1. Amerigo’s Mexican Bar & Restaurant
Things seem cheerier when you’re wearing a sombrero and shaking maracas, don’t they? The piles of Mexican food, grills and cheese dishes with a chilli kick help, too. The taco and ceviche stations are great and we’re suckers for churros at the best of times, but especially when the package includes pool access and the opportunity to nap under that sombrero after filling your belly. Only after you’ve danced to the Latin beats, though.
From Dhs150. Fri noon-4pm. Park Inn by Radisson Abu Dhabi, Yas Island (02 656 2222)
2. Asia de Cuba
As a sunset lounge and late-night hangout we really rate this coastal favourite. And there is no surprise its brunch is equally impressive. Forget the free-for-all of less accomplished brunches as style is high on the agenda here. That goes for the clientele – decked out in their weekend finest – but also the food. A selection of exotically flavoured bao buns, oysters, empanadas and some welcome ceviche before an ambitious passion fruit pana cotta
From Dhs250. Fri-Sat 1pm-4pm. Nation Towers, Corniche Road West (02 699 3333).
3. Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE
The beach brunch at this out-of-town venue, like the after-dark parties, will bring a tear to the eye of anybody remembering holidays in Ibiza. The authentic Balearic vibe is spattered with UAE-style touches such as sushi platters, a barbecue and well-known resident DJs. The vibrant atmosphere can also be a great way to extend a weekend party through Saturday afternoon, if you have the staying power.
From Dhs310. Sat 1.30pm-3.30pm, 4pm-6.30pm.Golden Tulip Al Jazira Hotel & Resort, Ghantoot (056 113 3400).
4. Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa
The granddaddy of party brunches, Bubbalicious is famous across the UAE for its enormous scale and lively atmosphere. The self-titled “most interactive brunch in the city” is an extravaganza with multiple live cooking stations and specialist drink bars. Despite the sheer size there is no compromise on the quality, which, at times, approaches à la carte standards, but it is the boisterous atmosphere that has given it a stellar reputation – and rightly so.
From Dhs348 (adults), Dhs174 (kids). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa, Sas Al Nakhl (02 616 9999).
Restaurant managers: want to know how to turn your regular brunch into a party brunch? Add a Latin band, of course. Those venues that have it mastered, such as this smart World Trade Center joint, know there is more to it than that, however. In the case of BU! there is an understanding that a good party has to have good food as well. Small sharing plates are the order of the day, with tacos, anticuchos, a variety of sushi and, of course, ceviche. The Latin vibe’s always buzzing here.
From Dhs315. Fri 12.30pm-4.30pm. The Hub, The Mall at the World Trade Center Abu Dhabi (02 666 8066).
6. Fairmont Bab Al Bahr
If Hollywood were to make a movie about Abu Dhabi’s brunch scene, we can’t help but think this Fairmont Abu Dhabi giant would have to be a computer-generated character. So enormous and multi-faceted is it that it can be difficult to know where to start. Like the Avengers it combines together several components (Marco Pierre White and Frankie Dettori’s restaurant as well as CuiScene and the Sports Café venues are used) to become more than the sum of its parts resulting in a lavish affair, which needs to be tried more than once to gain a full understanding of all its joys. And if you need any direction, just ask the friendly staff.
From Dhs279. Fri noon-4pm. Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Khor Al Maqta (02 654 3238).
If we were more melancholic, reflective types we’d come over all sentimental and say we’ve been enjoying the party brunches at this Mexican chain in the UAE for nearly a decade. But we’re not, so we’ll just mention the time we laughed so hard at a Loca brunch that we swear a bit of freshly made guacamole actually came out of our nose. We say that with the greatest possible of fondness. Actually, all you really need to know is the party platters are sublime and the music is foot-tappingly catchy.
Dhs283.50. Fri noon-5pm. The Galleria, Al Maryah Island (02 582 3639).
8. Marriott Hotel Downtown
Guided tours and PlayStation areas are imaginitive touches, but ultimately distractions, at a classic party brunch. The Marriott’s all-day dining restaurant, Kuzbara, goes hard on all aspects of its Eat. Play. Laugh. name. Find choice cuts of meat, street food, sushi counters, dessert stations and laden tables of various cuisines. We love the lengths taken to tick the play and laugh boxes with giant Jenga, foosball, a caricaturist and even a magician.
From Dhs275. Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Marriott Hotel Downtown Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Street (02 304 7777).
Abu Dhabi’s best pub, plus the city’s best bar food is an excellent recipe for a party brunch. An à la carte offering will bring you an extensive selection of dishes, while the carvery stations offer roast meats and buffet bites. Rest assured that it gets very lively here on a Friday and the value for money is fantastic at less than Dhs200, especially considering there is live music and a fun DJ. For those determined, and able, to keep the party going, an extension drinks package is offered giving you free-flowing drinks until 8pm for an extra Dhs149.
Dhs199. Fri noon-4pm. Al Raha Beach Hotel & Resort, Channel Street (02 652 4333).
10. Stills Bar & Brasserie
They call this a ‘funch’ and we’re guessing that means a fun brunch. It’s hard to argue with that moniker when, at any point during proceedings, you might see Abu Dhabi’s best house band – The International Playboys – rocking out to party classics, high-spirited diners indulging in a game of drinks pong, and a couple of DJs taking requests as the staff try to keep up, even though they’re at Abu Dhabi’s longest bar. There’s never a dull moment at this one.
Dhs249. Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Crowne Plaza and Staybridge Suites, Abu Dhabi Yas Island (02 656 3000).