Here are the restaurants that have the royal seal of approval.
If it’s good enough for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, it’s good enough for us. The Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai is regularly spotted in the city’s restaurants. His Instagram account @hhshkmohd – which has more than eight million followers – leaves behind a trail of breadcrumbs that we have followed. The result: fine dining restaurants, cool cafés and celebrity chefs. He is often seen with family members and dazzling dishes. So, if you want to eat like royalty, here are the Sheikh Mohammed-approved restaurants in Dubai.
Sheikh Mohammed is clearly a huge fan of Chef Izu. In September 2022, the leader visited Alaya soon after it opened in DIFC. He arrived with his companions and stopped to talk to the chef. The restaurant prides itself on serving Mediterranean cuisine with Middle Eastern influences. The menu is an ode to fresh herbs and spices, and ranges from prime meat to seafood dishes. We hope Sheikh Mohammed enjoyed it as much as we did. Read the FACT review here.
GO: Follow @alayadubai on Instagram for more information.
Armani Hotel Dubai
During the Holy Month of Ramadan, Sheikh Mohammed was spotted in the fashionable Armani Hotel Dubai. He broke his fast at the outdoor iftar, and the images – albeit from a distance – did the rounds on social media. The venue boasts views of Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Fountain, which twinkle away at night.
GO: Follow @armanihoteldxb on Instagram for more information.
Dining in the desert just got much more exciting with the emergence of the Caia pop-up in Dubai’s Al Qudra. And here’s the cherry on top – it’s His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum-approved. The winter pop-up boasts comfortable wooden chairs, a chic setup, and comes alive at night with an ethereal glow that adds a touch of enchantment to the desert landscape. The menu mirrors the offerings of the original location on Al Wasl Road. It’s a haven for those who appreciate modern French desserts, scrumptious breakfast options, and signature coffee complemented by refreshing drinks.
GO: Follow @caiabamaboo.ae on Instagram for more information.
CÉ LA VI Dubai
Have you visited Dubai if you haven’t snapped a shot in CÉ LA VI Dubai? The Insta-favourite Singaporean restaurant boasts views of the Burj Khalifa. While he didn’t sit on that iconic swing, he had the pool and landmark in the background. If you love Asian food, then you’re in for a treat, as the menu includes Chicken Kushiyaki, Japanese Squid Kushiyaki and Grilled Korean Short Ribs.
GO: Visit www.celavi.com for more information.
Cipriani Dolci Jumeirah
Dubai’s culinary scene saw a dash of dolce vita when Sheikh Mohammed visited Cipriani Dolci Jumeirah on Al Wasl Road in January 2024. Drawing inspiration from the interiors of a luxury yacht, the decor mirrors the chic confines of the original Harry’s Bar in Venice. Featuring delights like the Baked Tagliolini and Carpaccio alla Cipriani, every dish is a testament to the brand’s commitment to culinary excellence. And let’s not forget the dolci, because desserts like the Vanilla Meringue Cake have garnered a cult following.
GO: Visit www.ciprianidubai.com for more information.
Sheikh Mohammed visited the Indian restaurant in City Walk, Farzi Café. He was seen leaving the restaurant in his kendura and shades, accompanied by his team. The innovative dishes range from Coconut Mirchi Jhinga to Tuna Bhel Tartare. The restaurant stated: “We were honoured by the visit of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid to Farzi Café today. May God grant him success.”
GO: Follow @farzidubai on Instagram for more information.
Fish Beach Taverna
Seafood lovers will want to visit Fish Beach Taverna in Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Waterpark. The restaurant is located by the beach, and includes stunning sea views. The menu includes soups, salads, hot and cold plates, signature casseroles and taverna style sharing dishes. The restaurant welcomed not only Sheikh Mohammed, but also His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in the space of two days.
GO: Visit www.fish-dubai.com for more information.
While we are used to seeing Sheikh Mohammed at fine dining restaurants, he is partial to a cup of coffee. In 2017, he and Sheikh Hamdan visited the cool café Flow in Emirates Towers and were spotted chatting to staff. The menu includes vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free dishes and an extensive range of hot and cold drinks.
GO: Follow @flowdubai on Instagram for more information.
Chef Izu is clearly popular with the royal family. In 2021, Sheikh Mohammed was spotted at the fine dining restaurant Gaia in DIFC. The FACT Award winning restaurant serves Greek dishes, which include a Lobster Salad, Grilled Octopus, Orzo Seafood Pasta and Lamb Cutlets.
GO: Visit https://gaia-restaurants.com for more information.
The Nobu brand was created by chef Nobu Matsuhisa and actor Robert De Niro. The first restaurant opened in New York in 1994, and Nobu Dubai opened in 2008. Celebrities from David Beckham to Jennifer Lopez have been spotted at Nobu restaurants around the world. Sheikh Mohammed visited the restaurant in Atlantis,The Palm, and we’re imagining he dug into the Japanese meets Peruvian dishes.
GO: Follow @nobudubai on Instagram for more information.
“Sadeem ” is an Arabic word for “friend,” and this new desert concept embodies the idea of communal dining. Situated in the Al Mamoum Desert, Sadeem is identifiable by its illuminated archways leading to a circular dining area surrounded by firepits. The desert popup has quickly gained a reputation for speciality coffee and a menu of casual classics such as Chicken Satay Baos, Chilly Honey Yuzu Chicken Sticks, Corn Cheese Cubes, Fried Mac N Cheese and Truffle Arancini. The restaurant has been attracting crowds, including His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
GO: Follow @sadeemdubai on Instagram for more information.
The Sheikh Mohammed approved restaurant, Seafood Market in Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, is famous for its fish dishes. The menu includes premium fish from across the world, from France to New Zealand. The team shared a snap Instagram of the royal walking through the restaurant. They stated: “It was an unforgettable experience to have HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum visit us at #seafoodmarketdubai today.”
GO: Follow @seafoodmarketdubai on Instagram for more information.
If you see a local at an Arabic restaurant, then it must be good. If that local happens to be Sheikh Mohammed, then it must be great. Located in Souk Al Bahar, Siraj serves Emirati cuisine with a modern twist. The restaurant stated: “It always an honour and a pleasure to host HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum at Siraj. We hope to see you again soon.”
GO: Follow @sirajrestaurant on Instagram for more information.
In September 2020, Sheikh Mohammed was spotted at the fine dining Chinese restaurant Shanghai ME in DIFC. The royal was seen passing startled onlookers and sat by the gorgeous greenery. The menu includes Lobster Corn Shells, Peking Duck Corn Shells and Wagyu Beef.
GO: Follow @shanghaimedxb on Instagram for more information.
SUSHISHAMBA Dubai is a hit with A-listers. The restaurant welcomed Sheikh Hamdan and footballer Cristiano Ronaldo – at the same time, no less. Sheikh Mohammed visited the FACT favourite, which fuses Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian flavours. Located on the 51st floor of St. Regis on The Palm Jumeirah, it has Insta-worthy views spanning Burj Al Arab to Bluewaters Dubai.
GO: Visit www.sushisamba.com for reservations and more information.
The Arts Club
The members-only club is a sophisticated spot, which first opened in London. Located in DIFC, The Arts Club welcomes Dubai’s elite. So, it comes as no surprise to find that this is a Sheikh Mohammed approved venue. The brand stated: “Tuesday, 12th January 2021 – HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum makes his first visit to The Arts Club Dubai for lunch at the Club’s new homegrown Nikkei concept, Rōhen.” The other restaurants include Alveare, Oscuro and The Brasserie.
GO: Visit www.theartsclub.ae for more information.
The multiple FACT Dubai Dining Award winner has fans across the city, from our Editor-in-Chief to Sheikh Mohammed. The royal has given this restaurant the thumbs up, as he visited on multiple occasions. The venue has been open for more than a decade and is famous for its modern Japanese venue.
GO: Visit https://zumarestaurant.com for more information.