Choix Patisserie and Restaurant par Pierre Gagnaire
The second Dubai venture by three-star French chef Pierre Gagnaire, for Ramadan, Choix offers a bento box iftar, which is a selection of Gagnaire-style savoury treats in a traditional Japanese lunch box. There is also a colourful, creative, chocolate box array of macaroons, éclairs, cakes and more at the patisserie counter for you to choose from. After sunset, the café will offer shisha outside on the terrace, which has pleasant views with the Burj Khalifa visible in the distance.
Daily 11am-2am. InterContinental Dubai Festival City (04 701 1127).
There aren’t many places in this city that combine sushi and shisha, but this comfortable Jumeirah haunt does just that (don’t be alarmed – the tobacco isn’t fish-flavoured). While the pleasant patio with majlis-style set-ups is popular in cooler months, summer sees the indoor portion of the restaurant fill up fast after dark.
Open daily from 6.30pm-4am during Ramadan. Next to Mercato Mall, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 344 8896).
A cute café decorated in lilac and white that offers cheap eats, sports and shisha. Situated alongside the Dubai Museum for Moving Image it’s a popular spot for TECOM residents and visitors to the museum to stop for a bit to eat. There’s simple seating is inside as well as outside, and the winter terrace is converted into an air-conditioned tent for summer time. Shisha is affordably priced at Dhs44 and you can have a puff inside the tented area, there’s also free Wi-Fi.
Daily 7pm-4am. Ground Floor, MCN Building, TECOM (04 454 3064).
Nofara is a charming neighbourhood spot that prides itself on offering a slightly Middle Eastern twist on the modern café experience. As such, you can try recipes such as lamb and feta burger, or chocolate brownies flavoured with cardamom, coffee and pistachio. There is a dedicated indoor, air-conditioned shisha area, which offers a selection of reasonably priced flavours, including a rarities such as cappuccino flavoured shisha.
Daily 8am-10pm. Swiss Towers, Cluster Y, JLT (04 432 2023).
This large café is popular throughout the year for a late night with an Arabian twist and attracts diners looking for classic mezze and shisha. Shisha is one of the USPs at this hookah lounge, since you can mix up your own flavour of shisha from any of the ten flavours on the menu. During Ramadan, the venue will serve an iftar buffet, but also remain open until the early hours, making it a good option for suhoor in the area.
Daily 7pm-4am. Gold Tower, Cluster I, JLT (04 441 3519).
Picolo Mondo Bay
It’s hard to miss this hugely popular Dubai Marina shisha spot – but not for the huge crowds that take over every evening. It’s the exterior that will truly catch your attention, a large seating area jam packed with a mesmerizingly peculiar collection of statues, fountains and wagon wheels, colourfully lit in hues of blue and red. Shisha varieties include classics such as apple and lemon and mint, as well as coconut, peach and a Piccolo Mondo special (prices start from Dhs50), while cuisine ranges from sushi to saj, sandwiches to shish taouk.
Open daily 7pm-4am during Ramadan. Waterfront, Marina Tower, Dubai Marina, www.piccolomondobaydubai.com (04 447 5449).