Candypants brunch at XL Dubai

A classic party brunch with an excitable crowd in Dubai Marina

Brunch, Nightlife & Music
Brunch, Nightlife & Music


To say Candypants is a lively brunch would be a complete understatement. It’s lively in terms of volume as well as tone, and tonnes of twenty-somethings prance around in trendy outfits without a care in the world.

The venue is basically a massive marquee next to XL Dubai at the Habtoor Grand Resort & Spa, with long tables lined up side by side. These are topped with inflatable toys, flags, fancy dress accessories – and a notable lack of food.

Despite booking ahead, the host struggles to seat us and we end up perched on the end of another group’s table, but everyone is here to have a good time and we are happy enough to make some new friends.

There’s a DJ booth in one corner pumping out some upbeat chart stuff and party classics, and a buffet that looks alarmingly small in another. It becomes clear very early on, however, that people aren’t here for the food, which remains largely (though not surprisingly) untouched.

In the name of research, we head to the buffet and fill our plates with an alarming mix of sushi, pasta and a slab of roast beef. It’s hot (the meat, anyway) and the food is fresh, although by no means spectacular.

Saying that, it’s not the worst party brunch food we’ve ever had and we’re left feeling pretty satisfied with our fill. We even go back for some more sushi.

The real showstoppers here though are the drinks, mixed beverages come in a variety of colours, decorated with sparklers, dry ice, umbrella things and the like.

The excitable crowd all have the look of models and off-duty personal trainers that have convened with groups of equally good-looking friends for a day out. We can only imagine how many tubs of hair-gel and hours of prep went into the makings of this get-together.

For such a crowded venue the staff really excel themselves and we barely finish a drink before servers are arriving with top-ups. Our only complaint is that the bathroom queues are super-long, though with such a packed-out venue and with make-up to be reapplied, we can’t say we are that surprised.

Overall we are completely taken with the party atmosphere and follow the crowds into XL Dubai for the after-party, which is a full-on clubbing experience right up until 9pm.

It’s a definite party brunch and we’d recommend going as part of a big group – as well as getting done up in full make-up and your best clubbing attire.

This brunch is certainly not one for foodies – or those who like something more sedate – but when you’re heading to Candypants you get what you come for, dancing and a good old knees-up, every time.

We’re raring to give it another go – once we’ve summoned up the stamina.
Dhs325 (mixed drinks), Dhs375 (bubbly). Fri 1pm-4pm. Habtoor Grand Resort & Spa, Dubai Marina (052 634 1040).

The bottom line
Upbeat brunch for the lively ones.

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