Whether it’s fun in the sun or fine dining, eateries by the water abound
Picture this: the sound of crashing waves in the background, the scent of lingering beach air around you, and a delectable feast on your table, all while overlooking the waves. Here are some of our favourite Dubai beachside dining escapes.
Fish Beach Taverna
With its white tables and chairs, and paved stone floors, Fish Beach Taverna offers fuss-free dining with a view of the blue. With the glorious Arabian Gulf straight ahead, you can feast on fabulous seafood on the terrace or sand at this seafood restaurant. Sip a drink at sunset, dine under the iconic tepee, or book a table for two with the twinkling lights of Dubai Marina behind you. The meals here have a home-cooked vibe straight from the Aegean region, with a selection of hot and cold plates including salads, tzatziki, vine leaves, octopus, seabass, mussels, calamari, pasta dishes as well as a beautiful open counter of fresh fish and seafood to choose from.
Cost: Dishes range from AED42-168
Located right by the waterfront near the in-house jetty (from where a regular ferry runs to sister hotel One&Only The Palm Dubai), this lounge is beach chic at its best. A relaxed sofa seating and chilled-out tunes set the mood for the international menu of light bites and beverages. Pull up a chair in one of the private cabanas at the water’s edge, and nibble on Arabic mezze, Mexican tortilla chips, Asian teriyaki or European quiches, while watching the sun go down.
Cost: Dishes range from AED95-120
Nikkei is the fusion of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine, due to the mass Japanese emigration to Peru in the 19th century. Aji has taken that concept and run with it. One of the seven restaurants that form Club Vista Mare on The Palm, its menu revolves around beautifully-presented dishes made with quality ingredients – the seabass, prawn tempura and octopus are to vouch for. An important marker for good Nikkei cuisine is the raw fish, and Aji gets high marks for its ceviche featuring a bounty of fresh delights. With an extensive menu, glamorous decor and a chilled vibe, it’s good for families, friends from work, or for a special date night.
Cost: Dishes range from AED30-375
This beach club and restaurant at Le Meridien Mina Seyahi is a Dubai institution. The sprawling multi-layered open-air venue has a relaxed, friendly vibe, with everything from large screens showing sports, beach loungers and pool tables, to live music and DJ tunes on offer. The fish and chips here are legendary, but there are pies and curries, pizza and gourmet sandwiches as well. A barbecue brunch is available most weekends, and Barasti also hosts numerous events and concerts.
Cost: Dishes range from AED66-198
Aprons and Hammers
Beautiful beach views, a chilled-out ambience and fresh seafood await you at Aprons and Hammers.
The name of the restaurant refers to the two things you’ll actually need once you’re seated – a hammer to break open the crustaceans on offer, and an apron to cover yourself while you’re at it.
The La Mer outpost of this quirky restaurant is incredibly popular. There’s plenty of the freshest seafood to choose from, like buckets of shellfish, mussels and jumbo shrimps that will get your hands dirty while you look out over the blue. But if seafood isn’t your thing, don’t fret, there’s a variety of pasta dishes, burgers and vegetarian options.
Cost: Dishes range from AED15-450
If you were to judge solely by location, Shimmers would get top marks. Add to that a hearty menu of Greek cuisine, and you’ve landed a winner. Sitting in the heart of Madinat Jumeirah’s exclusive private beach, this relaxed eatery offers views of the azure sea, white beach and the spectacular Burj Al Arab. Try their ‘real’ Greek salad with Kalamata olives and feta cheese, or savour the slow-cooked lamb speciality by Greek chef Yiannis Katsikas.
Cost: Around AED350 for two people
Tuck into the rich spices of Arabia at the award-winning Seven Sands in the urban-beach hybrid, aptly named The Beach. Named after the seven emirates that make up the UAE, Seven Sands takes you on a whirlwind journey through the history of Emirati cuisine, with recipes passed down through generations. Dip into the shorbat harees, a local flavoured soup cooked with wheat and veal, or taste thereed, a stew cooked with potatoes, pumpkin, tomatoes and marrow, dating back to Bedouin times. Known to cater for royalty and celebrity galas, you’re sure to be in good company.
Cost: Dishes range from AED27-110