Bouncy castles, check, face painting, check – it seems like there’s a list of essentials that no family event in Abu Dhabi can skip.
But we know very well that keeping little ones happy involves so much more than ice cream.
So, if you're wondering where to brunch with the family, we’ve done the hard work for you, and now it’s time to head out and enjoy what Abu Dhabi’s best restaurants have to offer.
Al Raha Beach Hotel & Resort
With specialities including a traditional roast, sushi and sashimi, French cheese, fritto misto, roasted organic vegetables and live cooking stations, there’s so much more to see. Besides the seafood selection at Sevilla, the dessert spread is also worth checking out as it’s filled with freshly baked pastries, from seasonal scones, muffins and cookies, to cinnamon rolls and much more. As if that wasn’t enough to induce a major sugar rush, little ones will take their picks from “Abu Dhabi’s biggest kids’ buffet”. They can even interact with the culinary experts and pick up some top cooking tips.
Dhs240 (soft drinks). Fri 1pm-4pm. Channel Street (02 508 0555).
Bab Al Qasr
From an Italian corner with pizzas and pastas, Asian stations, plus Peruvian and Middle Eastern speciality live cooking, to a dessert section filled with cakes, mousses, tarts and fresh fruits, there’s loads to munch on at the WeeQend brunch. The family-friendly feast also comprises a special kids’ area with games and activities too, so little ones will stay entertained and can even head to the pool if you choose to include it with the package you book. It’s a win-win.
Dhs195 (soft drinks), Dhs255 (house beverages), Dhs420 (sparkling). Fri 1pm-4pm. West Corniche (02 205 3026).
Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara
The Big Brunch at Ingredients is one long and leisurely Friday brunch featuring everything from organic greens and barbecued seafood to fresh lobster in its five open kitchens and live stations. There’s entertainment as well, so you can spend your afternoon there without having to worry about long, awkward silences. Well, the kids will make sure you don’t experience any “silences” anyway.
Dhs276 (soft drinks), Dhs389 (house beverages), Dhs489 (sparkling), Dhs602 (bubbly). 12.30pm-4pm. Al Salam Street (02 656 1000).
Le Méridien Abu Dhabi
Time to ignore the alarm clock and sleep in, then wake up to a massive brunch. The Village Kitchen Brunch at Le Méridien Abu Dhabi’s Latest Recipe is a good way to do so, as nothing is off limits here. You can eat and eat to your heart’s content at this evergreen courtyard and discover Italian, Greek, British and other international delicacies from Pappagallo, Captain’s Arms and more in the hotel's quaint Village. Everything is served to the table, including juicy burgers, delicious ribs, lamb pita and vegetarian options, plus kids’ favourites such as chicken wings, hot dogs, traditional fish and chips, eggs Benedict, Tex-Mex rice and more. The kids will love the play area, which has a bouncy castle, but also delightful treats such as candyfloss and popcorn.
Dhs249 (soft drinks), Dhs349 (house beverages), Dhs389 (bubbly). Fri 1pm-4pm. Al Zahiya (02 495 2000).
Jumeirah at Etihad Towers
At Nahaam restaurant, you have the sushi, salads, and posh setting. However, it’s this brunch’s kids’ counter that really impresses. It has assorted sandwiches and wraps, which include tuna bread rolls, chicken mayo and peanut butter and jam stacks for little ones to munch on. The kiddie salads include roasted turkey and melon, and pineapple coleslaw. Sweet treats are as sweet as they can get, with the hotel’s restaurant offering fruit skewers, doughnuts, and much more. All that and there’s even a hot dog steamer and popcorn machine on the side. Now that’s what we call a kid-friendly brunch.
Dhs350 (soft drinks), Dhs450 (house beverages), Dhs550 (bubbly). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. West Corniche (02 811 5666).
The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi
Mediterranean-influenced restaurant Olea features a Mediterranean corner, tandoori oven, seafood bar, live stations, carving corner and dessert table – all serving up signature dishes from all around the globe. There are both alfresco and indoor dining options and a live band playing relaxing music throughout so mum and dad can have a chat while the kids play and eat.
Dhs380 (soft drinks), Dhs495 (house beverages), Dhs695 (bubbly), Dhs180 (kids aged six-12), free (kids under six). Fri 1pm-4pm. Saadiyat Island (02 498 8888).
Rixos Saadiyat Island
There’s a new Turkish brunch at Turquoise, and it includes a daycation package. Think live cooking and a buffet filled with Middle Eastern favourites including dolmas, mixed grills, kebabs and mezzes, as well as homemade baklava and Turkish delights. Best part is, families get access to the beachside pool and private beach and 20 percent off treatments at Anjana Spa. Kiddies can head to the Aqua Park, also free of charge, where they’ll find a wave pool and plenty of splashing fun.
Dhs700 (adults), Dhs375 (per child). Fri 1pm-4pm. Saadiyat Island (02 492 2222).
Rosewood Abu Dhabi
When we heard that Aqua was serving up a Slow Food Brunch, we were intrigued, but slow food and kids? Yep, that can happen. A farm-to-table concept, this brunch redefines cooking stations with international dishes reflecting traditions and heritage rather than a rushed, fast-cooking for brunch approach. The kids get their own mini buffet, with a nanny supervising proceedings, while they decorate doughnuts and muffins, and watch kids’ movies.
Dhs400 (soft drinks), Dhs465 (house beverages), Dhs565 (bubbly), Dhs165 (kids aged six to 12), free (kids aged one to five). Fri 1pm-5pm. Al Maryah Island (02 813 5550).
Shangri-La Hotel Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi
A brunch with top dishes from all around the world and plenty to do for kids? The WonderBrunch at Sofra BLD is all about families. With a dedicated team keeping little ones busy through games, arts and crafts, and more, young ones will have tonnes to tell mum and dad about. There’s even a special buffet just for them. So, while parents enjoy the live music and great view, the kids’ corner will be brimming with fun and giggles.
Dhs279 (soft drinks), Dhs349 (house beverages), Dhs459 (bubbly), Dhs139.50 (kids aged six-12), free (kids under six). Fri 1pm-4pm. Bain Al Jessrain (02 509 8888).
The Sportsman’s Arms
At the barbecue brunch you can choose from either one course or unlimited dishes plus a drinks package. This is a leisurely one. With a soft play area for the kids on the family terrace, as well as the al fresco Jack’s BBQ Terrace, The Sportsman’s Arms is a great option for mums, dads and kiddies. Fire up those grills – we’re almost there and we’re ready to eat.
Dhs165 (one dish and house beverages), Dhs240 (unlimited barbecue and house beverages). Fri 1pm-4pm. International Tennis Centre, Zayed Sports City (02 447 1066).