15 terraces to enjoy in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the cooler weather

Perfect for those looking to dine al fresco this winter

QD’s, located at the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, offers views of the Dubai Creek. Supplied
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In the UAE, there are some subtle but sure signs that the cooler weather is upon us. The days get shorter, farmers’ markets and barbecues suddenly pop up … and restaurants start opening up their outdoor seating spaces again.

This year, space to enjoy a meal in the open outdoors is all the more welcome, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. So here are some restaurants that have now opened their terraces, or that are opening them in the coming months.


Antika Bar

The Antika Bar garden is open daily, from 5pm onwards. Supplied

When: Already open

What to expect: The Levantine restaurant has a daily rotation of live performers, from singers and dancers to comedians and musicians. Antika Bar's terrace has a saj and manakeesh oven, which will serve the freshly baked treats from midnight to 3am. Its Friday brunch, however, will still take place inside, as the terrace opens from 5pm.

Open daily, 5pm-3am; Al Fattan Currency House, DIFC; 05 0735 9177, www.antikabar.ae

Eggspectation JBR

When: Already open

What to expect: It's a favourite spot for a lazy weekend breakfast and now diners will be able to tuck into their eggs and toast with views of the beach and the towering buildings of Jumeirah Beach Residence once again. Eggspectation's flagship branch at JBR has recently opened its outdoor terrace area for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Diners can enjoy dishes like the high-rise pancakes, eggs Benedict, S’mores French toast and more while taking in a light breeze, ocean views and a glimpse of the Ain Dubai Ferris Wheel.

Open Sunday to Thursday, 7am-9pm; Friday to Saturday, 7am-10pm; Jumeirah Beach Residence; 04 430 7252

McGettigan's JLT

McGettigan’s JLT has reopened its garden space

When: Already open

What to expect: Popular Irish pub McGettigan's is celebrating the arrival of winter by reopening its garden space, and offering discounted deals exclusively in the outdoor area. There's also a new menu, featuring dishes such as the Mexican beef taco and avo vegan burger.

Daily; noon-1am Sunday-Thursday, noon-2am; Thursday-Friday; Jumeirah Lakes Towers; 04 356 0470; www.mcgettigans.com

Pai Thai

The Pai Thai outdoor deck opens mid-October

When: Mid-October

What to expect: The outdoor seating area is an intimate and romantic setting, with views of Souk Madinat Jumeirah's waterways and Burj Al Arab. The menu includes all the Thai classics – from green curry to stir-fried rice and noodles.

Open Sunday-Thursday, 6pm-11.30pm; Friday-Saturday, noon-11:30pm; Souk Madinat Jumeirah; 800 666 353; restaurants@saroodhospitality.com

Perry & Blackwelder’s

The outdoor terrace at Perry & Blackwelder's offers views of Souk Madinat and its waterways. Supplied

When: Mid-October

What to expect: When the smokehouse reopens its terrace area, guests can take in soothing views of Souk Madinat Jumeirah and its water canals. Diners can choose from the menu's range of burgers, sliders, wings and more, and enjoy the sight of the odd abra floating along in the background.

Open daily, noon-1.30am; Souk Madinat Jumeirah; 800 666 353, restaurants@saroodhospitality.com


QD’s at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club offers views of the Dubai Creek

When: Already open

What to expect: One of Dubai's most popular hang-out spots, QD's is located at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, so guests can take in views of the Creek and Dubai skyline as they tuck into classic Middle Eastern, Indian and Mediterranean dishes.

The venue has also relaunched its happy hour, a ladies' night and themed music nights. Sports fans will be glad to know that QD's will also be showing the Indian Premier League cricket matches and Premier League football games live.

Open Sunday-Wednesday, 6pm-2am; Thursday-Saturday, 6pm-3am; Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club; 04 295 6000, qds@hyatt.com

Reform Social & Grill

The Reform Social & Grill in The Lakes is based on its sister venue of the same name in London. Antonie Robertson / The National

When: Already open

What to expect: The quintessential gastropub is located within the gated community of The Lakes, making it is a popular spot for a family-friendly meal. With the weather getting cooler, Reform Social & Grill has opened its outdoor terrace. The vibe is relaxed and casual, and guests can enjoy grassy views in the lounge area.

There are a number of classic British dishes on the menu, including a traditional roast, served every Saturday and Sunday.

The terrace will be open from 5pm to close; open daily, 8am-midnight; 04 454 2638, www.reformsocialgrill.ae

The London Project

The London Project's outdoor terrace

When: Already open

What to expect: The vibe at the terrace is relaxed yet chic and guests will be able to get a close-up view of the Ain Dubai Ferris Wheel, which is located right next to the venue.

The menu includes bites such as buttermilk fried chicken, a botanica flatbread made with home-made tomato sauce, heirloom tomatoes and basil.

Open Saturday-Wednesday, noon-midnight, Thursday-Friday, noon-1am; Bluewaters Island; 05 4306 1822, info@thelondonproject.com

Torno Subito

Marriott International Hotel

When: Already open

What to expect: Chef Massimo Bottura, the culinary mastermind behind Osteria Francescana, recently opened his Italian restaurant, located on Palm Jumeirah, after a five-month hiatus.

Guests can expect traditional Italian dishes with a Bottura twist, like the tagliatelle al ragu, polpo-roasted octopus and Tiramisubito. All of it can be enjoyed within the restaurant, which features colourful Riviera decor with a retro feel. Or, guests can opt to sit outdoors on the terrace for the sweeping beach views.

Open daily, noon-3pm and 7pm-11pm; W Dubai - The Palm, Palm Jumeirah; 04 245 5800, wpalmreservations@whotels.com  


Treehouse Dubai offers guests an 'urban jungle' feel

When: Mid-October

What to expect: Described as an "urban rooftop oasis", Treehouse in the Taj Dubai features plenty of greenery against a backdrop of Downtown Dubai and Burj Khalifa.

It also has a Komerebi happy hours menu (named after the Japanese word for sunlight filtering through trees) and a ladies' night.

Open Sunday-Wednesday, 6pm-2am; Thursday, 6pm-3am, Friday, 1pm-3am; Taj Dubai, Burj Khalifa Street, Downtown Dubai; 04 438 3100, www.treehousedubai.ae

Abu Dhabi

99 Sushi

The outdoor terrace at 99 Sushi Abu Dhabi

When: Already open

What to expect: The popular fine-dining Japanese restaurant is located at The Galleria on Maryah Island, offering diners gorgeous views of the Arabian Gulf. The restaurant's signature dishes include foie gras nigiri, spicy tuna tartare and its popular crispy tiger prawn tempura. For those wanting to take in the views during the day, there is an Omakase business lunch menu with nine courses for Dh150.

The branch in Dubai, at the Address Downtown, has also opened its terrace, which offers views of the Dubai Fountain and Burj Khalifa.

Open daily, 12.30pm-3.30pm; 7pm-11:30pm; Four Seasons Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island; 02 672 3333, reservations_ad@99sushibar.com 

Alba Terrace

Alba Terrace in Abu Dhabi Edition is a lush, intimate space

When: Already open

What to expect: Expect a cosy are with lounge seating and plenty of greenery at this Mediterranean restaurant, located on the marina side of the Abu Dhabi Edition hotel.

Early risers can opt for the limitless breakfast with options such as baked shakshuka and market French toast (available 7am to noon for Dh95 per person). The restaurant has also launched an Alba Eats limitless menu, featuring dishes such as veal and lamb meatballs, wild mushroom risotto and sea bass fillet (available from noon to 11pm for Dh95 per person).

Open daily, 7am-11pm; The Abu Dhabi Edition; Al Bateen; 02 208 0000, restaurantreservations.auh@editionhotels.com

Belgian Cafe

When: Already open

What to expect: Those looking for a relaxed space can head over to Belgian Cafe, which opens its outdoor seating area from 4pm until closing time. The view of the marina becomes all the better when enjoyed with the restaurant's signature steaming pot of mussels and chunky chips.

Open Saturday-Wednesday, noon-1am, Thursday-Friday noon-2am (with the outdoor seating area opening after 4pm daily); InterContinental Abu Dhabi, Corniche; 02 666 6888


When: Already open

What to expect: This restaurant serves some of the freshest seafood and its terrace has a peaceful vibe, with uninterrupted views of the mangroves. Flooka describes its cuisine as Mediterranean seafood with a Lebanese twist, and the menu features mezze such as crab salad; squid sauteed in a black ink marinade; and samke harra or fish ratatouille with tomato, hot peppers, onion and coriander.

Open daily, noon-2am; Eastern Mangroves, Abu Dhabi; 02 441 8244


When: Already open

What to expect: The casual restaurant by Sergio Lopez, of the famed Tom & Serg duo, has an attractive garden-like dining space outside that comes with enough cosy seats to while away the hours. Much like the interiors, the outdoor furniture features pops of bright colour and combined with the greenery, it's a tranquil spot for a meal al fresco. However, the children's play area currently remains closed. The menu has a focus on healthy food, with plenty of gluten-free and vegan options, such as the Epic Mushroom Burger with truffle tofu mayo and avocado, in a spinach bun.

Open Sunday-Wednesday, 8am-8.30pm, Thursday-Saturday, 8am-10pm; Al Seef, Khalifa Park area; 02 222 1142, wearesandersons.com