We round up 32 festive feasts you need to book now, to enjoy on December 25
It's that time of year again, and as the city gets ready for the arrival of Christmas, one of Dubai's most treasured traditions gets a very seasonal twist. We've rounded up 32 epic festive feasts you need to book now, ready to enjoy on when the big day rolls around on Monday December 25. Swipe through the gallery above to find your Christmas Day brunch.
UnderDhs300 Cut-price meals for you to enjoy on Monday December 25
3in1 For a chilled-out, alternative Christmas Day, try the Urban Picnic Brunch at 3in1. Set poolside at Vida Downtown, you can fill up your picnic basket with a range of special festive treats and then lounge around in cabanas afterwards in a mince pie-induced slumber. Dhs295 (soft drinks), Dhs345 (house beverages), Dhs148 (kids aged six to 11), free (kids under six). 1pm-5pm. Vida Downtown, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard (04 888 3444).
BiCE Ristorante If you’re a fan of Italian fine dining, this is the brunch for you. The chic restaurant at the Hilton Dubai Jumeirah is hosting a five-course feast for Christmas, serving up traditional dishes with a modern Italian twist. Sounds good to us. Dhs295 (soft drinks), Dhs395 (house beverages), Dhs430 (bubbly). 12.30pm-4pm. Dec 25. Hilton Dubai Jumeirah, JBR (04 318 2520).
Boca This fun-loving, trendy Mediterranean restaurant is guaranteed to provide some festive cheer. European dishes will be given a Christmassy twist, and there’s sure to be a fun vibe. Dhs295 (soft drinks), Dhs395 (house beverages), Dhs590 (bubbly). Gate Village 6, DIFC (04 323 1833).
Boulevard Kitchen This family-friendly gathering is a stalwart on the Christmas dining scene. Set over two floors, not only will your entire tribe be able to fill up on festive favourites, but you can also sample local delicacies, too, because what’s not to love about a turkey-hummus pairing? Dhs225 (soft drinks), Dhs295 (house beverages), Dhs115 (kids aged six to 11), free (kids under six). 1pm-5pm. Manzil Downtown Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard (04 428 5888).
Casa de Tapas For a Spanish fiesta on Christmas Day, head to Casa de Tapas, where you’ll be able to dig into tasty tapas. It’s certain to be a world away from your average turkey with all the trimmings. Dhs249 (soft drinks), Dhs299 (house beverages), Dhs349 (sparkling grape). 12.30pm-4pm. Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, Deira (04 416 1800).
Galvin Dubai For a fancy fine-dining feast, head to this new restaurant from the Michelin-starred Galvin brothers. The three-course menu is “traditionally British, executed with a chic European twist” and you’ll have a choice of four dishes in each course. Plus, it’s rounded off with a glass of bubbly. From Dhs295. Noon-11.30pm. The Square, City Walk, Al Safa Street (04 590 5444).
Dusty’s The Departures Brunch is one for if you’re not jetting away this Christmas and feel like you might miss being on a plane (we haven’t got our heads around the airline theme yet, either, so this must be a good time to go). You won’t fly away, but it will get you into the spirit of travelling. Fun eats, festive treats and an upbeat vibe await. The exits are here, here and here, but we’re sure you won’t be looking for them when you’re wolfing down that turkey. Dhs299 (food only), Dhs399 (house beverages), Dhs499 (sparkling grape). 1pm-4pm. Al Fattan Currency House, DIFC (04 354 5435).
JB’s Gastropub Dig into a proper pub grub Christmas lunch. There will be soup and salad to start, plus a main. Then you can make your way around the dessert buffet. The resident DJ will be in the house playing the tunes, too. Dhs250 (soft drinks), Dhs375 (house beverages). Noon-4pm. Amwj Rotana, The Walk, JBR (04 428 3084).
JW Marriott The special festive edition of the “dine around” brunch will take place on Christmas Day, and include cuisine from The Market Place, Bamboo Lagoon and Hofbräuhaus. Live stations will include a carvery (of course), plus festive desserts. There will also be plenty of activities to keep the little ones occupied, such as a visit from Santa, making this a special (and affordable) way to spend the festive season. Dhs275 (soft drinks), Dhs375 (house beverages), Dhs75 (kids aged six to 12), free (kids under six). Noon-4pm. JW Marriott Hotel Dubai, Deira (04 607 7977).
Olea A traditional Yuletide buffet awaits at Olea. As well as all the festive faves, there will be live music, guaranteeing a fun-filled Christmassy atmosphere. Dhs295 (soft drinks), Dhs495 (house beverages), Dhs145 (kids aged six to 12), free (kids under six). 1pm-5pm. Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha (04 409 5111).
Nezesaussi Grill A sports bar? On Christmas Day? We say yes, when the food being served is this good. You’ll be able to indulge in some traditional dishes from South Africa, New Zealand and Australia on December 25. With a roast and a pint, we’re sure you’ll be happy. Dhs179 (three house beverages), Dhs85 (kids aged six-11), free (kids under six). 7pm-10pm. Manzil Downtown, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard (04 428 5888).
Table 9 Prepare to tackle a seven-course seasonal set meal at Table 9. You’ll also get three hours of drinks at this all-day Christmas brunch, so it doesn’t matter if you can’t drag yourself out of bed early on Christmas morning. Dhs299 (soft drinks), Dhs399 (house beverages). 12.30pm-9pm. Hilton Dubai Creek (04 212 7560).
The Exchange Grill This fancy steakhouse is serving up a special four-course menu on Monday December 25. And with it all coming in at underDhs400 including grape pairing, we won’t be shake our (Christmas-hat-wearing) heads at that. Dhs250 (food only), Dhs399 (grape pairing). 7pm-midnight. Fairmont Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 311 8316).
Dhs300-499 Splash out a little more and take Christmas up a notch this year
360° This Dubai institution, which turned 13 this year, will be offering a full-on party for you fun-loving folk out there. There will be a Pan-Asian menu of bar bites (think sushi, dim sum, sliders and nachos) and, of course, tunes from the resident DJs to get you up and dancing. With top views of the Burj Al Arab and out to sea, this is about as far away from your nan’s living room in Blighty as you could get. Dhs450 (house beverages). 1pm-4pm. Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Umm Suqeim (04 432 3232).
Al Bahou It’s time to don to Christmas hats and break out the crackers – this is one traditional fest. Dig into turkey, roast beef, lamb and more, plus all the usual extras. Dhs449 (soft drinks), Dhs599 (house beverages), Dhs799 (bubbly), Dhs225 (kids aged seven-12), Dhs99 (kids aged three-six), free (kids under three). 12.30pm-4pm. Mövenpick Hotel Ibn Battuta Gate, The Gardens (04 444 5613).
Al Forsan This desert offing promises to be a relaxed family-friendly event. There will be plenty for the kids to do, including rides, making this a truly alternative Christmas for the family. There will be jugglers, kite-flying, face-painting and more, plus a visit from Santa, too. Parents, fret not, you’ll be entertained by the live music and carols. Dhs495 (soft drinks), Dhs665 (house beverages), Dhs795 (bubbly). 1pm-4pm. Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, Al Qudra Road (04 809 6194).
Amwaj Rotana Dig into delights from Rosso and Benihana, plus a traditional roast. There’s also a visit from Santa, and live cooking stations. Dhs339 (soft drinks), Dhs449 (bubbly), Dhs649 (premium bubbly), Dhs150 (kids aged six-12), free (kids under six). 12.30pm-4.30pm. Amwaj Rotana (04 428 2000).
Great British Restaurant If you’re a homesick British expat, where better to take refuge on Christmas Day than a restaurant totally dedicated to your homeland. Don’t miss the live carving stations (as if you would), and the Yorkshire puddings are especially great. Dhs425 (soft drinks), Dhs525 (house beverages and sparkling grape), Dhs625 (bubbly). 1pm-4pm. DUKES Dubai, Palm Jumeirah (04 455 1111).
Farriers This huge brunch will offer up a buffet like no other on the big day. Expect a live band, loads of family-friendly activities and a visit from Santa Claus himself. And it all overlooks the racecourse, too. Dhs495 (soft drinks), Dhs695 (house beverages), Dhs795 (bubbly), half price (kids aged five-12), free (kids under five). Noon-4pm. Meydan Hotel, Nad Al Sheba (04 381 3111).
Flow Kitchen A previous winner of Time Out Dubai Kids’ Family-Friendly Brunch award, Flow Kitchen at Fairmont The Palm is a top choice for all-round entertainment with kids’ activities and Santa Claus. And the menu is as festive as you could want – with smoked salmon, turkey, roasties, stuffing – the lot. Don’t miss the dessert selection, either – delve into gingerbread cookies, Pannetone bread pudding, mince pie and crème brûlée. Everyone knows calories don’t count at Christmas. Dhs395 (soft drinks), Dhs195 (kids aged six to 12), free (kids under six). 12.30pm-3.30pm. Fairmont The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 457 3457).
Le Cirque Don’t be fooled by the name, there’s nothing circus-related about this restaurant. So if you’re expecting clowns and jugglers, step away now. If, however, you’re after some fancy food, read on. This French eatery by way of New York is serving a special three-course menu of comforting dishes from the Gallic nation. Plus, there’s a traditional buche de Noel (aka Yule log). Delish. Dhs325 (food only). Noon-11.30pm. The Ritz-Carlton, DIFC (04 372 2444).
Legends You don’t need to be a golfer to love Legends. This festive brunch comes with stunning views across Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, so you can sit back and enjoy your lunch in a refreshingly green surrounding. Food-wise, you’ll get everything you’d expect at a Christmas Day extravaganza. Dhs350 (soft drinks), Dhs495 (house beverages), Dhs650 (bubbly), Dhs175 (kids aged four to 12). Noon-3.30pm. Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, Deira (04 295 6000).
McGettigan’s JLT Where better to celebrate than at officially the best Irish pub in the world? McGettigan’s JLT is hosting a full-on festive bash with a traditional roast, all the extras and a proper Christmas pud. Dhs399. Noon-10pm. Bonnington Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Cluster J, JLT (04 356 0470).
Prime If you’re looking for something fancy and want a day chilling at home, opt for a Christmas evening meal, instead. Prime, Meydan’s steakhouse, is offering up a four-course elegant dinner, all served to tunes from a live pianist. You can’t get classier than that. Dhs390 (food only), Dhs550 (with half a bottle of grape). 7pm-11.30pm. Meydan Hotel, Nad Al Sheba (04 381 3111).
Reform Social & Grill If you live in Dubai, chances are you’ll have been to Reform. So we don’t need to explain why it’ll be a very merry Christmas here. What we will say is: full roast, British food, festive fun and Santa. Oh, and a cheese board. We’ll leave that one there for you to think about. Dhs400 (soft drinks), Dhs530 (house beverages), Dhs660 (bubbly), Dhs195 (kids aged eight-14), Dhs55 (kids under eight). Noon-3pm. The Lakes (04 454 2638).
Seagrill Restaurant and Lounge Enjoy a three-course Mediterranean meal in the sun, with a drink thrown in, at this al fresco terrace location. Dhs300 (adults), Dhs195 (kids aged six to 12), free (kids under six). 10am-7pm. Fairmont The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 457 3457).
The City Grill Chrimbo-loving carnivores, listen up. This is one you’re not going to want to miss. Head to The City Grill for a plush spread of starters, mains and prime cuts of meat, and plenty of festive cheer to boot. Dhs300 (soft drinks), Dhs400 (house beverages), Dhs470 (sparkling grape). The Atrium, Al Habtoor City (04 437 0088).
Dhs500-699 Don’t scrimp this festive season and book in for brunch with views of the beach
Beachcombers This Jumeirah Beach Hotel spot is offering up pan-Asian cuisine, as well as a whole range of activities for the kids. It will be fun, friendly and relaxed. Dhs685 (house beverages), Dhs750 (bubbly). 1pm-4pm. Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Umm Suqeim (04 432 3232).
La Parrilla If you’re looking for Latin American cuisine and live entertainment as part of your Christmas Day plans, head to La Parrilla. This 25th floor restaurant will be serving up good views alongside your meal. Dhs685 (house beverages), Dhs750 (bubbly). 1pm-4pm. Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Umm Suqeim (04 432 3232).
Latitude This laid-back brunch is great for the whole gang – there’s a huge choice when it comes to food, there’s a picturesque terrace and there’s family-friendly entertainment. What more could you want? Burj Al Arab views? Got that too. Dhs685 (house beverages), Dhs750 (bubbly). 1pm-4pm. Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Umm Suqeim (04 432 3232).
Dhs700+ Blow the budget completely and enjoy an extra-special treat
Jumeirah Al Qasr The ultimate in Dubai brunching, Al Qasr is going all out for Christmas. The Hide, Al Hambra and Arboretum are all clubbing together for a festive extravaganza. Expect a massive range of dishes and live entertainment, too. Dhs850 (house beverages), Dhs375 (kids aged four to 11), free (kids under four). 12.30pm-4pm. Jumeirah Al Qasr, Umm Suqeim (04 432 3232).
Pierchic This one’s a Christmas present in its own right, and you don’t even need to battle with the sellotape and wrap it. Head down the pier for a dreamy Christmas Day set out to sea. Indulge in all the seafood you could possibly want for, admire those stunning views and make it a Christmas you won’t forget. Dhs750 (house beverages), Dhs850 (bubbly), Dhs375 (kids aged four to 11), free (kids under four). 12.30pm-4pm. Jumeirah Al Qasr, Umm Suqeim (04 432 3232).