All food lovers are attracted to Dubai’s restaurant scene, especially those traveling with a big budget. It’s jam-packed with high-end restaurants, celebrity chefs and gourmet cuisine from all over the globe. As noted on Lonely Planet’s travel website, its almost impossible to find any city on par with Dubai. It’s easily the best destination in the United Arab Emirates for eating out, and that’s most evident by the sheer number of people who can be found sitting in a restaurant at any one time. A fine dining experience can easily add up to $500 or more per person.
Dubai is located on the coast of the Persian Gulf and has a population of more than two million. It’s the most expensive city in the Middle East, and one of the most expensive cities in the world. Best known for its hot, desert climate and its lavish shopping malls, nightlife and attractions, it is paradise for travelers. Celebrities from around the world have come to love visiting Dubai and have made the most of its cuisine throughout their stay.
In fact, the United Arab Emirates has become one of the world’s most popular destinations for celebrities. David Beckham and wife Victoria Beckham own a property on the Palm Jumeirah. Famous singer Rod Stewart owns a lavish villa in Dubai, and Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt purchased a man-made island a few years ago. Eva Longoria visited the city in 2013 and was quoted as saying that “everybody in the world looks to Dubai as this glamorous place; this beautiful jewel in the Middle East”. John Travolta also stopped by in 2013, referring to Dubai as “the ultimate futuristic city” for its grand architecture.
Even the richest of the rich need to find time to eat, and that’s exactly what this list is about. We’ve listed 10 of Dubai’s finest restaurants – and let you know how much it’ll cost to eat at each.
10 Al Hadheerah – $130+ Per Person
This is the place to go if you’re after traditional Arabian food, served buffet style. Located within Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and Spa, which is about one hour by car from Dubai airport, this restaurant is entertaining and luxurious. The Arabian buffet costs about $130 per person not including alcohol. Aside from the food, guests can expect to be entertained by horse-riding, sword-fighting actors, plus belly dancers and even henna artists. The show is particularly popular with rich families who bring along their children. A one night stay in the royal suite at the Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and Spa costs about $800.
9 EauZone – $130+ Per Person
This glamorous restaurant comes alive every evening and turns into a fine dining institution. Located around a huge pool and tons of palm trees in the One & Only Royal Mirage, the cuisine is best described as modern Asian. The chef recommends the “freshly baked hamour wrapped in a lotus leaf scented with delicate Asian spices and aromatic herbs”, and reviews from previous guests suggest prices can easily cost over $150 per person. If you want to stay the night at the resort, the superior gold club suite costs about $1500 per night.
8 Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire – $150+ Per Person
Undoubtedly offering Dubai’s best French cuisine, this restaurant has won a plethora of awards. Everything from the décor to the service to the food is lavish and dramatic. The brain child of chef Pierre Gagnaire, who owns more than 10 restaurants around the world, one of the best dishes on offer here is considered to be the lamb with oregano and tamarind juice flavors. Other dishes include the Brittany blue lobster, duck liver and pine nut hummus, or date and bean puree. Without factoring in the cost of alcohol, a meal here costs approximately $150 or more per guest.
7 Buddha Bar - $150+ Per Person
Named after a huge Buddha statue that towers above the restaurant, the stylish, oriental cuisine offered at the Buddha Bar is frequented by the richest people. The restaurant mixes Chinese, Thai and Japanese food and the bar has a reputation for its exciting atmosphere and funky music. For dinner, your dishes could include grilled calamari with baby tomatoes and grapefruit to begin, then a Thai chicken green curry as a main, followed by a crème brûlée trio for dessert. For an average priced meal and a drink, expect to pay $150 or more per person. Located on the waterfront at Grosvenor House Hotel, you can stay the night in an apartment suite for about $950.
6 Al Mahara - $250+ Per Person
Translated in English as “the oyster shell”, Al Mahara is one of the city’s best seafood restaurants and is frequented by the richest, costing at least $250 per person for a meal and drinks. Guests will be sitting alongside a floor-to-ceiling aquarium filled with color and lights, giving the feeling of being under the sea. The speciality dishes on offer include seared waygu beef with long potato fries (cooked in goose fat), or a whole seabass with a sea salt crust and a Greek-style salad. For dinner, guests are asked to wear semi-formal attire such as a jacket and collared shirt for men. UAE national dress is also acceptable.
5 Le Classique – $250+ Per Person
This elegant eatery is located within the Dubai Golf Hotel, and diners can expect to pay in excess of $250 for a meal. Serving fine French cuisine, guests are treated to a direct view of the luxurious Emirates Golf Club. It has become a Dubai institution, having received many awards in its 25+ year history. The chef, Benoit Cart, balances traditional and modern French cuisine. A degustation menu with wine pairings costs approximately $250 and includes Chilean sea bass, seared scallops, and pear crumble with cinnamon ice cream.
4 Majlis Al Bahar - $300+ Per Person
Located on a private island beach, this simplistic Mediterranean restaurant is the perfect spot to watch the sun go down over Dubai city. The island location also makes it one of the most romantic eateries in Dubai. To start, you could order an Atlantic lobster salad, followed by a waygu beef fillet as a main, followed by an exotic dessert fruit platter. Coupled with the cost of a few drinks, guests to this restaurant are likely to spend more than $300.
3 Nobu – $300+ Per Person
For Dubai’s best Japanese-Arabian eating experience, head to Nobu at the Atlantis Hotel. Robert de Niro was the co-founder of the Nobu chain of restaurants and fans of the restaurant say it’s a great place for celebrity spotting. Nobu’s world famous chef, Nobu Matsuhisa, has created a fusion between classic Japanese food and Arabian flavors. For example, a signature dish at this restaurant is a black cod, seared and served with a sweet miso sauce, and yellowtail with thin jalapeño slices. For a starter, main and bottle of wine, expect to pay approximately $300 per person or more. If you want to stay nearby, you can stay at the Atlantis Hotel which hosts this restaurant. The presidential suite costs about $27,000 per night.
2 At.mosphere – $300+ per person
At.mosphere is thought to be the highest restaurant in the world, located on floor 122 of the Burj Khalifa building in Dubai. Guests take the express elevator all the way up to floor 122 and then transfer to a grand staircase, which appears as though it is suspended in midair. The executive chef is Stuart Sage, who is award winning and has worked around the world. There’s also a private dining option, for guests who prefer to eat in a separate dining area. The “122 Tasting Menu” is a seven course menu, featuring dishes such as oysters, sea bass and waygu fillet for a price of about $250 per person not including drinks.
1 Pierchic – $400 per person
Serving some of the finest seafood cuisine in Dubai, dinner guests to this restaurant are asked to dress in smart and elegant attire in the evenings. Sitting on a pier with Arabian Gulf sea views, the restaurant is considered romantic, quiet and one of the best in terms of seafood cuisine. A sample menu could include half a dozen oysters as a starter, cooked with a chardonnay-shallot vinegar, spicy tomato sauce and cucumber salsa, for a price of about $70. For the main, you could order a Canadian lobster casserole for about $190, and then for dessert a mandarin crème brûlée with a lime sorbet costing $17. With a side dish or two and a bottle of wine as well, the price for a meal at this restaurant could easily exceed $400 per person.
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