Abrunch running from 10am to 6pm? Yes, you did read that right. When the makers of the DUKESY Beach Brunch say they do a true all-day affair, they aren’t mucking about. This is a full eight hours of activities, an ace pool, family fun and food. Lots of food.
The location is a stunner, too. Set down on the edge of the Palm and packed out with both the occupants of the Oceana Residence luxury apartments and the tourists staying at DUKES hotel (hence its name), this is a bustling occasion with more than enough to keep the sprogs occupied and plenty of other kids for them to become pals with.
Those activities – deep breath – include a bouncy castle, face painting, sandcastle-making, five-a-side football on the beach, an outdoor trampoline, cupcake decorating, a kids’ club with a Playstation and movies on loop, an outdoor play area with climbing frames and a jungle gym, a kids’ pool and a lazy river that winds down idly from the back entrance of the hotel. (Word of warning: on our visit the water was so cold it was a miracle there weren’t any stray polar bears knocking about, not that the kids seemed to care.)
If, somehow, you can get your lot to sit down for five minutes, the grub will likely make them very happy too – not least the nice man on hand at the live pasta station, who can not only knock up a mean bolognese, but whose patience miraculously extends to happily separating out pieces of stray fusilli from the penne for our fussy four-year-old. Other dishes include some tasty salads in cute jars, ceviches, Arabic classics and a decent spread of desserts. But, for us, the main event here is the grill, which sizzles out a selection of great quality meats and vegetables, cooked exactly to your liking. Is there anything better than chilling out by the beach with a juicy steak fresh off the barbie? We’d suggest not, and we’re not even Australian.
When it comes to value for money, the DUKESY Beach Brunch is genuinely hard to fault – not least when you factor in the cost of many other beach club passes on The Palm. As a three-hour brunch we’d recommend it in itself, but if you can battle the brood out of bed and into the car at a decent time on a Friday morning, your money goes far. On our visit our family of five get there for 10am sharp to make a day of it and leave eight hours and five full bellies later with change from Dhs800. That’s not a number to be sniffed at, of course, but for a whole family treat, where the kids can eat well then wear themselves out while mum and dad get to lounge in the pool and have an actual conversation for once, it’s mighty fine value in our book. Heck, we even had time to read one – and we haven’t done that since some time in 2012.
Fridays 10am-6pm (food served 1pm-4pm). Free (kids under 5), Dhs97.50 (kids 6-11), Dhs195 (adults, soft drinks package), Dhs365 (house beverages), Dhs420 (bubbles). West 14th, The Palm Jumeirah (04 447 7601).
The bottom line
A great value family day out with a top beach and good grub.