It’s finally getting cool enough to partake in some al fresco dining, and terraces around the city are throwing open their doors (or shedding their glass cages) once more. Whether you’re looking for family-friendly fun, a bit of a boogie, a full-blown buffet or brunch with some stunning views, this list has got you covered. Go and enjoy the great outdoors.
Brunch with a view
This Japanese/Peruvian Palm beachside spot lays on a Nikkei brunch every Friday and the food is superb. Sushi, ceviche and nibbles are followed by a main each and a dessert platter to share, and there’s a similar version on Saturday, too, should you wish to double up on brunching by the sea.
Dhs375 (soft drinks), Dhs495 (house beverages), Dhs660 (bubbly). Fri noon-4pm. Club Vista Mare, Palm Jumeirah (04 552 0244).
A well-known and much-loved party spot in Dubai Marina, Asia Asia also serves up a popular Friday brunch. And the best news? This is a late starter at 2pm – ideal if you love the concept of brunch, but not so much the timings. Dig into a wide range of well-presented dishes from across the continent, including sushi, grills and more. There’s an upbeat vibe indoors, but for the best spot book a seat on the terrace and be transfixed by the Marina views.
Dhs329 (soft drinks), Dhs449 (house beverages), Dhs549 (sparkling grape), Dhs699 (bubbly). Fri 2pm-5pm. Pier 7, Dubai Marina (04 276 5900).
Fancy pretending you’re in the South of France? This brunch at Nikki Beach Dubai Resort & Spa will make you feel a world away from Downtown Dubai (which is actually very close, in fact you can see the Burj Khalifa from the front entrance). The views out to sea from this chic beach resort are fairly unique for Dubai – peaceful and construction-free. The Saint Tropez brunch takes place by the hotel pool, rather than at the pumping beach club just down the way, and aims to make you feel like you’re on the Côte d’Azur. Dishes are suitably Français, while you’re guaranteed a holiday vibe with poolside seating. Looking for something a little bit more upbeat and trendy? Head to the beach club on a Saturday for La Vie En Rose, for a party brunch including pink drinks, sushi and pool access.
Dhs345 (soft drinks), Dhs435 (house beverages). Fri 1pm-4pm. Pearl Jumeira (04 376 6000).
After heaps of dim sum and plenty of sushi? This one is for you. From the team behind Asia Asia, this is a similar offering to the Marina version, however, the views are equally – if not more – appealing. If you choose to sit outside at Karma Kafé (which you absolutely should) you’ll be treated to views of The Dubai Fountain while you dine. Brunch offers a choice of the restaurant’s signature dishes –including sushi and Japanese barbecue.
Dhs329 (soft drinks), Dhs449 (house beverages), Dhs549 (bubbly). Fri 1pm-4pm. Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai (04 423 0909).
There are few things more relaxing than watching the yachts and traditional dhows ambling along the Marina. And this restaurant from British chef Jason Atherton offers up prime views of the waters below. The pumping party tunes coming from Accents’ WeBrunch below might be less calming, but it’s Friday and you’re here for the fun, aren’t you? And Marina Social has that in bucketloads. As well as a live DJ, there’s a trolley delivering short measures to your table. The food is, of course, the main draw here and the brunch offers up an à la carte menu of Atherton’s dishes, such as short rib, king prawns and risottos. It won Highly Commended in the Best Brunch category in Time Out Dubai’s 2018 Restaurant Awards, and the setting, food and vibe make this one an all-rounder.
Dhs290 (soft drinks), Dhs435 (house beverages), Dhs485 (bubbly). Fri 1pm-4pm. InterContinental Dubai Marina (04 446 6664).
One of the few brunches that you can enjoy a view of Ain Dubai from, come winter the terrace at this funky Japanese joint offers up some ace views out to sea. Set at the far end of JBR you can see over to the growing Bluewaters Island and what will be the world’s largest ferris wheel, while you dig into a sharing menu of Japanese dishes including robata. There’s also sushi, stir-fries and dim sum, and although it’s not the best grub you’ll find in town, the pretty setting and party vibe make up for it.
Dhs355 (house beverages). Fri 1pm-4pm. DoubleTree by Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Beach, The Walk, JBR (04 559 5300).
The Tap House
Another offering from Club Vista Mare, this brunch is more of the birthday party, laid-back gathering than the family-friendly affair at Breeze or Nikkei feast at Ají. The Tap House serves up gastropub grub – think burgers, curries and salads – with ocean views. Mellow, laid-back and fun.
Dhs185 (soft drinks), Dhs290 (unlimited house beverages), Dhs365 (bubbly). Fri oon-4pm. Club Vista Mare, Palm Jumeirah (04 514 3778).
Big buffet blow-outs
When it comes to food quality, this has to be one of the best buffet brunches out there. Not only is there a vast selection, it’s all absolutely excellent. From the vast display of super-fresh seafood, to the tacos, curries and stir-fries, there’s everything you could want. The outside live stations are well worth a visit too, with everything from barbecued lobster to sliders from a burger truck. The terrace itself is elegant and chic, and there’s a live band keeping the vibe upbeat.
Dhs450 (soft drinks), Dhs595 (house beverages and sparkling), Dhs795 (bubbly), Dhs230 (kids aged five-12). 1.30pm-4.30pm. Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort & Spa, Al Sufouh (04 316 5550).
Undoubtedly one of Dubai’s most famous brunches (thanks in part to its celebrity visitors), this one is huge. Held at The Westin Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina Bubbalicious might be an oldie, but it’s still a goodie – well, if it’s a huge buffet that you’re after. It can be slightly overwhelming, the wealth of options is vast, and although not the best buffet in terms of culinary excellence, food quality is mostly decent. Sit out on the terrace for views of the garden, and to make the most of the range of al fresco drinks stations. Love dessert? There’s a room dedicated to all things sweet.
Dhs420 (soft drinks), Dhs520 (sparkling), Dhs620 (bubbly), free (kids under 12). 1pm-4pm. King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street (04 511 7139).
Jumeirah Al Qasr
This is one of the most famous of the Friday brunches, and it’s best visited in winter, due to its excellent outdoor area. This Madinat offering is a huge, popular brunch serving an array of dishes from a multitude of live cooking stations (indecisive? This is not the place for you). There’s also live entertainment for a thoroughly fun afternoon. A great one to take visitors of any age to.
Dh480 (soft drinks), Dhs577 (house beverages), Dhs674 (bubbly), free (kids under four). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 432 3232).
The ultimate al fresco brunch, this former Time Out Dubai Best Brunch winner returned earlier this year to Park Hyatt Dubai. The chic Creekside brunch is now held at swanky new dining destination The Promenade, but still serves up all the classic brunch dishes you know and love. Mountains of oysters? Check. Super-fresh prawns? Check. Mammoth cheese table? Check. Basically everything you’d want from a typical Dubai Friday feast – with some pretty stunning views of the Creek from its elegant terrace to boot.
Dhs495 (soft drinks), Dhs695 (sparkling grape), Dhs775 (bubbly), Dhs895 (premium bubbly). Fri 1pm-4.30pm. The Promenade, Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira (04 602 1234).
Bread Street Kitchen
At Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant, not only will you find a whole range of British dishes (which are far better suited to cooler weather – hello, pies) you’ll find a cute garden area to kick back in, too. It’s a super-family-friendly offering, with plenty of activities in among the tables (including a bouncy castle) so it’s a great one for the whole gang.
Dhs240 (soft drinks), Dhs355 (house beverages), Dhs105 per child (includes free entry to The Lost Chambers Aquarium). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2000).
Breeze Beach Bar & Grill
This is one of our very favourite spots for al fresco dining – and we even named it Best Outdoor Bar at this year’s Music & Nightlife Awards. However, it’s family-friendly, too, so it’s a good seaside option for everyone. As well as the views across the sea from Club Vista Mare, you’ll also get a petite buffet loaded with sushi, salads and even roasts. And don’t miss the dessert counter if you love a massive slab of cake.
Dhs195 (soft drinks), Dhs395 (house beverages). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Palm Jumeirah (04 568 3000).
This restaurant on the 44th floor of the Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City throws a cracking Friday party brunch. It’s classy, it’s chic and it’s also a whole load of fun. Plus, there’s a pretty terrace affording some top view for the cooler months. Expect Mediterranean dishes, a top-notch dessert selection and a lively vibe with the crowd even throwing some shapes before 4pm rolls around.
Dhs395 (house beverages). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City (04 437 0077, 056 515 4665).
Candypants ladies’ day pool party
If you’re after a party on a rooftop, in a pool, look no further than this Saturday bash from renowned party brunch team Candypants. It’s not just for ladies – although women get the better deal – and everyone can dance, dine and take a dip with views of the Marina. For Dhs149 ladies get unlimited grape and frozen cocktails, for Dhs249 you’ll get the same with a food platter thrown in and for Dhs349 you’ll all that and sparkling grape on top. Gents will have to fork out Dhs399 for the sparkling grape and food platter package. Slap on the suncream and get that swanky swimsuit out.
Sat noon-5pm at The Penthouse, FIVE Palm Jumeirah Dubai, Palm Jumeirah (04 455 9989).
Love a party? This DIFC spot might not be on your immediate radar, but it should be. There’s a top terrace for winter, which has live music and a great atmosphere. We’re not sure why it’s airline-themed but the food and mood are decent for a bar brunch, too.
Dhs299 (soft drinks), Dhs399 (house beverages), Dhs499 (bubbly). Fri noon-4pm. Al Fattan Currency House, DIFC (04 354 5435).
Nikki Beach Dubai
If you love all things pink, then this world-famous beach club’s Saturday party is for you. Every week visit the super trendy spot for La Vie en Rose, with, as you’d expect, a pink theme. There are inventive mixed drinks and a buffet with dishes including sushi, meanwhile after brunch you can continue the party in the pool, or just chill out on one of the massive comfy sun loungers.
Dhs265 (soft drinks), Dhs395 (grape and hops), Dhs465 (grape, hops and shorts). Sat 1pm-4pm. Pearl Jumeira (04 376 6162).
Not for the faint-hearted. This longstanding party brunch is still one of the best out there, especially in cooler weather when the massive terrace opens up to become an all-out Friday fiesta. Not only is the party vibe strong at this one (expect some serious shape-throwing) you’ll not be short on food options either, as this brunch proudly boasts a whopping 220 dishes with everything from stir-fries and curries to pizza and mezze (admittedly it’s not really about the eating here, but the scores of different beverage stations). Top marks for birthday parties and fun shindigs.
Dhs535 (selected house beverages). Over 21s only. Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2626).
What’s more al fresco than a pool party? Zero Gravity’s Supernatural brunch provides poolside vibes, cool entertainment and a lively vibe. Plus, five hours of unlimited food and drinks. Be prepared to dance to the beats of the resident DJ and welcome back the Dubai party season in style at this fun-loving brunch. Insta-snaps of the infinity pool not compulsory, but recommended.
Dhs249 (women), Dhs299 (men). Sat noon-5pm. Sky Dive Drop Zone, Dubai Marina (04 399 0009).
TWO TO TRY
Al fresco evening brunches
Pure Sky Lounge & Dining
This rooftop spot at JBR boasts stunning views across to Ain Dubai, the Palm and The Beach at JBR. Plus, of course, the mass of ocean ahead. There’s a party vibe and you’ll get sharing plates are served directly to your table, dishes include meats from the grill.
Dhs245 (soft drinks), Dhs395 (selected house beverages), Dhs425 (bubbly). Fri 6pm-9pm. Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Residences, The Walk, JBR (04 399 1111).
Looking for something relaxed? Head to this Palm spot for a relaxing waterside evening brunch. You’ll get a tasting menu of Mediterranean cuisine with live music from the DJ.
Dhs295 (house beverages). Fri 5pm-8pm. Palm Views, Marina West, Palm Jumeirah (04 375 9333).