In a pretty groundbreaking step earlier this month, the UAE made the decision to move its weekends to Saturdays and Sundays, as of January 1.
The move raised a lot of questions, including a big one for food connoisseurs: where does that leave the beloved Friday brunch? The meal is something of an institution in the country, with UAE residents used to indulgent menus or all-you-can-eat buffets, across different budgets, cuisines and even timings (a la the dinner brunch, aka drunch).
While the fate of the Friday brunch still hangs delicately in the balance, a number of venues in Dubai have been quick to react to the change by launching new Sunday meal deals.
“Eventually, I predict the more 'party' brunches will take place on Saturdays, while the more sophisticated and family-orientated brunches will take place on Sundays," says Nicolas Budzynski, global operations director at LPM.
Here’s a look at some of restaurants that have already started Sunday meal packages, and everything you need to know about them. This story will be updated as more are announced.
There’s no denying McGettigan's was quick to react, as it launched an updated Saturday brunch mere hours after the weekend change announcement. Apart from a bumper Saturday brunch, it’s also putting on a Sunday roast – actually on a Sunday.
For those in the know, McGettigan's prides itself on its classic roast experience, complete with Yorkshire puddings and gravy. The hearty meal will be available at specific branches in Dubai, and on January 2, those availing the meal at the JLT venue will also get a drink on the house.
Sunday; 12.30pm onwards; Dh109; JLT and Souk Madinat branches; www.mcgettigans.com
The Cavendish Restaurant
The restaurant in Dubai's Bonnington Hotel has also launched a Sunday roast dinner, which will start on January 9. Guests will be able to tuck into meaty offerings with all the trimmings.
Sunday, January 9 onwards; Dh125 for adults, from Dh79 for children; starts at noon; Bonnington Hotel, JLT, Dubai; 04 356 0533
Head to the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Dubai – Jumeirah Beach on Sundays to enjoy its new Life is Sweet dining experience, which gives Lebanese cuisine a trendy pink twist. The menu features an impressive mix of sharing dishes accompanied by pink drinks.
Dishes such as lamb Wellington, burrata tabbouleh and halloumi burgers will be on offer, plus there's a hummus bar which includes flavours such as black ink and octopus, truffle, dynamite and shrimp, coco and avocado and more.
Taking the pink experience to a whole new level, there will also be a “Shamelessly Pink” menu, including a pink-hued grazing board. All this, with live entertainment and pool and beach access.
Every Sunday; 12.30-4pm; prices starting at Dh250; Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai; www.hilton.com/en/doubletree
Reform Social & Grill
Dubai's quintessentially British venue has also extended its popular roast meal, now available on Sundays and Mondays. Guests can choose between chicken, beef and a veggie option, with all the trimmings.
Sunday & Monday; Dh115; noon onwards; The Lakes, Dubai; reformsocialgrill.ae
The chic restaurant in Souk Madinat Jumeirah is offering its popular Friday garden brunch on both Saturday and Sunday now. So, you can munch on folly favourites – think crispy hen’s egg with pancetta and maple syrup and lamb saddle with whipped pine nuts and salsa – during this leisurely meal.
Saturdays and Sundays; 1pm-4pm; prices start at Dh295 for Saturday and Dh250 for Sunday; Souk Madinat Jumeirah; www.folly.ae
Coya Abu Dhabi
The restaurant has adapted its Fin De Semana lunch experience for both Sundays and Fridays. Guests will be treated to a four-course meal, with the choice of two appetisers, one main course and dessert. This includes Coya’s signatures such as the mixed seafood ceviche, Wagyu beef baos, chicken skewers, slow-cooked beef ribs and grilled corn-fed baby chicken. To end the meal on a sweet note, there will be a choice between a chocolate fondant, chicha morada and a churros platter.
Sundays; 12.30pm-3.30pm; Dh199; The Galleria Al Maryah Island; 02 306 7000; www.coyarestaurant.com