Abu Dhabi's Yas Bay: your ultimate guide to the restaurants opening at the waterfront destination in 2021

From popular Dubai establishments to new restaurants, here’s where you can expect to dine

From left to right: Asia Asia, Akiba Dori and Hunter & Barrel are a few of the new restaurants coming to Abu Dhabi's Yas Bay Waterfront. Courtesy Yas Bay
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It seems like there's a new restaurant announcement coming from Yas Bay, the up-and-coming destination located in the south of Yas Island, almost every week.

The Yas Bay Waterfront is soon to be a vibrant leisure and entertainment district, housing a number of top-notch restaurants, cafes and bars. Although no official launch date has been announced, most restaurants are scheduled to open in the last quarter of 2021.

Here’s a look at some of the exciting concepts that have been confirmed so far.

Akiba Dori

Akiba Dori makes Neopolitan pizzas using Japanese techniques. Courtesy Akiba Dori

Home to Tokyo-Neapolitan pizzas, the modern Japanese street food restaurant in Dubai announced this year that it would be opening a branch in Yas Bay.

Guests can expect a location right on the pier, with sunset and water views, the restaurant's signature pizzas, and some new dishes exclusive to Abu Dhabi.

The interiors will stay true to the brand's retro-modern vibe.

Asia Asia

A rendering of the entrance of Asia Asia in Abu Dhabi, featuring cherry blossom trees. Courtesy Asia Asia

It’s already made waves in Dubai and now the gourmet pan-Asian concept will be coming to the capital.

Paul Evans, chief executive of Solutions Leisure Group, says the Abu Dhabi branch will be "one of the most beautiful restaurants" they have designed.

A rendering depicts a vast space, complete with cherry blossom trees at the entrance.

Bushra

A new Middle Eastern restaurant will be coming to the area, with a sharing-style menu created by award-winning Australian chef Greg Malouf, who is widely recognised as an authority on the cuisine.

His dishes tend to take inspiration from the region's cuisine, but also offer a contemporary flair.

Emmy Squared

New York's Emmy Squared will be making its international debut in Abu Dhabi towards the end of 2021. Emmy Squared

The American restaurant, known for its Detroit-style pizza and handcrafted sandwiches, will be opening its debut international branch in Abu Dhabi's Yas Bay Waterfront.

Customers can expect its signature square shape pizza with a crispy bottom, fluffy focaccia dough and caramelised cheesy crusts. Apart from the pizzas, it will also have handcrafted sandwiches including options served on a buttery pretzel bun (such as the double-stacked grass-fed burger “Le Big Matt”), fresh, seasonal salads, and appetisers such as sriracha crystal glaze wings and cheesy garlic sticks.

The restaurant has been brought to the region by Samer S Hamadeh, founder of Akiba Dori, Stereo Arcade and Republique, who called its food "a revelation".

"The moment I finished my meal at Emmy Squared in NYC, was the moment I got in touch with the team and brought up the idea of launching Emmy Squared in the UAE. I like to create my own concepts and that’s not a secret, but this was just too good to pass up.”

Hunter & Barrel

Hunter & Barrel will be making its foray into Abu Dhabi. Courtesy Yas Bay

The Australian brand recently opened its first branch in Dubai, bringing its “gather and fire-inspired” concept to the region.

Now Abu Dhabi residents will also soon be able to indulge in its wide array of barbecued meats and vegetables, as it’s opening a branch in the capital.

Rob De Villiers, Middle East Managing Director of Seagrass Boutique Hospitality Group, which operates the restaurant, says guests can expect plenty of charcoal-roasted dishes and tender cuts of beef.

La Carnita

Visitors can expect fusion street food, art and music and a menu with a variety of tacos (with gluten-free and vegan options available) from the trendy Mexican restaurant, which is from Toronto.

There will also be an outdoor terrace.

Lock Stock & Barrel

The popular Dubai venue, also by Solutions Leisure Group, is known for its lively ambience and will be making its way to the capital this year.

Paradiso

Paradiso is the brainchild of Nicole Rubi, the woman behind LPM Restaurant, and chef Pierre Gagnaire. Courtesy Yas Bay

Originating in Cannes, France, Paradiso is a Mediterranean restaurant helmed by Nicole Rubi, the woman behind LPM Restaurant, and Michelin-lauded chef Pierre Gagnaire. So you know it’s going to be something special.

There’s a lot of be excited about, as the restaurant promises to bring a “unique Mediterranean dolce vita flavour” to the region.

Siddharta Lounge by Buddha-Bar

The Buddha-Bar Group and Capital Motion are collaborating with Miral to launch Siddharta Lounge by Buddha-Bar – a sleek spot that will come alive in the evenings, serving mainly Asian and Mediterranean delicacies. Expect sushi, tapas, maki rolls and more.

The Central

Arcade games and exposed ceiling pipes at The Central in Abu Dhabi. Courtesy Solutions Leisure Group

The Central, another project by Solutions Leisure Group, will be a new addition to the UAE's food scene. It's all set to be a family entertainment complex, similar to the one found in Wavehouse at Atlantis, The Palm.

Expect classic American bites – think burgers and shakes – within a fun, casual space that features arcade games, soft-play areas for children and a four-lane bowling alley.

The Lighthouse

Home-grown restaurant brand The Lighthouse announced that it will be making its first foray into the capital in the fourth quarter of the year. This will be the restaurant's third branch in the UAE.

The 100-cover licensed restaurant will include a chef's table, bakery, retail store and events space.

Meanwhile, the menu boasts Mediterranean-inspired soul food, along with new dishes exclusive to the location.

Zeera

A modern Indian restaurant, with cuisine inspired by India’s rich history, has also been confirmed for Yas Bay Waterfront.

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Read more:

8 places to eat at Abu Dhabi’s Hudayriyat Island: from a cupcake ATM to Chips Oman ice cream

UAE entrepreneur Paul Evans on how to pandemic-proof restaurants and open new ones

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