The hottest restaurants, bars and clubs opening in Dubai in 2020
From brand new servings of homegrown concepts to some huge restaurants from London, Ibiza and Hong Kong…
In 2019, Dubai’s restaurant scene welcomed some incredible new additions. From acclaimed local chef Reif Othman came REIF, and Izu Ani opened not one, but two new restaurants; Aya in City Walk and Fika in Jumeirah Beach Hotel. An influx of international names also opened their doors, with the city welcoming a new burger joint from Salt Bae, Massimo Bottura’s first restaurant outside of Italy, two restaurants from Akira Back, New York’s Marea and Indochine and a celebrity hangout from Madrid, Amazonico, also made its Dubai debut.
But as the city edges ever closer to Expo 2020, it appears international restauranteurs are still hungry for a slice of the Dubai pie. From famed concepts from London, Ibiza and Hong Kong to more familiar Dubai-based names, here are the restaurants, bars and clubs opening their doors in Dubai in 2020.
Where: Gate Village, DIFC
Famed upscale Chinese restaurant, Hutong, is opening soon in the city’s financial centre. Hoarding has gone up on the edge of Gate Village, just off the roundabout where DIFC Gate 1 entrance is, advertising that the “occasionally firey” restaurant is coming soon. If you’re not familiar with the brand, Hutong is an upscale Chinese restaurant that focuses on Northern Chinese cuisine. Taking inspiration from the dishes served in the imperial palaces of what was then Peking, the menu covers all the bases of core Chinese cuisine; dumplings, dim sum, barbecue, plus a range of seafood, meat, vegetarian and tofu dishes.
Where: The Opus
London’s award-winning Roka restaurant is set to open in Dubai early next year. The fifth restaurant of the famed Japanese brand, Roka Dubai will be housed in the ME by Melia hotel, which will open its doors in February inside The Opus in Business Bay. The concept, the brainchild of Zuma co-founder Rainer Becker, will have space for 185 diners at its first floor location in Business Bay. Although no renders have yet been supplied, we’re told that the 7,437 square foot space will boast a robata at the centre, making the food – and kitchen – the central focus of guests’ dining experience. We also hope elements of the striking design of Roka’s Shochu Lounge in Charlotte Street (pictured above) make it into the design of the Dubai outpost.
Where: Sofitel WAFI
One of Amsterdam’s more popular concepts, Taiko is found inside the Conservatorium hotel, housed in an old music school. While in Amsterdam, upscale Japanese restaurant Taiko has transformed the drum room of the old music school, in Dubai, it’ll bring flavours of the Far East to the Sofitel WAFI.
The Arts Club
Where: ICD Brookfield, DIFC
It’s known as one of the most famous private members’ clubs in the world, founded by literary greats Charles Dickens and Anthony Trollope in London in the 1800s. And now The Arts Club is headed to Dubai. Set to open in September 2020, the famous creative arts hub will take up residency in the new ICD Brookfield development in the DIFC area. Spread over four floors and occupying more than 65,000 square feet The Arts Club will house a beautiful roof terrace, three restaurants; a modern European brasserie, contemporary Italian and a late-night spot for dancing and live music. There will also be private dining rooms, lounges, bars, a nightclub, cigar lounge, library and dedicated spaces for art exhibitions.
The Maine Land Brasserie
Where: The Opus
The Maine is arguably one of Dubai’s biggest homegrown restaurant success stories. Still popular more than three years after opening in JBR, 2019 saw the arrival of its second outpost in the cosy Studio One Hotel. And in 2020, the brand will branch out to a third restaurant, opening its doors in The Opus in Business Bay. This time around, the restaurant will be called The Maine Land Brasserie, and will be more like a city grill style brasserie, according to The Maine founder, Joey Ghazal. Designed for the Downtown crowd, guests can expect an in-land feel with a darker, more sultry design, and a heavy meat focus on the menu. Though, fans will be pleased to hear all of the best-loved dishes from the JBR menu will make their way to Business Bay.
Where: The Palm Tower, Palm Jumeirah
It’s one of the hottest restaurants in London, Miami and Amsterdam, and as of 2020, Dubai diners will be able to enjoy a taste of SUSHISAMBA. The stunning restaurant and bar will open on the 51st floor of the currently under construction The Palm Tower, which soars 240 metres above the Palm Jumeirah. If you’re not familiar with SUSHISAMBA, the restaurant serves up a mix of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisine. As well as high-end fusion dishes, diners at SUSHISAMBA Dubai will also be able to enjoy incredible views of The Palm, Arabian Gulf and Dubai Marina skyline.
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
Where: Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences
British celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal is opening a restaurant at the under-construction Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences on the Palm Jumeirah. The restaurant, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, will be the third outpost of the culinary concept, which already has locations in London and Melbourne. Found at the heart of the resort, the restaurant will include a dedicated bar, two outside terraces and a private dining room. It will serve up contemporary dishes inspired by historic gastronomic recipes dating back to the 1300s. One of the restaurant’s most iconic dishes is “Meat Fruit”, which looks exactly like a mandarin but is actually made from chicken liver parfait.
Where: Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences
Dubai is set to get another serving of celebrity chef excellence, as José Andrés is set to open his famed concept Jaleo in The Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences on The Palm. Tthe sharing menu will feature an array of inventive and traditional Spanish dishes, serving an assortment of signature tapas, savory paellas, as well as having a strong focus on Spanish cheeses. Promising guests an experience ‘like they never have [had] before’, it’s set to be the UAE debut for Andrés, who has several restaurants across America.
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O Beach Dubai
Where: Palm Jumeirah
It’s one of Ibiza’s best known venues, famed for its huge pool parties and legendary champagne spray shows and now it’s official, O Beach Ibiza is coming to Dubai next year, with doors looking set to be open in September 2020. While the location has still not been formally announced, it’s likely to be on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah. Alongside the iconic beach club, there’s also going to be a healthy restaurant called The Skinny Kitchen, famed Linekers Bar and a new nightclub. While we don’t know much more at the minute, what we do know is that partygoers can expect the same Ibiza party vibes, lavish pool parties and packed out crowds when the new venues open next year.
Fancy taking a dip at an open infinity pool 210 metres in the sky? That’s what you’ll get at AURA Skypool, which will open in Palm Jumeirah’s Palm Tower next year. Taking over the entire 50th floor of Nakheel’s eagerly-anticipated new Palm Tower hotel, the new 360-degree infinity pool will offer sun-seekers panoramic views of the iconic Palm Jumeirah and beyond. The new pool deck is described as an ‘island-themed oasis in the sky’, with a leafy botanical theme, roomy cabanas, in-pool sun loungers and crystal blue waters that blend seamlessly into the blue skies of Dubai.