The best special occasion restaurants in Dubai
For a dinner that will stay with you for the rest of your life…
Thanks to Dubai’s thriving culinary landscape, there’s no shortage of amazing restaurants to choose from. Yet, for those rare moments when only the absolute best is good enough, these handpicked gems transcend the ordinary. From the exquisite cuisine to impeccable service and captivating atmospheres, the following restaurants guarantee a celebration like no other.
Here are 12 fine dining restaurants in Dubai perfect for a special occasion:
Once in a while, you might find yourself looking for a restaurant that’s a little more special, intimate, and exciting than your average eatery. Dubai’s home-grown, Michelin-star awarded, Moonrise, is just that. Located up on the rooftop of Satwa’s Eden House, chef Solemann’s Dubai-inspired dishes are served over two seatings at 6.30pm and 9.30pm, where 12 lucky guests can enjoy an 11-course tasting menu. You eat all of this in a sleek, dimly lit, dining room where a serene ambiance is met with a glittering view of Downtown Dubai. Star dishes include the Sarookh and Scallop, Grilled Cheese, and the Alfredo Pasta.
Moonrise, Eden House, Al Satwa, Dubai. Monday to Saturday, 6.30pm and 9.30pm. Tasting menu Dhs850 per person. Tel:(0)506972946. @moonrise.xyz
Row on 45
If you’re a true foodie, then few experiences compare to Row on 45. An ambitious gastronomic experience spread across 17 courses, in a modular, multi-setting, sensorial safari, it’s Jason Atherton’s Dubai foray into tasting menu experiences. The courses at Row on 45 are split into three acts, a trio of phases each staged in their own complementary venue-within-a-venue, designed to simulate the experience of a dinner party in an old friend’s home. The opening scene plays out in the Champagne lounge, the next room is trimmed with an open kitchen, and a platoon of kitchen personnel going through military-level drills, and it all ends at The Grand Finale, where guests retire to the gloriously aristocratic eccentricity of the ‘Chef’s Library’.
Row on 45, Grosvenor House, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Tower Two, Dubai Marina, open Wed to Sat 7pm to 1am. Tel: (0)4 402 2222. rowon45dubai.com
Head chef Himanshu Saini’s immersive degustation menu ‘Tasting India’ celebrates 75 years of Independence taking diners on a tour of the four corners of India. The menu features 16 dishes, each of which is elegantly plated with finesse and beauty. The much-loved Indian restaurant was awarded two Michelin stars at the 2023 awards, which increased from one star in 2022. There are two seatings per evening, 6pm and 9pm and the experience is priced at Dhs850 per person.
Trèsind Studio, St. Regis Gardens, Palm Jumeirah, Tue to Sun, 6pm and 9pm, Dhs850. Tel: (0)58 895 1272, tresindstudio.com
Looking for a fun spot to enjoy dinner with friends? Zuma is (always) the answer. Despite being more than a decade old, Zuma remains one of the hottest culinary tickets in town, and if you want a side of energetic DJ sets with some of the best Japanese dishes in town, make a reservation in the Zuma lounge. There’s no bad day to visit – but weekends are particularly electric.
Zuma Dubai, Gate Village 6, DIFC. Tel: (0)4 425 5660, zumarestaurant.com
For an unforgettable underwater dining experience, Ossiano is the table to book. Awarded a Michelin-star, the stunning restaurant in Atlantis is flanked by the gigantic Ambassador Lagoon, an 11-million-litre aquarium that’s home to 65,000 marine animals. Tables are carefully arranged to ensure every table gets a front row seat to the mesmerizing views. Settle in for a progressive tasting menu from chef Gregoire Berger as you watch sharks, rays and fish glide by. The ingenuity of chef Grégoire Berger, along with a narrative approach to reimagining French cuisine, unrivalled hospitality, and exquisite presentation of dishes are what make this a must-try dining experience.
Ossiano, Atlantis, The Palm, daily 6pm to 12am, 11-waves tasting menu, Dhs1,250, wine-pairing Dhs845. Tel: (0)4 426 2626. atlantis.com/dubai
Dinner by Heston
Helmed by gastronomic magician Heston Blumenthal, Dinner opened at the ultra-luxury Atlantis the Royal last year. The restaurant, only the third in the world, also features a dedicated bar called Resonance by Heston, two outside terraces and a private dining room. The menu serves up contemporary dishes inspired by historic gastronomic recipes dating back to the 1300s. As well as receiving a coveted Michelin star, Dinner by Heston also received the Michelin Sommelier Award 2023. To start order the signature Meat Fruit and the sherried scallops, and for the main course, the powdered duck breast with a side of triple cooked chips.
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Atlantis The Royal, daily 6pm to 11pm. Tel: (0)4 426 2444, atlantis.com
Il Ristorante by Niko Romito
Housed inside the luxury fashion-focused Bulgari Resort Dubai is Il Ristorante – Niko Romito, one of only three, two Michelin Star restaurants in Dubai. The menu is overseen by chef Niko Romito, the culinary mastermind behind Bulgari Resorts’ Il Ristorante’s in Shanghai, Beijing, Milan and Paris, and celebrates the rich heritage of Italy through top-quality ingredients sourced from across the Italian regions. Blending the classic and contemporary – and coupling it with five-star service, it’s an interpretation of exquisite Italian flavours with modern simplicity.
Bulgari Resort Dubai, Jumeirah Bay Island, Dubai, Tel: (0)4 777 5555. bulgarihotels.com
Stay by Yannick Alleno
Innovative, inventive and intriguing, expect classic French dining at the highest level at STAY by Yannick Alléno, located at the One&Only The Palm. Awarded two Michelin stars for two consecutive years, there’s a less-is-more approach to both the simple, elegant aesthetic as well as the sophisticated menu that celebrates timeless French techniques. A seasonally changing menu offers the opportunity to try dishes such as scallops quenelle, truffle frangipane tart with poivrade artichokes and king crab.
Stay by Yannick Alléno, One&Only The Palm, Palm Jumeirah. Daily 7pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 440 1030. oneandonlyresorts.com
Tasca by Jose Avillez
It’s hard not to be bowled over by the views at Tasca. On one side, there are uninterrupted sea views and a sleek infinity pool, and on the other, shimmering skyline views with Burj Khalifa as the backdrop. Book an alfresco table at sunset in this stunning Portuguese restaurant and you’ll instantly feel worlds away from the bustle of Dubai. Tasca is the first international offering from culinary mastermind José Avillez, who pours the heart and soul of Portugal into every plate of this Michelin-starred menu. Genuine Portuguese flavours are transformed with contemporary twists, and paired with an extensive collection of Portuguese wines and a setting that few can rival. Start with a drink at Infinity Bar, then share flavour-filled Portuguese plates such as Algarve prawn ceviche, tuna tartare cones, and for mains the tiger prawn rice and piri-piri chicken.
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
Dubai’s ultimate bucket list restaurant, Pierchic, is a gorgeous ode to sun-soaked Italian summers perched out on a jetty over the water at Jumeirah Al Qasr. The terrace is neatly arranged tables of two over the Arabian Gulf, while inside you get the same feeling of being close to the ocean thanks to floor to ceiling windows. The menu is masterminded by Beatrice Segoni, and features dishes like bluefin tuna tartare and linguine alle vongole. It’s a must-try for an anniversary, or to just treat a special someone.
Pierchic, Jumirah Al Qasr, Sun to Thur 1pm to 2.30pm and 6.30pm to 10.30pm, Sat and Sun 1pm to 2.45pm and 6.30pm to 10pm. Tel: (0)4 432 3232. jumeirah.com
Step through the signature red velvet corridor into a world of grandeur and luxury at the fabulously fun party restaurant, Billionaire Dubai. A spread of Italian and modern Asian dishes curated by chef Batuhan Piatti Zeynioglu’s, pairs with a mesmerising display of singing, dancing and variety acts. Billionaire’s new creative director, Raffaele Riccio, is the architect of the show set to debut for this new season, and promises some of the most unique and wow-worthy performances you can find in the city. But the night doesn’t end there. After the show, the party makes its way to the Billionaire Club, where a line-up of top-class DJs keep the party going into the night.
Billionaire, Taj Dubai, Business Bay, Tuesday to Sunday 9pm to 3am. Tel: (0)56 678 3357. @billionairedubaiofficial
CÉ LA VI
CÉ LA VI is a gorgeous date night spot for when you’re looking for sweeping views as well as romantic vibes. This Southeast-Asian restaurant, 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