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 28 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.
101 Dining Lounge & Bar, One&Only The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, Mon to Sat noon to 1am. Tel: (04) 440 1030. oneandonlyresorts.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
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
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
Avli by Tashas
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
During the day, Bleu Blanc is a chic Mediterranean 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 wood-fired meats.
Bleu Blanc, The St. Regis Downtown, Dubai, Business Bay, Tues to Sun 6pm to 12am (closed Mon). Tel: (04) 512 5533. bleublanc-dubai.com
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
Cé La Vi
One of the hottest openings in Dubai last year, 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. @celavidubai
Originally from Beirut, Clap is the rooftop Japanese restaurant, and the highest spot in DIFC. The terrace looks out across the glimmering Downtown Dubai, but if you’d prefer a spot further indoors, the view is just as delightful. With an open-kitchen on one side, giving an insight into the culinary experts at work, and a large 360 degree bar on the other, Clap is always a hive of activity.
Clap Dubai, Gate Village 11, DIFC, daily 12pm to 5pm and 6pm to 3am. Tel: (0)4 569 3820. claprestaurant.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
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
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
Folly’s indoor space is lovely, but it’s 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
With its coastal colour palette of sandy hues and cerulean blue, with warm lighting and pops of cerise bougainvillea, 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
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
Winner of What’s On Nightlife‘s best date night spot, Indochine has all you need for the perfect evening with your beau. Choose from a table in the dining room, a comfy seat in the lounge area, or find a spot in the newly reopened botanical terrace.
Indochine Dubai, Gate Precinct Building 3, DIFC, Mondays 7pm to 2am. Tel: (0)4 208 9333. @indochinedxb
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, a seat at 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
La Cantine du Faubourg
Oozing with Parisian flair, La Cantine du Faubourg has a certain charm and je ne sais quoi, with fresh, modern interiors and a stunning alfresco terrace. For an elegant evening in front of the DJ booth, book a table for dinner and enjoy the full menu of a la carte treats.
La Cantine du Faubourg, Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Dubai, Sun to Thurs 12pm to 2am, Fri & Sat 12pm to 5pm, then 7pm to 2am. Tel: (0)4 352 7105. lacantine.ae
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
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 5pm and 7pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 583 6366. marea.ae
Mimi Kakushi transports you to 1920s Osaka, a glamorous homage to the avant-garde oriental era, with a sultry amalgamation of big round leather booths, a large mahogany-esque bar with a cool jazz soundtrack playing in the background. Enjoy sharing plates boasting signature dishes such as sashimi, sushi, tempura and gyoza. For mains try the beautifully tender Kagoshima Wagyu beef.
Mimi Kakushi, Four Seasons Resort Restaurant Village, daily 6pm to 2am. Tel: (0)4 379 4811. mimikakushi.ae
This contemporary restaurant at Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai, is home to a huge Warayaki grill right in the centre (because, where else would you put it?), with flames that burn at 900°C and shoot two metres into the air. Try the Wagyu short rib for a standout dish.
Netsu, Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai, daily 6.30pm to 11.30pm (or 12.30am on weekends). Tel: (04) 777 2232. mandarinoriental.com/dubai
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
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
This upscale restaurant is designed with 1930s Shanghai in mind, and all the glamour of that time. The restaurant and private dining area with plush, rich-hued interiors and art-deco detailing all pay tribute to Asian traditions.
Shanghai Me, Podium Level, Gate Village 11, DIFC, daily 12pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 564 0505. @shanghaimedxb
Getting a reservation at this new hotspot is a bit like winning the lottery; not easy to do but well worth the effort. The Brazilian-inspired restaurant offers panoramic views of the city below, from its 51st floor location.
SushiSamba Dubai, Palm Tower, Palm Jumeirah, Saturday to Tuesday 7pm to 2am, Wednesday to Friday 7pm to 3am. @sushisambadubai
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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, Dubai, Jumeirah, daily 6.30pm to 11pm, lunch Thu to Sat 12.30pm to 3pm. Tel: (04) 777 2222. mandarinoriental.com
A stunning setting with an even more attractive menu, Twiggy is a gem well-worth the traffic jam. Tables overlook the infinity pool and Dubai skyline, while you dine on fresh seafood platters and delicate carpaccio, beef tatare and fresh sushi. Be sure to get there before dusk to catch the most mesmerising view of the sunset.
Twiggy, Park Hyatt, Dubai Creek, daily 12pm to 2am. Tel: (0)4 602 1105. @twiggydubai
Images: Instagram/ Supplied