18 Feb Popular Places in Dubai That Don’t Have an English Name

Dubai, the futuristic gem of the UAE and Middle East, is not only cosmopolitan and architecturally stunning, but a global city in every sense of the term. Dubai’s wonders are well documented across the globe, and when it comes to incorporating Western and Middle Eastern cultures, we all know Dubai does it best!

We have picked out 7 places in Dubai to highlight the meaning and significance that lies behind each distinctive place, contributing to the diverse nature of the city.

1.   La Mer

Language Origin: French

Meaning: The Sea

A new, beautiful beach and entertainment space that opened to the public in 2017, La Mer combines retail, leisure and various other attractions spanning a whopping 9.5 million square feet of existing and reclaimed land. It is inspired by drifting objects, such as driftwood, rusted metal, sea anchors, barrels, etc., brought to the shore by the tide, many of which are seen on site.

It is made up of three areas; La Mer South, La Mer North, and The Wharf. Both La Mer South and La Mer North have over 130 shops, restaurants and cafes, while The Wharf has a waterpark, surf park and cinema.

2.   Souk Al Bahar

Language Origin: Arabic

Meaning: Sailor’s Market

With a view of the tallest building in the world, i.e. Burj Khalifa, Souk Al Bahar is a popular tourist attraction and one of the most favorite visitor spots in Dubai. Its waterfront promenade features an antique Arabian Market with an endless choice of dining options, retail stores and luxury brand boutiques overlooking the scenic creek.


3.   Mercato Mall

Language Origin: Italian

Meaning: Market

The very best of Italy in Dubai! Mercato Mall is the Middle East and UAE’s first themed mall that depicts a Mediterranean town in the Renaissance period. The concept is inspired by the era’s unique and detailed architecture that captures traditional Italian, Spanish and French Art. Apparently, every medieval Italian town during the Renaissance was built around a ‘Mercato’.

4.   Burj Al Arab

Language Origin: Arabic

Meaning: Tower of the Arabs

An iconic sailboat-shaped silhouette emerging from the sea, Burj Al Arab is the world’s most luxurious hotel and one of Dubai’s most famous landmarks. The third tallest hotel in the world, Burj Al Arab was opened in 1999 and is remarkably recognized as the world’s first “seven-star” hotel.

Places in Dubai that Don't Have an English Name

5.   Madinat Jumeirah

Language Origin: Arabic

Meaning: City of Jumeirah

Madinat Jumeirah is a spot that combines tradition and luxury with a tribute to Dubai’s authentic Arabian heritage, spread across landscapes and gardens. Built like an Arabian Market with wind towers, lantern lit hallways and narrow waterways; Madinat Jumeirah also consists of a shopping mall and two luxury five-star hotels.


6.   Bur Dubai

Language Origin: Arabic

Meaning: Mainland Dubai

One of the oldest settlements in Dubai, Bur Dubai was once merely a flat sandy zone with some palm trees and houses. Located on the west of Dubai Creek, Bur Dubai is now a highly urbanized area and a hub for travel, tourism as well as commercial activities. You can also find beautifully restored traditional old houses, giving us a glimpse of the old Dubai. How well do you know Dubai? 

7.   Al-Bastakia

Language Origin: Arabic/Persian

Meaning: Bastak – A Town in Iran

Characterized by narrow lanes and ancient buildings, including beautifully restored courtyard houses with wind towers, Al-Bastakia is a key residential neighborhood of Bur Dubai and is one of the oldest residential areas in the city, built for wealthy Persian merchants back in the 19th century who largely traded in pearls & textiles.  Al-Bastakia is located in the eastern part of Bur Dubai along the Dubai Creek.

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About the Author: Randa A. Loves experimenting and being creative with food and recipes. She is passionate about nature, learning languages, and exploring different cultures. Randa speaks English, Arabic, and some Spanish.

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