As its name suggests, walking into Dream Dubai is to escape to another world. The dinner-and-show venue, which opened in January at the Address Beach Resort, JBR, is an experience like no other.
Fusing jaw-dropping acrobatic performances, dancers and live musical performances with a top-notch international cuisine, it's an evening designed to transport you to a wonderland where, at least for a few hours, you find yourself willingly submitting to whatever the night may morph into.
Scroll through the gallery above for more pictures from Dream Dubai
Run by Sunset Hospitality Group, the team behind SushiSamba and Lola Taberna Espanola, Dream Dubai has just launched a new season with new acts and a refreshed menu, and it's still an enticing escape from reality that's as mesmerising as when it first opened.
Conceptualised by award-winning Arab choreographer Pierre Khadra, who serves as creative director, the main attraction at Dream Dubai is undoubtedly the show. Or shows, to be precise, as they take place with 15-minute intervals, each lasting less than 10 minutes so guests are not distracted from their meals for too long.
While the restaurant opens at 8pm, the first of 12 performance begins after 10pm with a musical medley. Standing on a pedestal in the middle of the restaurant, a singer runs through a mix of contemporary and classic hits, warming up the room.
Orchestrated to recreate varying stages of a dream, the performance is a teaser for what's to come, where, soon enough, the lights dim and projections light up one side of the restaurant. Masked dancers in glittering dresses and large pink hats appear on a stage on one side, while some are suspended from the ceiling. They then begin their performance, while a singer performs at another end of the restaurant.
Performances erupt around the room, ensuring everyone gets a front-seat view, irrespective of where they're seated.
Khadra, who has worked with regional and international artists such as Elissa, Tamer Hosny, Nancy Ajram, Myriam Fares, Wael Kfoury, Ricky Martin and Andrea Bocelli, effortlessly blends a variety of dance styles and cultural references. A Moulin Rouge-style number pivots to a nail-biting hand-balancing acrobatic act, which is followed by dancers in Roman dresses grooving to a Lil Nas X song. In between, there are Ed Sheeran hits being performed, as well as Lizzo's.
The performances, as well as the music pick up pace as the evening goes on, eventually giving the restaurant a night club vibe as guests are up on their feet, dancing.
Dream Dubai is as much about the food as the performances. The shows come in quick bursts so as not to deflect guests' attention for too long from the culinary experience. And the Mediterranean menu has a lot to offer.
Starters include grilled octopus (Dh155), snails in parsley butter (Dh115), pan-seared scallops and caviar (Dh195) and a cheese board selection (Dh185).
For mains, there is a truffle pizza (Dh395), linguine with lobster (Dh195), as well as an 800g grilled T-bone steak (Dh715).
There's also a wide selection of salads, fresh oysters and signature plates, which includes a grilled beef rib with salad for Dh1,150.
Vegan options are also available for all courses.
Where to sit and what to expect
While performances take place across the room and each table gives you an unhampered view of the main stage where many of the group performances take place, a table close to the stage will cost more to reserve.
Dream Dubai is a smoking restaurant so non-smokers will need to take note.
Price point and contact information
The minimum spend per person is between Dh800 and Dh1,000 depending on the table location. Dream Dubai is open from Wednesday to Sunday, from 8pm until late. Garden of Dreams, the restaurant's terrace, is open daily from 6pm to 3am.
Dream Dubai is located at Address Beach Resort, JBR. Reservations can be made by contacting 04 220 0224 or email@example.com.
This review was conducted at the invitation of the restaurant