The Observatory

Modern cooking and a marvelous view over the Arabian Gulf 24 Reviews

Meal Deal
Friday brunch

As the Marriott Dubai Harbour’s definitive destination venue, The Observatory brunch offers an à la carte menu, as well as buffet options, including a great seafood station. Dhs350 (soft drinks), Dhs450 (bubbly and house beverages), Dhs200 for kids Timings: Noon-4pm (Friday)

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© ITP Images
 
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Perched high on the 52nd floor of the Marriott Harbour Hotel is one of Dubai’s best-kept dining secrets for an affordable meal – The Observatory. It can be a bit tricky to get to, but persevere. Interiors embrace mood lighting as though Marvin Gaye is about to walk in at any point, with the intimate setting complemented with glassy views of Sheikh Zayed Road and Dubai Marina below; all laid out like a slick game, complete with tiny motorised cars and flashing lights. The Observatory has a small menu that includes a lot of variety – grills, steak, fish, pasta and more – and you can enjoy a satisfying dinner there for under Dhs250 (with a glass of vino to boot!). For its outstanding service, quality of food and memorable setting, The Observatory offers unbeatable value.

By Time Out Dubai staff
Time Out Dubai,

Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.

Details

  • Location: Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites, Dubai Marina, Dubai
  • Tel: 04 319 4000
  • Travel: Al Sufouh Road
  • Website

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Map

User reviews

ValueAmbienceService
DecorFoodOverall
  • Users voted this restaurant most suitable for: Romantic

User reviews:

Posted by: Terry on 29 May ' 13 at 05:12
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Went here last night for quiet dinner with my girlfriend after a friend recommended it, have to say i was impressed! had a very upmarket feel about the place without the prices to match. The food was passable but not amazing but couldn't really argue for the price, staff were fantastic and very attentive. The views are what really make this place, great for people visiting from out of town

Posted by: Ishrak Fortunado on 11 May ' 13 at 18:52
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Edited by TimeOutDubai.com

i feel so sorry to read the old reviews about Observatory coz i just been there last Monday May06,2013 and i find the place great because of its stunning view, me and my husband was really amazed! Ambience is romantic coz of it's decor and right colors although the music was not fit to the mood. Anyhow, atleast it wasn't too loud. Service was ok, very casual. When we came we thought the restaurant was already closed coz nobody was there to greet us and it looks empty at 10pm coz there was not much guests. We seated ourselves waited for anybody to welcome us. Service staff was nice but was not that helpful enough for he didn't made any recommendations since it was our first time there, he just waited for us to order whatever we want. Anyhow, we didn't waited long for our foodt We had the chicken quesadilla and it was superb! My husband did even ordered for another one! While we were there, we are curious why with the place with an amazing view is too quite. Well maybe because some things are not just connected. We will definitely come back. Hopefully there will be improvements.

Posted by: Katy on 27 Jun ' 12 at 22:05
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Very good food amazing stunning view and kindly and friendly staff!!

Posted by: Charlie on 21 May ' 12 at 15:09
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Views and service were excellent. However food was disappointing. Mussel and wine starter was superb but the lobster was bone dry and they cannot cook a steak.

Real disappointment, it has such potential if they just got their main courses right. Mega expensive too.

Advice: Just go for a drink.

Posted by: AmeriPair on 23 Mar ' 12 at 08:02
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FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

The view from the Observatory is spectacular. We live in the Marina and enjoyed seeing our house. Be sure to ask for a booking by the window for maximum enjoyment. We both ordered the Surf 'n Turf and decided it was amazing. Omani lobster tastes different than the American ones we are used to. One of our lobster tails was slightly overcooked but still great. We also ordered martinis from the drink list and liked them enough to order a second round. The berry flavored one was not very strong but delicious. The free bread and olive tapenade was delectable. We would have ordered dessert but they did not have cheesecake or Key Lime pie (our favorites).

Posted by: Stephanie on 14 Jan ' 12 at 04:40
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Yesterday 2 of us went to the Observatory to celebrate a birthday. As we should of excepted people from the brunch were still there but the staff were trying to make the situation better. As our waiter came and took our order it was so loud that we couldn't hear him talk it all. We ordered the vegetarian soup and a chopped salad (the salad included less then a half head of lettuce & 4 tomatoes costing 65AED). When our meal arrived one of the dishes that we order we thought was chicken breast but instead we received a duck breast. We also ordered lobster, when it arrived it was as biting into pure salt. The lobster was very over cooked that it was like mashed potatoes. It was sent back and they offered to make another one so we tried it, 20 minutes later the 2nd lobster arrived which was not as salty as the first one and it was not over cooked. However, when we were done the waiter came over and said "if you don't like salt on your food then don't eat mussels or lobster". We found this insane for he did not know what happen originally & would not try the lobster that was pure salt. This was extremely upsetting and disappointing. They provided a cake & sang happy birthday which was very nice but the cake was pure sugar and you could not even eat it. The air-conditioning was freezing so take a sweater!! Only good part of the experience was they did not charge us for the lobster. We will not go back!!

Posted by: Inga on 29 Sep ' 11 at 10:32
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Worst EVER!!
Never had such a horrible Dinner Experience in Dubai! The Food at McDonalds is better than the one at the Observatory! We ordered as a starter a Lobster soup, which was served cold...Main course was battered Hamour and grilled Salomon with "creamy" Spinach. Battered Hamour was the greasiest Fish and Chips we had ever seen... and the grilled Salomon was not even near a grill and oily as hell and the so called "creamy" spinach was a deep frozen ready made meal PLUS appr 1 pckg of cream cheese!!
Besides that the bar next door seems to be a favourite Brit hang out. Never been in such a loud and shabby place before!!

Posted by: Michelle on 27 Apr ' 11 at 11:10
OverallDecorService
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  • Best for: Brunch served
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Best in town.

Posted by: Ben on 28 Oct ' 10 at 12:24
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Brunch served
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Excellent brunch although rather expensive. Amazing views.
I keep coming back here for drinks, but would reconsider eating because of the high price...

Posted by: Sharyn on 27 Sep ' 10 at 07:15
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Brunch served
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

A superb Friday Brunch. The staff are super friendly and want to please. A great selection of delicious food. Some is self serve and some is delivered to your table - plates of oysters, lobster done to your liking, ceaser salad made in front of you. Good selection of drinks, with a mohito and martini cart coming around regularly. The view is fabulous and our overseas visitors were impressed. We'll definitely go back again soon.

Posted by: vishal khurana on 11 Mar ' 10 at 16:19
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Excellent service, value for money,
only need for imrpovement is increase in food menu list..
worth going..

Posted by: FRANZIE on 22 Feb ' 10 at 23:45
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

One of the best spots for romance in Dubai. Excellent service, excellent view and good food. What would one like more than this. Lawrence presented his superb skill behind the bar, great cocktail designer - out of the box

Posted by: Stephanie Paaske on 06 Nov ' 09 at 06:57
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

We decided to go for our anniversary dinner after hearing about the great brunch that is offered here. I wish we had read the reviews on this page beforehand. Firstly the aircon was so cold that the windows were steamed up so we couldn't enjoy the 'amazing views'. We asked them to turn it down but they couldn't however they did offer me a pasmina which was a nice touch.
The starters were adequate.... but my main course of Fillet steak was tough as old boots and I had to send it back. My partner had the lamb which was actually cooked perfectly and was very tasty if not a bit fatty. I told them not to bother bringing another steak as my partner had finished his meal. The deserts were disgusting, we have had better in fast food restuarants.
To give the restaurant their dues, the service was excellent and our waiter was very attentative. We didn't need to ask to take the steak off the bill. However the bill was still very high considering such a disappointing experience.
We won't go back again unless we hear that they have a new chef!

Posted by: Emma on 23 May ' 09 at 17:02
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

This restaurant probably has the best view in all of Dubai.. They had such an opportunity to get it right and it is so far wrong I dont see them surviving. The service was very average, the music was completely wrong for the atmosphere you are trying to create. The food was so horrid out of the 5 of us only one ate their meal. I had to send mine back to the kitchen and not pay. Had I have been in the mood for an arguement I would not have paid for any of my meal!
First steps, fire the chef!! Secondly have the right wines on the menu to suit the food you are offering. Thirdly, get your waiters up to speed with what is on the menu and how to handle customers questions about the food. Lastly, fire the DJ and get the right kind of music playing,,

Posted by: James on 07 Apr ' 09 at 13:43
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Brunch served
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

This is fast turning into one of my favorite haunts!

After originally visiting the bar due to its unenviable position on the 52nd Floor -the place does wow you with breathtaking views - I keep going back.

I have now been here for a romantic meals with my wifeI, dinner with freinds and an amazing Friday brunch.

On each occassion the food has been as good as the company and surroundings and has delighted those that I have brought with me.
Everyone that I have taken there has been intrigued by the menu and itduly satisfies each time.

The portions are always well presented and the flavours are evident in everything that you order.

The brunch offers exceptional value, with well cooked dishes and curtious staff a pleasure to accompany a vast array of cocktails.

Posted by: Kev on 23 Mar ' 09 at 16:28
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Loved the wasabi ice cream and warmed smoked salmon but little else! The sea bass had too many flavours and was a big disappointment. The steak sauce tasted like it had been made from a ready-made soup packet (very salty). Even the tomato bread (from the bread basket) was too oily! Sorry, but I certainly won't be going back for the food!
Service, while friendly and knowledgeable, was very slow - inspite of there being just a handful of occupied tables. The only saving grace is the view which is fantastic, although the ride to the 52nd floor can take a lifetime!

Posted by: Nick Gaunt on 16 Mar ' 09 at 13:53
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

What a disappointment and reading some of the reviews I can only assume that this is a complete hit and miss restaurant, so my recommendation would be to miss it. The menu looks wonderful, with some weird and wonderful combinations that just make you want to try new things only to be left completely disappointed. You could also be mistaken into thinking that the location is not to be missed, but just like most of Dubai you get a view of a building site. My recommendation for The Observatory would be to use it as a place to meet for pre dinner drinks. The bar has a Happy Hour with views over the coast including the Palms,(unlike the restaurant that faces inland) then go somewhere else for the food.

Posted by: Sue on 09 Mar ' 09 at 11:09
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Despite promising start as front of house staff are good, the food here was pretty horrible. Trying to be too innovative - my hot smoked salmon was sashimi with a sauce that tasted like petrol. The amuse bouche was oysters - I'm allergic and what a strange choice anyway. My lamb was actually very nice as was my husbands veal cutlet but then they served the vegetables in a plastic bag. They were cold, and after they have been re-heated twice and still cold we gave up. Anyway re-heating the same food twice...!!!? We were told that this was the latest way for serving veg, but to be honest it just looked like boil in the bag food. And the open kitchen was annoying - lots of banging and crashing around. The waiters were polite but clearly untrained. We were told the F&B manager would contact us - still waiting!

Posted by: tash on 24 Feb ' 09 at 05:17
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

The words that springs to mind after eating here is 'disappointing' and 'utterly overpriced'. The first course took nearly an hour to arrive and the bread they kept bringing around became monotonous after a while. There were 4 of us dining and all our starters were mediocre. The mains were all okay although if this had been my first experience of eating duck I'd never have it again. Duck is my favourite meat but they managed to ruin it . There was very little meat there for a start (good job we'd had so much bread) and it was underwhelming with a strange gloopy texture and taste. Not good when you're starving after waiting so long to eat. The waiter was knowledgable about the food which was one good thing. The other mains were again very underwhelming and not that nice really. Desserts can make up for bad main course, but not here! They were not great. How can you go wrong with a cheesecake - go to the Observatory and you'll see how. The wine was overpriced and the decor too dark and oppressive. We could see the look they were trying to create but they just haven't got it right, bit like the food really. They need to go back to basics and learn how to cook! It would be ok for a cheap restuarant but it's not. I wouldn't waste money there again and would recommend that you find somewhere else to eart. There are plenty of far superior restaurantes in that price range that don't disappoint.

Posted by: Mary on 14 Feb ' 09 at 13:51
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I went on my birthday; Friday Feb 13th and despite the date everything went very smoothly! The TV in the bar is awful. Prices are pretty much what you would expect. I liked the wonderful way they served the food and great crockery and cutlery; which helps. Decor is rather too dark for my taste; quite masculine. We all enjoyed our food; even the much talked about chocolate with fisherman's friend ice cream. I might go back because Emirates staff get discount; even with that it was an expensive night but for a one off occasion just about worth it. I liked the little birthday cake they did for me; very sweet and they kindly packed it up because we were all very full. BTW; the tomato bread is to die for!

Posted by: Christian on 24 Jan ' 09 at 06:22
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FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

The staff and service were great. Unfortunately it seems as though the post construction cleaning was missed in the corners and the mirrors needed dusting. The food was bland and unfortunately the whole experience left us a little underwhelmed.

Posted by: Anna on 06 Jan ' 09 at 08:32
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My friends and I visited the Observatory on 30th December as a sort of early New Year and "birthday" celebration for myself and our other friend. The waiter assigned to our table were very friendly. Even the hostess and the chef came by to our table and had a small chat with us. I cant remember the names of the dishes served to us as our starter, main dish and desert but they were all amazing. We even had a complimentary birthday cake! Bottom line is we felt we've been taken care so well during our visit and so we're definetely coming back again!

Posted by: Jane on 19 Dec ' 08 at 23:56
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

i would definitely go back again in observatory... We visited the Observatory last week.. and the place was so amazing.. the staffs are so friendly. and the waiter took care ov us like a pampered baby.. we didnt had a food in a restaurant however.. we had food at the bar..we had a steak sandwich, cheeseplatter, oyster and ultimate.. and nothing left on the plate.. coz all those mentioned food are so delicious.. the bartender made a nice cocktail.. and i like most the mojito... one matter that we dont like the chef shouts.. and to the point that we will stop and got annoyed of what he says...

Posted by: Carol on 16 Dec ' 08 at 13:02
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FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Four of us visited the restauraunt for a very disappointing meal. The chef was continually shouting at the waiters to the point that we could not hear ourselves talk and the staff apologised to us twice for the nuisance. The airconditioning was freezing, so take a jumper! The food was average and although looked very fancy was not great. My seafood risotto contained chopped fish, rather than whole muscles, squid, prawns etc which I would have expected. I would not go back - the likes of Tang and Mezzanine are far superior.

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