Dubai is nothing if not a modern monument to consumerism, and it’s only to be expected that the city offers visitors a wealth of dining options after they’ve flexed their plastic in the giant shopping malls.
But it’s not just about bling and big bucks – you can actually eat very well for a reasonable price in many lesser-known restaurants.
Having said that, you’re in Dubai for goodness’ sake – don’t tell me you’ve come here to watch your wallet and your waistline 🙂
With that in mind, we present 6 dining experiences that you won’t forget in a hurry – whether it’s the unique setting, the extravagance of the food and service or just something unexpected in this part of the world, each place on this list deserves a visit.
Forgive them the silly name – when you have the highest restaurant in the world in the tallest building on the planet you can get away with anything. It has its own entrance to whisk you past the queues of people for the observation deck and what we like the most is the focus on simple dishes perfectly prepared. You’ll be so mesmerized by the view that you don’t want to be distracted by trying to work out what on earth you have on your plate – the juicy steaks from the charcoal oven are highly recommended.
At.mosphere, Burj Khalifa, 1 Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai
Get your feet back on the ground both literally and figuratively with wonderful Lebanese street food for the price of a drink at most of the other places on this list. It’s a whole different side of Dubai and one well worth seeking out. They have roadside tables which are ideal for people (or perhaps traffic) watching while sipping on a fresh fruit cocktail to wash down that shawarma.
Al Mallah, Aldiyafa Street
And now for something completely different – modern British food from one of the original celebrity chefs. Drop your scepticism and see what Gary Rhodes has come up with – think gourmet versions of classic comfort food using the best ingredients in a crisp modern setting. The dessert and the surprise between courses are worth the journey alone, but you’ll love it all, believe us.
Grosvenor House, Al Sofouh Road
More surprises lie in store at the Atlantis hotel on the Palm Jumeirah island. Yes, that man-made island you saw on the Discovery Channel. The twist here is the enormous aquarium which makes up one of the walls of the restaurant – providing entertainment as you sample the exquisitie Spanish fare. Three Michelin stars are proof enough that the Atlantis is not relying on the sharks to pull in the crowds – although we suspect it helps…
Atlantis The Palm, Crescent Road, The Palm
Bateaux Dubai Dinner Cruise
Take to the river (or creek, as they call it here) on the Al Minsaf; a modern version of a dhow that can take up to 200 seated guests on its dinner cruises. The food is excellent and service equally so, but it’s the atmosphere and the actual journey that makes this a must-do. Granted, Dubai is not Venice but the creek offers a different way to see the city and it’s enchanting from the top deck after dinner.
Al Minsaf, moored on the Bur Dubai side of the Dubai Creek opposite the British Embassy
Finally how about the perfect destination when you can’t quite decide what you want to eat tonight? Head for Pier7, which offers you no less than, er , seven different dining choices in the same stunning building. With a different experience – and floor – for each day of the week, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Add the spectacular wraparound views thanks to the circular construction and you’ll understand why Pier7 is a rapidly rising star on the Dubai scene.
Pier 7, Dubai Marina Mall