Things you must do
- Visit Burj Al-Arab - the landmark symbol of Dubai - and the only 6 star
hotel in the world
- Go to the desert in some jeeps or dune buggys for some "Wadi-Bashing"
- Pop into the Jumeirah area and take your pick of places to visit! But
don't miss out on the new Dubai Marina Walk in JBR if its not too hot
- Shop, eat and then shop some more
- have a whale of a time
Dubai - Abu Dhabi
Burj Al Arab Hotel, (T:+971 4 3017600), This is an Asian
restaurant a-la Buffet style, excellent range and quality. Highly
upd: April 2008)
Karam Restaurant, Mall of the Emirates @ Ski Dubai end /
Kempinsky Hotel (T: +971 4 341 2202 ). This is definitavely the best
Lebanese restaurant in town bar none. The excellent food is coupled with
great views of the Ski Dubai facility and there is something to be said
about filling up with delicious dishes in a T-shirt while you see people in
-2 degrees enjoy winter sports.
(last upd: Mar 2011)
- The Grand Grill Steakhouse, Habtoor Grand Resort,
Lobby Level, JBR, Dubai (T: +971 4 399 4221). This steak house is
easily among the best in town. The steaks are cut to order with fillet
steaks available up to 500g or more in 100g increments. You have a choice of
South African or Argentinean beef and sometimes Wagyu as well. The main and
side dishes are all exquisitely cooked and very well presented. Highly
upd: Oct 2010)
Kaleidoscope Restaurant, Atlantis Palm Jumeirah
(T: +971 4 426 2626) . This is a
family orientated buffet restaurant in the iconic Atlantis hotel in the
Palm Jumeriah. It has to be said that the whole atmosphere at the hotel is
impressive with many art installations and massive fish tanks providing
plenty of 'aah' moments. The food served restaurant though is decidedly
average. It isn't bad in any way but in comparison to the expectations
raised coming through the hotel itself, it could do more by way of
interesting dishes or presentation. None the less, it is very reasonably
priced and overall, we'd rate it as a 7/10 taking ambiance and atmosphere as
well as the food into account. (last
upd: Oct 2010)
Saffron Restaurant, Atlantis Palm Jumeirah
(T: +971 4 426 2626). This used to be our favourite Asian brunch in Dubai
but the Atlantis managment have basically made this an Alcoholic Brunch
which basically means that they upped the prices to silly levels if you
don't drink and are now focused on plying you with as much drink as you can
take. So great for those looking for a boozy brunch - not so great for any
family bruch unfortunately. This is a pity as this really was an amazing
place before. Sadly, we won't be rushing to get there anymore
(last upd: Sept 2010)
Tagine, The Royal
Mirage One & Only, Dubai (T: +971 4 399 9999 ). Excellent
with superb atmosphere. Very highly recommended for its ethinic authencity
and excellent dishes.
(last upd: Apr 2009)
Al Qasr Hotel, Madinat Jumeriah, Dubai (T: +971 4 366 8888).
Beachside Seafood restaurant well the somewhat long trek to get there. Take
the hotel buggy down to the pier and then enjoy the walk the pier down to
the restaurant. Wonderfully romantic, it also does very nicely for a great
group dining experience.
(last upd: Mar 2009)
- Noodle Bowl Restaurant,
Dune Centre, Al Diyafah St, Satwa, Dubai (T: +971 4 345 3381). We discovered this place by chance
through a friends introduction and it has now become our local Chinese pit
stop almost every weekend. The place is a small family-owned restaurant
serving a proper array of Chinese food with a very Malaysian feel to it. The owner, Michael,
is also a chef and maintains a very strict level of control over the quality
of the dishes while allowing the chefs to also add their own specialties to
the menu. By maintaining great food at good prices, this is well worth a
trek into Satwa for!
(last upd: Sept 2011)
- Sari Nusa,
Dune Centre, Al Diyafah St, Satwa, Dubai T: ??? ). Indonesian
Restaurant in Satwa serving up really good buffet-style Indonesian fare at
very good prices in a cafe/restaurant setting.
- The Buddha Bar, Grovesnor House Hotel, Dubai Marina. Very
restaurant with one of the best chill out zones in the country.
upd: June 2008)
- More Cafe, Chain.
Fantastic South African restaurant all over Dubai serving some of the
heartiest food going. Really good range of dishes - something to suit
everyone really. Well recommended!
upd: June 2011)
- Karma Cafe, Souk Al
Bahar, Downtown, Dubai (T:+971 4 423 0909). Sister of the Buddha Bar but
with a much more laid back atmosphere. Generally frequented by more of the
people working in and around downtown. Very chill and relaxed place.
Grovesnor House Hotel. One of the best
buffet spreads in Dubai - especially at breakfast. Very highly recommended.(last
upd: Dec 2010)
- Khan Murjan, Wafi Mall, Dubai. This is a mixed arabian
restaurant, covering cuisines from Morrocco to Lebanon. Quality is very good
but its main attraction is the outdoor courtyard seating which they manage
to keep air conditioned so its pleasant to sit in all day and evening. Well
worth the visit to Wafi mall!
upd: Aug 2008)
Al Nasr Leisureland area, Dubai (T:+971 4 336 0061, E:
Very good Indian restaurant backed by a famous Indian chef Sanjeev Kapoor. The
restaurant is very light and airy with a garden feel to it. The dishes all
served impeccably and great taste with a full and varied meny to choose from.
upd: Jan 2005)
Raddisson Blu Hotel, Deira, Dubai. Excellent fish
restaurant where you choose your own fish which is then cooked to order.
- Automatic, chain. Good Lebanese quick-stop restaurant
all over Dubai
- Johnny Rockets, Dubai Marina, currently best burgers in town.
(last upd: Nov 2010)
- Soy Restaurant, Ibn Batuta Mall. OK'ayish multi-oriental
restaurant. Little heavy on the MSG but an OK spot for lunch. (last
upd: Oct 2008)
- Paul Cafe, various locations. Its often touch-and-go with
Paul for Service and some of the dishes. Excellent breads & pastries always but the main dishes can vary depending on the
resident chef. Good place for a snack. Would not suggest for a full on
upd: Oct 2008)
Mall of the Emirates @ Ski Dubai end / Kempinsky
Hotel (T: +971 4 341 0222). This is a poshy restaurant serving
seafood and great sushi. I've only tried it on a Monday where they are
currently running an all you can eat Sushi which is prepared for you to
order rather Buffet selection (a much better concept in my mind). The food,
service and quality were all excellent. (last upd: Jan 2009)
Entrecôte café de Paris,
Dubai Mall, Lower Ground, Dubai (T: +971 4 434 0122). Second branch
of the famous swiss version of the Entrecote cafe in Dubai Mall. Much better
ambiance and seating that the Al Khaleej Palace branch however there is no
wine served with the meals. For many, this will make the overall experience
a little less than they would expect but for non-drinkers, this is as good
as it gets!
upd: Nov 2010)
café de Paris, Al Khaleej Palace Hotel, Al Makhtoum Street,
Deira, Dubai (T: 04 223 1000). The faux fillet restaurant with
that 'special herb sauce'. This is actually the Swiss branch of the famous
chain but is nonetheless, close enough to be great. The atmosphere in this
restaurant tries to hard to remain Parisian resulting in a dark-ish redish
ambiance that doesn't quite make it and is the main failure stemming from
the overall experience. Nonetheless, the steaks are good and
the fries excellent. Not worth a long journey but nice if you're in Deira
anyway. Now open with a much better location in the Dubai Mall.
Italian Bar & Grill, Al Fattan Marine Towers, opposite Oasis
Beach Hotel, JBR, Dubai Marina, Dubai (t:+971 4 399 4311). Frankie
Dettori's (an ex-racehorse champ) and Marco Pierre Whites' restaurant in
Dubai and provides resoundingly good old fashioned Italian fare cooked
perfectly. The Bar ambiance is very evident with live piano music and its a
busy bustling place. Reservations are almost a necessity but worth it.
Little pricey for what it is. (last upd: Nov 2008)
Reem Al Bawadi, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai (T: +971 4 394 7444).
Lebanese with a hint of American and lot of Shisha restaurant. This is the
place to go if you want a bustling Beiruti scene with sounds of shisha's
bubbling and backgammon dice rolling along with the usual wonderful,
colourful spreads that Lebanese dishes can make. Great place for a outing
with friends but be warned, the smoke can be a little heavy. (last upd: Oct 2008)
Leon de Bruxelles, Jumeirah Beach Park Plaza, Jumerirah Beach Road, Dubai (T: +971 4
342 8100). Awesome destination if you like your mussels... all cooked
up and served in a pot like they should be! The food portions are great,
quality outstanding and service exemplary. Without a doubt, a great treat
for fans. As a new thing for me, the prawn croquettes starters were quite
awesome. (last upd: Apr 2009)
Rhodes Restaurant, Grovesnor House,
Dubai. Poshy Style British food from celeb
chef Gary Rhodes. Good for a romantic dinner or ladies lunch.
Samad Al Iraqi Restaurant,
Muraqabat, Dubai (T: +971 4 229 3661, firstname.lastname@example.org,
and also in Jumeirah 2 (T:+971 4 342 7887), This is an Iraqi restaurant
with great fish coked over charcoal. They also serve all the usual arabic
and iraqi dishes which are all excellent.
Aprons and Hammers, The
Dhow, Dubai International Marina Club, Mina Seyahi Beach Resort, Dubai
Marina (T: +971 4 454 7097; email@example.com).
Really cool boat based seafood restaurant run by chef Lawrence. Its a great
option for something slightly different. As its name implies, its a place
where you get to bust open your seafood with hammers and tongs and generally
get quite messy if you like. The Aprons are for your protection. We
especially like the specialty sea food stew the chef makes and the breaded
shrimps. The Chocolate fondant is not to be ignored for deserts. (last
upd: Dec 2011)
- Smiling BKK. Really fantastic little Thai restaurant in one of those
hidden, tucked away, corners of Dubai.
- Yum Cha Brunch,
Le Meridien Mina Siyahi Hotel, Dubai Marina, Dubai (T: +971 4 399 3333).
This was at the Westin hotel before and now moved into the Le Meridien on
Fridays. Its a great place for lunch with great ambiance and kids menu.
upd: Jan 2011)
Untried but waiting....
Spectrum on One, Dubai - I hear this is a mutli-kitchen experience.
Betwai Cafe , 4B Street, Behind the Minitry of Health, Dubai (T: +971 50 226
0889) - this is supposedly an excellent, cheap-and-cheerful Indonesian
frequented by the Indonesian sailors that pop into Dubia.
(back to Quick Links)
- Kempinksy Hotel, Mall of the Emirates. Very luxurious rooms as to
be expected from one of the leading hotels of the world. Saw the suites and
they were quite magnificent.
- Emirates Towers, haven't been yet but heard its very good.
(back to Quick Links)
Restaurant, Emirates Palace Hotel, (T:+971 2 690 7999; E:Restaurants.firstname.lastname@example.org).
Very nice and elegant Persian restaurant with quite a few accolades.
Slightly pricey but delicious. (last
upd: April 2010)
- Le Cafe,
Emirates Palace Hotel, (T:+971 2 690 7999; E:Restaurants.email@example.com).
Great lounge bar serving snacks and drinks. Almost everything on offer is
absolutely great - especially their french fries :-).
Restaurant, The Yas Hotel, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi (T: +971 2 656
Dining@TheYasHotel.com). Origins has a small but well considered brunch
on Fridays that will please most people. Its main attraction however is the
proximity to the Abu Dhabi Formula 1 racetrack. Definitely worth a visit.
upd: Dec 2010)
Untried but waiting....
Hakkasan, Emirates Palace : Chinese food to try!
(back to Abu Dhabi Quick Links)
- The Yas Hotel, Yas
Island, Abu Dhabi. Formula 1 Hotel :-) - actually a very Germanic themed
and minimalist kind of place - set on the Abu Dhabi Formula 1 racetrack.
- Emirates Palace Hotel, Abu
Dhabi (T:+971 2 690 9000). The main sumptuous lavishness that the UAE can
(back to Abu Dhabi Quick Links)