9 of Dubai's best waterfront restaurants
From beachfront to Creekside…
Whether it’s entertaining parents, a romantic dinner date or catching up with friends now it’s cooler, there are endless al fresco dining options across Dubai.
But if it’s top quality dishes with a side of water views you’re after, look no further. From dining with your toes in the sand to Creekside restaurants in Old Dubai, we’ve rounded up some of Dubai’s best waterfront restaurants.
Perched on the waterfront of Jumeirah Mina A Salam you’ll find Greek restaurant Shimmers. While it can be used as an insta-worthy shisha spot for sundown or late night, you’re missing a trick if you don’t check out their menu of traditional Greek dishes. Where Shimmers really stands out is the service: personable yet non-invasive, the staff manage the perfect balance of friendly and professional. It’s a casual setting, so you don’t need to dress up, although it sits right on Madinat Jumeirah’s private beach with spectacular views of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah – so you might want to for the Instagram shots alone.
Shimmers, Jumeirah Mina A’Salam, Dubai, daily 12pm to 5pm and 6pm to 12.30am. Tel: (04) 432 3232. jumeirah.com
The Beach House
No matter what time of the day you visit The Beach House, you’ll feel like you’re dining at a tropical resort, far from the bustling metropolis that is Dubai. We love its setting, whitewashed decor and menu that makes you feel at home no matter where you’re from. Bag a beachfront table at the edge of the restaurant, and you’re guaranteed a good time – and a gorgeous view. It’s got a great menu of international bites, but we love the oversized martini glass brimming with calamari – it’s a great way to kick off a lazy lunch.
The Beach House, Anantara The Palm, daily 12pm to 4pm, 7pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 567 8304. dubai-palm.anantara.com
With its white-washed ceilings, natural wooden furniture and turquoise accents, Key West feels like a high-end beach hut, especially with the sea views from its terrace. The menu serves up a fusion of foods from Florida, Latin America and the Caribbean. Make sure you try the lobster mac and cheese tots – crisp parcels generously filled with tender lobster, a gooey mix of gruyere and sharp cheddar, paired with a smoked tomato and fennel seed ketchup. For the best sundowner spot, head out to the beach lounge booths and watch the sun set behind the sea.
Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai, Pearl Jumeirah, off Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai, daily 6pm to 1am. Tel: (04) 376 6000. nikkibeachhotels.com
Brasserie du Park
Switching from French to a more Mediterranean offering was a great choice at Brasserie du Park, the waterfront restaurant on Dubai Creek. Found in the Park Hyatt, the menu is designed to be shared, and serves up top quality dishes that are found on most Dubai menus such as burrata and steak tartare with some more unique dishes such as a watermelon and feta salad and a braised beef cheek. You might come for the food but you’ll stay for the views – perch up on the terrace and you’ll be served up some of the best sundowner vistas Dubai has to offer.
Brasserie Du Park, Park Hyatt, Dubai Creek, Deira, daily 12pm to 3pm and 7pm to 12am. Tel: (04) 602 1814. thepromenadedxb.com
Sitting on a wooden-stilted jetty, the Mediterranean-style Boardwalk is a Dubai icon, having been around for more than 20 years (long before the Burj Khalifa was a mere twinkle in the skyline). It boasts an expansive terrace with panoramic view of the Dubai skyline as well as a rich menu of Mediterranean dishes. It’s also set to bring a new reason to head down on Sundays with the launch of a weekly jazz night which will see swing artist Rich Kennedy perform a live set each week. Pair it with a Royal Seafood platter (Dhs650) to share.
Boardwalk, Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, Dubai Creek, Sun to Thurs 12pm to 12am, Fri and Sat 8am to 12am. Tel: (04) 295 6000. dubaigolf.com
At the waterfront of the Palace Downtown is Thiptara, a Thai restaurant and terrace surrounded by Burj Lake. Out on the terrace which laces round the restaurant, you’ll find what is arguably the city’s best view of the Dubai Fountain. Perch up against the balcony to tuck into a menu of homemade Thai dishes, which range from traditional Bangkok street food dishes such as satay and steamed dim sum, to Thiptara specials including Phad Char Soy Shell – a spicy scallop dish loaded with flavours in an oyster sauce. The whole menu is created by the Thai chef, and you’ll be able to make your way through the menu to the sounds of Dubai Fountain’s dramatic shows.
Thiptara, Palace Downtown, Downtown Dubai, daily 6pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 888 3444. addresshotels.com
The Scene by Simon Rimmer
This Marina restaurant has become somewhat of an institution for British expats craving some home comforts. Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night, it serves up some great hearty British fare (their roast is one of our favourites), as well as regularly changing specials and a vegetarian menu that extends way beyond a simple salad. But don’t expect to be munching your way through a traditional roast with sub-standard views. The fourth floor restaurant and expansive terrace overlooks the stunning waters of the Marina, so you can tuck into beef and Yorkshire puddings with a side of twinkly Dubai Marina views.
The Scene, Pier 7, Dubai Marina, daily 8am to 2am. Tel: (04) 422 2328. thescenedubai.com
A relative newcomer to Dubai’s drinking and dining scene is Seven Sisters. The Lebanese export might be better known for its lively vibe by the bar, but it’s also home to a great menu that goes beyond the standard bar bites. There’s a raw bar which offers dishes such as sushi, nigiri and tartares, as well as a range of specialties such as satay chicken, braised short ribs and the ‘Seven Sisters Sliders’. Most nights of the week you’ll also be able to catch some live music, performed against the backdrop of the Dubai Canal.
Seven Sisters, JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, Business Bay, daily 6pm to 3am. Tel: (056) 775 4777. 7sistersdubai.com
Imagine taking a romantic boat trip to make it to dinner. Think you’ll have to travel to Venice? Wrong, Dubai’s Pai Thai restaurant serves up exactly that from its enviable location on the Madinat Jumeirah waterfront. On the menu, expect an array of traditional and more modern dishes, served up by an expert team of Thai chefs.
Pai Thai, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, daily 12.30pm to 3pm and 6pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 432 3232. jumeirah.com