Brunch in Dubai – What, When, Why and Where

Brunch in Dubai is as iconic as the Burj Khalifa or the Palm Jumeirah. It’s a classic experience, one that’s a favourite of locals and visitors alike. But what is brunch in Dubai? Why is it so famous? And where does it all happen?

Here’s an overview of brunch in Dubai, a first-timers guide for those visiting the Emirate.

What is Brunch in Dubai?

Brunch is the classic feast, a dining indulgence that Dubai has taken to new heights. Traditionally, brunch was defined as the big meal somewhere in between breakfast and lunch. It’s what you’d enjoy after waking up late, or after getting hungry while it’s still morning. But brunch in Dubai doesn’t quite follow these definitions. It’s definitely not a breakfast, nor a lunch.

Brunch in Dubai is something else. It’s an all-inclusive feast of food and often drinks. Different restaurants and resorts offer different inclusive drinks menus, from non-alcoholic to champagne and luxurious wine options. The emphasis is on indulgence, with far more than you can eat or drink. It often feels like the supply of food is unlimited and it usually is, with huge buffets or nine courses of fine dining.

Every restaurant and hotel has a different style. Some are tailored towards young expats getting drunk. Others are family orientated. Certain brunches in Dubai are all about the fine dining experience, a chance for the chef to show off a large tasting menu. Others provide a big buffet and a day of entertainment. There are literally hundreds to choose from – even Pizza Hut tried a Friday brunch.

When is Brunch in Dubai?

Most brunches operate through the afternoon and usually run for three to four hours. Typically this is from 1pm to 5pm. Friday is the main brunch day, the first day of the weekend offering the premier time for such a decadent feast. Particularly for alcoholic brunches, Friday is the day when the drinks are really flowing and brunch can get extremely raucous

Saturday brunches in Dubai are also popular, more relaxed than the Friday and a chance to let the weekend languidly filter out. Many of the bigger hotels offer brunch on both days. A couple of establishments have added Thursday brunches, generally party-style evenings for those who have finished work for the week: they don’t quite showcase what the brunch in Dubai experience has traditional been about. There are also some Sunday brunches, very popular with tourists visiting the city.

Why Brunch in Dubai?

This is one of Dubai’s iconic experiences. It’s the heart of many social schedules and often the start of the weekend’s festivities. You’ll struggle to find a local or expat who hasn’t done brunch at least a few times. As a visitor, this is an easy opportunity to see a local side to the city. Perhaps it’s not the cultural immersion you’d imagine from the UAE; it’s not camel racing or Bedouin tea ceremonies. But Dubai has many sides, including a unique culture that’s shaped from influences around the world.

And of course, brunch in Dubai is the chance to really feast on great food and drinks: cocktails on a sandy beach, exquisite Japanese meals, vast buffets with cuisine from five different continents. Brunches cost anywhere between AED 200 – 1000 and more. But this is generally always good value versus dining or drinking out at any other time.

Where to Brunch in Dubai?

Go for brunch in Dubai and there are literally hundreds of options. Time Out Dubai has an excellent guide with detailed reviews of many hotel and restaurant brunches. Here are two favourites from the staff at Seawings – advance booking is recommended.

Traiteur at the Park Hyatt Dubai – This multi-award winning brunch is all about the quality of the food. There’s a huge selection of starters and live cooking stations. Think lobster straight from the grill, shucked oysters, roasted lamb joints, and a temple of cheese. A chocolate fountain is the pick of the desserts. (Friday 12:30 – 16:00)

Friday Brunch at The Thai Kitchen – Three open kitchens create a Thai feast in an opulent restaurant setting. On an early Friday afternoon you can step straight from a seaplane into the Thai Kitchen. (Friday 12:30 – 16:00)

What Else but Brunch in Dubai?

Of course, brunch is just one piece of the Dubai experience. This is a city with countless iconic experiences to enjoy. Consider any of there pre, post, or instead of brunch in Dubai.

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