Updated: Feb 10, 2019
Dubai November 2015.
I was not sure whether I would like Dubai. It sounded a bit too glitz and glam for me. However, I actually had a really good experience there!
The best meal we had was at a paleo cafe called The Cycle Bistro. I LOVE this place!The food was outstanding. I had a beautiful grass fed steak. The only problem is that it closes by 8pm, and even earlier on Fridays and Saturdays. It is basically a really good paleo cafe within a cycle shop. It is located in Motor City, Dubai. Taxis are very cheap in Dubai, so it does not matter if you are not staying nearby.
They don't currently have a website, but they are on Facebook:
Another good find was Omnia Gourmet restaurant. Our taxi driver said he had never dropped anyone in Jumeirah fishing village before! It is a quiet little village on the waterfront. The fishing village is a low rise, peaceful location further up the coast! Tip- when it comes to going home order a taxi service like Uber, otherwise you may have to walk for a while to pick one up locally!
They have a good menu, with gluten free main courses clearly labelled. If you like desserts then this place is for you! An amazing menu full of gluten free, raw, vegan desserts! My chocolate peanut raw dessert was delicious :)
My husband chose a lovely 5 star hotel called Melia Hotel. At first I was not sure about the hotel's location. However, Dubai is a huge sprawling city with most of the worlds cranes, and it just keeps growing. He picked it because it is a short taxi ride to the old town, with the spice souks and the gold souks. If you want a taste of culture the souks are the place to find it, it is definitely cheaper than staying further south. The tourist area is in the South around the Dubai Marina, but it is more expensive and built up there.
The other good thing about Melia Hotel is the free daily shuttle to a really nice beach - Al Mamza Beach Park (with palm trees behind you rather than sky rises). You pay a small fee for entry. It is a half hour shuttle ride away. Shuttle leaves the hotel at 10am, and returns 3pm. Remember to check the "Ladies only" days before you go.
If you're staying at the Melia Hotel, make sure to purchase a room rate with breakfast included. As someone with a restricted diet this breakfast was the best I have ever had in a hotel. There was a clearly labelled buffet showing what was gluten free, although I did have to explain to them that couscous is definitely not gluten free! The day after they dutifully made the changes, and the "gluten free" couscous was no more! My chosen breakfast usually consisted of salad, nuts, meats, hummus, cooked aubergine and tomato, and a fruit platter. Yum!