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Insider Guides

Insider Guide To Dubai With Faiza Bouguessa

Algerian-French designer, Faiza Bouguessa, launched her eponymous brand in Dubai 8 years ago and has made a name for herself with her chic, modest designs and sophisticated tailoring.

She started her career travelling the world as an air hostess for Emirates, but with a burning passion for design, Faiza decided to create her contemporary ready-to-wear label, drawing upon her French and Middle Eastern backgrounds, and she aims to offer minimalist design classics to strong sophisticated women.

We speak to Faiza about Dubai’s top hotels and restaurants, as well as hidden and cultural must-visits.


The best time to visit Dubai is…

From mid-October to mid-April when the weather is perfect. I love November because the city is vibrant with many fashion, art and design events, such as Downtown Design. 

Our first pitstop should be…

To dive straight into the Dubai lifestyle, go to the Dubai Mall fountain at the bottom of the Burj Khalifa (a must-see), then head for dinner in one of the many excellent restaurants around DIFC. Caviar Kaspia is a great choice. 

Your favourite hotel to check-in at is…

Al Maha Resort for a getaway from the fast-paced city, and to embrace the desert life. But if you wish to stay within Dubai my favourite hotels are the One&Only Royal Mirage (for their amazing Moroccan spa), and the Park Hyatt, Dubai Creek.

 

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For an early morning workout head to…

51 Gym for a one-stop fitness destination and the Matcha Club for Yoga or Paddle, followed by an iced coffee at their beautiful coffee shop.

Where should we go for breakfast?

My all-time favourite is Lana Lusa, I go there almost every day. The avocado toast is delicious, and the pastries are too. I also love the breakfast at Tashas Al Jalila, it’s a great place to go with kids. If you wish to try an Arab breakfast, head to Three by Eva.

 

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How about for a long, lazy lunch?

To embrace the Arab lifestyle and food, go to the Al Fahidi district which is the cultural heritage site of Dubai. Have lunch at the Arabian Tea House, or try XVA Café for a healthier option.

And for dinner with friends?

I love to go to Ninive, they serve delicious food from many Middle Eastern countries. The restaurant is picturesque with beautiful décor, and is in the heart of Dubai.

 

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Your favourite restaurant in town?

La Cantine du Faubourg which serves French cuisine. The vibe is great and the food is exceptional. When I want something more intimate I book at Gohan, an authentic Japanese restaurant hidden behind a door at La Cantine.

The best place for people watching…

One of the many cool coffee shops in Dubai Design District – and you can pop by our showroom while you are there!

The culture spot to rave about…

Al Serkal Avenue, an industrial compound in the Al Quoz area. The area is an arts and culture district with a lineup of galleries, facilities, and platforms housing residencies for local and global artists.

The best place to treat yourself is…

Project Beauty for a Biologique Recherche facial.

For great shopping head to…

Dubai Mall or Mall of the Emirates have everything you can think of. THAT concept store is a cool new spot in Mall of the Emirates with a selection of niche brands.

For the best views head to…

Madinat Jumeirah, Al Naseem hotel, or Mina Salam Hotel to appreciate the beautiful view of the Burj Al Arab.

 

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One place only locals know about…

Comptoir 102 is a favourite for locals looking for a healthy café option alongside a unique blend of fashion, interior design, and even furniture on sale. 

A book to read before we go (or while you’re there)…

Assouline’s Dubai Wonder

For a change of pace try…

Seva Experience and Tables is a yoga, meditation, and holistic wellness centre with a 100% organic, plant-based café. I love this place, it’s so relaxing.

Your favourite neighbourhood(s)…

Downtown Dubai and Jumeirah. Downtown is the centre of new Dubai; the architecture is breathtaking and the lights at night hypnotise you. Jumeirah is one of the oldest residential neighbourhoods with sandy beaches, parks, cycling tracks, homegrown fashion stores, and weekend markets.

A must-try spot for date night? 

Cinema Akil, it’s an independent cinema platform bringing films by independent filmmakers from across the world. 

 

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How should we spend the final day of our trip?

Shopping in Dubai Mall, of course. 

Whats your Dubai secret?

The Ripe Market, I love to go there at the weekend with my kids.

 

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Souvenir to take home?

A box of dates from Bateel, but buy them from the shops in the city as they are fresher than those on sale at the airport. 

In a word, Dubai is…

I have five words: vibrant, multicultural, ultra-modern, magical, home. 

Essential items to pack? 

A pair of chic sunglasses, the Bouguessa Sara shirt dress, the white Lilian blazer for chilly evenings in the winter months, a pair of elegant sandals, a beach bag, and a swimsuit. 

What to Pack

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