The Ivy
It’s Friday, 8.30am. There’s a couple in their 30s, yawning and reading the menu with bleary eyes. Elsewhere, a dad scrolls his smartphone and guzzles coffee, while his son plays quietly with a toy car. On the next table, a family of four order another pot of tea. Welcome to breakfast at The Ivy. The atmosphere is quiet, but not in that awkward way where everyone’s afraid to talk. It’s an oasis of calm within these wood-panelled walls.

The Ivy’s star player is The Full English at Dhs90: a herby sausage, smoky bacon, baked beans (served in a separate dish because, for some people, their breakfast is sacred and can’t be messed up with beans), eggs of your choice, grilled tomato and five ping pong ball-sized hash browns. Other highlights include duck hash – a big patty of bubble and squeak mixed with shreds of duck and topped with two fried eggs.The eggs Benedict served with a dollop of devilishly thick Hollandaise sauce is also a hit. This is breakfast done in a classy, yet comfortable way. And it’s very, very English.

The Boulevard, Emirates Towers, Dubai
Tel: (04) 3198767. Metro: Emirates Towers.
Daily 7.30am to 11am.

Circle Cafe
Head to Circle Café at Jumeirah Beach Park Plaza at 8am and get stuck into an array of bagels – including jam, scrambled egg and smoked salmon, and halloumi, as well as the aptly named Big Breakfast, or French toast topped with caramelised butterscotch bananas.

Jumeirah Beach Park Plaza, Dubai
Tel: (04) 3428177. Taxi: Jumeirah Beach Park.

Fournil de Pierre
The charming little French café says bonjour to its first early bird customers at 7am. The spinach, peach and pineapple smoothie has been causing a bit of a stir, and the artisanal breads and fantastic patisserie selection add a je ne sais quoi to any morning.

Emaar Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, Dubai
Tel: (04) 4203070. Metro: Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall.

Now Café
If you want to eat early and then go shopping, Now Café on the lower ground floor level in The Dubai Mall’s Star Atrium dishes up a truly international selection with roti, croissants and panninis on the menu, along with plenty of freshly brewed coffee, all served from 7.30am.

The Dubai Mall, Dubai
Tel: (04) 4341427. Metro: Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall.

At Dubai Marina Mall, Carluccio’s, a relative newcomer to the Dubai breakfast scene, opens its shutters at 8am. The must-try dish here is the beautifully named colazione magnifica. Eggs done your way are served with grilled turkey bacon, sautéed mushrooms, grilled tomato, toast, a hot drink and fruit juice. Look out for the Eggs Florentine too.

Dubai Marina Mall, Dubai
Tel: (04) 3997844. Metro: Dubai Marina.