On my many visits to Dubai, I have had the opportunity to see many parts of the city and dine in a lot of different places. I’ve had camel burgers on Jumeirah beach to Emirati kebabs in an unnamed suburb to absurdly lavish 5 hour-long brunches in one of the lovely beachside hotels.
When you visit Dubai, you will be spoilt for choice in the types of cuisine, the venues and range of experiences that can be had.
Most memorable Dubai dining experiences
1. Jumeirah Beach Hotel – The restaurant on the beach is one of my favourites as a venue and for the food. This is one of the older hotels along this stretch of beach but it is by no means dated. It still maintains its position as one of the favourite resort hotels. Especially now that it is interconnected with the other hotels along the beach and can be reached by golf buggy.
The food at the restaurant is South East Asian and was presided over by a lady chef from Malaysia. I first dined there with some homesick Malaysian friends and we were delighted by the tastes of home. Designed like a beach bungalow with all dark wood and tropical flora, the whole ambience felt like we were in a South East Asian beach resort.
After dinner, you can adjourn to the throbbing 360° Degree club at the end of the pier off the beach. You can’t miss it as the neon lights up the night sky.
2. Jumeirah Al Qasr is one of the hotels in a collection along their own stretch of beach. This majestic luxury hotel is designed like an Arabian palace. Stunning interiors coupled with unrivalled service.
We had one of the famed Friday Brunches at this hotel. runches in Dubai are really serious. These are really elaborate affairs in Dubai, a bit like the Sunday lunch tradition. They go on for hours and there is unlimited food and drink. The was packed with multi-generational and multiracial groups.
The brunch is buffet style but what a spread. There are cold stations for starters. Different stations for Italian food, Indian cuisine, Sushi, grills, and Mexican and even a glassed-in room with charcuterie and other pork products (separated from the main room). We were there for about 4 hours. We finally rolled out of there and could just about manage a ride on the boat that takes you between hotels on the man-made canals.
If you are in Dubai over a weekend, you have to book into one of these brunches. It is quite an experience.
A stroll around the Souk Madinat after the sumptuous lunch is a must. It is a modern souk filled with middle eastern delights. A great place to pick up some gifts of your time in the UAE.
3. Dubai Old Town Bastakiya District– This is the area near the creek which still has old Arabic houses. Walking through here will transport you back in time. Some of these have been transformed into art galleries and cafes.
I’d highly recommend visiting the Make Art Cafe, an old Pearl Merchant’s house. The traditional Arabic house with an internal courtyard has been turned into a charming cafe and art gallery.
4. Nearby, you can visit the Sheikh Mohammed entre for Cultural Understanding which promotes Emirati culture. You can book in for a breakfast or lunch session where they introduce you to the customs and food of the Emirates. I highly rate a visit here.
From here, a short walk toward the Creek takes you to the Abra stops. These are the little boats that ply the creek and takes you over to the Gold and Spice Souks. The short ride across the Creek to the other banks is super cheap and a great thrill.
5. One of the most memorable evenings was had at the Gold on 27 in the amazing Burj Al Arab Hotel. If you want opulence, you have it here in spades. The nightclub is spectacular and the views from there are just stunning as you would expect. If you want a luxurious night to remember, make a reservation here.