As all parents in the UAE know, the traditionally joyous pastime of eating out can – depending on the mood of the kids you have in tow – sometimes descend into sheer despair.
So, why waste your time and money on the off chance that the place has nothing for your sprogs?
Fear not, we are here to help, with a selection of the most family-friendly options in town. Tuck in.
Byblos Sur Mer
This is a delicious Friday occasion, perfect for the whole family. Starters are hot and cold mezze, ideal to share about, plus a terrific dessert platter.
Fri 12.30pm-4.30pm, InterContinental Abu Dhabi, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud Street (02 666 6888).
Sit yourself down for some quality nosh while the kids hang out at nearby event space, The Venue. Located just a few metres away, this children’s entertainment zone boasts magicians, games and more.
Fri 11.30am-4pm, Yas Marina, Yas Island (02 496 3412).
This family afternoon has great range of Indian and Middle Eastern dishes. The kids, meanwhile, can go bananas at the delicious dessert counter.
Fri 12.30pm-4pm, Yas Island Rotana (02 656 4000).
There’s a smashing terrace and a chilled vibe at Crust , which favours quality over quantity. The cakes and cheese selection is also a great way to go out with a lardy bang.
Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island (02 333 2222).
Fairmont Bab Al Bahr
This buzzy occasion brings together all of the hotel’s restaurants, into one huge foodie delight. The Chameleon – appropriately enough, given its name – caters for the youngsters by transforming into a designated children’s area, with toys and a buffet.
Fri noon-4pm, Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Khor Al Maqta (02 654 3333).
Covering most of the ground floor of The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Gionrnotte’s Friday feast offers one of the widest selections of food we’ve seen in the capital. Ideal for fussy diners…
Fri 12.30pm-4pm, The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal, Khor Al Maqta (02 818 8282).
This very family-friendly international offering has two key additions that elevate it from the crowd – great views of the Arabian Gulf and a bouncy castle.
Fri 12pm-3pm, Yas Links, Yas Island (02 810 7710).
Mac and cheese, juicy parmesan chicken, New York strip steak... If your little ones like a more sophisticated take on kids’ classics then get down here, pronto.
Fri 12.30pm-4pm, Le Royal Méridien, Sheikh Khalifa Street (800 101 101).
Silk Route Café
There’s a bespoke kids’ zone which will keep kids entertained/roped off and a broad buffet of grub thaty will please them.
Fri 12.30pm-3.30pm, Holiday Inn Abu Dhabi, Al Reehan (02 657 4858).
The clowns making animal balloons are an endless source of amusement for the kids here, while the home-made ice creams, three types of chocolate fountain and six types of churros with accompanying sauces will have the little ones on cloud nine.
Fri 1pm-4pm, Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Khor Al Maqta (02 509 8555).
The Terrace on the Corniche
Brimming with families and friends, this place is packed with good reason. There are Lebanese staples, sushi, curries, stir-fries, roasts, pastas and more. And a dedicated dessert room.
Fri 1pm-4pm. The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Nation Towers (02 694 4553).
Pony rides? What better way to keep the sprogs busy than with a stroll on a horse? That, plus a kids’ club, an all-you-can-eat buffet and very reasonable prices – kids aged five to 12 are half price – make this a really compelling offering for families in the capital.
Fri 12pm-4pm, One to One Hotel, The Village, Al Nahyan (02 495 2000).
A wide selection of traditional Lebanese cuisine is available here, but what’s really worth the (bargain) entry price is the dedicated kids’ corner that has food stations, face painting, games and movies. It'll keep the little ones busy for sure.
12.30pm-4pm, Al Matar (02 447 4489).
Please call the venues to check prices and packages before booking.