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The ultimate foodie checklist for Dubai

While undoubtedly Dubai is home to many amazing and iconic sights, attractions, not to mention a growing list of Guinness World Records, there are also many fantastic restaurants across the city, with cuisines from all over the world represented. With venues covering a large range of fine dining options, where does one begin? Read ahead to make the most of your visit to the Emirates! At.mosphere While the food may not exactly live up to the view, when you’re dining 120+ floors up in one of the most recognizable buildings in the world, who cares? Book At.mosphere in advance and enjoy breakfast, lunch, high tea (literally!) or dinner service (including a pre-theater dinner menu, should you have tickets for the Dubai Opera). Drinks at the bar are also memorable. While the Burj ‘At the Top’ Experience is available via the connected Dubai Mall, a meal at At.mosphere ensures a more private experience, away from the masses of tourists. At.Mosphere Dubai Weslodge At the nearby JW Marriott Marquis, the tallest hotel in the world, why not enjoy a brilliant view of the Burj Khalifa while dining on some outstanding Canadian fare? For an extraordinary evening, aim for sunset to enjoy sundowners while overlooking one of a kind views of Sheikh Zayed Road. Order the lobster poutine – you won’t be disappointed. STAY by Yannick Alléno Have a need for Michelin star quality food while visiting Dubai? How about dining on the Palm Jumeirah? Look no further than dinner at STAY by Yannick Alléno, located in the luxurious One & Only The Palm. With a dynamic interior and food to match, this is a superb location for a special occasion. Try the one of a kind extractions menu, a technique pioneered by 3 Michelin Star Chef Yannick. Chef Alléno visits the property two or three times during the year, so be sure to enquire if he is in town during your stay. Carnival by Tresind Up next is the supremely interesting culinary journey at Carnival by Tresind. While the city of Dubai is spoiled for choice in the genre of contemporary Indian gastronomy, Carnival offers a memorable meal, with equally unique drinks to match. Spoil yourself with the many courses of the Chef’s Tasting Menu, and make sure you arrive with your camera charged – you’ll want to take plenty of photos of the colorful cuisine. Carnival by Tresind Laluz Another can’t miss venue is Laluz, located in DIFC, the financial hub of Dubai and home to many incredible fine dining restaurants. While the food stands out (the spherical ‘olive’ is a true thing of beauty), this venue, designed by Tarruella Trenchs Studio, features a distinctive dining room, lounge and bar area. If you are looking for inventive but authentic Spanish food, Laluz should be on your list. Save room for dessert – the selections are sweet heaven. laluz PLAY Lastly, under the direction of Chef Reif Othman (of Zuma fame), PLAY, located on the 36th floor of the H Hotel offers a concoction of flavors that fuse East and West. With one of the most unique interiors in the city, this is a place to see and be seen. Standouts on the menu include Seared Maple Foie Gras, Black Cod Croquettes, and Hokkaido Sweet Corn. This list is just a taste of what Dubai has to offer, but there is plenty to explore in the city. For a more adventurous evening, Frying Pan Adventures and monthly FooDiva dine around are certainly worth considering. Do you have a favorite location?

Courtney Brandt

Hi there – I’m Courtney, an American expat who seeks to share unique culinary and hospitality experiences from the UAE and beyond. I’m currently living in Dubai and have lived in the GCC since 2007. I have seen the region change and grow – it’s been an exciting process!

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  1. Is the photo above of the spherical olive? Can you tell me a bit more about this unusual presentation. Do you really get served just one olive?

  2. Hi Peter, the olive is actually made of blended olives and then presented in this form. You can look up unique molecular gastronomy or el Bulli (where this technique was invented). And yes, the serving size is just the one (but you can order as many as you’d like). :)

  3. I see this selection is coming up to nearly 3 years old. Dubai is a fast moving city with change happening almost every day. I’m heading to Dubai for Christmas 2019 are there any new places that I ought to visit?
    And I hear that brunch on a Friday is a real Dubai institution. Any Dubai brunches that you’d recommend for people to check-out?

  4. You can almost eat whatever you want in Dubai now. As almost everyone of the population is from somewhere else, I think that the stat is around about 92% of the population are immigrants, it’s inevitable that they’d bring their taste for their home foods with them.

    Though on my last visit to Dubai I went to the newly developed district along the west side of the creek. It’s recreated old style Dubai as it was mid 20th century before the days of oil and riches. I had an amazing traditional Arabic feast there, loads of courses that I couldn’t even pronounce. What an amazing and authentic foodie experience that was.

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