'Tis the season to eat, drink and be merry – and there's no lack of places in Dubai where you can do just that. With Christmas falling on a Friday this year, it seems nearly every restaurant in the emirate has unveiled festive brunches that pack in the holiday cheer.
Here’s a look at some of the season’s best – cherry-picked for every budget.
Christmas brunches under Dh150
Fancy a Christmas meal with a twist? This quirky Japanese street-food joint in Dubai Design District has put together a one-off set menu, available for dine-in or delivery, during the holiday season. The star attraction here is the chicken, marinated overnight with herbs and spices, and fried to a crisp. Four pieces of chicken are accompanied by coleslaw and French fries, with a slice of Hakata cheesecake to finish.
Kris with a View
The restaurant with panoramic views of Old Dubai is packing in plenty of Christmas cheer with a three-hour lunch buffet, complete with festive tunes. Turkey lovers are in for a treat as the highlight of this menu is a roulade of stuffed turkey breast with chestnut, sage and caramelised sweet onion stuffing, and turkey gravy, and a butter pound pudding to end the meal on a sweet note.
Friday, December 25; noon-3pm; Dh129 with soft beverages; Dh249 with house beverages; Park Regis Kris Kin Hotel; 04 377 1111
The Mexican Cantina is giving guests the chance to celebrate Christmas with a fiesta of flavours and seasonal specials that include slow-cooked brisket chalupas and cod veracrus to turkey torta and red velvet churros. All these dishes make an appearance on an indulgent four-course Christmas menu alongside favourites such as guacamole, tacos and chicken wings.
Friday, December 25; 1pm-4pm; Dh139 with soft drinks and Dh219 with house beverages; Holiday Inn Express Dubai – Safa Park; 04 327 5878
Head over to the French bakery in Four Points by Sheraton Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai for a brunch so festive even Santa Claus will make an appearance. Guests can expect a salad counter, live carving station with cuts of turkey and festive desserts to cap it off.
Friday, December 25; 12.30pm-4pm; Dh99 per person with soft drinks, Dh199 with house beverages; Four Points by Sheraton Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai; 056 414 2213; firstname.lastname@example.org
The smokehouse, known for its tender barbecue meat, is having a Christmas brunch “stocked with all the trimmings”. Guests can expect live entertainment and Christmas decorations as they indulge in holiday staples such as stuffed turkey, turkey and foie gras croquettes, Christmas pudding and a festive sundae.
Friday, December 25; 1pm-4pm; Dh199 with soft drinks, Dh250 with house beverages, Dh350 for the premium package, with the premium package available on The Entertainer; Wyndham Marina, Dubai Marina; 04 407 8873
Christmas brunches under Dh250
Bistro Des Arts
The Parisian bistro in Dubai Marina is setting up a Christmas table loaded with goodies such as oysters, fresh fruit, cheese, cold cuts and quiche. For mains, choose between wholesome dishes such as lobster Benedict or a duck burger, and remember to save room for the crepes, with a choice of stuffings, for dessert.
Friday, December 25; noon-5pm; Dh225 for food only, Dh295 with three house beverages; Dubai Marina Promenade; 04 551 1576; bistrodesarts
Guests are encouraged to dress, but not impress at this lively ugly sweater Christmas brunch. Not only will there be a DJ and a three-course menu, but the owner of the ugliest sweater will also win a free Mad Monkey brunch voucher. The meal itself is packed with contemporary takes on traditional Christmas dishes: think pulled turkey poutine, cranberry and raisin chicken wings, roast turkey sides, and a festive burger with onion and cranberry chutney. There's also an evening brunch on Christmas Day.
Friday, December 25; 1pm-4pm for the ugly sweater brunch and 8pm-11pm for the night brunch; Dh249 with house beverages; Souk Al Manzil, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard; 054 998 2003; distillerydubai.com
The much-loved JLT hot spot is hosting a warm festive brunch with live entertainment delivering classic Christmas sing-alongs. Tuck into a range of starters, pizzas and pastas from a set menu as you belt out your favourite festive tunes.
Friday, December 25; 1pm-4pm; Dh225 with house beverages; Cluster A, Jumeirah Lakes Towers; 04 441 6342; pizzaexpress.ae
Located on the rooftop of the Taj Jumeirah Lakes Towers, with outdoor seating area by the pool, Greek resto-bar Paros offers a relaxed Christmas vibe. Guests can enjoy unlimited starters, a choice of main and dessert – think turkey sliders, beef goulash, and sirloin steak with roasted shallots and wild mushroom – as Christmas carollers set the mood, followed by DJ set. Santa Claus also promises to make an appearance.
Friday, December 25; noon-4pm; Dh245 for soft drinks, Dh325 for house beverages; Jumeirah Lakes Towers; 04 574 1111; parosdubai.com
Also at the Taj, this cool and casual sports cafe is the place for those looking for a more relaxed Christmas affair. Enjoy a three-course meal with starters to share, a main course and dessert. There will be festive offerings such as roast chestnut and pumpkin soup, turkey with all the trimmings, salmon coulibiac and Christmas pudding.
Friday, December 25; 11am-4pm; Dh199 with soft drinks, Dh299 with house beverages; Taj Jumeirah Lakes Towers; 04 574 1111
Urban Bar & Kitchen
With plenty of enclosed outdoor seating and a rustic vibe with quirky decor, UBK is always a lively scene, and its festive Friday brunch is no exception. This Christmas Day, guests can expect live entertainment and a turkey buffet from the JLT venue.
Friday, December 24; 12.30pm-3.30pm; Dh215 with house beverages; Cluster A, Jumeirah Lakes Towers; 04 438 0000
If pizza and pasta is your idea of a good time, then this classic Italian restaurant has you covered with its Christmas offering. The menu includes unlimited starters such as bruschetta, caprese, octopus carpaccio and grilled vegetables, followed by a range of wood-fired pizzas from margherita and diavola to parmigiana and bresaola. For mains, there is the choice between pastas such as penne arrabiata, spaghetti pomodoro and more, and a dessert of creme brulee, panettone or panna cotta to wrap up.
Friday, December 25; noon-5pm; Dh250 with soft drinks, Dh400 with house beverages; The Oberoi, Dubai, Business Bay; 052 604 3535; mattodubai.com
Christmas brunches under Dh350
garden on 8
The Media One hotel venue promises two fun but "fuss-free" brunches on Christmas Day. There's vast outdoor seating, turkey with all the trimmings, and salad, sushi, meat and dessert stations – all the makings of a good time.
Friday, December 25; 1pm-4pm and 4pm-7pm; Dh299 with house beverages; Media One Hotel; Dubai Internet City; 04 427 1000
The newly opened beachfront joint, with laid-back indoor and outdoor seating, will serve a six-course Christmas Day lunch, complete with cold and hot appetiser platters to share, plus freshly shucked oysters. Diners can choose from mains such as turkey breast with all the trimmings and slow braised Indonesian lamb shank rendang, before finishing with a dessert platter with mini mince pies, Christmas pudding and other festive favourites.
Friday, December 25; noon-4pm; Dh345 with soft drinks, Dh545 with house beverages; West Beach Palm, Palm Jumeirah; 04 572 3444; kokobay.com
The chic restaurant in Downtown Dubai will offer diners a three-course menu with traditional French flair. Expect sharing-style starters such as tarte flambe, lentil salad with cranberries, octopus carpaccio, grilled prawns and burrata. For mains, choose between options such as confit salmon with beetroot puree and roasted turkey ballotine. Dessert keeps it classically French – a baked mont d'or and a chocolate banana yule log.
Friday, December 25; noon-4pm; Dh349 for a three-course set menu with soft drinks, Dh549 including house beverages; Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Blvd, Downtown Dubai; 04 528 3779; laserre.com
Celebrity chef Silvena Rowe wants to serve a Christmas brunch to remember, and one that caters to Dubai's multicultural community. There will be a carving station where diners can enjoy roast turkey and leg of lamb, and help themselves to a variety of sauces and garnishes. The brunch will also include international flavours, from Middle Eastern-style grilled prawns to Italian pastas and risottos, a tempura and dumpling station, and a sushi counter.
Friday, December 25; 12.30-4pm; Dh290 with soft drinks; Jumeirah Golf Estates; 04 360 1816; dubaigolf.com
Perry & Blackwelder’s Original Smokehouse
With Souk Madinat Jumeirah's fancy festive decor as its backdrop, the American-themed smokehouse is just the place to get carried away with the holiday spirit. Expect unlimited comfort food for starters and main choices of a traditional roast turkey with sides; Cajun salmon with Texas rice; or a veggie Christmas plate with a mushroom patty. Desserts include a choice of Christmas pudding, mince pies, hot apple or chocolate brownie.
Friday, December 25; any three hours between noon and 6pm; Dh295 with soft drinks, Dh395 with house beverages; Souk Madinat Jumeirah; 800 666 353; email@example.com
Publique will serve a three-course menu available for much of December as well as on Christmas Day, which is designed to transport guests to an icy mountain resort. Share a French cheese selection, and tuck into starters such as beef cold cuts, fish tempura and bruschetta. For mains, you can choose from a beef, chicken, duck and veg roast with all the trimmings or shake things up with a traditional raclette or fondue to share. Leave some room for the chocolate fondue and Christmas pudding.
Friday to Wednesday, December 20 to 30; any three hours between noon to 1am for a three-house beverage package; Dh275 with soft drinks, Dh450 with house beverages, Dh150 for children 12 and under; Souk Madinat Jumeirah; 430 8550; publique.ae
Reform Social & Grill
Grab a table at the British venue for a brunch that promises to pack in traditional festive feels. There are a variety of starters followed by a choice of mains such as roast turkey with trimmings and gravy, grilled sea bass and goat's cheese portobello. After a dessert of Christmas pudding or warm chocolate brownie, wrap up the meal with coffee, and British cheese and biscuits.
Friday, December 25; noon-5pm; Dh350 for soft drinks, Dh550 with house beverages, Dh165 for children 12 and under; The Lakes; 04 454 2638; reformsocialgrill.ae
The Tap House
The family (and pet)-friendly restaurant expects a visit from Santa, who'll engage with little ones in a dedicated play area, as well as hand out gifts. Meanwhile, parents can munch on Christmas classics – think roast chicken, cranberry, apple and walnut salad and traditional meatballs for starters, and mains like such as barbecue lamb spare ribs, and roast pumpkin and mascarpone risotto. Wrap up the meal with Christmas pudding and gingerbread cookies.
The Tap House also has an evening Christmas brunch, with prices starting from Dh149 for drinks and Dh199 with a nibbles platter.
Friday, December 25; noon-4pm; Dh295 with soft drinks, Dh395 with house beverages, Dh111 for children under 11; Club Vista Mare, Palm Jumeirah; 04 514 3778; hetaphouse.ae
Christmas brunches for Dh450 and above
For those looking to go all out this Christmas, it doesn't get better than celebrating the day at the tallest building in the world. Treat yourself to a Secret Christmas Brunch in the clouds at At.mosphere where gorgeous views of the city await. There will be Christmas turkey with all the trimmings, beef Wellington and a selection of festive desserts at this sky-high meal.
Friday, December 25; 1pm-4.30pm; Dh495 with soft drinks; Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai; secret-parties.com
Bread Street Kitchen
The quintessentially British venue by Gordon Ramsay will serve up a jolly brunch with live entertainment in the form of a Bread Street Kitchen busker and an appearance from Santa (with gifts for the little ones). Meanwhile the menu will loaded with traditional dishes that have been given Ramsay’s signature spin – such as turkey Wellington, Scottish smoked salmon with caviar and, a new addition this festive season, dark chocolate Wellington with spiced berries.
Folly by Nick & Scott
Christmas lunch gets a gourmet makeover at this gastronomical hot spot in Souk Madinat Jumeirah. The team behind Folly will serve a five-course meal at a Christmas evening brunch with dishes such as foie gras and duck leg confit, and roast turkey. There are also mince pies, and custard and Christmas pudding with clotted cream to end the meal on a sweet note.
Friday, December 25; 4pm-8pm; Dh495 with soft drinks, Dh845 with house beverages; Souk Madinat Jumeirah Dubai, 04 430 8535; folly.ae
Celebrate Christmas in classic Gordon Ramsay style – with an abundance of traditional turkey Wellington, trimmings and pudding. The restaurant by the star chef will also have unlimited starters and desserts, a choice of a la carte mains, a band and a special visitor from the North Pole for its “hellicious” Christmas Day brunch. If that doesn’t whet your appetite, the restaurant also has a Christmas dinner menu and a Boxing Day brunch.
Friday, December 25; 12.30-4pm; Dh695 with soft beverages, Dh895 with house beverages, Dh345 for children aged 4 to 11 for the Hellicious brunch ; Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai; 04 556 6466; caesars.com
For those with exotic tastes, underwater restaurant Ossiano has put together a set menu that takes in Mediterranean-inspired seafood dishes by celebrity chef Gregoire Berger. These include Gillardeau oysters with caviar; lobster with black truffle; and organic quail. Singer-songwriter Clarita De Quiroz will entertain diners with her rendition of festive classics on the piano.