The UAE’s best restaurant openings this month

The Abu Dhabi and Dubai restaurant openings you should know about.

Keeping track of new restaurant openings in the UAE is a full-time job. But if you love finding the latest hotspots for dinner and drinks before anyone else, then this is the place for you. 


Billed as the highest dinner show in the region, 53 pairs a refined culinary approach with world-class nightlife and entertainment at Sheraton Grand Dubai. The dinner shows occur across several elevated stages, allowing guests to become fully immersed in all of the elements of the venue. Created by Chef Esteban Terragosa, the 53 menu draws inspiration from the Mediterranean, features Latin American flair, and boasts Asian-fusion touches. Elsewhere, mixology comes from Erion Bardochi, the man behind the beverages at The Artesian in London and The Arts Club in Dubai.

GO: Visit for reservations and more information.


Residing on the rooftop of Dubai OperaBelcanto will open its doors this month. 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.

Crafty Fox

Crafty Fox is a new gastropub with a sports bar twist located at the Jumeirah Golf Estates’ Clubhouse. With an emphasis on community, the kitchen churns out gastropub classics and hearty favourites such as veal Milanese and crispy whitebait to be enjoyed with family and friends. Crafty Fox also offers a weekly ladies’ night, daily happy hour, and a traditional Sunday Roast.

GO: Visit for reservations and more information.


The décor of Ekai features night sky-inspired walls with hints of gold-plated linings, dimly lit lamps placed on marble tables, vibrant pop art on the walls, and a cosy ambience that’s mellowed down by relaxing deep-house music. This is accented with gastronomical cocktails and premium bottle service, both fuelling guests late into the night. All of Ekai’s dishes are a substantial mix of locally sourced sustainable produce and top-quality imported products (wagyu beef from Tasmania and whole seabass from Greece, we’re told), each designed by Executive and Head Chefs who have worked alongside internationally acclaimed figures such as Alain Ducasse and Jamie Oliver.

Jamie’s Italian

Jamie’s Italian Dubai Mall is the fourth to open in the GCC, following locations in Qatar and Saudi Arabia. With something for everyone, the menu at this flagship location will feature freshly made pasta, light and refreshing salads, hearty mains and tempting sides, as well as plenty of antipasti and dessert options – not to mention crispy pizzas and great vegetarian dishes that will celebrate the best produce of the season. First launched in the UK back in 2008, the renowned restaurant from acclaimed chef Jamie Oliver offers regional Italian cuisine and is popular for its fresh pasta dishes and indulgent desserts.

GO: Call 04 362 7500 or follow @jamiesitaliangcc on Instagram for more information.


Described as a progressive dining destination, Jun’s will capture the nostalgic flavours of Asian and North American cuisines to reflect chef Kelvin Cheung’s Chinese heritage, North American upbringing, and French training. It will open its doors later this month in Downtown Dubai, welcoming guests to a sleek, contemporary venue with a rough edge. The menu comprises carefully crafted dishes such as Lamb Neck with Sechuan Chili and Mantou, Gluten-Free Tempura Zataar and Sweet Potato Chaat, Baby Carrots with Smoked Labneh and Furikake Bagel, as well as Tartar with Agua de Chili and Robata Avocado.

GO: Call 04 457 6035 or follow @junsdubai on Instagram for more information.


Combining tradition and deliciousness, Mado’s first restaurant in Abu Dhabi provides a unique food experience. As a historic restaurant chain with more than 300 years of heritage (and six outlets across Dubai), Mado is known for its Turkish cuisine, sweets and unique ice-cream concepts, from the famous Kahramanmaras ice cream to goat’s milk cheese, jams and yoghurt, Mado offers the ideal blend of traditional flavours and modern tastes and is located on the terraces of “Al Matal District” at Al Qana.

GO: Visit for reservations and more information.


This newly opened eatery at Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villa combines elements of both Argentina and Lebanon. The contemporary venue promises a distinctive culinary experience that goes beyond food and drink. Smoky and woody flavours reign supreme as most of the dishes are cooked on the open-fire brick grill, with some made directly on charcoal embers. A variety of meats, fish, seafood and vegetarian options are on offer, incorporating marinade, spices, pastes and vegetables from Lebanon. Most of the alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails include a light touch of maté to enhance the conceptualisation of the venue.

PLAYA Beach Club

Nested on Palm West Beach,  PLAYA Beach Club offers a colourful and vibrant new concept that celebrates the renewal of life through soulful music, exquisite fusion cuisine and refreshing beverages. The Peruvian-inspired menu features ceviche, grade 5 Wagyu beef and a selection of signature light bites. Expect a choice beachfront escape with an indoor restaurant, multiple outdoor lounge areas, a swimming pool and access to the beautiful beach.

GO: Email or call 050 504 4506 for reservations and more information.

Salmon Guru

It hails from Madrid, it boasts the #24 spot on the World’s Best Bars list, its quirky personality awaits in Business Bay – and there isn’t a hint of salmon on the menu. Meet Salmon Guru, a quirky new concept located at The Opus by OMNIYAT. From start to end, lounge lizards can expect exotic cocktails created right before their eyes with a variety of balanced batches and sophisticated concoctions. In addition to the beverage list, a concise bar menu offers appealing bites that range from a cooling tartare of balfego bluefin tuna loin to plantain chips and dips, grilled chicken skewers and the undeniably moreish 120-day grain-fed beef cheek.

GO: Call 052 814 9537 or follow @salmongurudubai for reservations and more information.


A new and stylised concept has recently opened in Abu Dhabi’s Al Qana district. Tazal is dedicated to cultivating culture and relationships through global cuisine with an Arabic touch that reasserts Arabic heritage through the proud origin of coffee and the warmth of baking from the heart, and a fusion of fine dining food experiences. Tazal visitors can relax on the outdoor terrace with scenic views of the lively marina and lavish landscape. The restaurant is located in “Al Zaytoun District”, facing The National Aquarium’s main entrance.

Via Toledo

Via Toledo is famed for its array of Neapolitan-style pizzas and Italian wines, both of which are on the menu of the new Dubai location. It is the brainchild of chef and pizza expert Francesco Calo, who wanted to give his guests a true Italian dining experience inspired by the excellence of the original Neapolitan pizza. The pizzas are made using a unique blend of flours specially created by him to ensure digestibility and lightness, all enhanced by sublime toppings ranging from beluga caviar to alba white truffle and even 24K gold.

Bushra by Buddha-Bar

Buddha-Bar group have opened a third concept inside Grosvenor House in the heart of Dubai Marina. Bushra (which translates to “Good Omen, Good News” in Arabic) features a show-stopping Levantine menu curated by acclaimed Chef Greg Malouf, where diners can experience the art of mezza through dynamic sharing platters. Inspired by literature, music and the visual arts from the 19th century, Bushra combines elements of Arabian heritage into its interiors to create a truly memorable experience. 

GO: Call 04 317 6000 for reservations or more information.

Canary Club

The latest Dubai dining concept from Joey Ghazal (the man behind The Maine restaurants) has recently opened its doors in Jumeirah Lakes Towers. Canary Club occupies two floors of the newly opened Banyan Tree Residences, blending the style and flavours of Malibu, Palm Springs, Cabo and Acapulco. The Canary Club experience presents diners with a ‘laidback West Coast eatery’ featuring Californian bites tinged with Asian influences. 

GO: Call 04 584 5999 for reservations or more information.

Electric Pawn Shop

A hedonist, dystopian counter culture Asian Mediterranean bar and restaurant inspired by the 70s Chinatown of New York is now open at The H Dubai. The venue proudly combines underground music, contemporary design and innovative drinking and dining experiences. Signature dishes include the playfully named Pattaya Disco Prawn, Sizzling Muay Thai Ducking Noodle, and Lucky 777 Beef Volcano. Eclectic underground music surrounds the venue, delivering funk-laced beats from different genres played through a top-of-the-line custom-built sound system.

GO: Email or call 050 586 5510 for reservations or more information.

Em Sherif Café Abu Dhabi

Located on Corniche Road and boasting striking sea views, Em Sherif Café presents authentic Lebanese delicacies in a new light. All ingredients are chosen with a personal touch, from the fresh produce to the succulent meats, to surprise and delight guests through innovative dishes. The menu features an extensive selection of salads as well as cold and hot mezze, with signatures including the famous fresh Lebanese Tabbouleh in three equally delectable variations, a classic creamy hummus topped with roasted pine nuts, Mloukhiye bel Zeit (jute leaves in olive oil), and the flavoursome Kishk and Awarma.

GO: Call: 02 691 9999 or follow @emsherifcafeabudhabi on Instagram for more information.


Dubai’s first and only authentic Biergarten and Wirtshaus is now open at 25hours Hotel One Central. The newly-opened Ernst offers classic Bavarian dishes such as Bavarian sausage, traditional pretzels, sauerkraut and veal escalope in a casual yet cosy environment. A spacious outdoor terrace overlooks the Burj Khalifa and is where guests can enjoy the Insta-worthy swing or participate in a curling match, a national sport in Bavaria.

GO: Email for reservations and more information.

Eunoia by Carine

The first of two restaurants from acclaimed Chef Izu Ani to open this month, Eunoia by Carine is a French Mediterranean inspired restaurant on the ground floor of Hyatt Centric Jumeirah Dubai. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and offering a true day-to-night dining experience, signature dishes include French ToastSea Bass Carpaccio, Salt Baked Sea Bass, Lobster LinguineApple Tart Tatin, and the FACT recommended Raspberry Cheesecake.

GO: Email or call 04 302 1241 for reservations and more information.

Eva Beach House

Eva Beach House is Dubai’s latest beachside destination, blending Tulum-style seaside dining with an artisanal culinary experience. While most of the venue is devoted to high-energy dining, there’s also a beach and pool where guests may gather for refreshments or a leisurely weekend while enjoying the sunset against West Palm Beach views and a soundtrack of Tulum’s mystical – and always rhythmic – vibes.

GO: Email for reservations or more information.

La Maison Ani

Opening one new restaurant is no mean feat, but Chef Izu Ani has successfully opened two Dubai restaurants this month. Located in Fashion Avenue at The Dubai Mall, the chic homegrown La Maison Ani serves relaxed French-Mediterranean cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner in an effortlessly elegant setting. Highlights include the escargot, burrata, grilled langoustine and warm chocolate mousse (you can thank us later). La Maison Ani is also home to an exquisite boulangerie and patisserie, both inspired by the daily rituals of French culture.

GO: Follow @lamaisonanibychefizu on Instagram for reservations and more information.

MayaBay Dubai

Opening this weekend at Jumeirah Al Naseem’s Turtle Lagoon, MayaBay Dubai has been a long time in the making. The latest venue from Orange Hospitality (of Alici and Il Borro fame) is adorned with warm and intricately carved wooden panels accentuated by natural stones and large glass windows that provide uninterrupted views of the Burj Al Arab. The menu is rooted in traditional Asian cuisine, with signature dishes including the Maya Crispy Duck, Pad Thai, MayaBay Sashimi, Yam Ped Tap Tim (duck salad), and Black Cod with miso and honey.

GO: Call 04 275 2500 for reservations or more information.


The popular izakaya experience from Beirut has finally arrived in Dubai, taking up residence at The Ritz-Carlton in DIFC and offering an exclusive dining experience of Japanese cuisine. Between staff dressed in traditional geisha uniforms and a venue adorned with wooden and bamboo elements, the mood is set for an evening of authenticity. Above all, the minimalism of Mitsu-Ya means there are only a few seats at the chef’s bar, where guests can enjoy a tailored omakase experience featuring the likes of Otoro Tuna, light-as-butter Hamachi, as well as the quintessential grilled or marinated fish and vegetables in the form of nigiri and sashimi.

GO: Call 04 591 6397 or follow @mitsuyadubai on Instagram for reservations and more information.


Located in Abu Dhabi’s new Al Qana development, Oii (meaning ‘Hi’ in Portuguese) is a new Mediterranean restaurant boasting spectacular waterfront views. The menu spans the cuisine-rich countries of Southern Europe, including Portugal, Spain, Greece and Italy. Highlight dishes include Portuguese rabanadas and pasteis de nata, Italy’s paccheri pasta and beef cheek Milanese, Greek honey thyme saganaki, and Spanish tapas. A centrepiece of the restaurant is the show-stopping Santorini-inspired gold mocktail bar.

GO: Email or call 02 628 2983 for reservations and more information.

SĀN Beach

Rhythmic, restful, and created for connection, SĀN Beach features an international menu and is designed to feed not only your body but also your mind – we’re told that the daily acts at SĀN Beach, performed meaningfully at the club, will serve to ground, uplift, or reconnect our souls to the earth. Music, meanwhile, will come courtesy of resident DJs, guest musicians and weekend performances by resident band The Nomades. Offering comfort and privacy, guests can book private sofas, sunbeds, floating cabanas, beach cabanas, or even beach villas.

GO: Visit for reservations or more information.


Featuring different staging areas and multiple acts, TABU on the 23rd floor of The St. Regis Downtown Dubai subverts expectations of the ‘dinner and a show’ trend with entertainment present throughout the venue, even when guests least expect it! Combining avant-garde cuisine and theatrics, the multi-faceted venue boasts an impressive private dining area and an outdoor terrace with views of the Burj Khalifa. Executive Chef Roberto Segura’s experimental menu offers sea urchin and caviar, gold gyoza with burrata and truffle, Japanese Wagyu steamed buns, and traditional Yakimono and Ishiyaki stone bowl dishes.

GO: Visit for reservations and more information.


A new location for an old favourite. Taikun Clandestine Show Club has officially relocated to Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City, inviting guests to experience the high-end glamour of a classic supper club. From the kitchen, diners’ can expect oysters and caviar, sushi and sashimi platters, indulgent pastas and risottos, and desserts. While dinner is served, Taikun promises a show to remember with a unique weekly program featuring top talents handpicked from Europe that includes an ode to classic and modern cabaret and draw-dropping acrobatic performances by talented dancers and gymnasts.

GO: Visit for reservations and more information.

The Pods

The Pods at Bluewaters have transformed the notion of luxury dining in Dubai with the introduction of 22 private pods for an intimate and exclusive dining experience. Bringing the inside outdoors, each air-conditioned pod features a large central table and rounded plush sofas. The menu of Pan-Asian dishes includes rock lobsters with truffle, Korean chicken bao, an assortment of maki rolls, nigiri and sashimi, dim sums, gyozas, Thai green curry, Burmese khow suey, Sichuan beef, miso ramen, laksa and pad Thai.

GO: Follow @thepodsdubai for reservations and more information. 


With Instagrammable interiors and stunning views of The Dubai Fountains, the newly opened TROVE at Fashion Avenue in The Dubai Mall has already been frequented by celebrity guests such as LeBron James and Steve Aoki. Combining global cuisine crafted with the finest ingredients and curated art installations, guests can dine in the restaurant, unwind in the shisha lounge or enjoy Dubai Mall’s largest terrace in the shadow of the Burj Khalifa. The menu offers a wealth of options, bridging North and South American, Pan-Asian, Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern cuisines.

GO: Visit for reservations and more information. 

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David Tapley - Editor-in-Chief
As the editor-in-chief for one of the region’s most fiercely local lifestyle publications, David Tapley is a self-proclaimed Hip-Hop aficionado, championing all things, food, travel, street art, and streetwear across the UAE and KSA. This sneakerhead may also be Kanye West's biggest fan.

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