Dubai - Food and drink
A multicultural state, Dubai has soaked up gastronomic influences from its neighbours, India, the Mediterranean and Africa. Arabian snack food, such as the spicy shawarma and falafel, is fast, cheap and delicious - served from a range of kiosks and street vendor stalls.
Remember that Thursday night is the start of the weekend - with Sunday the start of the working week: so expect tables to be busy on Thursday and Friday nights.
Every mall, tourist attraction and beach front development in Dubai comes complete with a food court, displaying a dizzying selection of cuisines.
The Dubai Mall, and the Mall of the Emirates have major chains, pub-style fare, fast food and coffee shops galore, while the fine dining options at it's hotels, and in the downtown area wouldn't look out of place in London, Paris or New York (except for the price of their wine - which is exorbitant).
For an up to date recommendation of Dubai's dining scene, pick up a copy of Time Out Dubai - this is the best independent guide to the city's dizzying dining choices.
As a rule, you'll pay more at the hotels - where onsite aquaria, sky decks and theatrical embellishments all add to the experience, and the price - and save by eating in the malls and souks (or in the excellent, authentic cafe in the historic old quarter).
Other good locations include the Dubai's Heritage Village, a busy enclave of al fresco tables, boardwalks and bars, in the bars and bistros around Burj Khalifa, Dubai Creek and the Convention Centre: with sushi bars especially popular, as well as steak houses, pizzerias and superb curry houses. Pork dishes aren't so popular here, as you'd expect in a Muslim country.
You'll find great selections at Town Center Jumeirah, Jumeirah - just outside the centre, too. Its double promenade, The Walk and Marina Walk are great spots for enjoying a meal with a blissful view out into the Arabian Gulf.
Restaurants run from the pricey (Gordon Ramsay's got a place here) to the family-friendly: with good 'all-you-can-eat' deals popular with hungry tourists. Look for excellent dim sum, seafood and Arabic-infused tagines (one pot stews) and middle east/fusion menus.