In response to the immense demand, we are thrilled to announce that BAHS has expanded into the UAE. Although we have long helped clients in the UAE on an as-needed basis, we now offer our full suite of services to clients in the UAE and across the Middle East. If you’re seeking household staff, including nannies, governesses and teachers, or if you require assistance with private aviation or yacht crew, we are here to help.
To celebrate this news, we are sharing our favorite things to do and see in two of our favorite cities: Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
No overview of Dubai would be complete without a mention of the iconic Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. Book the Panoramic Suite to enjoy floor to ceiling windows with exceptional sea views, a jacuzzi, five-head rain shower, 24-hour concierge, packing and unpacking services, and, of course, access to all the amenities the hotel has to offer. Dedicated butler service is offered to all guests of the hotel, as well as transportation in the hotel’s Rolls Royce, and unlimited access to Wild Wadi Waterpark.
Dubai: Eat & Drink
Michelin created the first ever Michelin Guide Dubai just this year. At the time of this writing, 2 restaurants were awarded 2 Michelin stars, 9 were awarded 1 star, and an additional 14 were awarded Bib Gourmands (excellent food at lower price points and typically a more relaxed atmosphere). STAY by Yannick Alléno is one of the 2-star winners; the French restaurant, located inside the One&Only Palm Hotel (another luxury hotel we adore and highly recommend), serves an exquisite tasting menu followed by your choice of pastries from the incredible selection which spans an entire wall of the restaurant. Trèsind Studio is a rooftop Indian restaurant that was awarded 1 star – the creative food is flavorful and exciting while the atmosphere is convivial and warm. Watch the chefs prepare the tasting menu in an open kitchen and enjoy cocktails from the botanic bar program or wine from the large cellar. For a more relaxed experience, enjoy authentic Emirati cuisine outdoors under lush trees at Al Khayma Heritage Restaurant, a Bib Gourmand recipient. Ninive is another excellent Bib Gourmand winner serving Middle Eastern food in a comfortable setting. The restaurant specifically highlights dishes from Iranian, Iraqi, Turkish, and Moroccan cuisine; we love the Zaatar chickpea dip and tamarind chicken followed by the grilled lamb chops or vegetarian tagine.
Dubai: Arts & Culture
The Jameel Arts Centre presents changing exhibitions of both established and emerging artists; be sure to check the calendar for the dates you’re in town as they often host drawing workshops and other special events. For contemporary art, head to Alserkal Avenue in the Al Quoz neighborhood – for over ten years, this area has operated as the heart of the Dubai art scene and is home to many galleries, art institutions, and an independent cinema, Cinema Akil. Cinephiles heading to the UAE in the near future should note that Reel Palestine, a film festival highlighting Palestinian stories, opens January 27 at the cinema. Art Dubai, a major international art fair, takes place every March; this year’s edition runs March 1-5, 2023 at Madinat Jumeirah and will be the second to highlight digital art, as well as traditional works of fine art. You can find our favorite day trips from Dubai here.
Abu Dhabi: Stay
The stunning Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi is the best luxury hotel in the city. The hotel is set on a private beach and all rooms enjoy 24-hour butler service, as well as access to the hotel’s 10 dining options (including two Michelin-starred restaurants), gorgeous gardens, full-service spa, two swimming pools, a kids’ club and a private marina. Families should consider the three bedroom Palace Suite, which features 5,060 sqft of space, a private balcony, hot tub, dining area, kitchen with pantry, and stunning views of the gulf. For those traveling alone or as a couple, we love the Panoramic Sea View Suite, which offers sweeping water views from the spacious private patio, a large sitting area, as well as a dining table for four.
Abu Dhabi: Eat & Drink
Just last month, the Michelin Guide announced its first ever selections for Abu Dhabi. While we were thrilled to see two of our favorites, Talea by Antonio Guida and Hakkasan, on the list, both awarded one star and both inside the Emirates Hotel, we are excited to try some of the other new winners, as well. 99 Sushi Bar, at the Four Seasons Hotel, is a new 1-star recipient; the restaurant is known for its exceptionally fresh seafood and beautiful presentations. Tazal was awarded a Bib Gourmand and describes itself as “a contemporary global cuisine uniquely infused with the Arabic culture”; we area eager to try the foie gras toast, the spicy diamond shrimp, and the Tandoori salmon.
Abu Dhabi: Arts & Culture
The art scene in Abu Dhabi is rapidly expanding, particularly on Saadiyat Island, the home of several museums and art institutions. The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi is also set to open there in the next two years. Of course, no trip to Saadiyat Island would be complete without a visit to the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the largest art museum in the Arabian Peninsula. The collection includes pieces spanning continents and centuries. If you’re local to Abu
Dhabi or plan to stay for an extended time, check the website for workshops; they often host 4-8 week drawing classes, art history walk
s, and more to immerse yourself in the collection. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque may be the quintessential tourist destination in the city but it is well worth a trip; constructed between 1994 and 2007, the marble mosque is the largest in the country and can hold 40,100 worshippers. Be sure to book your visit ahead on the website and observe the dress code requirements. While in town, check the events calendar at the NYU AD Arts Center as they offer a rotating selection of interesting art and music events, including the Barzakh Music Festival this February.