The perfect afternoon in signature Dubai-style
Spur of the moment picnics are easy to accommodate in Dubai, with an abundance of picturesque and shaded spots to roll out a comfy rug. Luckily, there are also plenty of restaurants that want you to take advantage of the beautiful weather. Here are just some of the amazing spots for a picnic in the great outdoors, and the restaurants that are happy to cater for dining outside with delicious options ready to go.
Urban Picnic at 3in1
Fancy a picnic by the pool? Vida Hotel's Urban Picnic brunch offers a more upmarket take on outdoor dining, right in the centre of the bustling concrete jungle. Forget the hassle of planning a picnic when you can walk right into a ready-to-go picnic setting. Vida’s Mediterranean restaurant 3in1 puts a gourmet twist on lunchtime staples, pairing them with the perfect refreshments. Fill up your basket with goodies before taking it outside into the sunshine. You can grab a poolside table or cosy up on a private cabana and enjoy fresh oysters, prawns, barbecued steaks, burgers and filled baguettes. Pool access is also included, in case you fancy a lazy paddle in the shallows after lunch.
Al Qudra Lakes
Just a short drive from Dubai's city centre, the Al Qudra Lakes is a manmade oasis hidden in the white sand flats, perfect for a private, out-of-town picnic. Pack the cooler (the little deli there doesn't do much beyond smoothies and coffee) and picnic while observing the wildlife – falcons, eagles, ducks, swans and the pastel pink flamingos that gather to fish during the winter. During twilight, native impalas also venture to the water’s edge for a drink. Cyclists can take advantage of the pristine cycling track, with road and sand bikes available for rental on-site. Stretching 84km, it claims to be the longest designated cycling road in the Middle East.
Reform Social & Grill
In addition to their a la carte menu, British eatery Reform Social & Grill offers a chilled out picnic on its lakeside green lawns. The Royal Family Picnic is designed for two, with each couple handed a picnic blanket, cushions and a wicker basket stuffed with a lunch fit for the Queen. Finger rolls, a ploughman's selection of cold cuts and chutneys and salads are followed by scones with clotted cream and jam, and fresh strawberries. A bit sunny out by the lake? Add a jug of refreshing berry and citrus juice.
At 47.5 hectares, Zabeel Park is one of Dubai's favourite picnicking spots. Choose your location: the shaded lawn, outdoor seating or the amphitheatre, and while away the day with the family. This incredible park is also home to one of the city’s newest attractions, the Dubai Frame, from where visitors can take in incredible views of both old and new Dubai. Little ones can explore three different technology-based zones featuring educational exhibits, hop on a boat ride or visit Dubai Garden Glow – the region's first glowing theme park.