If you’re a foodie and are looking for a destination that offers a vast variety of cuisines and lots of different dining styles, look no further and book your next trip to Dubai. As one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world, Dubai is the ultimate melting pot when it comes to food and the place to be for dining and hospitality.
Hospitality and generosity are deeply rooted in the Arab culture with the rituals of welcoming and looking after guests being sacred. The warm, authentic Marhaba (meaning welcome in Arabic) you will receive in Dubai originally stems from Bedouin life in the United Arab Emirates, which was characterized by hospitality. Welcoming guests – often total strangers – and sharing food, coffee and dates has always been a key trait of the Bedouins that lived their nomadic lives across the UAE desert, a tradition that is upheld till today in modern Emirati life.
With its rich international trading heritage and kaleidoscope of cultures and languages that make up the UAE’s diverse, largely expatriate, population, it’s no surprise that Dubai is such as magnet when it comes to hospitality and dining.
Whether you are looking for the best local coffeeshop around Dubai Creek, the most Instagrammable alfresco dining spot on the beach, or the best fine-dining restaurant for that important work dinner, Dubai has it all.
But first, coffee
Dubai has a very distinct culture when it comes to coffee shops and they are a very important part of daily life for citizens and residents alike. Meeting up for coffee is a ritual and can take place at literally any time of the day, whether it’s in the early morning after the kids’ school run, over lunch, right after work or in the middle of the night. You will also find many of Dubai’s entrepreneurs working from the city’s most popular cafes during weekdays and on weekends.
The city is home to many of the world’s popular global chains such as Starbucks, Costa Coffee, Café Nero and Tim Hortons, but what’s even more interesting is the huge variety of home-grown coffee shops in Dubai, both stand-alone cafes and local chains. Make sure to check out some of the coolest concepts when you’re next in town, it’s a great opportunity to get a taste of life in Dubai. Here are some of Dubai’s local favorite coffee shops around the city:
- The Arabian Tea House in Bastakyia, one of the oldest areas of Dubai
- Limetree Café in Jumeirah 1, close to Jumeirah beach for a leisurely stroll
- Tom and Serg in Al Quoz, a vibrant district home to some of Dubai’s most unique art galleries
- Café Bateel in Nakheel Mall on the iconic The Palm Jumeirah
- 1762 The Gourmet Deli in the heart of Dubai’s financial district, DIFC
- The Hamptons Café in the upscale Arabian Ranches residential neighbourhood
- Friends Avenue Café in Jumeirah Lakes Towers
Dine around Dubai
When it comes to dining in Dubai, the sky is literarily the limit. The city’s Dinner in the Sky concept, which was selected by Forbes.com as one of ten most unusual restaurants in the world, takes you 50 meters up in the sky of Dubai while you enjoy a delectable dinner. Or how about dinner at the world’s tallest restaurant At.mosphere, located on level 122 of the iconic Burj Khalifa?
If you prefer dining under sea level, make sure to reserve a table at Al Mahara at Burj Al Arab Jumeirah – the world’s most luxurious hotel – for a truly unique seafood dining experience by Michelin-star Chef Kim Joinié-Maurin.
Looking for a dinner under the stars? No worries, Dubai is well known for its stunning rooftop venues and ultimate alfresco dining spots that let you enjoy Dubai’s balmy nights almost year-round. Here are some firm favourites when it comes to outdoor dining in Dubai:
- Tomo Dubai on the rooftop of Raffles Dubai for Japanese cuisine and stunning views over Dubai’s skyline
- Zeta at The Address Downtown for the best Dubai Fountains views
- Boardwalk at Dubai Creek Golf Club, a local favorite for casual dining for over 25 years
- Bussola Pizzeria at the Westin Mina Seyahi for great pizza with a casual and relaxed ambience
- Folly at Souk Madinat Jumeirah for fine dining and views over the picturesque meandering waterways of Madinat Jumeriah
Delivered at your doorstep
Dubai is food heaven when it comes to delivery services and you can get pretty much anything you want, from anywhere in town delivered right to your doorstep at any time of the day. Whether you prefer to use Deliveroo or Uber Eats as your trusted international food delivery Aps or are keen to try out one of Dubai’s own trusted homegrown delivery services such as Talabat, you will not be disappointed.