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Hassouni

Al-Manzil

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[img]http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/01/5c/ca/2c/courtyard-restaurant.jpg[/img]

Atmosphere: 5 out of 5. This is the courtyard cafe of Al-Manzil hotel, a new (duh, its Dubai) 4-star establishment right next to Dubai Mall and the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building. It's exclusively outdoors: in the cooler months it's lovely outside, and in the summer, when everyone else is like a sauna, the courtyard is, yes, air conditioned! As you can see there's a central fountain and a large station for the hookahs. Very very nice.

Hookah: 5 out of 5. Nargile (or as they call them in the Gulf, shisha) in the UAE is almost always great. Al-Manzil might be the best in Dubai. They use Al-Fakher loaded into KMs, and they RIP. I'd say about a dozen flavors are available, the most popular are DA, grape, grape w/mint, and melon. Fantastic stuff.

Service: 5/5. It's in a nice hotel in Dubai, the staff are very obliging. The shisha attendants are sometimes quiet, but it's a small enough place that you can usually get taken care of pretty fast. The one annoying this is that as of this March, the courtyard is open till 2, but they pack up all the shishas at 1 am. They claim this is the rule in Dubai, but I've never heard of this elsewhere, and they didn't do this last summer.

Food: 4 out of 5. Mostly Lebanese food, a decent amount of Western food too. The mezza options are more interesting than the main courses, which is just grilled kababs and whatnot. Full bar, adjoining is a a sports bar with lots of draft beer that they can bring out into the courtyard, including draft Guinness!

Price: 4 out of 5. Kind of expensive by US standards, normal for Dubai standards. A regular single flavor shisha is $14, mixes are even more. Food isn't cheap, but not expensive for Dubai. Alcohol is the real killer, a pint of beer is about $9, wine and cocktails considerably more. Again, this is normal for the UAE.

Overall recommendation: Really nice, super chill, and gorgeous at night. The shishas here torch anything we have in America. Just tell a taxi driver to take you to Al-Manzil hotel, walk through the front door and straight through to the courtyard.[/size][/font][/color]

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