From the luxurious to the leisurely…

Afternoon tea is said to have originated in 1840, when the Duchess of Bedford would get peckish while waiting for dinner. Now it’s an institution and all-round lovely day out. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely affair or a more decadent one, here’s 18 of the city’s most indulgent afternoon teas to try in Dubai.

Al Bayt

If you’re looking for a more educational culinary experience, the tea specialists at this Arabian Afternoon Tea promises to take guests on a ‘unique journey through Arabian culture’. As well as 25 varieties of tea, there will be chicken shawarma, camel milk pistachio crème Brule and ataif velvet pancakes. If you’re looking for a more traditional experience, they cater to that too.

Palace Downtown, Downtown Dubai, Sun to Tue and Thur 2pm to 6pm Dhs170. Tel: (04) 888 3444. addresshotels.com

Aspen

If you need to refuel after a Mall Of The Emirates shopping trip, head to Aspen. This ‘His & Hers’ afternoon tea runs daily from 3pm to 6pm and comes with sweet treats such as soft tramezzini, chocolate wrapped cheesecake, Valrhona chocolate truffles, fresh berry tarts and caramelised tarte tatin.

Kempinski Hotel, Mall Of The Emirates, Al Barsha, daily 3pm to 6pm, Dhs175 per person or Dhs295 per couple. Tel: (04) 409 5999. kempinski.com

At.mosphere

Sure, the Burj Khalifa might be a hotspot for tourists. But don’t let them nab all the tables, as this may well be one of the best afternoon tea spots in the city. Here, visitors can take their pick from mini-sandwiches, patisseries and a 20-strong tea selection, all whilst listening to a live violinist. Fancy a more upmarket experience? The Luxurious Menu – yes, really – includes champagne and a main course such as roast chicken with seasonal veggies.

Atmosphere, Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai, Dubai, daily, noon to 4.30pm, Dhs327 to Dhs515. Tel: (04) 888 3828. atmosphereburjkhalifa.com

Beluga Restaurant & Lounge

Beluga

This elegant lounge found in Mandarin Oriental Jumeira has a daily afternoon tea featuring sweet and savoury treats, as well as caviar. Served every day between 2pm and 6pm, priced at Dhs220, the afternoon tea includes a choice of four snacks, including crab tart and freshly baked blueberry muffins.

Beluga Restaurant & Lounge, Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Jumeirah 1, Dhs220. Tel: (0)4 340 8882. mandarinoriental.com

Choix Patisserie and Restaurant

If you’re looking for a value option, head to Choix Patisserie and Restaurant, by renowned chef Pierre Gagnaire, which offers views of Dubai Creek. On the menu, work your way through sandwiches such as a classic croque monsieur or  Philadelphia cheese and beetroot. You’ll also get a series of pastries, cakes and scones.

Intercontinental Festival City, Festival City, Dubai, daily 2.30pm to 6pm, Dhs100. Tel: (04) 701 1136. intercontinental.com

The Lounge, Address Boulevard

Food served in a chest of drawers? That’s what you’ll find at Address Boulevard’s pretty Afternoon Tea. You’ll be treated to an exciting mix of decadent goodness of sweets and savouries, served within your own mini chest.

The Lounge, Address Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, daily 2.30pm and 6pm, Dhs189 for two. Tel: (04) 888 3444. addresshotels.com

Mashrabiya Lounge

Mashrabiya Lounge offers a range of afternoon teas, from the standard to the celebratory. If you’d like the basic package it’s Dhs155 per person with finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and selection of delectable desserts. If you’re having a baby or bridal shower with more than eight people, for Dhs165 each you’ll receive a complimentary cake, welcome drink, and 50 per cent spa voucher on top of your high tea.

Fairmont The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, daily, noon to 6pm, from Dhs155. Tel: (04) 457 3457. palmdining.com

Mosaico

It’s an unashamedly decadent affair at luxury hotel Palazzo Versace. Sample finger sandwiches and salads while those with a sweet tooth can choose from a selection of desserts including blanched hazelnut & milk chocolate panacotta and choux raspberry & velvet. You’ll get to unwind to the sounds of a vocalist and pianist whose genres include soul, blues and rocks.

Palazzo Versace, Culture Village, Al Jadaf, Dubai, daily, 7.30am to 10pm, Dhs300 or Dhs400 with 2 glasses of prosecco. Tel: (04) 556 8888. palazzoversace.ae

Plato’s

Atlantis’ daily afternoon tea, not only serves an assortment of homemade miniature cakes, desserts and traditional English sandwiches but also comes with some great packages. For Dhs150, you can enjoy the unlimited tea and coffee option for an hour and a half.

Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, daily 2pm to 5.30pm, from Dhs150. Tel: (04) 426 2000 atlantisthepalm.com

Raffles Salon

We’re big fans of the glam Floral Afternoon Tea at Raffles Dubai which – you’ve guessed it – is inspired by flowers. Served on floral bronze stands, the flower-shaped sweet and savoury treats include rose-shaped jasmine flavoured chocolate ganache and honey sablé, and rose shaped brie mousse and hibiscus cured salmon. Tea lovers can also rejoice, as the extensive tea selection includes darjeeling, jasmine blossom and green lemon.

Raffles Dubai, Sheikh Rashid Road, Wafi, Dubai, daily, 2pm to 7pm, Dhs175. Tel: (04) 324 8888. raffles.com/dubai

Ritz-Carlton Lobby Lounge

The Ritz-Carlton has two options for afternoon tea, traditional and royal. The Traditional Treat comes with a selection of savouries and pastries, two freshly baked scones, served with homemade preserves and Devonshire clotted cream and of course, tea.

The Ritz-Carlton, The Walk, JBR, Dubai, daily 2pm to 6pm. Tel: (04) 318 6150. ritzcarlton.com

Samovar Lounge

For an afternoon tea with a distinctly Middle Eastern twist, we recommend trying the Arabic Inspired option in the opulent surroundings of the One&Only Royal Mirage’s Arabian Court. This includes finger sandwiches, cold mezzeh and Arabic bread, crepes and sweets.

One&Only Royal Mirage, Al Sufouh, Dubai, daily 3pm to 6pm, Dhs165. Tel: (04) 399 9999. oneandonlyresorts.com

Skyview Bar

Head to the top floor of Burj Al Arab for its breath-taking views of both the Palm Jumeirah and The World islands. Expect traditional fare here – sandwiches, fresh pastries and cakes served with homemade jam and Devonshire clotted cream. Window seating is an additional Dhs100.

Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai, Sat to Thur, 3pm for window seats and 3.15pm for non-window, Dhs635. Tel: (04) 301 7600. jumeirah.com

Sidra Lobby Lounge

Sample a five-course menu at this upscale resort while listening to a pianist, cellist and violinist. As well as a dedicated salmon station, pick from a large selection of sandwiches, pastries and tea cakes, scones with clotted cream and 18 types of teas.

Habtoor Palace, Al Habtoor City, Dubai, Saturdays, 2pm to 5pm, Dhs225. Tel: (04) 435 5577. waldorfastoria3.hilton.com

SocietyDXB

This cute Jumeriah cafe offers a daily afternoon tea for Dhs150. Guest can enjoy a selection of sandwiches and homemade cakes, raspberry eclairs, scones with jam and fresh clotted cream from the beautiful tiered cake stand. Of course there will also be tea, which comes in English breakfast, green mango and peach, chamomile and earl grey varieties. 

SocietyDXB, Jumeriah 1, daily noon to 5pm, Dhs150. Tel: (04) 222 2811. societydxb.com

Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk

Voted What’s On Dubai‘s best Afternoon Tea 2021, Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk’s afternoon tea has a Parisian twist with the help of jeweller Robert Wan, who is known as ‘the Emperor of Pearls’. Cute cafe Bijou Patisserie invites guests to indulge in ‘Bijou de Perles’. A selection of sweet and savoury treats will be presented in a jewellery box, with the option for guests to choose their own Robert Wan pearl bracelet through a quick personality test.

Bijou Patisserie, Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk, Wafi, daily, Dhs145 with tea and coffee, Dhs660 including Robert Wan bracelet. Tel: (0)4 281 4111. sofitel-dubai-theobelisk.com

Sultan’s Lounge

This ottoman-inspired lounge in Jumeriah Zabeel Saray offers a decadent afternoon tea with sandwiches, cakes, scones and two hot beverages for Dhs220. The fancy sandwiches include poached lobster & shrimp, honey roasted turkey, saffron poached pears & blue cheese and beetroot smoked salmon.

Sultan’s Lounge, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Palm Jumeriah, daily 2.30pm to 6.30pm, Dhs220. Tel: (04) 453 0444. jumeriah.com

Tania’s Teahouse

Housed in a two-storey villa on Jumeirah Beach Road, Tania’s Teahouse is a foliage-filled pink haven. If you’re just looking for something to sip, there are 25 different flavours of tea that can be prepared iced, regular or into a latte. If you’re looking for food, try the Jumeirah Jane/James tea platter with bite-sized sandwiches and a variety of pastries and desserts.

Villa 779A, Jumeirah Beach Road, Sun to Wed 8am to 10pm, Thur 8am to midnight and Fri 9am to midnight, Dhs200 for two. Tel: (04) 324 0021. taniasteahouse.com