The 8 most Instagrammable places in Dubai

Dubai is well known for its Instagrammable spots. There are all the usual suspects, Burj Khalifa, Bounty Beets, Five, La Mer… So here’s a list of 8 Instagram worthy spots that probably weren’t on your radar – but will be now.

1. Arabian Tea House (IG: @arabianteahouse Followers: 37.3k )

Stepping into The Arabian Tea House feels like a time capsule from the Dubai of today to the Dubai of yesterday. Located in the old district of Al Bastakiya, The Arabian Tea House is a rare example of authentic Dubai and Middle Eastern charm. Built during the 1920s by a local pearl trader, the house is steeped in history, and is jam-packed with photo opportunities thanks to the owner’s eye for detail. For those who enjoy afternoon tea, British style, to those who appreciate finer Asian tea houses, there’s something for everyone to enjoy, especially for those who enjoy a photo opportunity.

2. Muchachas Mexican Cantina (IG: @_MUCHACHAS_ Followers: 4,311 ) 

Appearances can be deceiving, so don’t be fooled when you pull up to the entrance of the Holiday Inn Express, Safa Park. Hiding beneath the bland hotel facade, you’ll find Muchchas Mexican Cantina – a candy-colored Mexicana haven serving ice-cold cocktails and Mexican share-style street food. Behind the same Aussie duo as Tom & Serg, the causal venue is inspired by the success of Melbourne’s Mexican Canteen scene. Vibrant fiesta colours and quirky tableware including a Chihuahua taco plate will have your camera flashing throughout the entire evening.

3. Galaxy Bar (IG: @galaxybardxb Followers: 2,325)

This late-night hidden gem is located in DIFC. With a maximum seating capacity of fifty, the universe inspired venue is an intimate lounge bathed in deep, dark plush blues, and cloaked underneath a ceiling of twinkling stars. With a strict dress code policy of ‘No effort, no entry’ and cocktails that taste as good as they look, this the perfect spot for the more sophisticated Instagram shot. Just make sure your outfit is as out of this World as your photos will be to guarantee entry to this exclusive spot.

4. NYX  (IG: @nyx_dxb Followers: 429)

Hidden below Chef Izu Ani’s famous Greek restaurant Gaia in DIFC, and aptly named after the Greek goddess of the night ‘Nyx’, this underground nightclub Nyx is one of Dubai’s best-kept secrets. Frequented by local and visiting celebrities including Rita Ora, Fifty Cent, and A$ap Rocky, you won’t find much about it online, but getting through the doors of this place to capture an exclusive Instagrammable shot in the award-winning venue will win you mega kudos with your following.

5. Comptoir 102 (IG: @comptoir102 Followers:32.4k )

Featured in Vogue and Harpers Bazaar, you already know that this Jumeriah cafe-concept store is popular with the style squad, and for good reason. The Parisien owner has created a bohemian sanctuary that is so far removed from the conventional malls we are so accustomed to seeing that you’d be hard pushed to believe you were in Dubai and not Bali. Housing a carefully curated collection of unique beauty, fashion, and furnishing pieces sourced from around the world, a visit to Comptoir 102 promises a unique experience, as well as one of a kind pictures that will drive your Instagram likes.

6. Boston Lane (IG: @bostonlane.dubai Followers: 12.5k)

Toned down millennial pink, this coffee and toastie stop is an Instagrammer’s dream. Located in the Courtyard, Al Quoz, amidst the heart of the city’s underground art, fashion, and music scene, this Aussie owned spot is inspired by Melbourne’s laneway coffee. Charming and quirky, with Moroccan/Sedona vibes, thanks to its picturesque courtyard setting, Boston Lane is the perfect place to enjoy a leisurely coffee while exploring the small surrounding pop up shops. 

7. Drift Beach (IG: @driftbeachdubai Followers: 55.8k)

Set amidst a stunning infinity pool, overlooking panoramic views of Palm Island Bay and Dubai’s iconic skyline, Drift Beach goes beyond your typical beach club. Drift has a restaurant on site too specializing in French Provencal cuisine. The aesthetics and interiors align with the long stretch of beach that it sits upon, and thanks to a nautical colour scheme and cascading fishing baskets suspend from the ceiling, there’s ample opportunity for that prime Instagram shot. 

8. El Chapo Tacos (IG: @elchapostacos_studioone Followers: 1,642)

Envision every single Mexican stereotype imaginable, and then sprinkle tacos and El Chapo on it, and there you have El Chapo Tacos: the most Mexican of all the Mexican restaurants, ever. Even the salt and pepper shakers are a tiny Mexican man and wife! The photo opportunities in this place are so abundant that we can’t even name them all, but if there’s one selling point in between the neon signs, it’s the opportunity to take a selfie with the chalkboard lineup.

2020 Social Trends

As 2019 comes to a close; it’s time to look forward to the social media forecast for 2020! What will we leave behind and what will give us the edge for the year ahead in a social-sphere we’re our waking moments are spent encapsulated by our social media feeds. 

Ephemeral content will conquer! 

It will come as no surprise to most of us that our attention spans are growing shorter and shorter and how we consume content has changed noticeably. Thus the rise of story content gaining much greater traction for being short, engaging and addictive in a way that people can spend hours going from story to story.  I know I’m guilty of flicking through my following’s Instagram stories to pass the time on the treadmill, shocking I know! But the reality is that our consumption of Instagram stories alone has risen from 100 million viewers in 2016 to 500 in 2019!! So, if you weren’t making use of this tool before, it’s time to take notice.

Is it time for the niche platforms to shine? 

Facebook and Instagram have long dominated social media realm as the largest and most popular platforms, however, in recent years, several other niche social media platforms have not only emerged but have significantly risen to fame.  The likes of TikTok, in particular, have caught our attention, launching in 2016 it’s not had much traction until now capturing the imagination of Generation Z in particular, it’s a great platform for brands with a younger demographic; bursting with fun, engaging and super shareable video content. LinkedIn is still a favourite amongst B2Bs and Twitch, amongst gamers with several others creeping up in popularity and will continue doing so in 2020 and beyond.

Time to bid farewell to ‘likes’ 

It’s really happening, likes are going. In their efforts to reshape the social media landscape Instagram and after recent successful beta tests, the removal of ‘likes’ is set to be implemented globally. Their logic being that likes have become much more than they ever intended to, and are now deemed responsible for determining a person’s social value and waiting for such validation is detrimental to people’s mental health – we’ve all been guilty of removing a post that we feel didn’t ‘do well’.  However, there is speculation that this change hasn’t been made for that reason and is purely to make them more money. As brands are paying huge sums of money to influencers to promote their products. None of this money goes to Instagram. In fact, influencer marketing has become so popular that brands are moving away from traditional marketing methods like advertising.

So, how will it affect brands? Well, if Instagram removes likes then brands won’t be able to measure the direct impact of their campaigns as easily as they do now, which will likely encourage brands to invest more in Instagram Ads as they can easily track the ROI for those. A scenario where Instagram successfully removes likes and gets more marketers to move to their ads feature could be transformative for social media marketing. This will not only affect influencers but may also encourage other social networks to make such moves, which in all honesty doesn’t sound cheap!  There’s no doubt these changes are only just the start of the evolvements we’re going to see and for now, we can only take steps to prepare for the impact these changes are going to have – 2020 let’s be having you!