Travel like a DJ

Trance DJ and this week’s ShortList coverstar Armin Van Buuren recently kicked off his –so far sold out – world tour in Amsterdam and is bringing the five-hour show to Dubai at Meyden race course this weekend (for tickets visit the diehard fans who want to follow the tour around the globe we’ve put together some travel tips for a handful of the cities confirmed to be on the tour. The tour could last up to two years, so get ready to flex your passport and embrace the some EDM worldwide.



Date: June 4, 2016 Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam

Anyone who visits Amsterdam – or “Adam” as the locals call it – will concur hiring bikes is a must do with plenty of hire shops dotted around the city and flat landscape and wide cycle paths to whizz along. This small, pretty city is easy to navigate, so hop on a bike and stop off at cafes and bars through Amsterdam’s the Haarlemmerstraat area; packed with independent boutiques, record stores and cool little eateries, bars and Amsterdam’s oldest cinema. Westergasfabriek is also worth biking towards; a former gasworks factory now used as a cultural venue next to Westerpark, expect more quirky restaurants and shops. Oud-West is a pretty corner of Amsterdam; a dynamic neighbourhood with a scattering of trendy design stores, cool cafes and some of the best restaurants in the city. Get a free ferry outside the main train station to KNSM Werf for an afternoon at Pllek, a restaurant and bar made out of old shipping containers with beach view and a cool crowd. For ease stay at Sheraton Amsterdam Airport Hotel. Dump your bags and head into the city centre on a direct train (from the airport) for around AED40. 

Getting there: Emirates fly direct Dubai to Amsterdam from AED3,800 (May 2016)



Date: July 30, Sanpedroal Cantara Soccer Stadium

It’s the city (more like a resort town) on southern Spain’s popular tourist spot Costa del Sol with the Sierra Blanca mountains as a backdrop and 27km of sandy Mediterranean beaches. Travel to Marbella now and it will feel a little like Dubai in November time a few years ago; classy with a bit of flash about it and a very swanky marina area. Decamp on the white sofas of Nikki Beach for a leisurely day of food, drink and sunshine. For seafood fans fuel-up at Santiago; an elegant fine-dining restaurant offering fresh paella and lobster termidor on a pretty outside terrace overlooking palm-studded Playa de Venus. Spanish restaurant El Balcón de la Virgen is also one of the best restaurants near Plaza de los Naranjos.  offers grand luxury on the sea front, with only 34 rooms while  is a central, whitewashed and unfussy option.

Getting there: Fly Swiss Airlines Dubai to Malaga (one stop) from AED2625



Dates: September 30, Life Park

Close enough to do in a weekend, if you arrive in the evening head to Taksim Square from sunset onwards (it’s deserted during the day) and enjoy the busy cafes, bearded buskers and smells of freshly brewed coffee and hot roasted chestnuts. Ortaköy on the European bank of the Bosphorus is a pocket of Istanbul nestled under the shadow of the famed Bosphorus Bridge where you’ll see elderly locals, young trendy couples and in-the-know tourists mooching through narrow cobbled streets lined with little cafés and trinkety junk shops. Make sure you swerve into House Café for a pitstop.

Free time during the day? Spend an hour or two at the bustling Grand Bazaar or head to Turkey’s first and largest modern-art gallery, The Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, which now rivals New York’s MoMA and the Tate Modern in London. The museum’s terrace restaurant offers clear views across the Bosphorus (unless a cruise ship has docked). Order a bowl of “manti”, a type of Turkish ravioli. To eat among the local creative collective book a table at NOPA, which is tucked away in the Nişantaşı quarter (think designer stores, cool cafés and willowy model types). But limit big meals so you can scoff roadside treats conjured up in kitchens close to the pavement; Lahmacun (Turkish pizza) is a must try for those in need of an carb boost. For an understated stylish boutique hotel a kilometre from the Bosphorus try The House hotel ( in Nisantasi.

Getting there: Fly Turkish Airlines direct to Istanbul from AED1347 (May 2016)



Dates: June 17/ July 2, Omnia

The biggest Armin fans will travel and will probably say Armin at Omnia is well worth all the air miles and in-flight meals. Spreading outwards from the middle of Nevada’s Mojave Desert it seems a bit obvious to say Las Vegas is neon drenched and famed for its unapologetic 24-hour merry-go-round of a party. Weall know it. The Strip offers just over 4 miles of casinos and bombastic themed hotels like the Venetian, complete with Grand Canal and the Bellagio, set behind its iconic dancing fountains – as good as Dubai? You decide. Head to downtown for the most happening food scene. Try Le Thai, the tiny but explosive kitchen on Fremont Street or La Comdia for delicious street food found through its back-alley entrance or head to recently sproosed Carson Street has lots of brand new options. Many locals take off during the searing-hot summers, but that leaves ample room by the pools and you can take advantage of low, low hotel prices.

Getting there: Fly Virgin Atlantic Dubai to Las Vegas vis London from AED3865

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