As a city, we are quite seriously obsessed with going for brunch. But really, what’s not to like about gathering with friends and family to chat, laugh and eat lots of incredible food?
But when you can dine outside on a sunny afternoon or a pleasantly warm evening, the ritual of brunching somehow becomes even better.
Brunch outdoors means freshly barbecued meat and fish, topping up your tan, feeling the sea breeze on your face and even the sand between your toes. We can go for a dip in the pool and get countless amazing shots for Instagram (obviously nobody is allowed to tuck in until we’ve embarrassed the rest of our party by standing on a chair and taking an overhead shot of all the plates).
So here is a compilation of our favourite outdoor Abu Dhabi brunches.
Al Naseem Pool Bar
One of the best things about living in constant sunshine is that there’s always an excuse for a barbecue. This Middle Eastern-fusion barbecue is a super-chilled affair that’s held right by the poolside. There’s limited glitz and glamour, but it does provide lots and lots of perfectly cooked and marinated meats. So really, what more could you want? Plus, if you need a break from the feasting or to cool off for a moment, you can simply dive in the pool.
Dhs129 (soft drinks), Dhs229 (house beverages). Fri 2pm-5pm. Novotel Abu Dhabi Gate, Khor Al Maqta (02 508 9999).
Whether you love the area for the kayaking, cycling along the waterfront or just enjoying the peace and quiet, pretty much every Abu Dhabi resident is mesmerised by the beautiful Eastern Mangroves. The very relaxed Friday brunch at BOA steakhouse is held out on the respected eatery’s wide terrace. While taking in the views of the floating trees and wildlife you can savour excellent steaks, seafood platters, hot starters such as aubergine parmigiana, and decadent desserts like New York-style cheesecake.
Dhs340 (soft drinks), Dhs445 (house beverages), Dhs595 (French bubbly. Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Eastern Mangroves Promenade, Al Salam Steet (02 641 1500).
This popular brunch is perfect for when you want to gather a group of friends and really let your hair down. With so many live stations, there are dishes to please even the most fussy of eaters. Try and reserve at spot out on the wooden terrace as from here you get a view over the rolling fairways and immaculate greens of the golf course. With free-flowing beverages and live entertainment, the cooler temperatures let this brunch really come into its own.
Dhs348 (soft drinks), Dhs426 (house beverages), Dhs618 (French bubbly). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa, Khalifa City (02 616 9999).
Designed to look like the most beautiful Mediterranean market you’ve ever seen, this lavish brunch serves the most enormous range of international dishes. The outside dining area is right on the edge of the inviting pool, and from here you have a perfect view of the Gulf’s turquoise waters. Work your way through the Spanish tapas, paella, and immaculate sweet treats from the pâtisserie stalls until you’re too full to eat another bite. This is one of the most opulent backdrops for brunch in the city, so make sure your phone is fully charged and ready to capture every moment of it.
Dhs370 (soft drinks), Dhs465 (house beverages), Dhs680 (bubbly), Dhs780 (French bubbly). Fri 12.30-4pm. Emirates Palace, West Corniche (02 690 9000).
This has to be one of the cutest and coolest gardens around. Graze on antipasti, pizza and pastas as you look out from the terrace at the sensational view over Yas Links and to the blue water beyond. Head here on Thursday nights for the Filini Supper Club brunch and see in the weekend with unlimited bites and house beverages. Or if you prefer to be out in the sun while you eat your Italian delicacies, there’s a Friday brunch, too.
Dhs225 (bites and house beverages), Dhs99 (ladies, house beverages), Dhs150 (gents, house beverages). Thu 8pm-11pm. Dhs200 (soft drinks), Dhs365 (house beverages), Dhs500 (premium beverages).
Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Radisson Blu Hotel Abu Dhabi, Yas Island (02 656 2000).
Visiting Finz is always a pleasure: the interior is clean, classy and nautically themed. But when you are out on the lovely terrace, it really feels as if you have left the city and gone away on a rejuvenating seaside holiday. The up-market Saturday brunch offering is stylish, relaxed and very sophisticated. The seafood is as fresh as you could possibly imagine and the dishes include shellfish towers, bisque, grilled fish and more.
Dhs290 (soft drinks), Dhs370 (house beverages and sparkling). Sat 12.30pm-4pm. Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi, Al Zahiya (02 697 9011).
The most elegant beach brunch in the city has managed to create a vibe that’s extremely glamorous, but also rustic and charming. With a shaded terrace overlooking the pure white sands and impossibly clear waters, this Zaya Nurai has desert island-like levels of beauty. Once you’ve eaten your fill you can set out and explore this exclusive destination that’s so gorgeous it makes you want to pinch yourself.
Dhs690 (soft drinks), Dhs790 (house beverages), Dhs900 (bubbly). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Zaya Nurai Island (02 506 6222).
If there’s anywhere in the city where you want to be outside at all times, then it’s Saadiyat Island. The Epicurean brunch at Olea is an epic dining experience featuring a separate cheese room and so many live stations. The fare includes Asian street food soups, noodles and dim sum, along with roast meats and a huge variety of homemade cheesecakes. Dine out on the terrace where you can take in the scenes of the surrounding palm trees and white sands. There’s also live entertainment and hops stations out there. It all makes you appreciate just how lucky you are to live in Abu Dhabi.
Dhs315 (soft drinks), Dhs410 (house beverages), Dhs590 (bubbly). Fri 1pm-4pm. The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi (02 498 8888).
This friendly brunch is proof that in the capital, you don’t have to splash out to dine in an amazing outdoor area. If it’s getting close to pay day and you’re a bit strapped for cash, this value-for-money feast is perfect. It means that you don’t have to miss out on your weekend brunching, and the best bit is that it’s all table service. This ensures that you don’t even have to move an inch if you don’t want to.
Dhs149 (house beverages), Dhs199 (premium beverages) Fri 1pm - 4pm. Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa Street (02 674 2020).
This is one of the prettiest hotels in the capital. With its iconic tree-shaped lights, the outdoor area by the pool is a luxurious and Insta-friendly spot for brunching. The Garden Brunch is, of course, designed to be eaten outside, where you can take in the brilliant views over the city. The food ranges from carvery stations to curries, and there’s even
a separate area for kids.
Dhs300 (soft drinks), Dhs410 (house beverages), Dhs475 (bubbly). Fri 1pm-4.30pm. Rosewood Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island (02 813 5550).
Throughout the city, the general agreement is that Saadiyat Beach Club is the most lavish and fancy location for a pool or beach day. So why not combine feeling like a king or queen for the afternoon at this dream-like pool with having an amazing brunch, too? At the Safina Friday brunch you can relax out on the shaded terrace and sample barbecued meats, seafood, Asian dishes and much more. Inside, there’s quirky fish-net lampshades and for Dhs100 you can upgrade your package to include pool access. Go on, splash out.
Dhs229 (soft drinks), Dhs339 (house beverages), Dhs499 (bubbly). Fri 1pm-4pm. Saadiyat Beach Club, Saadiyat Island (02 656 3555).
It’s amazing what this cool Japanese spot can do with raw fish. Sushi addicts will be beside themselves at the amazing spread on offer, but the outdoor terrace is almost as good as the food. With views of the Grand Canal and Grand Mosque, this is one of the best places for watching the sunset in the capital. So make sure you stay on after brunch and get your groove on at the after-party.
Dhs160 (soft drinks), Dhs245 (house beverages). Fri noon-4pm. Souk Qaryat Al Beri, Bain Al Jessrain (02 558 1117).
The outdoor terrace venue for the Market Kitchen Friday Brunch is a beautiful place to spend a lazy afternoon. The shaded patio area is surrounded by barbecue masters preparing fish, meats and Arabic specialities, plus there’s also market-style drinks stations, too. Inside, there are countless other choices such as sushi, Indian and Thai dishes, while a live band and DJ entertain the diners from the outdoor stage. It’s all set to the beautiful backdrop of the resort’s huge pool and Saadiyat’s coastline.
Dhs335 (soft drinks), Dhs475 (house beverages), Dhs595 (sparkling). Fri 1pm-4pm. Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas, Saadiyat Island (02 697 0000).
Stills Restaurant & Bar
With high-quality pub grub and a huge 26m-long bar, Stills has all the makings of a classic Friday party brunch. The outdoor area makes it even more fun, and from here you’ll get to chat, feast and join in with a bunch of games courtesy of the Playroom brunch. There’s music from Sweet Chilli Jam and Dj Richie, too.
Dhs185 (soft drinks), Dhs250 (house beverages). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi, Yas Island (02 656 3053).
The Sportsman’s Arms
Don’t worry, although this bar is housed inside Zayed Sports City, there aren’t any burpees or sprints involved in this brunch. But there are two options to choose from. If you’re in the mood for just one plate of food instead of, well, an excessive number of plates of food, you can opt to have a solitary dish and unlimited house beverages. Or, if you want to visit the barbecue on the terrace an almost embarrassingly high number of times (we expect you to be on first-name terms with each chef by the end of it), you can sign up for the unlimited barbecue package.
Dhs165 (one dish and house beverages), Dhs240 (unlimited barbecue and house beverages). Thu-Fri 7pm-10pm. International Tennis Centre, Zayed Sports City (02 447 1066).
The Terrace on the Corniche
We’re big fans of the vibrant and colourful dining room at the Terrace on the Corniche. But, as you can probably guess from the name, there’s also a brilliant outdoor area at this restaurant. Now the weather is good you can expect the terrace area to be filled with grills and live stations, filled with top quality meats and seafood and excellent, drinks, too. The Friday brunch here lets you thoroughly experience St. Regis-style luxury with exceptional service, incredible food and some of the best service you’ll find in the capital. Keep an eye out for the waiters bringing food around the tables, as well.
Dhs345 (soft drinks), Dhs490 (house beverages), Dhs650 (bubbly). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Nation Towers, Corniche Road West (02 694 4553).
If you live in an apartment, we bet you sometimes miss the perks that come with having your own garden. But as we can go and eat brunch in the greenery at The Village every Friday, we appreciate there’s not much to complain about. If anything it’s better this way. You don’t have to stress about cutting the grass and weeding the flowerbeds before inviting friends to come and enjoy this garden party. With Greek classics from Acropolis, Italian delights from Pappagallo and pub grub from The Captain’s Arms served directly to your table, this is a dreamy spot for soaking up the sun’s rays and appreciating the perfection of Abu Dhabi’s winter temperatures.
Dhs139 (soft drinks) Dhs229 (house beverages). Fri 1pm-4pm. The Village, Le Méridien Ab Dhabi, Al Zahiyah (02 495 2000).