Review: Billionaire Dubai at Taj Dubai, Business Bay
Can an immersive dinner really replace a night on the dance floor?
The announcement of Billionaire Dubai opening in Taj Hotel coincides with the city’s shift in nightlife offerings. Gone are the days of bopping on a heaving dance floor, instead swapped for classy dinners and live entertainment from a stage. Billionaire promises to stand out from the crowd in that respect, so we went to see for ourselves if that’s the case.
Despite running daily, the event doesn’t begin before 9pm so expect to be tucking into your main course no earlier than 11pm. The venue has been draped in theatrical red curtains, leading guests down to the dining hall, which has a prohibition era feel to it, featuring chandeliers, white table cloths, art deco table lamps and a grand stage.
While everyone remained seated, light-footed, energetic staff weaved in and out of tables, filling up empty glasses unprompted. We’re introduced to our first act early on, a talented showman who commands the room with grandeur presence and impressive singing abilities.
The entertainment has been devised by former Cirque Du Soleil director, Montserrat (Montse) Moré. Flawlessly choreographed, we’re treated to narrative-led dance routines, paired with vocals by three talented singers you won’t have seen in the usual Dubai spots.
All performers have been sourced from around the world to create a fresh and vibrant show never seen before in the UAE. Inbetween performances, the DJ pumps out tunes from a variety of genres, although we have to admit this feels a little disjointed at times, we’re told this is deliberate to keep the audience on their toes.
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Billionaire hasn’t thrown all of its focus to the stage though, as the kitchen competes for attention at the helm of chef Batuhan Piatti Zeyneloglu. The menu flits between pan-Asian and traditional Italian, offering maki rolls in a variety of combinations, wagyu carpaccio and tomato gnocchetti.
At times, the restaurant experience feels more akin to that you’d find in Ibiza, as each of the dancers take it in turns to bust a move from a central podium, while we tuck into our dishes below. Though, as we missed out on a European break this summer, it’s a welcome comparison.
The highlight of the evening was an incredible contemporary dance performance to Andra Day’s Rise Up. The powerful performance was delivered effortlessly by the male and female dance pair. We had our hands over our mouth for a solid four minutes while the duo conveyed a troubled love story through their strong yet delicate routine.
As the good vibes keep building, there’s a strong part of us that wants to get up and copy a few of those podium moves ourselves. But, while Covid restrictions remain firmly in place we’ll happily settle for a shoulder shuffle and a foot tap from the comfort of our seat, for now.
Billionaire Dubai, Taj Dubai, Business Bay, daily from 9pm, a la carte. Tel: (0) 4 510 3100. @billionairedubaiofficial