A Week in Dubai Marina

We arrived in Dubai at 0230 on Saturday morning and passed very quickly through airport formalities.  It is impressive how many immigration desks they have open at all times and therefore how fast you move through, retinal scan and photo all being done.

We taxied to Lucy’s flat and by 4am we were settling to sleep.  Slept till 1130 and then set about unpacking properly for the first time in a couple of weeks.  It was a lovely sunny day outside and daytime temperature around 30C.  I am still suffering with a heavy head cold so combined with a short night, wasn’t feeling up to much.

We went for a walk around the marina which was bustling with weekend activity: bicycling, joggers, electric scooters etc, boats passing up and down the waterway.  We went for lunch at an Italian restaurant where Lucy could use her Entertainer discount card to get 2 for 1 main courses.  She and I both chose a prawn poke bowl which was a large bowl of salad: quinoa, beetroot, sweet potato, rocket, tomato, avocado, onion etc.  Bob had a salad made up of avodado, peas, rocket, beans with some grilled chicken on top.  Very nice.

Walked back to Lucy’s apartment which is right on the marina and I had a lie down and Bob and Lucy went down to the swimming pool for a couple of hours.

That night Lucy had an invitation to review a restaurant at the Marina for Dubai Food Week.  It was called Atelier M, in the Pier 7 building.  I’ve been to an Asian restaurant there before called Asia Asia and also to a cocktail bar on the roof.  The views over the marina from the restaurant terrace are spectacular.  We were seated outside and we dined on the special Restaurant Week menu.  Normally this menu is 250AED each but we were lucky enough to pay nothing.  We did pay for our bottle of wine.

The food was amazing.  Lucy and I both started with white asparagus served with an organic poached truffle egg, snow white mushroom, and gold Osetra caviar.  Bob had yellowfin tuna tartare with avocado and truffle juice.  Both were beautiful to look at and to eat.  The snow-white mushroom was very unusual.  I’ve never seen or eaten one before.  Delicious.

For main course I chose Alba tagliatelle generously served with meanosporum truffle (black) flakes, crispy duck and aged parmesan cheese.  Lucy and Bob had Black cod saikyo yaki which was miso marinated black cod, sautéed eryngii mushroom and yuzu miso sauce.  The black cod was a large fillet and cooked to perfection and in my case, I don’t think I’ve ever had so much truffle on a dish before.

We had a bit of a pause and then dessert.  Lucy and I had hot chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream and caramel feuilletine – oozing yumminess.  No MasterChef disaster here.  Bob had Salted caramel flan with spiced chocolate gelato, cranberry emulsion and caramelised macadamia nuts.  Then… double espressos.  The staff were really nice and the atmosphere was super glamorous.  It was well worth the money if you were paying for it.  Super food.  I recommend Atelier M.  website

Lucy was going to watch the England rugby match at Barasti Club but we were tired so we went back to the flat and watched it live there.  Good on England!

Today, it was back to work for Lucy and we spent the day at the swimming pool on the complex.  It was great to just laze out, enjoy the sunshine and swimming in the bathwater temperature pool.  It is an infinity pool just above the marina level so it’s like you are almost in it.

My cold is today much better although I have a hacking cough.  I noticed people moving chairs to get away from me ROFL.  In fact, by the end of the day, we had the whole row at one end of the pool to ourselves.  I am obviously Typhoid Mary or so they think.

Lots of coronavirus news in the papers.  We have taken steps to change the end of our winter trip today.  We were due to get off our cruise on April 5th in Savona, northern Italy.  And then we were driving up to Lake Como for a couple of nights and flying back from Milan on the 8th.  We are sadly not doing that now because Lombardy is going into lockdown.  We may still get off the ship in Savona and then fly home from Genoa IF those two places remain open but more likely now is we will get off the ship in Civitavecchia (Rome) on April 4th and fly home from there.  We have cancelled our Airbnb in Lake Como and got a full refund and also our car hire for a full refund.  We will now wait a bit, see what transpires on the end port/flight home situation and then act when things are a bit clearer.  BA seem to be pretty good about allowing flight changes so that ought to be ok and there won’t be an issue getting off the ship in Rome rather than Savona.  Let’s see….

We are eating in tonight.  Dubai is terribly expensive.  I don’t like staying in all-inclusive hotels at all but I see why people do it here.  You can get good Groupon or Entertainer Card meal deals but otherwise it is an arm and a leg.  You could have a week in a top London hotel and eat better for less.  We can’t afford to eat out every night by any means.  This definitely wouldn’t be a place I chose for a holiday, if it wasn’t to see Lu.  It’s like Las Vegas.  Very flashy.  Not very classy.  Lots to spend lots of money on.  No culture or history at all…….  Anyway.… onwards…..