The arrival of a new year leaves us excited for several restaurant openings across Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Here are 22 new spots you should be on the lookout for this year…
Emmy Squared, renowned for its Detroit-style pizza and handcrafted sandwiches, will debut in Abu Dhabi this year. Emmy Squared’s pizza is marked by its square shape, crispy bottom, fluffy focaccia-like dough, caramelised cheesy “frico” crust, and signature sauce stripes. As the first international location for the popular pizza brand, the licensed restaurant will open at Yas Bay Waterfront.
GO: Follow @emmysquaredpizzauae on Instagram for more information.
The UAE’s second branch of the Grand Beirut (the other can be found in Dubai’s Silicon Oasis) will open at Al Qana and promises an experience that will transport diners into the heart of the Levant. Aligning with Al Qana’s commitment towards celebrating art, culture, and human experiences, Grand Beirut will pay homage to the rich cultural traditions of the Levant with a handcrafted menu focusing on enhancing the flavour of traditional Lebanese dishes instead of reinventing them.
GO: Follow @grandbeirutuae on Instagram for more information.
M1 Café & Lounge
An ultra-modern venue located in Al Bateen comprises three floors. M1 welcomes guests to its café on level one, features a dining lounge on level two, plus an exclusive private members’ social club on level three. All-day dining takes place at the café, where an approachable menu features casual bites. In contrast, M1’s dining lounge opens for lunch and dinner with a unique yet familiar menu inviting guests to lounge, graze and relax. At the private members’ social club, exquisite food and drinks will be served along with a VIP individualised service.
GO: Follow @m1_cafelounge on Instagram for more information.
Soon to open at Abu Dhabi’s newest destination, Al Qana is a Southern European-inspired restaurant and café called Oii, which will present the food, ambience and service styles found in Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy. Oii, meaning ‘Hey’ in Portuguese, is a place that instantly welcomes and relaxes its guests – offering Mediterranean charm, friendly conversations and tables laden with lots of great food to share.
GO: Follow @oiiabudhabi on Instagram for more information.
Named after the most desirable part of the tuna belly, Otoro will bring a modern Japanese dining experience to Abu Dhabi’s new waterfront destination Al Qana. Expect a contemporary spin on the contemporary Japanese concept with sizzling Wagyu steaks, quirky but high-quality sushi and speciality rolls across a sharing-style menu.
GO: Follow @otoro.ad on Instagram for more information.
It’s been years of begging, pleading and praying, but Abu Dhabi will now have not one but two outposts of Pickl. Following the opening of Mamsha Al Saadiyat late last year, the new branch of this beloved burger joint is set to open at The Souk at World Trade Centre in the heart of downtown Abu Dhabi.
GO: Follow @eatpickl on Instagram for more information.
Dubai based F&B organisation Solutions Leisure have already brought several popular food and beverage concepts to the new Yas Bay Waterfront. But there is still one more to come. Little is currently known about The Central, but judging by initial renders, we can expect a casual arcade-style experience inspired by Pac Man, Super Mario and everything in between. It looks like air hockey, classic arcades games and a fun and funky dining element are also on the agenda.
GO: Follow @central_uae on Instagram for more information.
This homegrown restaurant brand with a diverse offering is another unique concept opening at Yas Bat Waterfront. The Lighthouse in the capital will include a retail gifting store, catering service, a podcast, and an event activation element that sits at the heart of its experiential ethos. The breakfast, lunch and dinner menus will boast a fresh interpretation of Mediterranean-inspired soul food classics and pastries, in addition to new dishes exclusive to this location.
GO: Follow @thelighthouse_ae on Instagram for more information.
Bar Du Port
Bar Du Port is set to be one of the first restaurants to open on the luxurious waterfront development, Dubai Harbour. The stylish bar and brasserie will exude an aura of sophisticated comfort, showcasing French-influenced cuisine and handcrafted cocktails by expert mixologists. Leading hospitality group, Addmind, is behind the new concept which is set to launch in January 2022.
GO: Follow @barduportdubai on Instagram for more information.
Beefbar will make a triumphant return to Dubai’s dining scene in 2022, taking over the space formally occupied by Black Tap at Jumeirah Al Naseem. Expect perfectly cooked beef cuts and international street food to share, overlooking the Turtle Lagoon and Burj Al Arab.
GO: Follow @beefbar_dubai on Instagram for more information.
Residing on the rooftop of Dubai Opera, Belcanto is expected to open its doors in early 2022. Diners are invited to embrace a menu orchestrated by Chef Giacomo Lombardi, who brings a unique combination of tradition and innovation to his role, with dishes representing ultra-modern and classic Italian flavours. Born in Tuscany and gaining experience in France, Germany, Switzerland, Monaco and South Korea, Lombardi is renowned for popularising Italian cuisine and elevating guest experiences at some of the world’s most popular F&B venues.
GO: Follow @belcantodxb on Instagram for more information.
Chic Nonna comprises an Italian restaurant, lounge and bar, featuring a state of the art open-plan kitchen, Chef’s table and what is believed to be the region’s most extensive grape cellar. Located on the upper floor, the upscale lounge overlooks the Dubai skyline with prime views of the iconic Burj Khalifa. The new Italian concept comes to Dubai from Mine & Yours Group who have also announced the appointment of Chef Vito Mollica as Group Culinary Director. Formerly of Michelin starred Il Palagio in Four Seasons Florence, Vito will offer his considerable creative and operational talents to establish Chic Nonna as a culinary heavyweight.
GO: Follow @chicnonnadubai on Instagram for more information.
Readers of FACT Bahrain will be familiar with Clay, a Peruvian-Japanese culinary experience that is being transported from Adliya to Bluewaters Dubai. The name is drawn from the clay food pots in Peruvian fires and inspires the main dining area, where diners can experience Nikkei food prepared with knowledge, care and experience in an open kitchen.
GO: Follow @clay_dubai on Instagram for more information.
Having opened beloved concepts including METT Hotel & Beach Resort Bodrum, SUSHISAMBA Dubai and Aura Skypool Lounge in 2021, Sunset Hospitality is back with a new concept that combines fine dining with never-before-seen performances. Featuring entertainment inspired by the varying stages of dreams alongside furnishings designed to capture an ethereal dream world, Dream Restaurant aims to instil diners with a sense of wonder and awe, accompanied by a Mediterranean fine dining menu.
GO: Follow @dreamdubaiofficial on Instagram for more information.
Iris Summerhouse is set to open on Palm Jumeirah’s popular beach destination, Club Vista Mare. The new concept is owned by leading hospitality group Addmind, who have taken over Breeze, a coveted beachfront location with a floating pool. The venue will remain open and officially relaunch as Iris Summerhouse early next year. Guests can look forward to a fresh look and feel – bohemian chic vibes, a Mediterranean-inspired menu, and a captivating cultural programme.
GO: Follow @breezebeachdxb on Instagram for more information.
Orange Hospitality, the team behind Fact award-winning venues Alici and Il Borro Tuscan Bistro, will open the Parisian concept, Josette, at DIFC’s ICD Brookfield Place this year. Guests are invited to embark on a journey of nostalgia with unparalleled entertainment, from refined cabaret shows to lavish soirées that evoke the spirit of vintage Parisian glitz and glamour. Josette’s menu is a collaboration between world-renowned chefs, with the line-up to be revealed soon. Still, we can tell you that the à la carte menu will offer reimagined classics such as cuisses de grenouilles, escargot, moules marinières, foie gras and crêpe Josette. Guests can also indulge in traditional French baguettes, viennoiseries and pâtisseries from the boulangerie, freshly baked in-house and handcrafted to perfection. A first-of-its-kind afternoon high tea experience also awaits
GO: Follow @josettedubai on Instagram for more information.
L’Amo Bistro Del Mare
This winter, Sunset Hospitality Group is set to open an Italian seafood restaurant at Dubai Harbour. L’Amo Bistro Del Mare will bring Southern Italian culture, heritage, and charm to Dubai, reflecting the coastal regions lively seafood restaurants. Lamo’s extensive seafood menu is expected to include Italian specialities such as Ricci di Mare, Red prawns from Mazara del Vallo in Sicily and fresh catch of the day. The menu revolves around carefully selected fresh ingredients and Italian produce to ensure diners can enjoy an authentic taste of Italy.
GO: Follow @lamobistrodelmare for more information.
Popular Abu Dhabi burger concept, LENTO, is set to open its doors in February 2022 in Umm Al Sheif. The brand has built a loyal fanbase for serving its quality, artisanal smashed burgers and fried chicken. The 28-cover restaurant will showcase sleek interiors with a hip-hop influence, a DJ booth and an outdoor terrace. Emirati chef and owner, Faisal Naser, is known for his culinary curiosity and most recently collaborated with well-respected UK Chef Anthony Demetre.
GO: Follow @lento.ae on Instagram for more information.
Originating in Monaco, Mayabay is an acclaimed Japanese-Thai restaurant by Maya Collection, one of the most prominent hospitality groups in Monaco boasting a portfolio of restaurants and hotels that includes Maya Jah, Maya Mia, Maya Altitude and Refuge de la Traye. Mayabay Dubai will feature an extensive menu of specialities rooted in traditional Asian cuisine from caviar dim sums, Thai Sashimi De Boeuf Wagyu (pan-seared Wagyu beef sashimi), Yam Ped Tap Tim (duck salad with pomegranate), Larmes du Tigre (French sirloin) and signature classic pulled Maya Crispy Duck. Mayabay Dubai is set to impress Dubai’s lively dining scene through an elevated Asian menu and bespoke interiors.
GO: Follow @mayabaydubai on Instagram for more information.
Pizza lovers are set to rejoice with the announcement that Pitfire Pizza will be opening in Arjan in February 2022. The restaurant will be double the size of the original JLT outpost, with the option of indoor or alfresco dining and delivery. The menu will showcase the much-loved Pitfire classics and specials only available in the new location.
GO: Follow @pitfire.pizza.dubai on Instagram for more information.
Bringing Latin American open-fire cooking to Dubai, the soon-to-open SUCRE combines Latin American and European influences in the heart of Dubai’s International Financial Center. The menu tells the story of Master Chef Fernando Trocca, combining his open fire techniques from South America with a breadth of global influences. Bottling the journey from Old World to New, SUCRE boasts an extensive collection of the world’s finest grapes.
GO: Follow @sucredubai on Instagram for more information.
Fans of The Duchess will be happy to hear that the much-loved La Mer venue will be reopening its doors in Mercato Mall in February 2022. The successful concept is the creation of passionate Emirati restaurateur Alia Alrayes, whose vision for establishing the restaurant was to have consistently great food and excellent service. In line with this vision, Irish Head Chef, Jason Walsh, will be creating a menu that showcases fresh, seasonal ingredients and locally sourced produce. In addition, the new location promises to exude refinement and heritage, offering a contemporary menu with dishes that surprise and delight guests.
GO: Follow @theduchessuae on Instagram for more information.