Healthy outdoor eating options are popping up all over Dubai
Fresh, locally grown organic food and superb locations are fuelling a vibrant health food culture in Dubai. From the beaches of Jumeirah to the historic laneways of Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, Dubai has it covered for everything from cold-pressed juices to Paleo salads. Our health food eateries now include some of the most innovative names from around the world including France’s Wild & the Moon and homegrown gems such as The Cycle Bistro. So get healthy, get active and get outdoors to enjoy a perfect winter in Dubai.
Life ‘N One
A garden hideaway in the midst of Dubai’s upscale Jumeirah neighbourhood, Life ‘N One is a holistic health and life-healing centre with its very own organic and vegan cafe. Walk through the stony pathway and settle in on the grass or tree stumps in this all-natural retreat. Make sure to join in some of the many wellness classes (yoga, reiki and pilates are some of what’s on show), before tucking into the freshly made specialties.
What to try:
Raw is the order of the day here. Try the zucchini pasta with coriander or spicy Thai sauce or opt for the raw vegan quiche packed with almonds, walnuts and seasoned with sun-dried tomatoes. For something sweet but guilt-free, dig into the raw chocolate brownies, made with cashew nuts and sweetened with dates and agave syrup.
Wild & the Moon
Born on the streets of Paris and freshly arrived in Dubai, this 100% organic eatery believes in the simple premise that “food should be good for you, good for the planet and above all delicious”. Whether you drop in for breakfast, lunch or an early dinner you’ll always find Wild & the Moon humming with vibrant chat and cool sounds both inside and out.
What to try:
Want to boost the immune system? Try The Tiger, a cold-pressed juice that combines apple, orange, sweet potato, turmeric, black pepper and cardamom and packs a punch as strong as it sounds. Order the lentil and kale salad with spicy avocado or try their Bullet-Proof coffee and one of their famous Solar Bars, which is claimed to boost energy and metabolism, courtesy of sesame, dates, spirulina, coconut oil, sea salt and vanilla bean.
The Cycle Bistro
Cycling is a new health craze in Dubai, with a host of purpose-built tracks popping up around the city. The Cycle Bistro combines healthy food and cycling in a laid back and sun-filled space with plenty of open area to relax and savour every bite. The duo behind this innovative concept are Emirati Paleo enthusiast and cyclist Khalid Al Zarooni and Cycle Hub shop owner Sam Sayadan. The twin passions of a Paleo diet and cycling transformed Zarooni’s life, and Sayadan’s perfectly located store gave him the opportunity to share his newfound discoveries with locals and visitors alike.
What to try:
Hire a bike from the Cycle Hub to work up an appetite, and then follow it up with gluten-, dairy- and sugar-free choices from their “95% Paleo” menu. Tasty, nutrient- and protein-packed dishes include Crunchy Quinoa Crab Cake, Jerk Spiced Chicken Breast or Vegetable Sabzi Kari, a locally sourced organic vegetable masala.
One of the most interesting areas in Dubai is the Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood smack bang in the middle of Bur Dubai, the oldest community in Dubai. Bordering the Dubai Creek, with its traditional architecture and maze of winding lane ways, Al Fahidi is rightly viewed as one of the most important heritage sites in Dubai. In the middle of it all, is the XVA Hotel, boasting three original wind towers and the recently updated XVA Café.
What to try:
In a leafy green courtyard, this surprise package offers healthy vegetarian cuisine that is fast, delicious and affordable. Try the eggplant with feta cheese and tomato puree or couscous with pomegranate, mint and haloumi.
After lunch, check out the XVA Gallery which features an array of the best artists selected from the GCC, before taking a stroll through Al Fahidi and getting a glimpse of the Dubai of 100 years ago.
No trip to Dubai is complete without a trip to Palm Jumeirah and combining it with a pit-stop at one of Dubai’s newest healthy eateries is a bonus. @Blend has been open only a short time but it’s already delighting Palm visitors with its light and healthy menu while bringing a steady stream of customers from the “mainland”. The bright, airy restaurant is decked out in nautical themes – ocean mosaics, lifebuoys and the odd ship’s wheel. There’s also a comfortable outdoor area perfect for soaking up the summer sun.
What to try:
Smoothies are the specialty of the house, offered in categories of Wellness, Fitness, Dessert and Detox. If you’re looking for something a little more substantial, try a lightly spiced Thai tuna wrap or a Superfood Q salad of red quinoa, avocado, spinach, onion, cucumber and cherry tomatoes with a blue cheese buttermilk dressing. Need protein? Add poached salmon.
Service is cheery and unobtrusive and best of all it’s right on the trunk of the Palm at Shoreline Beach Club, so you don’t have to trek all the way to either end of the Crescent – although you may want to drive down that way afterwards to have the full Palm experience.
Just a few kilometres down the road from the Burj Al Arab is mile after mile of golden sand, views stretching right across the Gulf. Treat yourself to an early morning or late night stroll and then stop at Comptoir102.
What to try:
If it’s breakfast time, try an Arabian favourite, organic labneh Panini, with rocket, mint, olives and walnuts, accompanied by Black Lemonade, the extreme detoxifier, with activated charcoal, lemon juice and maple syrup.
Later, sample the seaweed pesto served with guacamole and homemade linseed crackers, or an avocado crostini topped with fluffy macadamia sauce and alfalfa sprouts. Bring swimmers – you’ll want to take a dip in the waves before you eat. And make sure to stop off at the organic grocery for local products from buckwheat blinis to Cat’s Claw powder.
If you are looking for premium yacht charter, Dubai’s own Boat Cruise Dubai is always ready to set sail for you.