Inspiration Destinations Dubai Miguel Maestre & Jane Hall's Guide to Dubai

Miguel Maestre & Jane Hall's Guide to Dubai

October 12, 2023

Chef Miguel Maestre and actress Jane Hall, both hosts on the new season of Luxury Escapes: The World's Best Holidays, uncover next-level luxury and next-level flavour in Dubai.

Spice souks, out-of-this-world luxury and the best hummus you've ever tasted – Dubai has it all and Spanish-born chef Miguel Maestre and Aussie actress and comedian Jane Hall agree. On their travels through Dubai for the all-new season of Luxury Escapes: The World’s Best Holidays, the dynamic duo get swept up in the magic of the city's fine dining restaurants, desert sand dune adventures and high-flying five-star resorts (where even the toothbrushes are gold).

Discover more about Dubai on the new season of Luxury Escapes: The World’s Best Holidays, airing Tuesdays 8.30pm AEDT* on Foxtel Lifestyle and on demand on Binge and Network 10. *Check your local TV listings for details.

LE: How would you describe Dubai in three words?

Miguel: Ultra-modern, unique and multicultural. If I could have another word I’d say extravagant!

Jane: Dubai is opulent, diverse and exhilarating!

Incredible food all day, every day: Miguel and Jane living the high life in Dubai.

LE: How would you describe the food scene in Dubai?

Miguel: The food scene in Dubai is so versatile. In Atlantis The Royal, you could order the most basic dish and be assured it would be the best of anywhere in the world. The local food is amazing, the rosewater, the pistachios, out-of-this-world pastries and the hummus at the local souk. If you’re looking for fine dining experiences you’ve got the world’s best chefs hosting restaurants here, you’ve got Estiatorio Milos Dubai, known as some of the best Greek food in the world, you’ve got Nobu by the Beach – it’s insane. In Dubai, the food scene is incredible with all the best restaurants in the world in the one place. It’s almost overwhelming, all this choice.

Jane: The food scene in Dubai is unique for its diversity and quality… you can eat the best of the best of every cuisine in this city. I cannot go past the traditional, however… I will never taste hummus that good again!

A city of contrasts: from a glittering metropolis to sweeping deserts.

LE: What is the one thing every visitor to Dubai needs to try?

Miguel: The luxury and the shopping are amazing – the shopping malls are next level. For me, one thing everyone needs to experience is authentic Dubai. If you go to Dubai, you need to get in one of the four-wheel drives and get to the desert for a sand dune adventure. It’s so unique, you open the door in the middle of nowhere and all you can see are massive waves of sand all the way to the horizon. The sand dunes aren’t far, within five to ten minutes from the resort we were already in the desert. If you’re in Dubai town, it’s just half an hour to the desert.

Jane: A visit to the ancient and traditional Souk markets is a must for every traveller.

LE: Which restaurant will be next on your Dubai wish list?

Miguel: Estiatorio Milos Dubai has got the best seafood and Ossiano will be the two places I would like to visit next.

Jane: I did not get to eat at Dinner By Heston Blumenthal... it was closed when we were there, but it is definitely top of my wish list if I'm ever fortunate enough to return.

Atlantis The Royal, experienced by Jane and Miguel in Dubai.
Atlantis The Royal is located on Dubai's world-famous Palm Jumeirah.

LE: Tell us about Atlantis The Royal – it looks epic.

Miguel: The pool bar – I’ve never seen anything like it. The hotel has just been built, it’s brand new. Take all the luxury hotels you’ve ever been and multiply it by 100. The pool is transparent and as you're swimming you can look below to see all the way to the ground level. It’s the most luxurious place I’ve ever been. Even the toothbrushes are made of gold. You are greeted with pastries when you arrive, the hotel has French patisseries. You can hire a sun bed that’s located in the pool. Also, the jacuzzis look into the bar, so you can be seated in the jacuzzi drinking a glass of champagne – I think I jumped in every seat to test them out. It’s overwhelming, a real bucket list place that everyone should treat themselves to at least once in their life.

Jane: I have never experienced luxury like Atlantis The Royal… everywhere you looked there was opulence. Stunning attention to detail, and the most exquisite public spaces. It was a glittering city within a city, and every traveller’s wish was more than catered for. The rooms were so well appointed it took my breath away! Everything was utterly perfect, down to the gold amenities in the bathroom.

LE: What is the one thing that might surprise other travellers about Dubai?

Miguel: The biggest surprise for me was Old Dubai, when you visit the markets and you can barter with the locals. I love that you can see all the spices and smell the saffron and paprika… here is where you’ll experience the modern and the old in such a small place. It’s the real Dubai.

Jane: World-class restaurants, lux guest lounges with every conceivable treat available, the most wonderful staff catering to every whim, and a waterpark… need I say more? A trip to Atlantis The Royal is the ultimate escape. And don't get me started on 'Gastronomy'; the in-house dining experience where the breakfast options are SERIOUSLY mind-blowing!

A visitor to Dubai cannot help but be amazed by the city itself. The scale and magnitude of the buildings, created and built in such a short period of time. You feel as though you are in an ancient land in the desert that has morphed into a state-of-the-art metropolis. It's a city that is mind-bogglingly modern, with a beating traditional heart.

Miguel and Jane: keeping it low-key.

LE: Do you have a favourite memory from this visit to Dubai?

Miguel: The people of Dubai are quite beautiful and they’re really nice – this is why I love the markets so much. We had a great experience bartering for a scarf in the market with a local market stall owner. And I tasted the best hummus in the world, they use beautiful fresh chickpeas, plenty of olive oil and equal parts tahini. It’s amazing, it will change your life!

Jane: I adored my time in the desert staying at the jewel that is Bab Al Shams Desert Resort. I loved the Moorish architecture, the beautifully curated rooms, the quiet understated elegance and the idyllic pool precinct. This is where you need to land for the luxury recharge that dreams are made of. You can ride a camel, go on an actual desert safari or just soak up the truly magical surroundings. When you first arrive, it seems other-worldly… a shimmering mirage that becomes more beautiful with every corner you turn… take me back!

Discover more about Dubai on the new season of Luxury Escapes: The World’s Best Holidays, airing Tuesdays 8.30pm AEDT* on Foxtel Lifestyle and on demand on Binge and Network 10. *Check your local TV listings for details.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out 6 Dubai Restaurants Every Foodie Needs to Try.

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