Australian-born beauty Kat Lebrasse has been living in Dubai for more than 13 years, working as a blogger and consultant. Three years ago, with the arrival of their daughter, Poppy, Kat and her husband Paul swapped the bright lights of Downtown for the beaches of Palm Jumeirah. “As soon as we had our first child, we decided to make the move to the Palm, as that’s where most of our friends with children lived,” says Kat. This month, Kat takes time out from raising Poppy and two-month-old son Freddy to share her guide to her neighbourhood, including her go-to coffee spot, favourite eateries, and family-friendly beach clubs.



Come lunchtime, Kat’s a regular at Aji, conveniently located just across the road from where she lives. “This Peruvian-Japanese restaurant is a bit of untapped gem. It’s never very busy –except ladies’ night – and without fail the food is amazing,” says Kat. “On weekdays, I love the lunchtime bento boxes for Dhs125, and they serve beautiful cocktails, too.” Club Vista Mare, 04 552 0244,

Organic Foods & Cafe

With two young children, the mornings start early for Kat and her family. “On the weekend, you’ll find us at Organic Foods & Cafe,” says Kat. “They do a breakfast buffet for Dhs39 that includes a table of fruits and pastries, plus your choice of eggs a la carte and a coffee – it has to be the best value breakfast in Dubai.” Kat also stocks up in the adjoining supermarket, saying “On the first Sunday of the month, they offer 20 per cent off all their produce.” Golden Mile 9, 04 566 8352,

The Coffee Club

When Kat’s in need of a caffeine fix, she hightails it to The Coffee Club for a cappuccino on almond or soy milk. “The Coffee Club is an Australian gem,” says Kat. “Not only do they do really good coffee and classic breakfasts, such as eggs benedict or shakshouka, they also serve excellent main courses – I love the grilled salmon with pesto and vegies.” Shop FB 17, Building 7, Golden Mile 2, 04 514 8476,

101 Dining Lounge and Bar

For sunset sips, Kat heads to 101 Dining Lounge and Bar at One&Only The Palm. “This is a secluded spot right at the end of the Palm,” says Kat. “It’s on the last frond, so the view looks back across the water to Dubai. I like to go there for wine and light snacks in the evening, and the resort also houses a very beautiful spa.” If you don’t live on the Palm, Kat has a secret shortcut: “Park your car at One&Only Royal Mirage, near Dubai Media City, and catch a free ferry across to the Palm.” West Crescent, 04 440 1030,


Il Faro Trattoria & Lounge

Late nights have become less common for Kat, who’s more likely to be found sharing an early dinner with her family. For a no-fuss meal, Kat takes the kids to Il Faro Trattoria & Lounge, at the base of the trunk. “It’s a casual Italian pizza restaurant that is very child-friendly, so it’s perfect for an early-ish meal with the kids,” says Kat. “Look for the circular building right on the waterfront, near the Azure Residences.” Azure Residences, 04 568 3137,

Riva Beach Club

One of the massive benefits of living on Palm Jumeirah is the easy access to pristine beaches and pools. For Kat and her family, Riva Beach Club has become the go-to on weekends. “It’s probably one of our most-frequented places,” Kat reveals. “It’s very family-friendly as it has a separate kids’ pool and kids’ menus, and it’s a lovely place for the adults to have a glass of wine and a beer while the kids play.” If you’re feeling sporty, you can even hire canoes and kayaks for a paddle on the calm waters of the Palm’s interior. Building 8, The Shoreline, 04 430 9466,

Talise-spa-good-guide-to-palm-jumeirahTalise Ottoman Spa at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray

For a spot of pampering on the Palm, Kat books a session at Talise Ottoman Spa at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray. “Their treatments are a cut above the rest and the spa is very luxurious,” says Kat. “You’re escorted to beautiful facilities that are very calm and relaxing – each of the spa suites is a huge room with private bathing facilities. And then after an amazing treatment, you can take a dip in the incredible pools in the communal area.” Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, West Crescent, 04 453 0456,

Anantara The Palm

Kat doesn’t need to venture far for a staycation in Dubai. “There are some spectacular resorts on Palm Jumeirah, and one of the things I love most about  Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort is the sense of privacy you get from their private villas – they’re all separate, so you’re not walking down a big hallway that you share with everyone else,” says Kat. “The Lagoon Access Rooms all open onto the pool, and the Over Water Villas make you feel like you’re staying in the Maldives.” East Crescent, 04 567 8888,

Sand Dollar

If Kat needs a quick fashion fix, she pays a visit to Fairmont The Palm. “There’s a cute beachwear boutique called Sand Dollar that sells a few Australian brands, including Camilla dresses and kaftans,” says Kat. For groceries, Kat visits the Ripe Organic Farm Shop, Milk & Honey Gourmet, and Spinney’s Golden Mile. Sand Dollar, LG Fairmont The Palm, 04 551 6211,

For more insider travel tips in the UAE, read our art lover’s guide to the Al Fahidi Historial Neighbourhood.

Portrait: Emma Staples