Brunch in Dubai and the UAE

Anybody who knows anything about the UAE knows that they don’t do things by halves. From the world’s tallest building to the most luxurious hotel, the Emiratis pull out all of the stops when it comes to impressing the world. And their legendary Friday brunches, which are on offer at most of the major hotels, certainly don’t disappoint.

Brunch in Dubai

A must-do on the tourist calendar, brunches usually kick off at midday and end at 4pm, during which time you can eat and drink as much as you like. And I’m not talking about an Eggs Benedict here – the food on offer is out of this world with more choice than you know what to do with, and the drinks are just as generous with an abundance of cocktails to choose from, alongside the usual wines, beers and spirits. So there is lots of fun to be had.

The brunches are generally not cheap at about £100 per person, but if you love your food and have an appetite for a few tipples, it’s worth every penny. Especially when you consider Dubai prices in general which are on the steep side for eating – and especially drinking – out.

I have the bitter-sweet reality of having my sister and her family live in Dubai; bitter because I miss them dearly, sweet because I get to holiday in Dubai at a fraction of the usual cost.

Jumeirah Beach hotel

Jumeirah Beach hotel

We first visited them in 2013 when we were introduced to the brunch we’d heard so much about. My sister chose Jumeirah Beach hotel for our ‘brunch initiation’, one of Dubai’s iconic beachfront hotels.

Off the main restaurant area are several rooms, each with different food ‘stations’. From seafood to chinese, curries to roast beef dinners, the food was exquisite. Mojitos and Prosecco were on tap and the service was second-to-none. We left four hours later feeling extremely merry and full-to-bursting.

When we returned to Dubai this month, we were lucky enough to take a trip to Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, about a forty-minute drive from Dubai. Home to the F1 Grand Prix, Yas Island is a holiday maker’s paradise with renowned attractions including Ferrari World and Yas Water Park, as well as an uber cool beach.

In celebration of Mr M’s birthday, we’d planned to have brunch at the Viceroy Hotel. Situated on Yas Marina and encircled by the F1 circuit, the Viceroy makes for quite a spectacle, so we were excited to visit for the occasion. Our expectations were high given our previous experience at Jumeirah Beach hotel and I’m pleased to say that we weren’t disappointed.

Brunch with a view in Abu Dhabi

Brunch with a view in Abu Dhabi

After being greeted with a glass of Prosecco on arrival, we were seated in the restaurant which is light and airy with spectacular views over the marina. I took the opportunity before the crowds descended to take a walk around the various food stations which again included cuisine from across the world, a never-ending deli, an outdoor barbecue area for grilled lobster, lamb cutlets and beef ribs, a seafood station, a counter for roast joints, endless desserts, chocolate fountains, made-to-order ice-cream…the choice was endless. So much so that I started to panic about the prospect of not having enough time to sample everything I wanted!Brunch in Dubai and the UAE

I’m a big fan of antipasti, so was in my element to discover a whole station dedicated to this and could have filled up on cured meats, stuffed peppers and olives alone…I moved onto the oriental station, before trying the lobster and the beef wellington which was cooked to perfection. Mr M loves oysters so he had his fair share of these.

Dessert for me was ice-cream which the staff made to order using liquid nitrogen (of course!), and various cakes and chocolate truffles. All washed down with multiple margaritas – heaven on earth!

Brunch at the Viceroy

If there’s one thing you do when you visit Dubai and the UAE – make it brunch.

28 signs you were a school girl in the 90s

at school in the 90s

    1. Your perfume of choice was either Tommy Girl or CK One
    2. You wore your Kickers into the ground…And then purchased Pods
    3. You and your mates talked about who would be which Spice Girl – which largely depended on your hair colour
    4. You fancied Paul Nichols in The Bizz
    5. You doodled the Take That symbol over all your exercise books…and cried when they announced their split
    6. You knew every single line in the film ‘Clueless’ and wanted to be Alicia Silverstone
    7. Your school had a tuck shop which sold just crisps, sweets, chocolate and fizzy drinks
    8. You felt naughty looking at the ‘position of the week’ in Bliss magazine
    9. You viewed IT class as a doss lesson – when will I need to use a computer?
    10. Your Friday night was spent watching Top Of The Pops and Saturday morning watching Live & Kicking
    11. You owned a velvet scrunchie
    12. You had to feed your Tamagotchi in between lessons
    13. You used to record the Sunday Top 40 on your cassette player – and go ballistic if your sister/brother/mum/dad walked in the room and started talking over the recording
    14. You wore blue mascara
    15. You had floppy discs in your school bag
    16. You remember the first mobile phones and how they sounded like Morse code when sending a text message
    17. You experimented with Wella wash-in, wash-out hair dye on a monthly basis
    18. Your denim jacket was your staple
    19. You cried when Gareth Southgate hit the post…And again when Beckham got sent off
    20. You used a lot of Tipp-Ex – you even had a Tipp-Ex pen and Tipp-Ex tape
    21. Your Christmas list was made up of Argos catalogue numbers
    22. You bought Smash Hits magazine for the stickers
    23. You read all of the books from the Babysitters Club and Goosebumps series. And Judy Blume was your hero
    24. You were a master of Tetris
    25. You once owned a mini disc player
    26. Ayia Napa and Faliraki were the holiday destinations of choice
    27. You collected single CDs
    28. Wagon Wheels, Iced Gems, Space Invaders, Iced Pops…
    29. The List

What did a girl do before Primark?

Twelve years ago when I went on my fist girls’ holiday at 18, I saved my Saturday earnings for weeks so that I could afford a Topshop wardrobe cool enough for Ibiza.

primark summer holiday clothes

Twelve years on it’s hard to remember our high streets without the notorious ‘Primania’ beckoning us in with its cheap price tags, ever-changing fashion lines and £1 accessories. Oh Primark, if only I had you back then!

So, when I popped into my local shopping centre for a few last minute items for my holiday to Dubai, I ended up buying an entire holiday wardrobe instead. Primark has that effect on me. This is everything I got for the grand total of…£43!

  1. Pink floral top – £4
  2. Beach towels – £4 each
  3. Casual shorts – £3
  4. Denim shorts – £5
  5. Playsuit – £5
  6. Print top – £4
  7. Laser cut peep toe shoes – £6
  8. Skater dress – £5
  9. Casual shorts – £3

I’m not even convinced that the clothes are any lesser in quality than the likes of the other high street stores. The only downfall of Primark clothes (as we all know) is that you yourself know that they are from Primark. And because you know that you only paid a fiver for those shorts, their shelf life is much shorter than if you’d paid £35 – silly, but sadly true.

However, it’s not like I wear shorts and use beach towels every day in England, so it really doesn’t matter. By the time my next summer holiday comes around I’ll want a whole new wardrobe anyway.

And I know where I’ll be shopping.