Dubai’s best brunches

In the UK, the term ‘brunch’ refers to a late morning meal – nothing particularly noteworthy – but in Dubai, Friday Brunch is an institution.  It’s the week’s main event – the chance to kick the weekend off in style (weekends run Friday – Saturday in the UAE).  It’s not breakfast, not lunch, but an all-inclusive banquet of seemingly never-ending food and drinks.  Most brunches carry on for several hours, serving food from all over the world, accompanied by free-flowing drinks and live entertainment.  Almost all hotels and restaurants offer this blow-out meal on Fridays; and almost all offer a great experience, but here’s our pick of the best:

Bubbalicious – The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi

Widely considered to be Dubai’s #1 Friday brunch, winning ‘Favourite Brunch’ in the What’s On Awards consecutively for the last two years.  Three different restaurants team up to offer almost every kind of cuisine imaginable, all presented with Willy Wonka-style theatrics.

It’s popular with families (less rowdy than some of Dubai’s other brunches – despite the free-flowing bubbles included in the price), and during the winter months they even lay on a petting zoo to entertain the youngsters, as well as magicians, acrobats and a live band.

Le Royal Meridien

The highlight here is the fact that beach and pool access is included in the brunch package. After lunch, the party moves to the pool bar and continues well into the afternoon.

Spontaneous games of volleyball, ping pong, and football erupt in the hotel grounds – and once brunch is finished you can even opt to continue the dancing and drinking upstairs in the hotel’s nightclub.

In terms of food, there are three restaurants to choose from: Brasserie 2.0 (International food, with 10 live cooking stations), Maya (Mexican), and Geales Restaurant (British classics).  All are popular.  The seafood in Brasserie 2.0 is especially impressive, as are the freshly grilled steaks.

Jumeirah Al Qasr

For sheer excess, this brunch – Dubai’s biggest – is unbeatable.   In fact, it’s so vast, you’ll need a map to navigate all the food stations, stretching over 3 restaurants, which cover an endless list of cuisines from all over the world. You name it, they’ve got it: seafood, sushi, Italian, Indian, Arabic, Mexican, Spanish, steak – as well as free-flowing drinks.  There’s a whole room dedicated to chocolate!

It’s in the heart of the Madinat complex – lovely to sit outside overlooking the waterways during the cooler months.  Another highlight is the fab view of the Burj Al Arab.  This is a decadent, over-the-top, opulent brunch – definitely one to experience at least once.

Nobu – Atlantis The Palm

Whilst most brunches in Dubai compete to dish up the most varied types of food from all corners of the globe, Nobu’s sole focus is Japanese cuisine.  As a result, it’s supremely well-done, with the sushi, lobsters, and black cod miso among the highlights.

This is a classy brunch, and a good one for champagne connoisseurs – with unlimited Perrier Jouet served, as well as premium cocktails.

Bur Dubai

If you’re on a budget and fancy a walk on the wild side, hop across the creek to the Bur Dubai area.  This used to be the centre of Dubai’s party scene, but today it’s not really on the tourist radar.  Head here for carvery roast dinners, great value all-you-can-eat and all-you-can-drink feasts, and to mingle with Dubai’s expat community.

Movenpick Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel

This brunch is sometimes overlooked due to its off-the-beaten track location – although it’s a shame because the food here is fantastic.  It’s also a great choice for families, as they lay on all kinds of entertainment including face-painting, a bouncy castle and cinema room to keep the kids happy.  The Movenpick is one of the few hotels in Dubai to offer an all-inclusive package, which includes the Friday Brunch – a bonus if you’re staying here.

It’s one of the few places in Dubai offering an evening brunch too – so if you can stomach it, it’s possible to ‘double brunch.’  The atmosphere becomes one of cool sophistication; the dress code is all-white and the room is lit by hundreds of Moroccan lanterns suspended from the 90-metre ceiling – which, combined with live music, creates the perfect ambience.

Spencer Groves is Commercial Director at letsgo2.

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Comments (2)

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  1. Helena says:

    I had no idea that Friday bunch was such a big deal in Dubai, what a lovely tradition and looks and sound delicious! My kids would love Bubbalicious, especially that that petting zoo, how unusual! That being said.. a pool party after brunch does sound excellent too. Tough choices, every hotel on this list looks perfect.

  2. Louise says:

    Brunch sounds amazing in Dubai – I’ve never wanted to go… but perhaps I do now just to try brunch!! I would love to go to Le Royal Meridien because of the beach and pool access, I’d go for a swim, fill myself up with delicious food and then go and subathe! These places sound so great for a relaxing getaway. Dubai really is one of the most luxurious places

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