The 15 best deals on Entertainer right now...
Yes...we've covered all the different apps and even a quick guide to the concept!
Eating out in this city can get really expensive but we all use our Entertainer apps, right? Not one Lovin Dubai member of staff who didn't even know of it's existence until about three weeks ago...now she's addicted! In honour of her utter ignorance we decided to go through the apps and pick our favourite deals...because it can all get a bit overwhelming and we do wonder if we don't get round to using the really good ones!
Here's a quick run through, if like our colleague...you've been living under a rock...
The Entertainer: a brief introduction
In its original form The Entertainer was a big book of 2-for-1 vouchers for restaurants and leisure attractions valid from the first day of January to 30 December of every year, excluding public holidays (which is why 31 December is out; and Valentine's Day is off the table too).
Since the operation first kicked off in 2001 it's grown from just one book devoted to Dubai into 45 products that cover 40 destinations in over 15 countries. Just in Dubai you've got your general Dubai tome, the Fine Dining edition, the Dubai Body instalment, the Travel edition and the Kids version; all of which come as apps as well.
So how do I use it?
The deal is you purchase the book (AED 495 for the general Dubai guy or the Fine Dining edition; AED 395 for the Dubai Body book; and AED 375 for the kid-friendly book) or the corresponding product via the app and it basically pays for itself provided you do end up using a voucher or two by the time the year runs out.
With the exception of the Travel edition, every outlet featured in a book gives you three vouchers although some places will give you more than three on the app. For dining, you and a guest get a complimentary main course when you order a main of equal or greater value.
Just a note: This whole 2-for-1 thing works best for couples who like to eat out and are at that stage in their relationship where they're past the point of trying to impress one another by paying full-price for a lavish meal. Single? Unfortunately, the rules dictate that you have to be at least a party of two to use a voucher. So make sure to go with a friend or two.
Whether you're single or part of a duo, these vouchers are perfect for group dining. You can use up to four vouchers when you dine out as a group provided you don't do that annoying thing where everyone asks for separate bills. You're meant to present your vouchers prior to asking for the bill, but we'd advise you to ask about using The Entertainer before you order since some special menu items aren't part of the deal. And nobody likes getting blindsided, especially when it comes to food.
For experiences and excursions, for example, taking the kids out to Atlantis the Palm's Lost Chambers Aquarium, it's the same deal: buy one child (or adult) admission and get the other one for free.
Now with The Entertainer Body, which features offers for spas, fitness classes, beauty treatments, beach access and more, (with 'more' including things like teeth bleaching and botox injections) offers can be redeemed with a friend or you can buy one treatment and get the second treatment free of charge at a later date. It's definitely a must for the massage junkies out there.
Last but certainly not least, The Entertainer Travel version gets you one of two deals: either a complimentary night's stay or 20% off the best available rates at some top-rated 5-and-4 star hotels all around the world. This year, you get The Entertainer Travel app for free when you purchase any of the book or app products. Pretty sweet.
You can watch a brief video (featuring a smiley-face bobble-headed man) that sums it all up nicely here.
To book it or app it?
Since The Entertainer launched its app in 2013 the consensus is that the app is the way to go.
For one, the apps are all AED 50 cheaper than the book versions. It's also a lot lighter to carry your smartphone than to to lug around a 600- or 700-page publication and that mobility gives you a measure of spontaneity with the app you just can't get with the books.
You also get monthly offers with the app that you wouldn't otherwise have access to.
AAAAAND, the app keeps track of how much you've saved. Can you imagine the warm fuzzy feeling you'll get when you see those savings stacking up on the screen?
Ooooh, there's also the seamless technology benefit of having the app integrated with both Uber and TripAdvisor.
And contrary to popular belief, you can still pass on the savings to friends and family via the app by 'pinging' it to them. The ability to spread the love, whether its via the app or the books, is key because unless you really, really like a place enough to visit it on more than three occasions in one year, you won't end up using all your vouchers unless you go with a large group.
The verdict: you should totally app it.
And now for 15 of the hottest deals off The Entertainer 2016 range at the moment...
1. Safari adventures for the fam (and friends) courtesy of the Dubai Kids App and the Dubai App
If you haven't gone on a safari trip yet since getting here then you simply must. That's especially the case if you've got out-of-towners visiting. Dream Night Tours, a top notch tourism outfit, recently signed up with The Entertainer. You can get a 2-for-1 Desert Safari (and they have a variety to choose from including and overnight, and early morning safari, a camel trek, or transport via Hummer). There's also a 2-for-1 offer on their Hatta Mountain Tour where you can experience some seriously dramatic landscapes (think rock mountains jutting out of the desert and punctuated by dazzling fresh water pools) and maybe fit in a visa run if the need arises. (Just kidding.)
2. Use the Dubai App to get 20% off your next pair of shades (or specs, or lenses)
The wonderful thing about the Dubai App is that it's so comprehensive. And by that we mean that it includes retail bargains as well. If you like to shop almost as much as you like to eat (we do) then the Dubai App is prefect for you. One of the best retail deals on there is a 20% off of any purchase at Magrabi Optical. Considering their massive selection and how it is (almost) always sunny in Dubai, the fact that you can get 20% off three pairs of shades is very cool.
3. One of Dubai's best Italian joints (Dubai App)
Dubai is packed to the brim with restaurants but its Italian dining scene is woefully lacking. Luckily we found Certo, which is hand-on-heart one of the most authentic and delicious Italian spots in town. This gem of an eatery, to be found in Dubai Media City's Radisson Blu, has people raving over its seafood linguine, pizza margherita (according to some the crust is 'perfection') and their shrimp and asparagus risotto. But there are plenty of other hits on the main course menu, making it one of the best spots to bust out those 2-for-1 mains vouchers!
4. Got a need for speed? 2-for1 tix to Ferrari World (Dubai App)
Yes, the largest indoor theme park is technically in Abu Dhabi, but it's still a premier attraction for thrill-seeking peeps visiting (or living in) Dubai. If you're feeling courageous and love going fast, line up to ride Formula Rossa — the world's fastest rollercoaster (the top speed clocks in at a staggering 240 km/hr). Not completely insane? There are attractions for all ages, including go-karting, simulators, even a teacup ride. Yes, a Ferrari teacup ride. Combine that with the chance to drive a proper Ferrari and a tour of the Galleria Ferrari (featuring gorgeous vintage cars) and that's a great day out in our books.
5. Craving Thai in JBR? Pull out that Dubai App
THE BEACH is probably the best thing that happened to JBR (apart from it actually being on the beach), and probably the worst too considering all the damn traffic it generates. No matter, we love the mix of cool retail with beachy vibez the area (shopping centre? mall?) has going on. And we love the food there. Especially the eats at Busaba Eathai, a Thai casual dining favourite imported from London. Spend your morning on the beach (or in THE BEACH, whatever is your thing), then pop into Busaba for their gorgeous Massaman duck curry and get yourself some Pad Thai, gratis.
6. The upscale brasserie on the Fine Dining App
People in Dubai are mad for brunch, and everyone whose been raves about the super-classy brunch at the Park Hyatt's Traiteur. But it's not just about brunch, people. You don't get to try the bouillabaisse at brunch. You don't get to take a stab at the sous-vide venison loin at brunch. And you certainly won't get a forkful of Traiteur's specialty trofie pasta in a cepe mushroom and chestnut sauce (mmm....) at brunch. Sure, their brunch is delightful, but just think of dinner, especially the free one!
7. Carnivore heaven(s) on the Fine Dining App
Do you like steak? Of all the steakhouses included in the FD edition this year, we'd say that JW's Steakhouse is at the top of our list, edging out Prime68, which also happens to be a JW Marriot establishment, by a tiny fraction. Clearly, the folks at the JW Marriot (Marquis or otherwise) know their way around a good steak. And good steak sure is pricey. Both of these establishments are certainly worth a visit (with vouchers firmly in hand), but the ambience couldn't be more different: JW's is incredibly old school with its solid dark wood, fireplace, and paintings of various hunting dogs dotting the walls; while Prime68 is all sleek modern monochrome.
8. The Love Boat on the Fine Dining App
If you've got a special occasion coming up and don't suffer from motion sickness, bust out the voucher for Bateaux Dubai, an exquisite dinner cruise experience along the creek that just oozes glamour and romance. It's amazing for couples celebrating anniversaries, but wonderful for larger groups looking to celebrate something really special as well. You can book an evening we'll guarantee you'll remember right here.
9. Did someone say salmon? (Fine Dining App)
Whether you're a pescatarian or just happen to really, really love seafood, you'll be chuffed to stumble upon the vouchers for Salmontini, which is undeniably one of the best seafood restaurants in Dubai. This Belgravia import does salmon every which way: smoked, roasted, grilled, in a sushi roll, not in a sushi roll. But the kicker is that the rest of their food is heavenly as well, with special accolades going to all of their sushi (not just the salmon) and their steaks. What's even tastier is that one of you will eat for free.
10. Tap into Dubai's finest Tapas (Fine Dining App)
Another awesome fine dining find you'll see exclusively on the app via the monthly deals feature is the offer for El Sur's Friday Tapas Lunch, which is basically a brunch, but better. Redeem this offer and go for the house bev package and you'll net savings of about AED 400. Since this is one of Dubai's superior (possibly even best) Spanish eateries, you defo have to go for this. Oh, and this 'monthly' offer lasts till 30 December. Buy one main course get one free offers are also available on the fine dining app and hard copy book.
Now for the body bit
If there's one thing that living in Dubai gets you used to, it's getting preened and pampered. And wanting to look really, really good. Whether you're a lady or a gent, if you live in Dubai you probably love your spa treatments, mani-pedis, and personal training sessions. Fully aware of the Dubai-dweller's desire to both look and feel his or her best, the folks at The Entertainer put together a Body book.
Again, there's a wealth of amazing offers to choose from, but here are few of the best deals you'll find...
11. Express TLC (Dubai Body App)
In Dubai, it's a cardinal sin to be seen in sandals without a pedicure, so nail salons are in abundance. And they're all pretty great – the hygiene standards are unassailable; the nail technicians usually know what they're doing; and if you book in advance, you can get your hair trimmed, dyed and blown out while simultaneously getting mani-ed and pedi-ed.
That said, there are nail spas and then there's The Nail Spa
While The Entertainer Body 2016 can't get you a 'Spa-rty' for free, it can get you twofers for their Classic mani-pedi, their deep pressure Back-and-Neck Reviver Massage, and their Absolute Radiance Facial. Why is this such a fab deal? Well, since the massage and facial are 30-minute in-chair treatments, you can do all three at once!
12. The ultimate Dubai Body pampering experience
If you've got a bit more time on your hands and desperately (or not so desperately, whatever) need to decompress, look no further than the Anantara Spa offers in the Body 2016 editions. The spa therapists at this hotel resort know what they're doing (it is a Thai luxury resort brand after all), so there's no excuse not to test out their heavenly Anantara Signature Massage. Twice. Or share the love with a good friend.
The body app also includes a voucher for Anantara's Turkish Hammam treatment and their 'Arabian Massage', which, from the sound of the description online, sounds rather similar to a shiatsu treatment but not quite as excruciating.
13. Get fighting fit thanks to the Dubai Body App
Now that we've got you all relaxed, it's time to get your bum whipped into shape. While there are several truly wonderful fitness offers included in Body 2016, the FitLifeDXB bootcamp and personal training session vouchers have proved to be the most popular amongst the LD staff. Probably because of all the eating we like to do over here. The bootcamp sessions, held outdoors in Kite Beach and Burj Park are, like, really bootcamp-y. That's because most of the FitLifeDXB trainers are former British Royal Marine Commandos, so you are literally being yelled at by army personnel.
14. Figure out what's really bothering your tummy (Dubai Body App)
Ever wondered if you actually are gluten intolerant or whether it's just another mistimed case of gas? A new addition to The Entertainer Body, Al Borg Medical Laboratories are offering a complimentary FoodPrint Test once you purchase one of the same. Now if you're wondering what use would a second FoodPrint Test be to you, this is definitely a case of take a buddy along scenario. Split the bill and you'll see savings AED 2,200. That's some serious moolah right there.
15. The Dubai Body App SCOOP!!! Something to really smile about
Wish you had a Hollywood smile?
Well, you can!
There are dozens of teeth whitening offers in The Entertainer Body, but The Illinois Poly Clinic is going one further with a deal on veneers. We're not quite sure how you get a 2-for-1 on veneers (do you go with a friend and you both get veneers? Is it a multi-session process? Do they do the top half of your teeth one time then go for the bottom the next time around? Is it per implant?) but veneers are the secret to most, actually, very likely all of the million-dollar smiles you see on the silver screen. And veneers can get very, very expensive. But they're well worth the investment, with good veneers lasting up to ten years and making you feel and look ten times better.
Apparently, this deal is due to go live by end of this week, so you'll only get to claim those pearly whites if you've got the app.
GET THE APP.
Now read: Where to take your Mum this Mother's Day
Sponsored By The Entertainer
Buy One Get One Free offers to the best restaurants, activities, attractions, spas and hotels across 40 destinations throughout the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Asia