dubai International Financial Centre, with a massive bamboo sculpture suspended from 450 delicate wires.
Intersect by Lexus
Gate Village, Dubai International Finance Centre
Located in DIFC (Dubai International Financial Centre, the "free zone" where companies can be set up without the requirement of a local partner), Intersect is an ideal meeting spot if you're in Dubai on business, but also just a nice cafe for coffee and a snack if you're in the area to check out one of DIFC's galleries or do a little shopping. Outside of Friday brunch (Dubai's Saturday), the focus is on weekday lunch—salads, soups, meat mains—with breakfast being more of a light pastry affair. Developed by Wonderwall's Masamichi Katayama, Intersect is set up like a library cafe—the walls are lined with bookshelves—and there are Lexus touches throughout, mostly subtle, and possible to miss—i.e. the leather couches are the same leather as you'll find in the cars. (Downstairs, in "the garage," is the less subtle homage to Lexus, where a flashy concept car is stationed. The tiny model cars placed into the glass walls lining the adjacent bathroom corridor are a fun touch.)
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