Private dining rooms in Dubai

Dubai certainly isn't short of 'special occasion' restaurants, whether you fancy fine dining or something a little 'cooler'. Whatever your tastes, we've got you covered.

But every so often the occasion demands things be cranked up another notch or two. So stopping short of hiring a celebrity chef to come to your own, you need to take a peek behind the curtain and take a seat in a private dining room. And in a city as glamorous as ours, you'll be unsurprised to hear there's a hatful of top choices.

From the ornate basements to practically on top of the chefs in their kitchen, you can choose your spot, sit back and enjoy one of the most exclusive dining experiences you're ever likely to have.
Private dining rooms in Dubai

Time Out guide to private dining rooms in Dubai, great for birthdays, celebrations, groups and hen and bachelor parties at some of Dubai best restaurants

Dubai certainly isn't short of 'special occasion' restaurants, whether you fancy fine dining or something a little 'cooler'. Whatever your tastes, we've got you covered.

But every so often the occasion demands things be cranked up another notch or two. So stopping short of hiring a celebrity chef to come to your own, you need to take a peek behind the curtain and take a seat in a private dining room. And in a city as glamorous as ours, you'll be unsurprised to hear there's a hatful of top choices.

From the ornate basements to practically on top of the chefs in their kitchen, you can choose your spot, sit back and enjoy one of the most exclusive dining experiences you're ever likely to have.

+971 4 323 1833 DIFC

If you work in DIFC, chances are you’ll have been to BOCA. With a fun, post-office vibe it’s a lively and relaxed place for pint with colleagues or friends. But don’t dismiss it as just a bar – this Mediterranean restaurant deserves you staying for dinner.

It’s a cool little hangout, which opens out to a terrace outside, making it feel big, bright and like the place you (and a sizeable chunk of the DIFC crowd) really want be in cooler weather. It’s big, bright and airy and is the place to be in the winter.

The restaurant has made an effort to cater to modern tastes, too, boasting a vegan menu (including vegan grape varieties) as well as sourcing local and sustainable ingredients. Dibba Bay oysters, Emirati sea bass, vegetables from the Waterfront Market in Deira – you can guarantee your produce is fresh and seasonal.

The tasty menu is primarily Spanish – a variety of paella is available, including a vegan rendition – and is heavily focused on tapas such as manzanilla and octopus carpaccio. Some dishes even take on a local twist, such as sweet potato hummus.

With a fun bar, lively staff and top dishes, stop in for dinner in BOCA, DIFC office worker or not, and that’s why it claimed a Highly Commended gong at the 2019 Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards.
Open Mon-Sat noon-1am, Sun noon-midnight. Licensed. Gate Village 6, DIFC (04 323 1833).

British 04 454 2638 Emirates Hills

A bona fide family-friendly Dubai institution, Reform Social & Grill is that rare thing – a community pub.

Set in The Lakes, Reform is perfect for a weekend meal with a few drinks – mum and dad can chill out in the garden and let the little ones go wild in the small playground, as well as the makeshift football pitch that goes along with it.

During the week this place also gets rammed with people popping in for a pint and bite to eat on the way home after work. And those bites are very good, by the way, hence the award.

Pâtés, steak tartare and salads pepper the starters – and the pear and Stilton tart is a corker, too. Meanwhile there are four packed sharing platters to choose from, top grills good salads. A special shout out to the burgers as well. Juicy and fat. Just as they should be.

Weekends also mean special roast dinners, see right, with options including chicken and beef – as you’d expect. There’s also a properly authentic bangers and mash on the menu, too, and that will keep you coming back for more, as all the dishes here do.

There are good brekkies at this place, too. This is a real top choice for grub that we wholeheartedly recommend.

Japanese 04 425 5660 DIFC

When dining at Zuma expectations are always high. This is a multiple award-winner, and is therefore always packed out. It’s also very expensive, but don’t let that put you off – save up and go. We mean it, if you dine at one Japanese restaurant in the city, let it be this one.

Book in advance, as it could take weeks before you get a table, it’s that popular. But happily, it ticks all the boxes once you’re in.
Winner of this category – as well as Best Brunch – for the second year in a row, the Japanese juggernaut that is Zuma shows no signs of slowing. It’s unfailingly popular and always busy.

Launched in Knightsbridge, London, in 2002, German-born chef Rainer Becker’s brand has gone from strength to strength, with branches from New York to Miami and Rome.

It’s not the prettiest of locations, set in DIFC with views over the main road, but you’ll hardly notice when your attention is fully focused on what’s on your plate.

Don’t miss the beef and green chilli robata skewers, they’re perfectly charred. The sweet potato with teriyaki and sesame is also a hit.

Main courses are sublime. The black cod is an obvious choice, although an excellent one, but we’d suggest the roasted Boston lobster, with shiso ponzu butter. It’s rich, tender, garlicky and moreish, with every bite a complete delight. And that’s what Zuma is, a complete culinary delight.

The bottom line
Award-winning Japanese. Book it, now.

Caribbean 04 356 2900 Sheikh Zayed Road

Brightly coloured and filled with the sounds of modern and old-school reggae and dancehall, Miss Lily’s may be one of the city’s smaller restaurant, but it’s all the better for it.

Feeling like a funky, urban Jamaican canteen-meets-American diner, this New York import serves up an intimate, convivial atmosphere with a massive wallop of fun.

While it may not have delivered Dubai its first taste of Caribbean food, it’s undoubtedly the city’s favourite.

Service is swift, personable and attentive, the atmosphere is electric on any given night, and the food is superb – a savvy blend of authentic and inventive.

For Caribbean-meets-Middle Eastern, don’t miss the ackee hummus, served with grilled roti flatbreads, while the crispy fish tacos with spicy escovitch dressing are knockout.

Everything impresses. There’s West Indian curry prawns (uber-fragrant), curry goat stew (fall-apart delicious) and, of course, Miss Lily’s “world famous” jerk grilled chicken.

Bigger groups can also order the likes of garlic-roasted lamb shoulder, hot pepper lobster and slow-roasted pimento short rib. And visit in a big group you absolutely should. A restaurant like this deserves a party, and you deserve to taste as many dishes as possible.

The bottom line
Fun hangout with spot-on food.

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