With humidity finally declining, Dubai’s expat community is emerging from a summer of box set-addled hibernation, with many people now living for one thing week-on-week: the Friday brunch. This regular ceremony is about way more than stuffing oneself to the brim (although this, it must be said, is a delightful and important element) – it has become a social parade, a chance to simultaneously do one’s hair, and then extravagantly let it down. But with more brunches on offer now than ever, decoding the dress code can be a nightmare. Here’s what to wear, whether you’re keeping it low-key and affordable or going all out.
Official dress code: According to Double Decker manager Erwin Bockstaele, the dress code is ‘casual’, although he says men normally wear closed shoes and jeans and women often don flat sandals. He adds the worst crime to fashion he’s seen in his time at DD is ‘ridiculous colour combinations’.
Do: Keep it casual, but consider the dress code of the place you’re moving on to afterwards, too.
Official dress code: Thierry Kremper, assistant food and beverage manager at Le Méridien Dubai, says most guests come to the brunch dressed beyond the smart/casual dress code. ‘It’s a celebration, it’s your day off, your get-together, maybe a party for a birthday.’ He says he hasn’t spotted many fashion faux pas at the brunch, but perhaps the funniest guests are those in theme. ‘We once had a table of 10 dressed as sumo wrestlers. We couldn’t figure out how to accommodate them on the chairs, so we had to move them to another seating area. Moral of the story? If you’re planning to turn up in a humorously large outfit, call ahead.’
Do: Wear comfy shoes – the dancefloor heats up after brunch between 4pm and 7.30pm.
Official dress code: Caroline Remy, Traiteur’s assistant manager, says officially the dress code at the brunch is smart-casual, but that people tend to go beyond that. ‘We didn’t specify a strict dress code, but Traiteur brunch is a treat so people tend to turn up dressed as though they’re going to a special occasion. We’re not strict on dress code, but people shouldn’t come wearing flip flops or shorts.’
Do: Dress up – everyone else will be.