How To Spend 12 Hours In The Greens, Dubai

Get to know a more laidback side of Dubai by checking out The Greens, a walkable suburb in the south with plenty of charming cafés.

The Greens, a walkable suburb in the south part of Dubai, has only recently popped up on the travel radar — thanks in no small part to the opening of trendy boutique hotel Zabeel House (the area’s only one) and plenty of charming cafés. Yoga teacher and doula Dina Ghandour and adventure writer Laura Coughlin chose the quaint area to open their first Airbnb — and to make their home. “The Greens has a really special community feel to it,” says Dina. Laura agrees: “And it’s more relaxed than the rest of Dubai,” she adds. “There’s nature and greenery, but you’re still close to everything.” The pair, who like to stroll the neighborhood with their rescue dog, take us on a tour.


9AM: Book Into A Yoga Session At Yoga House

There are only two airy rooms in the family-run studio Yoga House, and that’s exactly why Dina likes it. “It’s a business that was founded in the UAE,” she says. While gong meditations and one-off workshop are available, Dina recommends Jivamukti yoga (AED90, about ₱1,245). “It incorporates some elements that have been left out of yoga today, like music and meditation with movement.” Session timings vary, so call in to check before you go.


10AM: Grab A Bite At Arrows and Sparrows

With towering rows of freshly baked cakes and air that smells of roasting coffee, this café draws a young professional crowd. Breakfast is available all day, while the regionally inspired avocado toast (which mixes in pomegranate and Arabic spices) is popular (AED44, about Php610). Locals order it with a side of coffee-art latte. “In the winter, patrons bring along their dogs and sit at the tables outside,” says Dina.


11AM: Unwind With A Mani-pedi At Tips & Toes Panorama

One of Dubai’s biggest salon chains, this ladies-only venue comes with bright interiors and chairs stuffed with pillows. Staff are plentiful and polite here, meaning it’s not uncommon to see three attendants helping a single customer at once. “I’m pretty simple, so I like to come here for just a clean,” says Dina. Feel free to go all out with a mani-pedi (AED147, about Php2,030).


1PM: Linger Over Lunch At Social Company

Floor-to-ceiling windows dotted with potted plants surround you at this urban-chic restaurant. Food is served sharing style and with a twist on all things local. Try the popular hot mezze platter for Arabic meats, hummus and warm bread (AED59, about Php815), or the super green bowl for the unexpected combo of avocado, kiwi and lettuce (AED41, about Php565). “It’s The Greens’ only international restaurant where you can buy adult drinks,” says Laura. “Everyone loves it.”


4PM: Wander Around The Jogging Track

This 3.5km jogging track might not be massive, but it wraps around The Greens’ lakes and provides plenty of charm. People stroll between palm trees or relax on shaded benches. There’s a playground and a reading nook for book exchanges. “In the morning, you’ll even see the local tai chi group practicing yoga,” says Laura.


5.30PM: Play Through The Sunset At Emirates Golf Club

Head to this 36-hole course for its incredible views overlooking Dubai Marina. “It’s in the middle of the city, but it’s so peaceful,” says Laura. “For sunset, there’s no better place to be.” During Dubai’s hot summer months (April to October), try out The Faldo Night Golf, where you can swing nine holes while skyscrapers twinkle in the distance (prices vary by date and timing).


8PM: Sip Six Signature Cocktails At Lah Lah

By 8pm every night of the week, Zabeel House’s Asian fusion restaurant positively heaves with a friendly young crowd, all ordering up gin or bourbon cocktails, with sides of edamame and prawn crackers (around AED60, about Php830). “It’s a casual spot for sundowners, which are great for closing out a trip,” says Laura. “On brunch days, people are out dancing by 12.”



This story first appeared in the December 2019 issue of Smile magazineCebu Pacific flies to Dubai from Manila.

Written by

Danae Mercer

Photographed by

Gabrielle Bell

We use cookies for a number of reasons, such as keeping Smile website reliable and secure, personalising content and ads, providing social media features and to analyse how our Sites are used.