The dinner-and-a-show concept is picking up steam in the UAE.
Here are nine Dubai restaurants that offer eatertainment: think, gourmet food meeting award-winning artists and high-octane performances.
For entertainment with a Middle Eastern touch, make Bazaar Dubai your next go-to. Widely considered a staple on Beirut’s nightlife scene, Bazaar opened its Dubai venue in February 2022. The open-air club is located at Meydan Grandstand and operates from Tuesday to Saturday, and offers an international menu, from Greek tzatziki to Lebanese-style sliders.
Bazaar Dubai, Meydan Racecourse Grandstand; 050 998 3873
The brainchild of Italian businessman Flavio Briatore, Billionaire is known for its world-famous entertainment and over-the-top opulence. There are a variety of acts from hoop-hanging acrobats and aerialists to gravity-defying balancing artists. The menu, curated by celebrity chef Batuhan Piatti Zeynioglu, features Italian-Asian dishes, from sushi and maki rolls to pizza.
Billionaire Dubai, Taj Dubai, Business Bay; 056 678 3357; billionairesociety.com/dubai
In January this year, Sunset Hospitality Group (the team behind SushiSamba and Lola Taberna Espanola) opened Dream, a dining and entertainment venue, at Address Beach Resort, JBR. With the avant-garde theatrical and musical performances, orchestrated by award-winning Arab choreographer Pierre Khadra, (who has worked with regional and international artists such as Elissa, Tamer Hosny, and Nancy Ajram), expect dancers, singers, acrobats and aerialists and elaborate costumes. For the “dinner” part of the concept, there’s a Mediterranean-inspired menu, with dishes such as grilled Mediterranean vegetables; roasted cauliflower; and lamb cutlets. The venue also houses Garden of Dreams, a waterfront terrace with views of Bluewaters Island and Ain Dubai.
Dream, Address Beach Resort, JBR; 04 220 0224; dreamdxb.com
La Casa Del Tango
This one’s for all fans of the romantic dance form that originated in Buenos Aires. La Casa Del Tango, which opened in 2021, is the brainchild of dancer Enrique Macana. The venue features a stage where guests will be entertained by live performances, instrumental bands and Argentinian folk musicians on weekends. To add to the experience is an authentic menu, with dishes such as empanadas, chorizo and Brazilian cheese bread. The venue also holds tango classes.
La Casa Del Tango, DIFC; 04 583 0412; lcdtango.com
Nova Restaurant and Lounge
This Dubai Marina venue promises “a theatrical voyage around the Mediterranean islands”. The space features captivating black walls, pink neon lights, Italian marble tables, and teal and cream furnishings, to create an effect quite like being ensconced in an Art Deco cocoon with plenty of mood lighting. Meanwhile, a central stage features singers, musicians and aerialists to regale you as you tuck into some unique offerings including chicken liver mousse with candied orange zest; roasted bone marrow with garlic breadcrumbs; and a vegan coconut and citrus tart for dessert.
Nova Restaurant and Lounge, Address Dubai Marina; 058 603 0063; novarestaurant.me
For dinner with a suave cabaret show, look no further than Papillon, which launched at the end of 2021. The venue is the brainchild of singer, model and Dubai resident Layla Kardan, and focuses on the 15th-century art form with its blend of music, dance and theatre. Shows takes place four nights a week, with each night comprising a series of song and dance routines that bring to life Parisian glamour. All this, with a side of French-Mediterranean fare — think escargot with herb butter and mushroom risotto — as well as international dishes such as lamb chops and Wagyu tomahawk.
Papillon, The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina; 050 252 4098; firstname.lastname@example.org
Play Restaurant and Lounge
The home-grown concept opened in Dubai in 2016 with the intention to revolutionise the city’s culinary scene. And it’s clearly managed to stand the test of time. Located in The H Hotel Dubai, the space is sprawling — think lots of seating areas, chandeliers and a private dining space. The venue hosts live entertainment in the form of acrobats, dancers and musicians every day from 8pm to midnight, and has Shades of Play, a night brunch on Mondays. The menu features everything from gyozas and skewers to black cod.
Play Restaurant and Lounge, The H Hotel Dubai; 04 336 4444; playrestaurants.com
One of the newer entrants to the segment, the limited-time Street Diversions offers a theatrical experience at the Souk Madinat Jumeirah amphitheatre. The venue, which opened in December 2021, takes advantage of it al fresco setting and features dance, song and non-musical performances every 30 minutes from 5pm to 12.30am. Complementing the entertainment is an Asian-inspired menu with dishes such as Korean fried chicken, dynamite shrimp, crispy calamari, chicken and prawn curry laksa, and mango sticky rice.
Street Diversions Restaurant, Bar & Shisha Lounge, Madinat Jumeirah; street-diversions.com
The Theater, which opened at Fairmont Dubai in 2021, is a glitzy dinner and cabaret concept and features musical and dance routines curated by acclaimed Lebanese-Armenian composer Guy Manoukian. Expect artists from across the globe, including vocalists and aerial dancers from Las Vegas. Performers will not only make appearances on the stage, which stretches all the way into the audience, but from unexpected nooks and crannies, too. The entertainment is truly varied, with a Middle Eastern touch; for example, there’s a band playing Arabic pop hits from the 1980s, finishing with a Lebanese dabke. The venue has an international menu, with dishes such as handmade beef gyoza, lobster linguini and slow-cooked Wagyu tomahawk with shaved truffle.
The Theater, Fairmont Dubai; 04 222 2268; thetheaterdubai.com