Good food meets great views at Dubai's new season terraces
Few cities do outdoor dining more innovatively than Dubai. A city constantly bathed in sunlight, the mild winter is prime time for al fresco eating. Whether you’re after an ocean-fresh catch or Mediterranean staples, we've rounded up our favourite restaurant terraces – all you need to do is book your table.
folly by Nick & Scott
This hip spot heats up during the cooler months, with its elevated terrace a top pick for visitors to the Madinat Jumeirah restaurant. Sunset is the perfect time to order an early dinner, so you can catch sight of the sun sinking into the Gulf and the abras sailing along the district’s canals from the al fresco terrace. Formerly of Gordon Ramsey’s kitchens, the culinary duo’s seasonal menu will tickle tastebuds with British flavours and fresh ingredients. Book ahead – the terrace is understandably popular with locals and visitors alike.
Located by Mall of the Emirates and through the Sheraton Hotel, this restaurant and lounge offers up its own take on an outdoor terrace. Draped in greenery, the cool terrace is a highlight, featuring gorgeous Art Deco-style windows which add an element of brightness and light to the space, cute café tables and a wooden cushioned bench that run the length of the terrace. The farm-to-table based menu welcomes those looking for an off-beat superfood lunch, a gourmet take on a hot dinner, or the restaurant’s new ten course brunch that gives diners a taste of everything.
Perfect for lazy winter days, the Dubai Creek Golf Club's signature restaurant is as popular with families as it is with post-game golfers. With all-day dining on the wide, wrap-around terrace, and themed menus at night, it's an easy choice for those wanting to be close to the bustling waterway. Diners will enjoy a butcher’s block menu starring a selection of prime steak cuts, seafood-heavy the main courses, and British-style puddings to finish. Those after something a little extra can opt for the the VIP floating table. Sitting directly over the water of the adjoining reflection pool, the sunken couch seating gives guests plenty of space to stretch out in.
Fish Beach Taverna
Proving popular every al fresco season, Le Meridien Mina Seyahi's Fish Beach Taverna has cemented itself as a seasonal hot-spot, thanks in no small part to its outdoor shoreside dining area. By day, diners can snack on flash-fried squid, slow-cooked octopus and other Aegean delicacies, while wiggling their toes in the private beach’s silky sands. At night, floating fairy-lights illuminate the vibrant white-wash and azure décor, as diners munch on Greek mezze by candlelight. Be sure to get there before nightfall, as the restaurant’s positioning gives you an unobstructed view of the Arabian Gulf's famous sunset.
Think a tropical rainforest in the bustling center is out of the realms of imagination? Think again. The Green Planet is a fully-immersive indoor vertical rainforest in Dubai. Located at City Walk, visitors can embark on an expedition like no other and witness over 3,000 colourful animals and plants. Get close to loveable sloths or the nocturnal Sugar Gliders, pet a python or witness fruit bats in their natural habitat with a unique ‘bat cave’ experience.
A chic addition to Grosvenor House, Ruya has developed a well-earned reputation for warm hospitality and excellent modern Turkish cuisine, with its glamorous take on the traditional pide kitchen attracting the city's glossiest socialites. Traditional dishes such as borek and lamb manti are treated with reverence and served up with style to crowds of repeat diners nightly. But during the winter season, it’s the waterside terrace that shines, with the intimate seating and lantern lighting combined with an elevated view of the Dubai Marina, making it ideal for a romantic date night.
Part modern Mexican restaurant, part hip hang-out spot for Dubai’s weekend crowd, Luchador is one cool cantina. It features a 11th floor open terrace that boasts incredible views of Palm Jumeirah, the Burj Al Arab, and back along the Gulf coastline. Attracting its fair share of amigos, Luchador also does well in the food department, with fresh, made-to-order platters of tacos, quesadillas and a ceviche assortment packing a south of the border flavour punch. Diners are encouraged to stay on for the restaurant’s evening transformation into a Latino lounge, with an in-house band and DJ spinning Español tunes until the early hours.
Indulge in the best cuisine Dubai has to offer – visit the Dubai Food Festival from 20 February to 7 March 2020.