How to have the perfect picnic in Dubai - brunches, hampers and hotspots
What’s On helps you have picnics in Dubai, including picnic brunch in Dubai, best parks in Dubai, and picnic hampers for takeaway in Dubai.
No need to dig out the Tupperware or bulk buy bread rolls – let these venues do the hard work for you…
Every Friday Vida Downtown transforms its chic, contemporary poolside terrace with clever nods to the traditional picnic. You’ll find wicker hampers, lots of red and white gingham, rustic sandwiches tied with twine and mason jars brimming with fresh salads. There are hot dishes too in the shape of cheese fondue, prawns, squid, and freshly grilled steaks. If sitting on a blanket just isn’t for you, tables and chairs are available, and you can still get into the picnicking spirit thanks to the cute faux “grass” placemats.
3in1, Vida Downtown Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, Fri 1pm to 5pm, Dhs255 with soft drinks, Dhs295 with house drinks, Dhs495 with champagne. Tel: (04) 8883444. Metro: Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall. vida-hotels.com
Al Badia Picnic Brunch
The manicured fairways at Al Badia Golf Course provide an excellent backdrop to an al fresco feast. Pick up your traditional basket – stuffed with sandwiches, salads and sweet treats – and take a seat on a picnic blanket or a cushion surrounding a low table. No paper plates here – tables are laid with china and cutlery. This brunch has all the charm of an old-school picnic, with no danger of crumbs in your lap. Perfect.
Al Badia Golf Club, Dubai Festival City, Dubai, Fri and Sat 11.30am to 3.30pm, Dhs275 with soft drinks, Dhs375 with house drinks. Taxi: Al Badia Golf Club. albadiagolfclub.ae
The grassy lawns around Reform are the ideal setting for a picnic, and the gastro-pub has stayed true to its British roots with a host of classic sandwich fillings. Egg and cress, cheese and pickle, ham and mustard; all your childhood favourites are here, together with a fresh Ploughman’s selection, a beetroot and goat’s cheese salad, and individual carrot cake muffins. Posh picnickers opting for the deluxe hamper will find smoked salmon and roast beef sandwiches inside, plus mini scotch eggs, gourmet salads and scones with jam and clotted cream.
The Lakes, Emirates Hills, Dubai, Sat to Thur, Dhs100. Tel: (04) 4542638. Taxi: The Lakes Club. reformsocialgrill.ae
Part picnic, part barbecue, Drift at the cool beach club Zero Gravity is a lazy Saturday on the beach where the dress code is swimwear. Arrive early, settle into your spacious cabana and nibble on a platter of pineapple and melon, before graduating to big plates of cold meats, smoked salmon, cheese, chutney, crackers and breads. That’s the basic package and comes in at Dhs733 for groups of between two and five people (the cost is split between the group). Upgrade to the barbecue package for Dhs933 and it starts to get interesting. In front of your cabana is a beefy BBQ accompanied by side tables groaning with bowls of chicken marinated in thyme and rosemary, mini burgers, boerwors, prawns, and steaks in a coriander marinade. Grab the giant tongs and cook the food yourself, although a chef is on hand to provide tips. Both packages give you the choice of two of the following three drink items: a bucket of five beers, a big glass urn of spritzer, or a bottle of wine. As the numbers in the group increase, so do the portions. For example, a group of between six and ten people will share the cost of Dhs1,333 for the basic cold platter package, or Dhs1,777 for the BBQ option, plus a choice of four of the drink items. When the sun goes down, live music kicks off, enhancing the Miami Beach club vibe.
Skydive Dubai Drop Zone, Al Sufouh, Dubai Marina, Sat, Dhs733. Tel: (04) 3990009. Taxi: Skydive Dubai. 0-gravity.ae
OR TAKE A PICNIC TO GO…
Sandwich making skills not up to much? No problem. Just pre-order a picnic hamper.
This catering firm will happily whip up everything you need to fill a wicker hamper. Their picnic lunch spread includes mini quiches, brie, chicken drumsticks, sandwiches, rolls, fruit and cake, and costs Dhs90 per person.
Perfect for hungry families, BookMunch’s hampers are filled with mini versions of the café’s popular sandwiches, signature salads, a selection of cheese, nuts and pickles, pinwheel sandwiches for little ones and mini muffins, chocolate pots and cakes. The standard hamper will feed two to three people, or you can opt for a bigger basket for four to six picnickers. Early risers will like the breakfast baskets, which are filled with BookMunch muffins, croissants, bread and jam, freshly cut fruits, granola, and muesli. Everything you need for a stellar start to the day.
Al Wasl Square, Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah, Dubai, Dhs220. Tel: (04) 3884006. Taxi: Al Wasl Square. bookmunchcafe.com
Lime Tree Café
Larger groups should look no further than the Lime Tree Cafe. The catering team can prepare a minimum of five picnic boxes (each one serves two adults and costs Dhs285) loaded with Lime Tree club sandwiches, scones, relish, salads, fruit, cheese and chutneys. Perfect for a big day out – just remember to order 48 hours in advance.
Next to Spinney’s supermarket, Beach Road, Jumeirah 1. Tel: (04) 3498498. Taxi: Spinney’s Beach Road. thelimetreecafe.com
SO, WHERE TO TAKE IT….
If it’s peace and quiet you’re after, then JBR is best avoided. But if you want to be at the heart of the action, hit the sand in front of The Beach. If you run low on supplies, you can grab some extra sandwiches from one of the many beachside cafes.
In Safa Park you’ll find 64 hectares of lush green grass to choose from. Pick a spot with a lake view, or next to a BBQ area if you want to add some grilled meats to your picnic spread.
Umm Suqeim Park
This park has beach access for those who want to dine by the water, plus plenty of grass for those who’d rather not get sand in their sandwiches. There are kids’ play areas and toilet facilities too.
Zabeel Park is the new home of the weekly Ripe Market, so Friday afternoon is prime picnic time. After you’ve tucked in, you can soak up the laidback ambience, listen to live music, and browse the stalls.
Dubai Polo And Equestrian Club
We can’t think of anything more civilised than a picnic with a side of polo. The season has kicked off again, so pack up your picnic basket and take in the action on match days at Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club.
Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, Studio City, Dubai, Dhs150. Tel: (04) 3618111. Taxi: Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club. poloclubdubai.com