We bid a fond farewell to the fallen and welcome a slew of new restaurants with open arms…

It’s been an exciting year for the hospitality industry in Dubai with a plethora of new restaurants, hotels, bars, and beach clubs. Here, we list some of the latest entrants to the city’s thriving dining scene, as well as bidding goodbye to the restaurant dropouts of 2023. Where have they gone? What will become of them? Let’s find out…

Hello: Signor Sassi

Signor Sassi, the iconic Knightsbridge hotspot opened at the new chic dining destination, St Regis Gardens, on the rooftop of Nakheel Mall in October 2023. The venue aesthetic is quintessential Italian with touches of Dubai glamour. On the menu, you’ll find delicate antipasti, traditional pasta, succulent meat dishes, and beautifully presented seafood.


Goodbye: Marea


All the way from New York, fine dining Italian restaurant Marea closed its doors after a four-year stint in DIFC. The restaurant was known for its delectable Italian dishes, tasty cocktails, and sophisticated interiors. We’re still waiting to find out what will take its place in Gate Avenue, so stay tuned.

Hello: The Guild

 Located in ICD Brookfield Place, The Guild is the latest restaurant to join DIFC’s robust dining scene and the newest brainchild of hospitality big guns EatX. The sophisticated, multi-tasking venue is divided into five distinct spaces, each catering to different moods and desires: The Nurseries, The Potting Shed, The Rockpool, The Salon, and The Aviaries.


Goodbye: Indochine

New York’s popular celebrity haunt, Indochine closed its doors after four years in DIFC. The Dubai outpost buzzed to life the second it opened, backed by VKD Hospitality, which is also responsible for the likes of Miss Lily’s and Honeycomb Hi-Fi.  In its place, world famous Chinese hotspot Mr Chow will open up soon.

Hello: Tago Mago

 Set across a two-storey lighthouse at Azure Residences on the Palm, a shiny new concept opened earlier this year, taking the spot of Il Faro. From Rikas Hospitality, the brains behind Twiggy, Kyma and Mimi Kakushi comes Tago Mago, a Balearic-inspired Spanish restaurant, home to a restaurant, bar, beach club, and soon, an adult-only pool.


Goodbye: Train Beach Club

It was a favoured spot for workouts and tan-topping for fitness fanatics in Dubai, but sadly, Train Beach Club closed its doors back in June, after four years at La Mer. The whole of La Mer, including the waterpark, cinema, and restaurants, have since closed following the redevelopment and highly anticipated opening of J1 Beach.

Hello: Soul Kitchen

Arguably one of the coolest new additions to Dubai’s nightlife scene, Beirut-export Soul Kitchen opened its doors in Business Bay earlier this year. Brought to us by The Factory People, Soul Kitchen has music at its heart, as well as unique art pieces, exciting cocktails, and flavours inspired by the Lebanese Diaspora.


Goodbye: Shakespeare & Co

22 years since opening its first restaurant in Dubai, quirky homegrown chain Shakespeare and Co. officially closed all 32 of its UAE locations this year, marking the end of an era. The Victorian-inspired café was a community hub for many long-term Dubai residents, known for its eclectic menu, particularly European delicacies with a Lebanese twist.

Hello: Dinner by Heston

In February 2023, the world’s first Atlantis The Royal opened its doors in Dubai, and with it, eight brand new celebrity chef restaurants including the iconic Dinner by Heston. Helmed by gastronomic magician Heston Blumenthal, Dinner’s third outpost in Dubai received a well-deserved Michelin Star just months after opening. The menu takes guests on a journey through medieval Britain with historic recipes dating back to the 1300s.


Goodbye: Hell’s Kitchen

Last month, Bluewaters said farewell to its only hotel, Caesars Palace, which is to be rebranded as a Banyan Tree. With the takeover, Gordon Ramsey’s Hell’s Kitchen has also officially closed and construction on the new restaurant, a French dining concept called Alizee, has commenced.

Hello: Agora

Agora Halloween

The Dubai Edition Hotel welcomed a stunning new cocktail bar during the summer, called Agora. Inspired by Grecian charm, the botanical cocktail bar and social club is the next big place to see and be seen for the sophisticated Downtown crowd.


Goodbye: Inti

INTI rooftop terrace

It was a short but sweet run for Inti, a rooftop restaurant and lounge which opened in the Dubai Edition Hotel in 2022. Found on the 23rd floor of the Downtown Dubai hotel, the space was known for its brilliant views of the Burj Khalifa and Latin American-style dishes.

Hello: Eleven Green

After accruing a small legion of fans across the city with their award-winning Bull Burger, paella pop-ups, and sell-out supper clubs, the team behind Tano’s at 8 opened a new burger joint, Eleven Green, in Jumeirah’s Meyan Mall. Order the famous bull burger followed by the fudge à la mode, you won’t be disappointed.


Goodbye: CMP Bar & Grill

Back in May, it was announced that The Pointe on Palm Jumeirah would close for redevelopment. The Pointe was home to the record-breaking Palm fountains overlooking Atlantis The Palm, as well a number of popular restaurants including casual dining steakhouse CMP Bar and Grill, which is set to reopen in February 2024 as The Rare.

Hello: Above Eleven

Dubai is the perfect setup for whiling away on a rooftop, from sundowners by the sea to the urban lights of Downtown. Earlier this year, Bangkok-born Above Eleven opened on the 14th floor of Marriott Resort Palm Jumeirah. The box-ticking spot offers a Japanese-Peruvian menu, spectacular views, cocktails, vibes, and flawless service.


Goodbye: Baby Q

After ten years, Media One Hotel’s popular bar and trusty haunt, Baby Q (formerly Q43) officially closed its doors forever. The purple-hued venue, perched on the 43rd floor, was known for its ladies’ nights, after-work happy hours, and late-night parties. An irreplaceable spot, the floor will be used as offices and co-working spaces.

Images: Provided/Social