In a duel of dairy, or a game of cones if you will, What’s On tested Dubai’s ice cream – far and wide – and here are the joints that came up tops.

From truly decadent to dairy free, there’s something for everyone in this list…



Gelato is just a fancy word for ice cream, right? Wrong. “When you make ice cream it’s mostly air,” explains Patricia Olguin Borja, the lady in charge at Dri Dri, an authentic Italian gelateria in Dubai. “But gelato uses the traditional Italian process of mantecazione, which means it doesn’t have any air in it. It’s just a little cream, milk and the ingredients that provide the flavour.”

Continuously churning the liquid in a special gelato machine while it freezes, the mantecazione process takes 20 minutes. The gelato here is made fresh in-house and contains no artificial flavours, colours or emulsifiers. Some ingredients have clocked up a few air miles such as cocoa from Brazil and vanilla beans from Madagascar.

dri dri gelato

The gelato-making process. 


Mango sorbet at Dri Dri.

As well as gelato, Dri Dri also makes sorbet and the selection of desserts here changes daily.

Small portion: Dhs19

The Beach, JBR, Dubai, Sat to Wed 10am to midnight, Thur and Fri 10am to 1am. Tel: (04) 5530647. Taxi: The Walk, JBR. 

2. GROM 

This oddly named new café has set up in BoxPark and is serving gelato flavours such as tiramisu and mandarin. It uses natural ingredients so that second scoop is guilt-free.

Small portion: Dhs19

BoxPark, Al Wasl Road, Dubai, daily 10am to midnight. Taxi: Al Wasl Road, level with Burj Khalifa.


casablanca cafe

Sat below the lanterns in Souk Madinat, the gelato is freshly made each day in flavours including cardamom, saffron and rosewater.

Small portion: Dhs15

Souk Madinat, Dubai, daily 10am to 11pm. Tel: (055) 4123920. Taxi: Souk Madinat.


fortnum mason

Looking out at the fountains outside The Dubai Mall, children and adults can merrily tuck into sundaes, including the iconic knickerbocker glory.

Small portion: Dhs37

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown, Dubai, Sun to Wed 9am to midnight, Thur to Sat 9am to 1am. Tel: (04) 3882627. Metro: Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall. 



Chocolate-coated Ras Gulla at Scoopi.  

With cream from Denmark and chocolate from France, Scoopi uses only the finest ingredients in its gourmet ice cream. The Black Diamond, Dubai’s most expensive dessert, costs Dhs2,999. It’s Madagascar vanilla ice cream with Iranian saffron, Italian black truffles, and topped with edible gold.


Lychee ice cream at Scoopi. 

Small portion: Dhs15

Jumeriah Beach Road, Umm Suqeim 2, Dubai, Mon to Wed 1pm to 1am, Thur and Fri 1 pm to 2am, Sun 6pm to 1am. Tel: (050) 1138497. Taxi: By Surf Café.


jam bar

How about a donut-ice cream sandwich? New on the scene, Jam Bar has a 1950s diner-feel, dishing up scoops and sundaes.

Small portion: Dhs15

The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, daily 8am to 1am. Tel: (04) 3308737. Metro: Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall.


This spot serves Arabic-inspired scoops such as rosewater and dates. You can rent their vintage gelato truck for parties.

Small portion: Dhs10

Al Barsha, Dubai, Sun to Thur 7am to 11pm, Fri and Sat 10am to 10pm. Tel: (04) 3232949. Taxi: Dubai American Academy. 


wanna banana

Boost your potassium levels with this creamy frozen banana-based dessert that makes for a healthy alternative.

Small portion: Dhs14

Kite Beach, Umm Suqeim 1, Dubai, daily 8.30am to 10pm. Tel: (04) 2650027. Taxi: Kite Beach. 


This café serves organic ice cream and ice cream-based shakes.

Small portion: Dhs12

Goldcrest Executive Tower, Cluster C, JLT, Dubai, daily 9am to midnight. Tel: (04) 4269062. Metro: JLT.



The frozen dessert is made from caramelised milk that’s been simmered for hours to gain a sweet and nutty taste.

Small portion: Dhs10

Blue Building 3, Al Nahda 2, Dubai, Sat to Wed 1pm to midnight, Thur and Fri 1pm to 2am. Tel: (04) 2558996. Taxi: Amman Street. 


Lactose-intolerant, but still love ice cream? Cone Street has you covered. Using rice or soymilk, this beachside café has no-dairy gelato as well as no-sugar gelato and sorbet.

Small portion: Dhs14

The Walk, JBR, Dubai, daily 10am to 2am. Tel: (04) 4486401. Taxi: Sofitel JBR. 


Cool off after a morning on the waves with a signature sundae or thick gelato shake.

Small portion: Dhs15

Kite Beach, Umm Suqeim 1, Dubai, Sun to Thur 7am to 10pm, Fri and Sat 7am to 11pm. Taxi: Kite Beach. 

– Dhs3,000 ice cream
– Food intolerance in Dubai 


Offering an unlimited choice of mix-ins with each scoop, you can create something special (and super calorific) here.

Small portion: Dhs14

Ibn Battuta Mall, Dubai, daily 10am to midnight. Tel: (04) 3669967. Metro: Ibn Battuta. 


ice cream lab

Straight out of Beverly Hills, this is an ice cream shop-turned-science lab. Made-to-order, you choose the fresh, natural ingredients and then watch as the team uses liquid nitrogen to instantly freeze it into an icy cold scoop.

Small portion: Dhs22

Level 2, The Dubai Mall, Downtown, Dubai, daily 10am to 3am. Tel: (04) 3308831. Metro: Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall. 


This smooth gelato is made fresh in-store every day using a family recipe that dates back to 1907, when Giuseppe Morelli first served it off the back of a bike in the UK. Opt for a simple scoop or try something more flamboyant such as a piled-high sundae with all the trimmings.

Small portion: Dhs17

The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, daily 10am to midnight. Tel: (04) 3399053. Metro: Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall. 

– For more from What’s On straight to your newsfeed, like us on Facebook.