Your guide to the best outdoor brunches in Abu Dhabi and the UAE

The best al fresco feasts across the country

Your guide to the best outdoor brunches in Abu Dhabi and the UAE

The weather in the UAE is back to being the very definition of perfect, and we can’t contain our excitement.

Now’s the time of year when your friends and family are leaving the rain and cold behind and coming over to visit, and what better way is there of showing them a good time than with an outdoor brunch?

Whether you’re staying in the capital or heading up to Dubai for the weekend, you’ll find so many gorgeous al fresco feasts offering private beaches, pool access, kids’ clubs, refreshing mixed drinks and of course, lots of sensational food.

You have until next summer to check out all of the below…

ABU DHABI
Alba Terrace


This chilled, Mediterranean restaurant serves up an exceptional three-course set menu during the All Day Brunch, with stand-out dishes such as creamy prawn and courgette risotto and freshly baked truffle pizza. The terrace is beautiful and stylish, with white and blue furnishings and some secluded booths surrounded by water. The live band is awesome, too, and you can start your three-hour package any time between 12.30pm and 8pm.
Dhs245 (soft drinks), Dhs388 (house beverages), Dhs488 (bubbly). Fri 12.30pm-8pm. The Abu Dhabi EDITION, Al Bateen Marina (02 208 0000). 

Aqua
Expect everything from roasts to curries at this relaxed brunch. The outdoor area had a revamp over the summer and now it’s even better than ever. Relaxing here with a cool drink in hand and admiring the waters around Al Maryah Island is one of our favourite ways of spending a Friday, especially when also enjoying cracking dishes like European cheeses lifted straight from La Cava, tasty grilled fish, authentic Asian dishes and super make-you-own salad bowls.
Dhs395 (soft drinks), Dhs495 (house beverages), Dhs595 (bubbly), Dhs625 (premium bubbly).  Fri noon-5pm. Rosewood Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island (02 813 5550). 

Barfly by Buddha-Bar
Right by the Grand Canal, the terrace at Barfly is a sensational spot. Listen to the gentle lapping of the waves and unwind on a comfy sofa or at one of the waterside tables. The food is pan-Asian themed, and every last dish is tremendous. The buffet features salads, sushi and tempura, while the signature stations serve up barbecued meats, laksa soup and so many other specialities. The cool tunes and expertly made drinks make the whole experience even better, too.
Dhs285 (soft drinks), Dhs395 (house beverages). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Venetian Village, The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal (02 404 1931).

Cafe Milano
This chilled Saturday brunch sees you take a culinary tour through a different Italian region each week. The friendly and accommodating staff have a knack for making you feel right at home, and if there’s room we recommend taking a seat on the wide outdoor terrace. The views of the city’s skyline are gorgeous, and you’ll soon be having so much fun you’ll forget that work looms the next day.
Dhs135 (soft drinks), Dhs195 (house beverages). Sat noon-4pm. Four Seasons Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island (02 333 2222).

Cho Gao Marina Walk
The Thursday night brunch is super popular, so make sure you book a spot out on the terrace well in advance. Here you can nibble on countless tasty Asian bites and admire the view of the marina with Etihad Towers standing proudly in the background. You can’t possibly leave without adding a snap of the scene to your Insta story, and the dishes include wasabi prawns, maki rolls, spring rolls and beef rendang. With packages covering mixed drinks, grape and hops, it really is very good value.
Dhs169 (soft drinks), Dhs269 (house beverages). Thu 7pm-11pm. InterContinental Abu Dhabi, King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud Street (02 666 6888).

COYA
This fun Peruvian restaurant certainly knows how to throw an awesome brunch. With colourful décor, the dining room is vibrant and fun, but the best seats in the house are out on the terrace that overlooks the water surrounding Al Maryah Island. With upbeat Latin music, and welcome drinks to start you off, you’ll be in a proper party mood before you’ve even taken a seat. The menu includes some of COYA’s best dishes such as sushi, ceviches, bao buns, creamed corn, grilled meats, fresh fish and much more. The desserts are also unmissable, so save room.
Dhs238 (soft drinks), Dhs378 (house beverages), Dhs498 (sparkling). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. The Galleria Al Maryah Island (02 306 7000).

Emirates Palace

Set out in the grounds of one of Abu Dhabi’s most iconic and luxurious hotels, Brunch at the Palace is designed to look like a gourmet street food market. Offering dishes from all over the globe, chefs are on hand to serve up an amazing selection of meats, seafood, salads, mezze, sushi and more. The live band is guaranteed to get everyone dancing and it’s a great afternoon spent out in the sunshine.
Dhs370 (soft drinks), Dhs465 (house beverages), Dhs695 (bubbly), Dhs185 (kids between six and 12), free (kids five and below). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Emirates Palace, West Corniche (02 690 9000).

Fairways
You can have ace views of the fairways at Abu Dhabi Golf Club as you join in the celebrations at Bubbalicious. The infamous party brunch features lots of signature drinks stations, a live band, DJ and countless different cuisines from around the world. The sushi, grilled seafood and cheese table are just some of the highlights, and the staff are always really lovely.
Dhs336 (soft drinks), Dhs430 (house beverages), Dhs624 (premium beverages). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa, Khalifa City A (02 616 9999).

Ginger Mermaid
If you haven’t been to Zaya Nurai Island yet we think you probably need to sort that out. On Fridays you can head to this luxurious resort for an international buffet, music from a live DJ and kids’ club facilities, including a recently opened waterpark. Make sure you allow time to take hundreds of photos of the incredible scenery around you, too.
Dhs550 (soft drinks), Dhs650 (house beverages), Dhs850 (bubbly). 12.30pm-4pm. Zaya Nurai Island (02 506 6274).

Hakkasan

Located at Emirates Palace, the terrace at this fancy Chinese restaurant is stunning. Here you can relax on a cabana bed as you enjoy a sophisticated brunch of dim sum, Peking duck, soup, miniature desserts and lots more. It’s a super-value way of enjoying one of the very best restaurants in the city, and if you’re here with visitors, letting your guests experience one of the most iconic hotels in the capital will definitely gain you kudos.
Dhs318 (soft drinks), Dhs438 (house beverages), Dhs638 (bubbly). Fri noon-4pm. Emirates Palace, West Corniche (02 690 7999).

Hytes
The rooftop bar at the Southern Sun Abu Dhabi offers brilliant views over Downtown, and its South African-style braai night is one of the best night brunches around. The spread includes American-style beef brisket, sausages and meats from the USA and Australia, plus you can even have a go at cooking on the braais yourself if you simply can’t help but get involved. We’re looking at you, fellas.
Dhs229 (soft drinks), Dhs289 (house beverages). Fri 7pm-10pm. Southern Sun Abu Dhabi, Mina Street, Al Zahiyah (02 818 4888).

Iris Yas Island
The Friday brunch at Iris is always filled with a young and very trendy crowd who are drawn there for the decent deal (Dhs240 for house beverages), chilled-out tunes that get more lively as the afternoon goes on and the sensational views over Yas Marina. The terrace offers the ideal spot for people and boat watching over Yas Marina, and you’re even in the perfect position to check out the circuit and see if there are any cars whizzing past. The food is on point, too, with live stations serving fish and chips, spicy chicken wings and pasta, while the colourful sushi spread is one of the many highlights. The venue is undergoing a revamp at the moment, but we’re told it will be back open soon.
Dhs190 (soft drinks), Dhs240 (house beverages), Dhs290 (premium beverages). Fri noon-5pm. Yas Marina, Yas Island (055 160 5636).

Pacifico Tiki

Looking right over the water at Al Bandar, this cool bar oozes tropical vibes. It’s got some of the best views in the city, and you’ll be able to gaze out at the impossibly blue waters off Al Raha Beach and over to Yas Island as you munch away and make the most of the large wooden terrace. The ladies’ nights are very popular with partygoers, but the Friday brunch is suitable for families, too. As well as the live barbecue stations (serving meats, seafood and vegetarian options), starters, salads and desserts, there are also kids’ activities such as face painting, plus a bouncy castle for them to burn off some energy on. Events like this are what Fridays were made for.
Dhs155 (soft drinks), Dhs225 (house beverages), Dhs77.5 (kids over five), free (under fives). Fri noon-4pm. Al Bandar Marina, Al Raha Beach (050 696 9298).

Saadiyat Rotana Resort and Villas
The Market Brunch offers a huge buffet of multiple live stations, taking over the whole of the all-day-dining restaurant and spilling out onto the terrace. From here you can admire the huge pool with the private beach and shining waters of the Gulf beyond, and there are also countless stations serving mixed drinks plus a cool live band and DJ to set the mood. The seafood stand is one of the best bits, with lobsters, swordfish, sea bass, crabs and more. Simply choose your catch and wait for it to be grilled to order and delivered to your table, and in the meantime there’s sushi, a special room dedicated to traditional meats, curries and more to keep you busy.
Dhs350 (soft drinks), Dhs495 (house beverages), Dhs595 (sparkling), Dhs165 (kids aged six to 11). Fri 1pm-4pm. Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas, Saadiyat Island (02 697 0000). 

The Terrace on the Corniche

This classy buffet has a real family-friendly vibe, and there are loads of different dishes on offer. The terrace is massive and nicely shaded from the midday heat, and highlights include the enormous cheese and dessert spreads in the St. Regis Bar, plus the authentic Italian plates. The house beverage package includes grape and hops, but you’ll also get a glass from the bubbly opening ceremony if you wait until the end. It’s so much fun you won’t want to go home.
Dhs345 (soft drinks), Dhs430 (house beverages), Dhs595 (bubbly). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Nation Towers, Corniche Road West (02 694 4553).

DUBAI
all’onda

If you’re looking for a brunch with a stunning view across to Dubai Marina, this is a swish Friday feast to check out. This massive Venetian-style Italian restaurant on the Palm comes from top US chef Chris Jaeckle and the menu is modern and tasty. Highlights include fresh sushi, spaghetti carbonara and cherry meringue for dessert. There’s also an upbeat party vibe with a live DJ to accompany those views out to sea. You might not be on holiday, but you’ll soon feel like you are.
Dhs295 (soft drinks), Dhs395 (house beverages), Dhs495 (sparkling). Fri 1pm-4pm. Emerald Palace Kempinski Dubai, Palm Jumeirah (04 248 8870).

Il Faro

We can’t get enough of the ladies’ night at this pretty Palm Jumeirah trattoria, and the good news is that the lighthouse-shaped building also offers a laid-back Italian brunch. Expect pizza, antipasti and more, all with a portion of sea views. One of the most picturesque spots around, you’ll soak up the winter sun as you take in vistas of the Burj Al Arab. And all while you’re stuffing down a tasty pizza (keep it classic with a buffalo mozzarella margherita, trust us).
Dhs170 (soft drinks), Dhs295 (house beverages), Dhs395 (sparkling). Fri 12.30pm-3.30pm. Azure Residences, Palm Jumeirah (04 568 3137).

Key West Bar & Grill
Winner of the Time Out Dubai Best Outdoor Restaurant award for 2019, this is a no-brainer when it comes to al fresco dining. This night offering is an excellent way to start your weekend in the best way. Head to this cool Caribbean bar and restaurant at Nikki Beach and kick of your shoes in readiness for a chilled brunch. Dig into Caribbean and Latin dishes including josper-grilled meats, barbecued offerings and a live dessert station, palm trees swaying in the breeze. Yes please.
Dhs200 (soft drinks). Thu 8pm-11pm. Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai, Pearl Jumeirah (04 376 6290).

Mama Zonia
There are plenty of brunches at Pier 7, but this is the newest of the bunch. This super-cool jungle-esque spot is not only a Time Out Dubai award-winner but it also serves up a fun Friday brunch. For Latino food, tropical décor and
a Dubai Marina view, make a date at this one, pronto (and don’t miss the sushi).
Dhs295 (soft drinks), Dhs395 (house beverages), Dhs445 (sparkling). Fri 1pm-4pm. Pier 7, Dubai Marina (04 240 4747).

Marina Social
A longstanding favourite when it comes to Dubai Marina views, British chef Jason Atherton’s Dubai outpost comes into its own in the winter months, thanks to the charming terrace overlooking the Marina. Chill out and watch the yachts sail past as you sample top grub. And in even better news, the Social brunch menu has been revamped in time for winter, so expect some brand-new dishes alongside the stalwarts.
Dhs290 (soft drinks), Dhs435 (house beverages), Dhs485 (bubbly). Fri 1pm-4pm. InterContinental Dubai Marina (04 446 6664).

Maya Mexican Kitchen + Bar
Fajitas and a dip in the pool, what more could you want from a brunch? This Friday fiesta offers an unlimited sharing menu of Mexican favourites and all day pool and beach access, making it a winning spot for a lazy afternoon in the winter. Don’t forget your swimwear, you’ll want to wallow after eating your weight in tacos, trust us.
Dhs345 (soft drinks), Dhs495 (house beverages). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai Marina (04 316 5550).

Nikki Beach Dubai
The sun is shining and you’re not too hot to leave the house so this is the ideal place to splash around in style. Make no mistake, this is a classy affair so you’d be wise to hit the shops, or at the very least dig out your classiest togs. This world-famous beach club hosts a happening Saturday party brunch with sushi, drinks and pool access. Get ready to loll around in an inflatable flamingo once you’ve finished digging into the buffet.
Dhs265 (soft drinks), Dhs395 (grape and hops), Dhs465 (grape, hops and shorts). Sat 1pm-4pm. Pearl Jumeirah, Dubai (04 376 6162).

RÜYA
This classy Turkish restaurant from chef Colin Clague offers up signature dishes and Marina views, which are ripe for the picking once
the mercury drops to a comfortable level. A classy, yet lively affair to check out on a Friday, it’s a grown-up party brunch so expect to see people up on their feet before the afternoon is out. The dishes are as good as the vibe, too, so come prepared to eat your way through a top sharing menu.
Dhs299 (soft drinks), Dhs399 (house beverages). Fri 12.30pm-3.30pm. Grosvenor House, Dubai Marina (04 399 9123).

BEACH CLUBS
Blue Marlin UAE Ibiza
Not only does Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE offer a slice of the party island life, it’s now cooking up a slice of its Mediterranean dishes, too. The tropical brunch has loads of barbecued meats, traditional fresh sushi straight from the in-house masters, along with a list of sweet treats. Better yet, guests can sip on mixed beverages at the venue’s beach beds, all while chilled beats are spun by the resident DJs.
From Dhs250 (restaurant), Dhs325 (beach and terrace). Restaurant: Every Sat 1pm-3.30pm (first sitting), 4pm-6.30pm (second sitting); Beach and Terrace: Every Sat 1pm-4pm. Golden Tulip Al Jazira Hotels and Resort, Ghantoot (056 113 3400).

Safina

Saadiyat Beach Club is one of the coolest and most popular locations in the city. The Monday ladies’ day is super popular, and the Friday brunch is also a fine way of living your best life at the weekend. Admire the beauty of the infinity pool and the blue Gulf beyond as you visit the many live stations and feast on barbecued meats, Asian bites, cheese from across the globe and indulgent desserts. It’s definitely worth an Insta post or two.
Dhs299 (soft drinks), Dhs399 (house beverages), Dhs499 (French bubbly), Dhs99 (kids seven-12), free (kids under six). Fri 1pm-4pm. Saadiyat Beach Club (02 656 3500).

POOL ACCESS
Amerigos Mexican Bar and Restaurant
This lively Mexican spot has just had a revamp, and now the indoor area is full of bright colours and quirky decorations. But as great as it is inside, the al fresco area is still one of our favourite places in the city for a good feed. Take a table by the palm tree-fringed pool and gaze out at the tremendous views of the rolling fairways of Yas Links. This means you can enjoy critiquing the games of the passing golfers as you tuck into delicious fajitas, tacos, nachos and more. Pool access is included too if you  should fancy a dip after you’re done.
Dhs190 (soft drinks) Dhs320 (house beverages), Dhs440 (premium beverages), Dhs100 (kids aged six-12. Fri noon-4pm. Park Inn by Radisson, Yas Island (02 656 2222).

Finz
This classy seafood restaurant has a wooden terrace that juts out over the bright blue waters of the Gulf at the Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi. The table service brunch includes a wide selection of starters, mains and desserts, all designed to be shared, while the elaborate and premium packages also includes a beach and pool pass, meaning it would be rude not to dive in.
Dhs290 (soft drinks), Dhs370 (house beverages, sparkling and pool access), Dhs440 (premium beverages and pool access). Sat 12.30pm-4pm. Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi, Al Zahiyah (02 697 9011).

Nahaam
You’ll find food from across Jumeirah at Etihad Towers’ impressive restaurants at this truly excellent brunch. Inside the dining room is light and airy and full of sushi, salads and a super spread of desserts, but you really can’t beat the amazing vibes out on the terrace. Here you can dance to tunes from the live band, relax on the beach and take a dip in the infinity pool. Service is quick and friendly, and you’ll also find live stations serving barbecued meats, curries, burgers, grilled seafood and much more.
Dhs350 (soft drinks), Dhs450 (house beverages), Dhs550 (bubbly). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, West Corniche (02 811 5666).

OUR COVER STAR!
Filini Garden

This Yas Island bar is one of those places where no matter what day of the week it is, it’s always super busy. The Friday brunch is no different, and you’ll always find a fun-loving crowd here. As you’ll see from our cover shot, the setting is one of the best you’ll find in the UAE, and it’s really worth sticking around afterwards to watch the sunset over Yas Links. Antipasti is served to the table along with pizzas and pastas to share, and there’s also a buffet of salads, breads and more Italian bites.
Dhs200 (soft drinks), Dhs365 (house beverages), Dhs500 (premium beverages). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Radisson Blu Hotel Abu Dhabi, Yas Island (02 656 2000).

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