Time Out Dubai is the guide to the best brunch in Dubai. Here we profile the pick of party brunches in Dubai. Get reviews, contact details and more
Don't forget to pack your dancing shoes at these popular Friday feasts in Dubai.You'll be given food in toy boats and cars, served 'disco sushi' and what else says party like a chocolate fountain? You might be confused about whether you've just been to a nightclub or out for a meal after emerging from these places into the daylight, but one thing's for sure.... a good time will be had by all.
Set on the terrace of 360°, this Thursday evening offering is an ideal start to the weekend. It boasts excellent views of the Burj Al Arab and the Dubai coastline, which also makes it a great spot to take visitors. The food isn’t the best you’ll find in Dubai; an impressive sushi platter is followed up by some fairly ordinary chicken wings and nachos, but the dim sum is decent and you can order as much as you like. Beverages are forthcoming and there’s soon dancing on the terrace, which, with the sea breeze rolling in, has a fun and upbeat holiday vibe. Dhs295 (house beverages). Thu 7pm-10pm.
Ideal for those who can’t make up their mind what cuisine they have a hankering for, this hugely popular brunch has a little slice of everything. Bringing together steakhouse The Hide, Spanish eatery Al Hambra and all-day-dining venue Arboretum, the sheer volume of food is immense, although the quantity certainly doesn’t detract from the quality. You’ll be seated either inside one of the restaurants or outside with views of the resort’s canal and abras. Wherever you are, you’ll be able to hear the house band belting out huge hits. If you love helping yourself to a pick ’n’ mix of cuisines and beverages, Al Qasr will be right up your street. Dhs495 (soft drinks), Dhs595 (house beverages), Dhs250 (kids aged four to 11), free (kids under four). Fri 12.30pm-4pm.
A new kid on the block, but its “Prohibition Brunch” is already gaining a reputation for being one to party at. The restaurant and bar is one of our favourite new places in the city, providing a cool, industrial hangout in DIFC and serving top-notch street eats (and some refined dishes in a more formal area). The food served during brunch sticks to the casual formula, but while the dishes are good, it’s more about the drinks and the shindig. The DJ is loud, there are sparklers, there is dancing. Dhs295 (soft drinks), Dhs395 (house beverages), Dhs495 (bubbly). Fri 2pm-5pm.
If you and your mates want to get out of town to let off some steam, this could be the place for you. The Saturday brunch comes with a side order of house tunes, courtesy of live DJs, and a great atmosphere. There are various packages to choose from, depending on whether you want to sit indoors or out, but all promise a great time. Dhs275 (house beverages inside the restaurant) Sat 1pm-3pm, 3.30pm-5.30pm. Dhs295 (house beverages on the terrace and beach) Sat 2pm-4pm.
We don’t give out awards lightly, so for the Candypants Brunch at XL Dubai to take the title of Best Party Brunch at our Music & Nightlife Awards this year is a testament to how much of a riot this one is. The atmosphere is like to a Club 18-30 holiday, but with far better food, and the after-party rumbles on for hours. Pace yourself and be prepared for a full-on Friday. Dhs325 (house beverages), Dhs375 (sparkling grape). Fri 1pm-4pm.
Our reigning Restaurant of the Year has also launched a superb brunch. It does everything that a brunch should. Great atmosphere, quality food and brilliant service, all making for a memorable afternoon out. It’s good value, too, especially considering how good the dishes are, and you can sample almost everything on the menu, either from the buffet bar spread of raw dishes and salads or from the à la carte main courses. A stunning dessert platter rounds things off. For a high-class party, this is tough to beat, but be sure to book in advance. Dhs328 (soft drinks), Dhs448 (house beverages), Dhs598 (bubbly). Fri 12.30pm-4pm.
Christmas with family can be fraught with sibling rivalry and arguments over who gets the turkey breast. Before that comes around, why not head out to Double Decker for a fuss-free afternoon with friends? Let your hair down and enjoy hearty British favourites including Yorkshire pudding, roast beef and chunky stews. Plus the barnstorming DJ Barrie Birse will be banging out the party anthems. Dhs275 (house beverages). Fri noon-4pm.
This is a good-time brunch with a guilty pleasure soundtrack and à la carte food. The menu is made up mainly of dishes and bites from the usual bar menu and you can order unlimited amounts of anything. The selection is fairly Asian-leaning, but this is still an international brunch, featuring tacos, sliders, pasta, roasted baby chicken and more. The portions are petite, but we have no complaints about that – you can order as many as you like, after all. Things get livelier throughout the afternoon, by the time dessert is served, people are up dancing and posing for the roaming photographer. Dhs350 (house beverages), Dhs450 (premium beverages). Fri 1pm-4pm.
One of the cooler new venues to open up this year, Indie’s Saturday brunch is a great way to familiarise yourself with the venue. Don’t be too disheartened if the party vibe isn’t up and running when you get there, by the time you’re a couple of hours in, the music will be blaring and the entertainment will have you on your feet. The food is good, too, with some great sharing plates that won’t fill you up too much, but will please your palate. Dhs290 (soft drinks), Dhs390 (house beverages), Dhs490 (premium beverages). Sat 1pm-5pm.
For rooftop views and a sophisticated afternoon out, Iris is the one. The food selection isn’t huge, but what’s there won’t disappoint. We love the salad station, jam-packed with fresh and colourful ingredients, and the sushi bar, offering up a range of prettily presented morsels. The dessert choice is limited to crêpes, but when they’re topped with Nutella and strawberries, we’re not complaining. There’s an upbeat party mood with loud music and a DJ, but it’s more a mature vibe with smaller tables, rather than being about large, boisterous groups. Sit back and take in the Dubai skyline with one of Iris’ signature mixed drinks and some friends and you’ll have a top-quality Friday afternoon. Dhs290 (soft drinks), Dhs460 (house beverages), Dhs650 (bubbly). Fri 1pm-5pm.
Set by the waterfront in Ghantoot and with a DJ playing chilled-out, Ibizan beats, La Cala’s brunch can be enjoyed as a lazy afternoon or an evening out, or you can really make a day of it and stay for the whole thing. The package is split into two three-hour sittings between 1pm and 6pm, when you get free-flowing drinks and a selection of dishes. The bar stays open until 2am, so while your unlimited beverages might end, the party doesn’t have to. Xtreme Wake operates from the area, too, so you can start off with an adrenaline-fuelled wakeboarding session, followed by a well-earned brunch. The food isn’t gourmet, but it goes beyond bar bites – expect dishes such as duck pizza and grilled halloumi. This is a great one to book if you’re looking for a lively afternoon and holiday vibes. Dhs295 (house beverages), Dhs349 (sparkling grape). Fri-Sat 1pm-6pm (three-hour package).
This brunch is spread between two restaurants – Tortuga, which has Mexican food, and Hanaaya, which is an international buffet. Outside, there’s even more food at little stalls, from Greek and Sri Lankan cuisine to American, as well as stations offering hops and mixed drinks. Once you get round to desserts, there’s ice cream, which is made right in front of your eyes with liquid nitrogen. There aren’t many children at this brunch, but the kids’ area keeps those who are busy with their own mini buffet and mini golf. A live band plays on the terrace outside one of the restaurants, helping to keep the party atmosphere alive, and if you sit outside, you can enjoy views over the water and of the turtle sanctuary. Dhs425 (soft drinks), Dhs525 (house beverages), free (kids under 12). 12.30pm-4pm.
The Irish pub is one of the liveliest places to spend a Friday afternoon, thanks, in part, to brunch lasting five hours. There’s a live carving station and a salad bar and you can order tasty starters and mains from the à la carte menu. It’s busy and the DJ gets the party vibe going, making it a perfect choice for a group of pals to have a pre-Christmas blowout. Dhs249 (house beverages). Fri noon-5pm.
When we visited the Mexican cantina for brunch it was pretty quiet, but that didn’t stop it from having a party atmosphere. The Latin spirit is alive and well in the jugs of mixed drinks, the pumping tunes and the set menu of sharing plates. Staff are friendly, helpful and happy to explain the dishes. For fans of quesadillas, tacos and ceviche, this is the place for you. It’s also excellent value, especially considering how much the bill can quickly rack up if you eat à la carte. Head down with a group of friends, though couples will also feel comfortable. Dhs185 (soft drinks), Dhs275 (house beverages). Fri noon-4pm.
You expect certain things from a party brunch in an Atlantis-themed hotel at the end of a man-made palm tree-shaped island, though subtlety and understatement are probably not among them. Saffron doesn’t disappoint and assaults all the senses with loads of food (more than 200 dishes, we’re told), loads of music (in the shape of a resident DJ) and loads of atmosphere (that’s where you come in). A favourite for groups of friends and visitors to the city, you can be sure of a splendid bash here. Dhs535 (house beverages). Fri 12.30pm-4pm.
This package gives you just the right amount of quality food and unlimited drinks. You pay Dhs99 for a choice of three dishes from a refreshingly concise menu of small, gourmet bites and Dhs200 for bottomless drinks for three hours. Expect posh fish and chips – some of the tastiest we’ve tried in town – shepherd’s pies that are somehow dainty (they are hollowed-out new potatoes stuffed with mince, with mashed potato piped on top), and mini pasties that come packed with an indulgent mix of cheese and mashed potato. In fact, it’s comfort food-o-rama at this Brit-style pub brunch, all served to a soundtrack of soulful grooves with marina views. This is a brilliant addition to Palm Jumeirah and one that’s already pulling in a crowd. Dhs99 (food), Dhs200 (drinks). Fri 8pm-11pm.
What could be more British than fish and chips, dartboards and the sounds of a game of pool? With its authentic pub décor and a hearty menu of dishes that can be ordered as many times as you like (including battered fish, chicken strips and cheese omelette) followed by a mountainous meat platter, you’ll be made to feel right at home. The atmosphere is lively, with great tunes played fairly loudly and an array of TV screens playing sport. Staff are attentive and welcoming, too. This is the best of British – in sunny Dubai. Dhs125 (soft drinks), Dhs200 (house beverages). Fri 12.30pm-4pm.
One of the newest party brunches on the block, the Al Habtoor City hotel’s offering launched with the promise of as much excitement and jaw-dropping cuisine as the much-lauded Friday affair at The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi. And what a job it has done. On arrival to the first floor soirée, spread across the hotel’s all-day-dining and Il Capo restaurants, guests are greeted by tables laden with quirkily presented mixed drinks, before making their way past a sprawling line-up of live cooking stations and incredible international buffet spreads to find their seats. A DJ plays a mix of feel-good hits from across the decades while jugglers and dancers (inside giant glasses, no less) entertain. Afterwards, the party continues at Cook Hall from 5pm, with music from a live band. Dhs249 (soft drinks), Dhs495 (bubbly and house beverages). Fri 12.30pm-4pm.
Or, as it’s known to pretty much everyone, “Bubbalicious”. This is probably the one that sets that standard for the big, live station, buffet extravaganza. With room upon room of food, entertainment for kids, unusual mixed drinks and music, it’s hard not to be overwhelmed and overjoyed by the whole experience. We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating, everyone should try this at least once. Dhs450 (soft drinks), Dhs550 (sparkling grape), Dhs680 (bubbly), Dhs225 (kids aged six to 12), free (kids under six).
This lounge at Le Méridien Dubai in Garhoud has been one of the city’s most prominent party brunches for years. The “Hive Brunch” buzzes (sorry) with activity as big groups are welcome indoors, on the terrace or out in the hops garden. It tends to get busy and the party atmosphere, as much as the generous amounts of food, are the reason for the enduring popularity. Well worth travelling across town for. Dhs259 (house beverages). Fri 1pm-4pm.