Brunch takes on an entirely new meaning in the UAE. It’s not just the meal between breakfast and lunch. It’s 3 hours of an all-out extravaganza of food, drink, and socializing. As a tourist, I never really brunched, back then I was more into looking like a stick than I was into food (but that’s another story for another day) however since living here - and as my love for food and the hospitality industry grows - there's really no better way to kickstart your weekend. As any seasoned bruncher will tell you, things do have a tendency of getting slightly out of hand but fear not, my friends! With a little bit of planning and some strategic decision-making, you can survive brunch in Dubai like a pro. Here are a few tips to get you through.
Check online and do your research.
There are many options available, bookings are essential. Various brunches come with sunbed, pool and afterparty access for when you've had enough of stuffing your face and want to reflect on your food coma or if you just want to relax by the pool after getting black out drunk (kidding!). Some brunches are more focused on the party side of things such as the DJ lineup and some are all about the feast with lobster, grills, stews, paellas, yorkshire puddings, BBQ brunch stations and towers of desserts and cakes.
Making your brunch booking.
Always specify where you want to reserve your table. I recommend choosing an outside location to make the best of the October to March weather and for the summertime definitely choose inside where AC is guaranteed.
When making the booking always ask what time the last call at the bar is. Keep in mind that some Brunches end at 4pm but then the last call is at 3:30pm so that's 30 mins of the brunch where you cannot order anything.
Brunch Day Tips
Pace yourself. This is not a sprint, it's a marathon. There will be multiple courses of delicious food and bottomless drinks, so take your time and savor each one. Don't be tempted to fill up on the first course, as there will be plenty more to come.
Speaking of food, be strategic in your choices. Take a quick lap around the buffet to scope out your options, and choose wisely. You don't want to fill up on carbs and miss out on the delicious meats and cheeses. And if you're feeling overwhelmed by the options, just remember: there's always room for dessert.
For the Ladies I recommend flowy sundresses as these still look fairly elegant even after smashing 2kgs of shellfish, half a roast of lamb and a dozen mini desserts drenched in caramel washed down with litres of prosecco. Don't judge me.
For beach club brunches don your bikini with an elegant cover up. As for the gents I’d suggest a collared, shirt and not a t shirt primarily because brunches turn into afterparties where venues may enforce a stricter dress code for the evening so why not be prepared from the start.
Wearing comfortable shoes is key. Wearing flats are a great way to not wake up not hating yourself after brunch turns into a 8 hour long party adventure. Espadrilles are perfect or pop a pair of stylish flats into your handbag along with some glam accessories to go from day to night in anticipation of the next party destination.
Brunch bonus tips
Uploading instastories after your third drink is an extreme sport. Just trust me on this one and learn from my experiences.
Remember if you are driving and you're caught with even 0.00000001% of alcohol in your system, you will face serious consequences so why even risk it? I would highly recommend cabbing or just using an Uber.
In conclusion, surviving brunch in Dubai requires a little bit of planning, some strategic decision-making, and a hearty appetite. Pace yourself, choose your food and drink wisely, and take breaks when you need to. And most importantly, have fun and enjoy the company of your fellow brunch-goers. With these tips in mind, you'll be brunching like a pro in no time.
*Do read my article on how to sober up fast so you know what to do if you find yourself in a situation.
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