Dubai neighbourhood guide: where to eat, stay and play in JLT

Jumeirah Lake Towers, or JLT as it’s more affectionately known in Dubai, is one of the city’s most vibrant neighbourhood communities. Built around four lakes (one of which has now been filled in and replaced with a park), the neighbourhood is filled with large residential towers built in a unique cluster design, hidden among which are some of the city’s best-loved, homegrown restaurants. This neighbourhood is far less shiny than nearby Dubai Marina, but it offers an authentic taste of daily Dubai life and a more low-key side to the city. It’s not the kind of place you’ll find tourists snapping pictures of must-see sights, but those who do choose to explore this pocket of the city will be rewarded in other ways. Here’s where to eat, stay and play in JLT.

Where to eat

If there’s one thing JLT is known for, it’s the area’s impressive restaurant offering. Again, this isn’t the place to go for white-table-clothed fine dining, but if you’re looking for authentic and creative casual homegrown concepts, there are few better corners of Dubai. You only need to look at the big name brands that started life here to get an idea JLT’s foodie credentials. Pickl (burgers), Pitfire (pizza), Maiz TacosVietnamese foodiesBait Maryam (Middle Eastern) and Streetery Food Hall (Pan Asian; the dumplings are worth a trip in itself) all started life here, and while many have expanded to open several branches across the city, the originals (and many would argue the best) are still open and thriving in JLT, and have a fiercely loyal customer base. Go hungry, follow your nose, and eat like the locals do.