Date night: The most romantic restaurants in Dubai
If you’re out to impress, try booking one of these romantic Dubai spots…
With its endless Instagram opportunities, waterfront locales and iconic dining experiences, Dubai has romantic restaurants in spades.
To help you find the perfect date night destination, we’ve rounded up some of the best, whether you’re after a blissful beachfront setting, fabulous fountain views, or the perfect Italian restaurant to have your Lady and the Tramp moment.
Here are 25 of the most romantic restaurants in Dubai, perfect for your next date night.
Spectacular views, quality seafood and the opportunity to arrive by boat make 101 a wow-worthy restaurant that ticks all the boxes. It’s found in the private marina off the jetty of One&Only The Palm, and boasts tables over the water as well as a seaside lounge and indoor seating with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out across the Gulf. Expect plenty of seafood, including a raw bar and seasonally changing catch of the day. For the best start, kick off with cocktails at Jetty Lounge at One&Only Royal Mirage, and take the complimentary boat over to dinner.
101 Dining Lounge & Bar, One&Only The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, Mon to Sat noon to 1am. Tel: (04) 440 1030. oneandonlyresorts.com
Book an alfresco table at sunset in this stunning Portuguese restaurant and you’ll instantly feel worlds away from the bustle of Dubai. There’s uninterrupted sea views and a sleek infinity pool, which perfectly reflects the dusky sky. Start with a drink at Infinity Bar, then share mod Portuguese plates from chef José Avillez.
Tasca, Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Jumeriah, Tue to Sun 6.30pm to 11pm, Fri brunch 12.30pm to 4pm. Tel: (04) 777 2222. mandarinoriental.com
Maine Land Brasserie
With its soaring ceilings, glittering chandeliers and gleaming marble surfaces, the Maine Land Brasserie has serious style cred. The menu’s equally enchanting, with a raw bar, seafood-focused starters and fresh fish or steaks straight off the grill. It also covers all of those date-night bases with an extensive plant-based selection.
Maine Land Brasserie, ME Dubai, The Opus, Business Bay, daily 12pm to 10.30pm. Tel: (04) 577 6680. themaine.ae/landbrasserie
Cé La Vi
On of the hottest openings in Dubai in 2020, Cé La Vi gives good ‘gram. This Southeast-Asian transplant, on the 54th floor of the Address Sky View, has fast become a default date-night destination. If you can steal yourself away from the view, you’ll find chef Howard Ko’s mod-Asian menu equally alluring.
CÉ LA VI, Level 54, Address Sky View, Downtown Dubai, . Tel: (04) 582 6111. facebook.com/celavidubai
Perched atop Raffles hotel is Tomo, one of Dubai’s most underrated restaurants. This hidden gem is a little further out than some of the more mainstream options, but for the Downtown skyline views and epic sunsets, it’s so worth the trip. Although the tables outside are more for drinks and bar bites, it’s worth kicking off your evening there before heading inside to one of the more intimate tables for dinner.
Tomo, Raffles Dubai, Dubai, daily 12.30pm to 3.30pm, and 6.30pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 3577888. raffles.com
Drift Beach Dubai
Forget about reserving the romance for date night – this chic Provencal-inspired restaurant, at One&Only Royal Mirage, is an all-day affair, taking you from sun-kissed breakfasts to lingering lunches and terrace dinners under a blanket of stars.
Drift Beach Dubai, One&Only Royal Mirage, Sun to Tue 9am to 7pm, Wed to Sat 9am to 11pm. Tel: (04) 315 2200. driftbeachdubai.com
The combination of great views, incredible food, friendly service and upbeat atmosphere is what makes Alici one of our favourite date night spots in Dubai. Inspired by the Amalfi Coast, the first floor terrace is the place to be, with whitewashed walls, wicker furniture and views out to the sea and JBR.
Alici, Bluewaters, Dubai, daily, 12pm to 4.30pm and 6pm to 1am. Tel: (04) 275 2577. alici.com
The dramatic entrance of Akira Back sets the tone for a memorable date night, home to artful Japanese fare and cutting-edge decor. If the weather permits, book a spot on the terrace. It’s got a sultry, LA rooftop vibe that Akira Back restaurants are synonymous for, with dim lighting interrupted by neon pink hues, a floating bar surrounded by water, and smooth house hits providing the perfect soundtrack to the setting.
Akira Back, W Dubai – The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, daily 7pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 245 5555. marriott.com
Folly’s indoor space is lovely, but its the expansive outdoor terrace that really makes it memorable. It has great views of the Madinat waterways and Burj Al Arab, plus the surrounding foliage makes you feel like you’re in a secret garden. Acclaimed chefs Nick Alvin and Scott Price man the pans, so you know whatever hits the table is going to be good. Head there for sundowners and stay for the excellent tasting menu to round-off the perfect date night evening.
Folly by Nick & Scott, Souk Madinat, Jumeirah, Sun to Thu noon to 2.30pm, Fri brunch 1.30pm to 4.30pm, dinner daily 7pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 430 8535. folly.ae
What makes Il Borro so special isn’t its stunning views (although it does have a lovely terrace that looks out to the waters of Jumeirah Al Naseem), nor its contemporary interiors, which still manage to feel intimate. What gives Il Borro the wow-factor is its dedication to serving authentic Italian fare, made with Italian-sourced products. While its modern Dubai outpost may be world’s away from its Tuscan home, the team behind What’s On’s Restaurant of the Year 2017 and 2018 remain dedicated to creating a taste of Italy in Dubai, and do it to an unfalteringly high standard.
Il Borro Tuscan Bistro, Jumeirah Al Naseem, Jumeirah St, Dubai, daily noon to 4.30pm and 6pm to 1am. Tel: (04) 275 2555. ilborrotuscanbistro.ae
With wraparound views that stretch from Dubai Marina to the Burj Al Arab, a sultry Japanese vibe and an expansive terrace for sunset sips, Hanami on Palm Jumeirah has serious swagger. The mod Japanese menu hits all the right notes, with sushi, sashimi and gyoza making perfect date-night fodder.
Hanami, Andaz Dubai The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, Mon to Sat 6pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 581 1234 facebook.com/hanamidxb/
With its muted colour palette of smooth concrete greys, white painted woods and cream walls, warmed by perfect lighting and brought to life by the whiff of fresh fish, Gaia is arguably one of Dubai’s most attractive restaurants. The Greek-accented menu features a raw bar, grilled seafood and delectable desserts that will have you duelling over the last spoonful.
Gaia, DIFC Gate Village 4, Dubai, daily 12pm to 4pm and 7pm to 11.30m. Tel: (04) 241 4242. gaia-dubai.com
Prove that you have your finger on the pulse of the Dubai dining scene with a night at one of the city’s hottest openings. Since it opened at the start of September, a seat at new Bali-inspired beach bar and restaurant Koko Bay has become one of the most coveted in town. Sink your toes into the sand and sit back with cocktails and a selection of Euro-Asian appetisers.
Koko Bay, Palm West Beach, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, Sat to Wed 12pm to 12am, Fri and Sat 12pm to 1am. Tel: (04) 572 3444. @kokobayuae
Bleu Blanc Oysters & Grill
During the day, Bleu Blanc is a chic French eatery, but come nightfall the romance factor really ramps up. Low lighting and a sultry soundtrack offer the ideal spot to dine with a loved one. Pick a table by the window for views out to the Creek, which looks beautiful at night, reflecting the lights of Business Bay. On the menu you’ll find a mix of modern European dishes, with a focus on freshly shucked oysters and woodfired meats.
Bleu Blanc, Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai, Business Bay, Tue to Thu 6pm to 1am, Fri 1pm to 4pm, 7pm to 1am. Tel: (04) 512 5533. bleublanc-dubai.com
Avli by Tasha’s
The olive trees and sandstone walls at the entrance set the tone for an evening at Avli, the cool, cavernous space in DIFC. Kickstart date night with an Aegean Spritz at the bar, before sharing a procession of modern Greek plates, including snack-sized mezedes and mouthwatering mains.
Avli by tashas, Ground Floor, Gate Village Building 9, DIFC, Dubai, Sat to Wed noon to midnight, Thu and Fri noon to 1.30am. Tel: (04) 359 0008. avlibytashas.com
The jewel atop the Four Seasons Jumeirah crown, Mercury Lounge will transport you to the French Riviera. For full romance points, score one of the cosy cabanas that line one side of the bar, which deliver a luxe seaside feel.
Mercury Lounge, Four Seasons Jumeirah, Jumeirah 2, Dubai, 6pm to 2am Sat to Tues, 6pm to 3am Weds to Fri. Tel: (04) 270 7777. mercurydubai.com
One of our favourite outdoor bars, Iris Dubai has been operating from a DIFC pop-up space for the last few months, taking the spot once home to Gaucho. However, the lively bar has now returned to its stunning home in Dubai’s Meydan – if you’re looking for an alfresco date night with smart cocktails and a killer soundtrack, this is it.
Iris Meydan, Meydan Grandstand, Sun to Wed 7pm to 2am, Thu 5pm to 3am, Fri 1pm to 3am, Sat 5pm to 2am. irisdubai.com/iris-meydan/
Sometimes, the laidback date nights are the best. We love Bussola in equal measure for its gorgeous sea views and brilliant made-to-order pizzas. It’s split into two floors: the ground floor is a sophisticated Italian restaurant with stunning Mediterranean-style terrace and the upstairs is a dedicated pizzeria, perfect for relaxed alfresco nights.
Bussola, The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Sun to Thurs, 12pm to 3pm, 7pm to 11pm, Friday & Saturday, 12pm to 12am. Tel: (04) 511 7373. bussoladubai.com
If you’re after impressive views and a strong contender the best steak in the city, you need to check out Prime 68. Located way up on the, you guessed it, 68th floor of JW Marriott Marquis, Prime68 is the perfect spot to enjoy a steak, with panoramic views of Downtown Dubai.
Prime68, 68th floor, JW Marriott Marquis, Dubai, daily 6pm to 12am, Fri brunch 1pm to 4pm. Tel: (04) 414 3000. jwmarriottmarquisdubailife.com
With its beachfront location, whitewashed fit-out and twinkly lights, it’s not hard to see why Fish has become one of the city’s most romantic spots. As well as tables in the garden, there is seating right on the beach, so you can enjoy the restaurant’s vibrant Turkish, Greek and Mediterranean dishes with your toes in the sand.
Fish Beach Taverna, Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, daily noon to 11pm. Tel: (04) 511 7373. fish-dubai.com
If you’re looking for a place where it’s easy to have a conversation without shouting over other guests, you’ll want to check out under-the-radar fine-dine Marea, in DIFC. This handsome restaurant is a huge hit in New York, thanks to its carefully crafted Italian menu by Michelin-starred chef Michael White.
Marea, Gate Village 7, DIFC, daily 12pm to 3pm and 7pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 583 6366. marea.ae
Gregoire’s Kitchen by Ossiano
Ossiano in Atlantis is flanked by the gigantic Ambassador Lagoon, an 11-million-litre aquarium that’s home to 65,000 marine animals – try and book a table right beside the glass for mesmerising views at this romantic restaurant in Dubai. Settle in for a progressive tasting menu from chef Gregoire Berger as you watch sharks, rays and fish glide by.
Ossiano, Atlantis The Palm, Thu to Sun 6pm to 10pm. Tel: (04) 426 2626. atlantisthepalm.com
With its eye-popping views from the 122nd floor, and the title of world’s tallest restaurant, At.mosphere is a Dubai icon for good reason. But it’s not just the views that are wow-worthy – its modern European menu is served up for breakfast, lunch and dinner in the restaurant, with an elegant afternoon tea available in the lounge during the afternoon, and an upscale a la carte lounge menu and cocktails available until late night.
At.mosphere, Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai, daily, 7am to 10.30pm restaurant, 7am to 2am lounge. Tel: (04) 888 3828. atmosphereburjkhalifa.com
Perched on stilts at the end of a wooden pier overlooking the sparkling waters of the Gulf, Pierchic is hard to beat when it comes to romantic restaurants in Dubai. Enjoy sundowners at the outdoor bar before heading indoors to watch the waves from an ocean view table for two.
Pierchic, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, daily 1pm to 3pm and 7pm to 11.30pm (currently closed). Tel: (04) 432 3232. jumeirah.com
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Eauzone’s beachfront location makes it the perfect spot to enjoy dinner for two as the sun goes down. Located in the dreamy One&Only Royal Mirage, this Asian fusion restaurant has a prime spot overlooking the water. It’s even more beautiful at night, with picture-perfect views of the Arabian Gulf illuminated by twinkling lights. Book a table in one of the restaurant’s floating majlis and enjoy your meal in your own little world.
Eauzone, The One and Only Royal Mirage, Dubai, daily 10am to 10pm. Tel: (04) 3999 999. oneandonlyresorts.com/royal-mirage
The Burj Al Arab’s pinnacle fine-dining restaurant has old-school opulence in spades. The menu is classed as modern European, with plenty of seafood on offer, plus it has a dreamy underwater feel thanks to the floor-to-ceiling aquarium. This lavish setting comes with a hefty price tag, though, with a seven-course tasting menu priced at Dhs995 per person.
Al Mahara, Burj Al Arab, daily 12.30pm to 3.30pm, 7pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 301 7600. jumeirah.com
Images: Instagram/ Supplied