Brunch, it’s a Dubai institution.
From quiet brunches with kids buffets to vibrant brunches with kid’s entertainment such as face painters and clowns, Dubai has a brunch to suit the needs of all families whatever ages their children are.
We have rounded up our favourite family brunches in Dubai.
This brunch comes high up on our Friday wish list thanks to a combination of superb grub (it does come courtesy of Gordon Ramsay, after all) and lovely touches put in place to amuse the younger diners. For the kids there is macaroni cheese, chicken wings and cheeseburgers on the menu and the adults can load their starter plates from the raw bar or opt for a hot appetiser such as mini cottage pie before choosing their mains from a meat, fish or vegetarian option. Cookie decorating, an ice cream bar, playdough making, face-painting, a huge playground and bouncy castle in the cooler months is added bonus for little ones. All that plus the kids get free tickets to The Lost Chambers too.
Dhs105 (kids – includes entry to The Lost Chambers Aquarium), Dhs240 (soft drinks), Dhs355 (house beverages). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2000).
All-day dining eatery Olea, at Kempinski Mall of the Emirates, has a fab family brunch that goes on all day with some top entertainment thrown in for the little diners to boot.
The day kicks off at 10am with a lavish breakfast spread, before it is replaced with an international lunch buffet at 1pm.
Little thrill-seekers can head off to the Magic Planet post-breakfast where they receive free access along with some magic credit to spend on their choice of two rides or arcade games.
Lunch is made up of buffet tables and live cooking stations where brunchers can choose from a huge selection of international cuisine - everything from cold Spanish soups - gazpacho and salmorejo - to risotto, spit-roast lamb and paella. A barbecue is also on offer for the meat-lovers.
As for the kids, they can become master builders at the dedicated LEGO area, plus hang out with their choice of lifelike doll, which they can dress up and style, in the American Girl zone.
Free (kids under five), Dhs123 (kids five-12 years), Dhs245 (soft drinks), Dhs345 (house beverages). Breakfast 10am-1pm, lunch 1pm-5pm, from Fri Sep 27. Kempinski Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha, kempinski.com (04 341 0000).
Caesars Resort Bluewaters Dubai’s Vegas restaurant Bacchanal hosts a fun family feast every Friday that goes way beyond the pot of colouring pencils and a face painter type set up. This family brunch is designed to keep the little ones completely occupied from start to finish (we can hear your gasp of excitement from here parents).
Little brunchers will love the balloon art and the slime station, but there's so much more than that. Expect real-life princesses and superheroes, an animal petting zoo, plus our very own Magic Phil who is on-hand to make tiny tots laugh with his hilarious gags and silly jokes. And should they tire of all that (though that seems unlikely), they can make full use of the fun and games in the resort's kids' club – Empire Club – too.
If you have a birthday boy or girl turning any age between four and 11 among your party, they get their brunch absolutely free. That's definitely reason to celebrate.
Do you have teens whose eyes would roll at the mere mention of face painting and animal balloons? Worry not, they are catered for too at ROAM, a cool hangout for older kids, complete with a PlayStation. That's them sorted then.
Mums and dads can take a trip down memory lane with some top tunes from the '90s courtesy of the DJ as they load their plates from the extensive buffet.
The culinary line-up includes a seafood bar, paella station, hot tapas bar, brick oven pizza, live carving station, Asian station, bao bun station, curry station, chicken wing station and, one for the comfort-food lovers, a macaroni cheese station (you'll find us queuing up here).
Free (kids under three), Dhs150 (kids four-11), Dhs300 (soft beverages), Dhs400 (house beverages), Dhs500 (sparkling grape), Dhs600 (bubbly). Fri 1pm-5pm. Bacchanal, Caesars Resort Bluewaters Dubai, Bluewaters Island, Dubai, www.familybrunchdubai.com (050 836 1513).
If the kids are happy then so are mums and dads, which is why the Nomad brunch is a winner with the whole tribe. There’s a designated activity area where mini diners can enjoy a bouncy castle, juice pong (a kid-friendly take on the hop version) and Cornhole (players take it in turns to try and get a bag of corn into a hole). Food-wise, it’s chicken tenders, macaroni cheese and zucchini noodles for main and, for dessert, cupcakes and ice lollies are on offer. After brunch, the gang can wander down to the pond to feed the ducks – a perfect way to end a Friday.
Free (kids under three), Dhs95 (kids four-11), Dhs265 (soft drinks), Dhs365 (house beverages). Fri 1pm-4pm. Nomad, Jumeirah Creekside Hotel (04 230 8458).
As popular as it is sprawling, this family brunch is set across the hotel’s Al Bahou restaurant in the main lobby, with stations dotted throughout bearing dishes from every corner of the globe. Try signature dishes from the hotel’s restaurants while the kids get up to their very literal eyeballs in face painting and interactive games, jump around on the bouncy castle and watch movies in their own dedicated entertainment area. There’s even a whole room of cheese… And another one for desserts.
Dhs295 (soft drinks), Dhs395 (house beverages), Dhs630 (bubbly), Dhs150 (kids six-12), free for kids aged five and under. Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Jebel Ali (04 444 5613).
Set in the lush gardens of all-day dining restaurant Al Forsan, live cooking stations feature a Middle Eastern spread that sits happily alongside international favourites. The kids’ corner features 20 different desserts from around the world, but the restaurant does boast an impressive healthy selection to counterbalance the greed. When it comes to keeping the littlest members of the brunching gang happy, heading off on a camel or pony ride more than does the trick, while the petting zoo is a real show-stealer. Magicians and jugglers are also on hand to keep the smalls entertained so that mums and dads can relax and enjoy the live music.
Free (kids under six and nannies), Dhs183 (kids between six and 12), Dhs365 (soft drinks), Dhs545 (house beverages). Fri 1pm-4pm. Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, Al Qudra Road (04 809 6194).
As the mercury drops, al fresco dining desires are top of everyone’s agenda, particularly when it comes to long lazy Friday afternoons. So take it outside at this fun-filled family brunch where kids will be spoiled with a whole heap of activities including face-painting, arts and crafts and a bouncy castle. The youngest brunchers can also tuck into their very own buffet laden with all their favourite mains and indulgemnt desserts. Mums and dads can in turn wander freely around the live cooking stations at the food festival-themed afternoon and load up their plates with world cuisine from gourmet burgers and steak to grilled seafood and flavours of India, safe in the knowledge that little ones are occupied.
Free (kids up to 12), Dhs125 (kids between 12 and 16), Dhs249 (soft drinks), Dhs395 (house beverages). Fri 1pm-4.30pm. Hotel Raffles Dubai, Wafi (04 324 8888).
A popular al fresco brunch that is a huge hit with families. This family brunch is only on during the cooler months – makes sense, it’s a picnic outside after all – so make sure you keep an eye out. It usually starts up again in November after the summer months have fully passed.
Dhs245 (soft drinks), Dhs345 (house beverages), prices include pool access. Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Free (kids under 12). Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dubai, www.dubaifestivalcityhotels.com.
Grab your picnic hamper, find yourself a space on the lawn and lay down your blanket to claim your spot as DJ Angela takes to the decks to create a casual, laid-back Saturday afternoon vibe. Kids can run free on the grass or head to the incredible play area where camels and ponies are waiting to give them a ride around the grounds. A bouncy castle and plenty of fun games also keep little people entertained and out of trouble.
Free (kids under six), Dhs113 (kids between six and 12), Dhs225 (soft drinks). Sat 1pm-4pm.
Holiday Inn Dubai Festival City has launched a brand-new family-friendly brunch.
Kicking off at 1pm every Friday and running until 4pm, the new child-friendly feast is toy-themed, which should delight the littlest brunchers. Best of all it's absolutely free for kids under 12. Expect a buffet spread complete with a barbecue and live cooking stations.
The Big Toys Brunch takes place in Sirocco and encompasses a different child-friendly theme every week. Weekly themes include arts and crafts, Disney and action heroes.
Dhs149 (soft drinks), Dhs249 (house beverages), free (kids below 12). Fri 1pm-4pm. Holiday Inn Dubai Festival City, Dubai, www.dubaifestivalcityhotels.com/sirocco (04 701 1127).
Dozens of live stations, family-friendly entertainment and a fab indoor kids’ area make this a Friday treat for the whole gang.
A large supervised kids’ zone has activities for all ages, including a giant play pen for little ones, face-painting, drawing desks and a movie corner plus, in addition to getting their very own buffet filled with everything from colourful cupcakes to healthy snacks, a kids’ cooking class is on offer where budding chefs can make their own pizzas or decorate their own cupcakes – with a little help from the restaurant’s skilled chefs.
Free (kids under 12), Dhs300 (soft drinks), Dhs425 (house beverages including bubbly). Fri 1pm-4.30pm. Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 435 5577).
Already feel like your life is one long, uninterrupted airing of Cartoon Network? May as well go all in, then. Every Friday, all-day dining restaurant Nosh hosts The Cartoon Brunch, with staff dressed up as familiar characters, while a buffet features dishes unclude Homer’s burger and hot dog station, kung fun sashimi and sushi rolls, mutant ninja pizzas, Fred’s favourite roasts and more. A dedicated kids’ area features a further buffet, plus face painting, films, colouring and more.
Dhs179 (soft drinks), Dhs289 (house beverages), Dhs89.50 (kids six-12), free for kids aged five and under. Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Cluster A, JLT (04 438 0000).
Chill out by the pool with the whole fam and enjoy the casual atmosphere at this cool, al fresco family brunch in Dubai.
Dhs245 (soft drinks), Dhs345 (house beverages) includes pool access. Fri 1pm-5pm. Vida Downtown, Dubai, www.vidahotels.com.