Where to eat and watch the incredible Dubai Fountain dance
Hugely popular among tourists and Dubai-dwellers alike, is a great meal with uninterrupted views of The Dubai Fountain. Throngs of people, smartphones held aloft, line the edges of the water to record a segment of the performance (which takes place every 30 minutes in the evenings), but you won’t have to elbow your way through the crowds to find your table, or stand on a chair to see the action. Here’s where to go:
Mango Tree During cooler months, this Thai restaurant’s terrace is among the best to sit out on for an up-close experience and light soaking from The Dubai Fountain. A meal here is by no means cheap, with starters alone priced upwards of Dhs50, but there’s great variety on offer from the remarkably long menu. Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai (04 426 7313).
Madeleine Café & Boulangerie The faux-French café also boasts a prime spot next to The Dubai Fountain and Burj Khalifa and offers a sprawling terrace for al-fresco dining. Its picturesque setting is likely to lure daytime visitors; the salads are sizeable and a welcome escape from the Dubai Mall. The Dubai Mall (04 438 4335).
Burj Khalifa’s At.mosphere Located 442 metres above Dubai, on the 122nd floor of the Burj Khalifa, this fine dining restaurant boasts dazzling views of the city. Sophisticated At.mosphere offers diners an uncomplicated menu of quality seafood, tender cuts of meat and an extensive premium drinks list. It’s great for visitors to the city who want to experience the views from the world’s tallest building and enjoy a top-notch meal – and it delivers on both fronts. Dubai Mall (04 888 3828).
Rivington Grill Head here for posh British dining and an ever-changing menu of daily specials. Since opening in Dubai, Rivington has become a go-to for expats missing their beef Wellington and fish and chips, and improving the overseas reputation of British cuisine among residents of every other nationality. The fact this outlet has a fantastic view of the fountain adds to its appeal. Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai (04 423 0903).
Armani/Mediterraneo While the Armani Hotel's equivalent of an all day, casual dining haunt may be a buffet only affair, for this nature of eatery, Armani/Mediterraneo is a cut above the rest. The wide sweeping arch of the restaurant layout, curving inside the Burj Khalifa, is decorated in a simplistic and sophisticated style, and flooded with light, thanks to the glass expanses of windows along the walls. Armani Hotel Dubai, Downtown Dubai (04 888 3444).
Tolosa Bodega One of Souk Al Bahar’s newest restaurants, tucked away in a corner, this eatery takes its name from the southern French city of Toulouse, drawing inspiration from the area’s French-meets-Spanish cuisine. Try escargot (snails) and octopus, smoked duck breast and home-made pate among others. Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai (04 453 9220).
Thiptara Overlooking the Dubai Fountain and the sparkling lights of the Burj Khalifa, with gentle amber lighting and softly-spoken staff, The Palace hotel’s Thai eatery certainly has all the ingredients of a romantic restaurant. Seating on the terrace gets popular during cooler months and the setting is delightfully relaxing and quiet. Open daily 7pm-11.30pm. The Palace, Downtown Dubai (04 888 3444).
Karma Kafe Enjoy an Asian-inspired à la carte brunch at Karma Kafé with views of the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountains from the terrace. Pan-Asian fusion food such as miso black cod; Florida Bay rock shrimp tempura with peanut and chilli sauce; signature sushi rolls; and flank steak with jalapeno chimichurri. Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai, www.karma-kafe.com (04 423 0909).
Asado This inviting fine-dining Argentinean restaurant in Downtown is unfussy and understated, the interior walls lined with brick, giving the feeling you’re sitting inside a warm oven. But if you have any sense you’ll book a table outdoors, with views onto the Dubai Fountain and Burj Khalifa. Open daily 7pm-midnight. The Palace, Downtown Dubai (04 428 7888).
Sake No Hana An impressive international Japanese restaurant-bar-lounge from the man behind Hakkasan and Wagamama and latterly Crystal Group. Try top notch and creative maki (there’s a fish and chips roll), delicious chef’s platters and impressive East-meets-West desserts. Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai (04 432 7808).