Moving to the United Arab Emirates city of Dubai to build your career is an exciting step that we’ve been fortunate to view first-hand as we have supported the job search of various legal professionals and administrators of our network. One thing we’ve learned is, after the initial flurry of relocation, it can take a while to feel settled. The culture is very different, which is why it definitely helps to build relationships and enjoy the feast of senses that Dubai has to offer by checking out some of the best expat hotspots.
In Dubai, brunch is a big thing. When you make a brunch booking, you can expect the drinks to be flowing as part of an all-inclusive package that usually takes up four hours of your day. The ‘event’ usually kicks off at around midday on Saturdays or Sundays, and there is always the option for an after-party.
If you’re from Australia or another English-speaking country, here’s where you are likely to find people from your demographic, plus some of the flavours of home.
Extravagant brunch venues
Brunch is a must-do in Dubai… and we are not talking eggs and bacon. Menus are sumptuous and the champagne flows.
The Jumeirah Beach Hotel is an iconic five-star hotel located in the heart of Dubai's beachfront. At this venue, Saturday brunch is deemed an ‘experience’ and you can book your session at one of eight restaurants. Choose steak, seafood or Asian cuisine, or head to the Vintage Brunch by Jumeirah Al Qasr or Zabeel Saray to enjoy live music. Kids are welcome at some of the restaurants but not all. If you want to party into the evening, guests are invited to the post-brunch event at the newly opened Parisian cocktail venue, Bar Buci from 16:00 – 18:30.
If you prefer a more European-style brunch, Café Belge at the Ritz Carlton (Dubai International Finance Centre) is a must-visit. The Belgian-inspired restaurant serves a ‘business lunch’ every Friday from 12:30 pm to 3:00 pm and you can choose from two or three courses. The food is “classically Belgian and served with finesse”.
The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi is another top beachside brunch venue in Dubai, located on the famous Jumeirah Beach. Check out Dubai's “hottest Bubbalicious Brunch”, with live cooking stations, innovative mixology counters, live music and kid's entertainment every Saturday.
If you’re looking for a western-style lunch on a Sunday, the venue hosts a proper Sunday roast from 1 pm to 4 pm (kids under 6 eat free).
Casual lunch spots
For a quieter experience that remind you of home, these are some lunch destinations to check out:
Jones The Grocer - Located beachside on West Palm Beach, Palm Jumeirah, in Dubai Mall and in some other spots around the city, this café is Australian-made. It offers an extensive brunch menu that includes some classic Australian dishes like avocado toast, eggs benedict and shakshuka. You can also grab a cup of excellent coffee while you’re there.
Tom & Serg - A trendy café serving global fare, Tom & Serg is known for fresh, seasonal dishes and coffee. Try their famous breakfast burrito, or if you’re in the mood for something sweet, their waffles are a must-try.
The Surf Café - This café in Jumeirah is a popular spot for surfers, and it’s easy to see why. With a laid-back vibe, healthy food options including vegan dishes, and a view of the ocean, it’s the perfect spot for a relaxed brunch or lunch.
Common Grounds - A “specialty coffee shop with a big heart”, this café in Mall of the Emirates has a menu that’s packed with comfort food classics like burgers and mac and cheese. They also offer a great range of coffee drinks and have a cosy atmosphere that’s perfect for catching up with friends. Reviews call the food “Artistic, Scrumptious and Perfect!”
Baker & Spice - Known for their commitment to using locally sourced, organic ingredients, Baker & Spice has several locations across Dubai. The brunch menu at this award-winning restaurant features some Middle Eastern twists on classic breakfast dishes, like their shakshuka with lamb merguez sausage.
Fume- With several locations across Dubai, Fume has a menu that’s packed with international flavours. Their weekend brunch is particularly popular, and includes a mix of breakfast and lunch dishes, as well as some creative cocktails.
Eggspectation- If you’re looking for a brunch spot that’s both delicious and affordable, Eggspectation is a great choice for expats. Their menu includes a mix of breakfast and lunch dishes, and their portions are generous.
PJ O’Reilly’s-We added this because it often hosts Australia Day gatherings with live music and the beer garden will give expats an ‘at home’ feeling.
Bushman’s Restaurant and Bar-Bushman’s serves up steak and goes all out on Australia Day so you will probably find an Australian or two amongst the diners.
Dubai may be thousands of miles away from Australia, but these brunch and lunch spots will help you feel at home as you adapt to your new surroundings.
Let us know if we have missed any of your favourite spots!
Looking for work in Dubai? We help lawyers and legal support professionals connect with exciting employers and roles. Contact us to find out more.