Brunch in Dubai has become something of an institution for residents and an essential bucket list wish for most tourists. What began several years ago as an unlimited buffet style lunch, generally served on Fridays from noon to four, has evolved into a decadent indulgence of gourmet cuisine generously washed down with free-flowing premium beverages. No longer restricted to merely Friday lunchtimes either, these days guests can take their pick from staggered feasts occurring throughout the week, and from day to night. A wonderfully social way to sample an eclectic mix of dishes from some of Dubai’s hottest venues, coupled with fantastic five-star surroundings and service, the Dubai brunch brigade shows no signs of slowing down. Here we present our pick of the city’s must-attend brunches.
Giardino, Palazzo Versace Dubai
Giardino, Palazzo Versace Dubai
Very Versace is probably one of the best ways to describe the Giardino Brunch at Palazzo Versace. Much like the flamboyant fashion label the brunch at Giardino, one of the hotel’s signature restaurants, doesn’t shy away from extravagance and luxury in excess. The interiors offer a distinct nod to the tropics as vibrant jungle-themed prints are splashed across everything from the luxe Versace Home armchairs through to the liberally decorated walls. In turn, buffet stations are brimming with gourmet goodies, think oysters, sushi, lobster, foie gras and an entire section dedicated to a mouthwatering selection of plump burrata, all served, of course, on chic Versace chinaware. Before summer temperatures peak, we suggest booking a table on the terrace to truly appreciate the hotel’s stunning Dubai Creek views. If you’re looking to make it an all day affair, not only does the brunch offer pool access but guests can continue the party over at the venue’s neighbouring La Vita Bar with 50 percent off post-brunch drinks. The Giardino Brunch is held every Friday from 1 to 4pm, with prices starting from AED350 per person.
Brasserie 2.0, Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa
If an al fresco setting, cracking choice of cuisine, live band and free-flowing Champagne is your idea of a Friday well spent, then the recently launched Brasserie 2.0 brunch at Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa is the one for you. You’ll find dishes from all corners of the globe decked out across 10 cooking stations – think Fine de Claire oysters, British staple beef Wellington and South American prawns thermidor – and that’s all before you’ve even indulged in a wine tasting experience or stopped by the signature barbecue area which features an outdoor smoker for an added punch of flavour. A quick scout out of all that’s on offer is highly recommended before you start tucking in. Brasserie 2.0 also caters to the more health conscious with a fabulous edit of gluten-free dishes and a pop-up shake and juice bar. The dessert section, on the other hand, is bursting with sugary goodness that proves impossible to resist. The toffee apples and handmade chocolates are among our top picks. Alternatively, the cheese selection is enough to make even the most discerning connoisseur swoon. Rich, creamy and crumbly cheese can be perfectly paired with signature wines. After brunch, the celebrations continue over at Le Deck, with happy hour promotions on from 5 to 8pm. The Brasserie 2.0 Friday Brunch is held every Friday from 1:30 to 4:30pm and prices start from AED400 per person.
Marina Social, InterContinental Dubai Marina
Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton’s spectacular return to Dubai caused a flurry of excitement long before the doors at Marina Social swung open. Fortunately for foodies across the city, the hype was well deserved. Located within the InterContinental Dubai Marina, the venue’s cool urban vibe fits in well with the hotel’s contemporary feel. New to the brunch scene, the weekend brunches mean guests can pop by on either Friday or Saturday for a sumptuous choice of à la carte offerings. We’re talking delicate smoked sea trout and a brilliantly put-together pulled lamb and pesto pizza. This is comfort food with a cool, sophisticated edge. The drinks too are also well thought out, as crisp Bellinis, punchy Bloody Mary cocktails and exotic gin-infused iced teas are expertly served from trollies throughout the brunch. While this is a very ‘grown up’ brunch in a lot of ways, a mix of eclectic elements – everything from the food’s almost picnic-like presentation and playful drinks, down to the quirky skull emblazoned plates – brush off those usual formal dining constraints and allows for, as the name suggests, a very social way to dine. Both Friday’s Share & Social and Saturday Social brunch are available from 12:30 to 3:30pm every weekend. Prices start from AED315 and AED215 per person, respectively.
Sass Café, Dubai International Financial Centre
Liven up your Saturday afternoons with a trip to Sass Café at Dubai International Financial Centre. The legendary Monaco export is all about luxury and The Sass Brunch, which has aptly been described as New York glamour meets south of France decadence, is a clear extension of this. The boudoir-like décor radiates a sultry feel while the trendy tunes create an upbeat atmosphere. The culinary offerings prove just as enticing. Infused with Mediterranean flair, the à la carte menu created by executive chef Alexander Stumpf features a mix of classics and newly added brunch items such as creamy burrata served with grilled peaches and truffle honey along with the rich nougat glacé for dessert. Ideal for social get-togethers these scrumptious plates have been designed with sharing in mind. Once your cravings have been suitably satisfied, the food is cleared, lights are dimmed and the revelry really begins as the music steps up a gear. The Sass Brunch is held every Saturday from 1 to 6pm, with prices starting from AED300 per person.