For rest and relaxation, Dubai’s waterside locations are hard to beat. In a city where life is usually fast-paced, the water offers a calming, romantic and atmospheric place to unwind. It’s no wonder that amongst Dubai’s most popular evening and weekend gathering places are waterside locations like Dubai Marina and Dubai Creek. Thus you’ll find in each place a range of dining options, from street food and cafes to high-end, world-class dining.
For a special occasion, an atmospheric waterside restaurant can offer a spectacular dining experience, from a romantic meal for two, to a grand celebration with friends and family, to an impressive VIP gathering. Here’s how to find the best waterside dining experience in Dubai.
1. Pick the right location
Luckily, Dubai is not short on waterside restaurants. There are beachside options, as well as many restaurants lining both Dubai Marina and the Dubai Creek, and other locations besides. The city’s diners are spoilt for choice.
If you haven’t already visited, try out a creekside dining experience at one of the best restaurants in Al Seef. This recently developed area on the shores of Bur Dubai offers some of the most spectacular views the city has to offer. Not only that, the whole area is a captivating mix of the best of contemporary Dubai as well as its fascinating heritage.
The luxury development has tastefully brought this historic trade area back to life and it now welcomes shoppers and diners who are keen to enjoy its unique atmosphere.
2. Choose a restaurant that’s not just about the food
There are a lot of fine chefs in Dubai and plenty of restaurants where you can enjoy a tasty plate of food. However, raise your expectations.
In Dubai, it’s possible to go far beyond just flavor and really enjoy a culinary experience that will dazzle all five senses. For an evening to remember, look for a restaurant like Doors which sits by the Dubai Creek. From gold-plated floor tiles and crystal chandeliers, to impeccable hospitality, to world-class artisan fusion cuisine and a mixology lab, this place is art, theater and the most incredible food combined.
3. Select the right companion
No less important than your choice of location is your choice of company. The perfect choice of companion for an enjoyable luxury dining experience is a person who will enjoy the food as much as you, of course. However, to truly relax, you also need someone in whose company the conversation will flow effortlessly. You’ll be enjoying their companionship for a few hours, so make sure you take people you love to spend time with.
4. Insist on a view
A view of the water is going to make your dining experience all the more magical. Watching glistening reflections of Dubai’s cityscape appear to dance upon the calm waters is one of the city’s most calming, romantic and soothing ways to spend an evening. Be sure to let your choice of restaurant know that you’d like a view of the water when you make your reservation.
5. Go Al Fresco
Nothing is more refreshing than spending an evening outdoors after hiding away from the glare of the midday sun. Head out for sundown as the temperatures cool and enjoy views of the setting sun and a cooling waterside breeze as the perfect backdrop to your evening. Al fresco dining is understandably popular in Dubai and many restaurants feature breathtaking outdoor terraces where you can take in the stunning views this city has to offer.
6. Arrive in style
When you choose a waterside dining spot, you open up a different option for arriving in style. Getting to the restaurant by boat or water taxi means your experience begins with the journey on the way there.
A dhow cruise or private yacht tour is also a perfect prelude to your evening meal. Soak up Dubai’s unique atmosphere from the water as the city shifts away from a hectic pace into a slower evening gear.
7. Take your time
Don’t rush! Pick an evening or lunch slot when you won’t have to worry about hurrying to make your reservation and you don’t have anywhere to be afterward either. You’ll enjoy both your food and the atmosphere if your mind isn’t elsewhere and you have time to focus on the experience.
Make the experience last a little longer by enjoying three courses, too. Treat yourself!
8. Enjoy an aperitif or pre-dinner mocktail
A pre-dinner drink is a great way to begin a relaxing evening. Choose a tantalizing drink that will whet the appetite and awaken your palate ready for what’s to come later. It’ll also give you time to peruse the menu and enjoy some unhurried conversation with your companions.
9. Treat yourself to dessert
After the main event, be sure to round off your meal with a decadent and indulgent dessert. Dessert is the perfect way to spoil yourself and your fellow guests and finish your evening with great satisfaction and a sense of well-being. The best desserts are a feast for the eyes, as well as the taste buds and should be a perfectly balanced symphony of flavors, textures and color.
10. Enjoy a shisha
An after-dinner shisha is a popular tradition in the Middle-East. Shisha lounges allow diners the time to slowly allow their meal to settle and continue their conversations in a pleasant area.
Many of the finest restaurants have a shisha terrace or area where guests are welcome to extend their evening, to stay and relax and to listen to music. The wonderful aromas, smoldering coal and pleasant background sounds of music and happy conversation make a shisha lounge incredibly atmospheric.
11. Book a private dining experience
Feel like royalty and impress your guests by booking a private dining room in one of Dubai’s finest restaurants. For the ultimate dining experience, a VVIP private room is a must. This way, you have the meticulous, undivided attention of staff and will be completely undisturbed by other guests. Your full focus can be on your companions and savoring the incredible culinary journey set before you.
Now that you know how to seek out the best waterside dining experiences Dubai has to offer, go ahead and make your reservation. Dubai’s finest restaurants are in high demand and you may need to reserve early to get the very best views from your table.