Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards 2013 details - Timeoutdubai.com

Bu Qtair

Best Budget Winner 44 Comments

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Bu Qtair benefits from its stark contrast to the clichéd Dubai eatery: it's an utterly basic shack, set right on the beach (beside its polar opposite, the Burj Al Arab), with plastic chairs to sit on. This disparity, combined with the fact that it serves rather good fish attracts a diverse, but sizeable crowd, from Western tourists who want to experience the less glitzy side of Dubai and the crowds of Asian expats who have grown up on its menu, to the Umm Suqeim Sallys and Steves who live around the corner. Service is succinct (at times, rude) and comes with a thick accent, and the (verbal) menu consists of prawns, hammour, sheri and whatever else has washed in that day, combined with curry sauce, naan, rice and soft drinks. But as you'll struggle to spend more than Dhs100 for two (where else can you feast like a king at that price, with a view of the city's 'seven star'?) this place is a must-visit.
Open 7pm-midnight. Road 4d, Umm Suqeim (055 705 2130).

By Time Out Dubai staff
Time Out Dubai,

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Posted by: Amin Islam on 12 Oct ' 15 at 11:54
  • Best for: Family friendly

I love this place. For someone who spends most of his time (not out of choice) at superficial corporate dinners around pretentious people, over the top resorts & 5* hotels - this place really helps me wind down and enjoy good food around good people. It's authentic in the sense you get what you pay for. The restaurant and the people who go there are not trying to be things they are not, which is often what we seem to be consumed by in today's society. Service was great, staff were friendly, amazing and great fresh seafood. Certainly not for the "Nouveau Riche".

Posted by: Tin on 26 Oct ' 14 at 15:45
  • Best for: Family friendly

The best seafood restaurant!:)

Posted by: Al harazi on 03 Feb ' 14 at 21:08
  • Best for: Family friendly

I went there the other day after i read the reviews, i was very disappointed. First of all, the ques were long, then after we chose the fish (only Sherri and prawns, so not much of an option), we had to wait for 40 mins. The waiting area is just as bad as the eating area, it is Dark, the chairs and the cheapest plastic stools that you buy from satwa. The food then arrived and we sat in a table which was dirty and cats were all over.

The fish was oily from the inside, dry in the inside, im not sure why there are good reviews about this, i found the service is poor, the food is poor and the prices are not that cheap, will not be vising again.

Posted by: naser on 10 Jul ' 13 at 23:28

Posted by: Cristy on 18 May ' 13 at 12:48

Most of my friends had been to this place and I was like..Okay, i should try it one day. So me and my friend went and she said "food is great and reasonable". When our order arrived, i felt dismay looking at the fish and prawns! Looks like it was in the pool of oil served to us. They did not even bother to strain it for 2 minutes! It doesnt even taste good. sauce were not good..table were dirty, so many cats walking around. and when we pay our bill for that less half kilo of fish and like 10pcs of small prawns, was shocked with the bill! 120 aed for just that and a bottle of water?
not fond of going back again.

Posted by: Amjad on 23 Mar ' 13 at 09:46

It is master class in itself for all the foodies who care a bitf for ambience. Luv 2 visit agan n again:)

Posted by: Kamel Haddad on 20 Mar ' 13 at 06:30
  • Best for: Family friendly

Ate there for the first time last night and have to say i was so surprised a place like this existed in Dubai. I truly enjoyed the experience, its not an everyday place but very nice to take some friends and enjoy the experience. Food is great but they only have fish and shrimp with one marination. Highly recomend to try this place.

Posted by: angela on 18 Mar ' 13 at 15:38

went on more than one occasion. The first time the price was reasonable with the crowed I was with. the last time very surprise of the hike in the price, and that because I was not with my Indian friends and speak with an American accent.

Posted by: Manish Kuber on 28 Dec ' 12 at 14:42

This place used to be good when they charged reasonable prices...but when they see you are an expat or foreigner they blatantly increase prices to the degree now it is cheaper to go to a regular restaurant.. I have gone to this place for the past few years and the pricing has gone through the roof. I would avoid this place. It is no longer a "hole in the wall" with good food...it is pricey and food quality is low.

Posted by: on 20 Nov ' 12 at 06:39
  • Best for: Family friendly

Posted by: Shah on 03 Nov ' 12 at 11:18

No fixed menu,they charge us more.Too much oily in fish,unhygienic .I recommend don't waste time in searching this restaurant.

Posted by: Victor on 21 Jul ' 12 at 11:34


Posted by: Gigi on 19 Apr ' 12 at 06:23

The idea of fish & shrimp from a shack on the beach is great but I would never go again:

1- They overcharge you whenever they can, just because they know you will pay for it. There is no menu with prices so whatever number they feel like, they will throw at you. Everytime i went i paid a different price and I always leave thinking "I would have paid the same had I eaten at a proper restaurant"
2- Extremely filty and unhygenic kitchen.

Posted by: grandma on 07 Apr ' 12 at 11:09
  • Best for: Family friendly

Great food - great experience. A must-do while you're in Dubai.

Posted by: kaeme on 26 Feb ' 12 at 06:05
  • Best for: Family friendly

Posted by: kaeme on 26 Feb ' 12 at 06:05
  • Best for: Family friendly

Posted by: kaeme on 26 Feb ' 12 at 06:05
  • Best for: Family friendly

Posted by: David Wiseman on 10 Dec ' 11 at 12:08
  • Best for: Romantic

I wanted to break up with my girlfriend. So I thought the best place to take her for a Romantic Dinner that would turn into a fight and break up is Bu Qtair. It had great food do not misunderstand. But you can surprise the heck out of a Girlfriend with taking her while wearing a beautiful dress to Bu Qtair. Even if she eats the best food, if she is your GF, she will break up, if she is your wife, she will divorce you..

Posted by: Saji on 20 Oct ' 11 at 11:32
  • Best for: Family friendly

The best deal on price is from Sunday to Thursday. Though not healthy good for a change

Posted by: Confused on 18 Oct ' 11 at 14:23

A few years back this was a great place to surprise visitors with.

Like a lot of the other reviewers, I have found that prices increase with each visit, service to be almost rude and the quality of the side dishes - soup, bread etc to be very inconsistent.

I can't help but think that they are trying to reduce the number of customers - seems to be working.

Despite all of that, it is rare that I get the chance to rough it here - despite my efforts. Should I have to pay the new prices for the privilege of doing something different / not going to a hotel?

Fish and chips in the car at sunset is a good saturday night alternative.

Posted by: Ana on 13 Sep ' 11 at 05:19

Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of a cheap fish shack on the beach and nothing beats popping into one after spending a day surfing, but this place is extremely overpriced if you are a Westerner.

For aed160 per kilo of deep-fried shrimp that Bu Qtair charges I could eat a dinner for two at a real restaurant in the Marina. And Bu Qtair being just a shack with two dishes served at plastic tables plumped in the dust, how do they justify these prices?

You could argue that the seafood is fresh so it has to cost more, but after it's been dunk in the deep frier and turned into an unhealthy meal, does anyone still care if it's fresh or defrosted? Frankly, I couldn't tell the difference.

Posted by: Jiji on 23 Aug ' 11 at 15:30
  • Best for: Family friendly

Posted by: Jiji on 23 Aug ' 11 at 15:30
  • Best for: Family friendly

Posted by: A2 on 24 Jul ' 11 at 04:23

We went with an open mind, knowing this was going to be a hole-in-the-wall place but from everyone's accounts, excellent food and cheap. We went in for the experience.
We are westerners, and we got over charged. The (Indian) guys in front ordered three large fish and paid 180AED. We ordered one small one and some prawns (one ladleful) and got charged 60AED. I wish I had seen Joedi Rose's review sooner, and I would not have gone.
Really, for 60AED Iit is better to go to Sammach (one at Beach centre, one by Dubai Mall) and at least be seated in aircon and be able to choose a fish.
Both the prawns and the fish were bathed in the same sauce.
So do yourself a favor, if you are a Westerner, do not go, you will be discriminated against!

Posted by: Omar on 05 Jul ' 11 at 05:39

I would definately not go back to this place, not because of its humble atmosphere and seating, but simply because me and the 3 people with me all got food poisoning, we ordered fried fish and had the curry, im quite sure the fried fish was fresh, but the curry, there was no way of knowing... also the staff were rude and they tried to rip us off... DEFINATELY A NO!

Posted by: Zuhair on 23 May ' 11 at 12:03

Food does taste very good but is incredibly unhealthy with everything effectively deep fried. I actually felt a bit ill when I came home even though I stuffed my face while I was there!
Also the discriminatory pricing is shocking, there are vast gaps in what people pay.

Posted by: Afee on 21 Mar ' 11 at 07:57
  • Best for: Family friendly

One of the best fish joints in dubai... Even though the prices are increasing day after day, it is a heaven for fish lovers (not for someone who prefers dining exclusively with forks and spoons and a napkin on your lap). Overall - Excellent place. Worth a try!

Posted by: LK on 05 Mar ' 11 at 12:08
  • Best for: Family friendly

With time they have become a bit expxnsive...but still affordable to the pocket...Sheri and Prawns are yummy........cheers. I do go once a month...cheers

Posted by: LAB on 01 Feb ' 11 at 12:41
  • Best for: Family friendly

Posted by: CT on 22 Dec ' 10 at 08:26
  • Best for: Family friendly

AWESOME....is an understatement!!! A true 'diamond in the rough'
Excellent food, excellent value for money, friendly service and how can one complain about the beach venue. My personal favorite are the prawns but all the seafood simply just tastes better here. Freshly caught, marinated and cooked to titillate your tastebuds!

I'm really disappointed with some people's feedback, which sounds like nothing more than them being unreasonably condascending and arrogant. Well, to each their own I guess.

Thank you TimeOutDubai...I was pleasantly surprised to find this reviewed here...truly global and non-discriminatory, just the way TimeOut ought to be. Well done :)

Posted by: F on 04 Dec ' 10 at 15:28
  • Best for: Family friendly

The food is all what matters if you got the beach around and this food is just amazing!
best seafood of its kind I ever had so far.

Posted by: ABC on 07 Nov ' 10 at 13:00

We tried this restaurant several times in a matter of 3 months. Undoubtedly, the idea of fried prawns with South Indian spices appealed to us and although there is no guarantee for consistency of taste, when its done well, its quite a delight.

The flip side of this is that the guys know that they have a niche and the in a matter of 3 months, they increased the price from 100 aed for a kilo of proawns to 150 aed progressively.

When I checked with the cahier on why the price is increasing and surprisingly every few weeks, he replied that we haven't changed our price since 3 years. And we know thats not true because we dined 2 weeks ago.

***** Its not Value for money! *****

Thanks to Timeout for letting us post our experience for the benefit of other diners ...... and Timeout needs to revise the Price category of this restaurant from 1-50 to 100-150.

Posted by: Paula on 08 Oct ' 10 at 08:55
  • Best for: Family friendly

really cheap seafood...great portion sizes....not the cleanest place...but considering how overpriced and commercialized everything in Dubai is, this place is pretty great....
I suggest you carry a bunch of wet wipes, tissues, and a hand sanitizer:)...

Posted by: Tank & "Z" on 30 Sep ' 10 at 05:43
  • Best for: Family friendly

We have had fish dinners all over the world but this place stands out! Yes, I know, it is not in the greatest location and it is basically "eating in the rough" but the quality, taste, and value is unreal. Absolutely the best fish and prawns I have ever had in my life and since we are new to living in Dubai, this will be a weekly visit for us. I cannot say enough to everyone that has the chance, you have to try it. One note, we arrived at 6:30PM but they do not open until 7:00PM. If you love fish, you will not be disappointed.

Posted by: Sarah on 11 Sep ' 10 at 14:23

This is some of the best fish in the world! The place is a breath of fresh air in Dubai...it is real, run by the workers and delicious. The lack of facilities makes it all the more fun and atmospheric.

IF they do discriminate, I think they have a right. Westerners make more money here...plus Westerns constantly discriminate against the Asians. Good for them.

How obnoxious that prudish people cannot see the restaurant for what is it....AMAZING.

Posted by: Joedi Rose on 05 Sep ' 10 at 08:51

I love the food in this place and go there quite frequently especially during the weekend and have never faced any issues with the staff. However, the other day staff were very very DISCRIMINATORY and posses major attitude problem.

We had gone there right after work on a weekday and went to choose our fish and shrimp. We ordered 1kg prawns + 1 medium sized fish. We were quoted a shocking AED 190dhs!

When my friend asked the cashier, 'are you sure? it was never this high before'. Unbeknown to the staff, my friends speak fluent Hindi and Malayalam, the cook who was standing next to the cashier said in malayalam ' why are you selling so high, our fish is not that expensive'. The cashier replied to the cook in malayalam, ' too bad ive already quoted, they take it or they can go somewhere else!'. The casheir then turned to us and said in english 'you eat here and you pay price'!

Can you believe such discriminatory pricing?!

Posted by: Jude Praveen on 11 Aug ' 10 at 05:39
  • Best for: Family friendly

A Good Place to Munch on Some Fried Fish & Prawns!!

Don't Expect top quality ambience...after all its a Cafetaria!! But a gr8 place to indulge in some fresh fish if u hav a craving for it...

Posted by: Jiji on 05 Aug ' 10 at 07:16

Edited by TimeOutDubai.com

I recommend to buy the marinated fish from here any cook yourself.

Posted by: Marcello on 03 Apr ' 10 at 13:51
  • Best for: Family friendly

I went there 3-4 times already and I love this place.
It is certainly not the place for posh people. I care more about the substance that the appearance and this place serves very good food.
Selection is very small (they have prawns and fish), but if you know what you are looking for this place is perfect and so far is best value for money we found around.

Posted by: Sampath Shetty on 25 Mar ' 10 at 06:27
  • Best for: Family friendly

Guys if you consider sea food, and taste, then this is the place to go in the evening.

Posted by: CG on 21 Mar ' 10 at 21:22

are you joking??
hardly a top class seafood restaurant....it's very clear that you guys down there really do have no idea.
how can you compare the likes of pierchic, pisces and ossiano with this 'fish kebab hut'.
where's Al mahara? they are missing, but the dirty fish caffeteria is in. just shows why dubai food scene is so poor, i pray Michelin do come next year so that you pathetic excuse for a guide becomes obselite.

Posted by: Mita Srinivasan on 03 Mar ' 10 at 11:37
  • Best for: Family friendly

We have had several tweet ups and their Fried prawns are a personal favourite - Yummy. Ask the Twitterati - we go back over and over again. Unpretentious - its about the food.

Posted by: Sampath Shetty on 03 Mar ' 10 at 08:26
  • Best for: Family friendly

excellent Restaurant

Posted by: A on 03 Mar ' 10 at 07:26

look at the chef and staff underwear hanging at the back ,look at the garbage drum , you lost all your credibility with this selection

what standards you followed

congratulation ..


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