The Shortlist

Al Hambra, Al Qasr, Madinat Jumeirah
Nominated for Best European
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Al Hambra is one of the few traditional Spanish restaurants in the city serving an array of authentic dishes such as tapas, paella, mixed platters, grilled meats and churros. Overlooking the Burj Al Arab and the Madinat Jumeirah waterways, with abras peacefully drifting by, the setting will make you feel relaxed and at home, almost as if you’re living the stereotypical laidback Spanish lifestyle. The extensive tapas menu offers diners the chance to taste smaller portions of the various dishes on offer – the beef cheeks in particularly are a must-try. Curiously, the tapas dishes are slightly larger than you’d expect, but, as staff will enthusiastically explain, ‘this is Dubai!’ For those with a larger appetite, the paellas or grilled meat dishes will definitely fill you up. Everything about the restaurant – from the decor and live music to the friendly staff and, of course, the rustic, wholesome food – enhances the Spanish vibe, making this a genuine, albeit slightly overpriced, dining experience.
Open Sat-Thu 6pm-11.30pm; Fri 12.30pm-4pm, 7pm-11.30pm. Al Qasr Hotel, Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 366 6730).

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