Ladies and gentlemen of Dubai, don your finest swimwear, slap on the factor 30 and make your way, post haste, to what is, quite simply, one of the city’s best new party brunches.
Zero Gravity has long been one of Dubai’s top beach clubs (so much so that it’s our Beach Club of the Year 2017), and the recent introduction of its Friday party brunch, Ritual, is an absolute masterstroke. Alongside Supernatural Saturdays, something of an institution, there’s now a whole weekend of brunching action.
Gone are the days of umming and aahing over whether you’re prepared to get to a beach club at 8am to secure yourself a bed, with the caveat of spending a small fortune on food and drink throughout the day. Ritual at Zero Gravity is a bafflingly affordable brunch, and we want to make the most of it, so head over at about 11am to get ourselves a prime spot. Poolside beds are reserved for big spenders and early-risers, so we trot down to the beach, where the staff are only too happy to help.
Knowing we’ve still got two hours until the party kicks off (and until the food and drink), we grab an iced coffee – which is outstanding – and unwind, letting the world pass us by.
The music is classic Zero Gravity – upbeat but not intrusive. The weather is perfect, and we drift off into daze, gazing at the stream of brave souls hurtling downwards towards the Skydive Dubai Drop Zone.
Before we know it, the clock strikes 1pm, and the party really kicks off.
We notice just how many people have packed themselves into the beach club, mainly because of the massive queues at the food stations, for which there are two distinct areas. Shoulder-sliding through a wave of partygoers, we get into a frustratingly-slow queue for the sandwich and salad station. Think tikka wraps, veggie ciabattas, and an incongruous green bread roll that tastes normal but looks like it’s been created by Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Then there’s the barbecue area. Sausages, roasties, mac ’n’ cheese, shawarmas, and tonnes more. It’s a bit chaotic, and the food is fine without being anything special. But this place isn’t about the food, it’s about the party. We spend hours in the famous glass-panelled pool, catching some rays and making new friends. The pool is huge, and if you can bag a prime spot – like we did, smugly – you can be there for countless hours, happily.
By this point, the place is pumping, but not oversubscribed. The music cranks up, there are games like table tennis, and the vibe is just perfect for a Friday spent partying on the beach.
Dhs295 (ladies), Dhs315 (gents). Fri 1pm-5pm. Near Skydive Dubai Drop Zone, Dubai Marina (04 399 0009).
The bottom line
A beach brunch that is really pumping.