Why brunches in Abu Dhabi are the ultimate feast

Ah brunch: there’s no escaping life in Abu Dhabi without it. And when you’re looking for an unlimited feast, your options are endless.

Brunch

If you’re new to Abu Dhabi, the first thing you probably heard about were whisperings of the infamous brunch. Eggs benedict and coffee this is not: brunch is a mammoth affair with unlimited food and drink, live entertainment and sometimes even access to the pool or an after-party. As summer draws to an end and the new brunch season kicks off, here are some of the best options in the emirate whether you’re looking for something for the whole family or an adult-only offer.

THE TRADITIONALISTS

Fairways

At the Bubbalicious Brunch, you can enjoy a range of food at the huge buffet. Dishes on offer include seafood, an oyster bar, sushi, sashimi, grilled meats, Mediterranean specials, cheese and more. Plus with desserts and ice cream on offer, you need to keep some space for a sweet treat, too. AED 336 with soft drinks, AED 172 for children under aged six to 12, children under six eat free. The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort and Spa, Sas Al Nakhl. Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Contact: 02 616 9999, bit.ly/2MhickJ

Fairmont Bab Al Bahr

Fairmont

All the bases are covered at the Friday Fairmont Brunch with dishes prepared by the chefs at each of the hotel’s signature outlets: Marco Pierre White Steakhouse and Grill, Frankie’s Italian Restaurant and Bar, The Sports Cafe and CuiScene. You’ll be spoilt for choice with everything from sushi, seafood and roasted meats to cheese, pasta and dessert spread out across the extensive buffet. AED 345 with soft drinks. Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, between the bridges. Fri noon-4pm. Contact: 02 654 3238, dining.bab@fairmont.com

Ingredients

Ingredients

Enjoy an afternoon of indulgence and decadence at The Big Brunch where you can tuck into food prepared in five open kitchens across the all-day-dining venue. With foods from all over the globe ranging from the Far East to India and everything in between, dishes include mezze, shawarma, roasted meats, seafood, Thai dishes and sushi. Just don’t forget to leave room for dessert. From AED 276 with soft drinks. Eastern Mangroves Hotel and Spa by Anantara, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Street. Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Contact: 02 656 1000, emdining@anantara.com

InterContinental Abu Dhabi

Intercontinental

One of the city’s most popular and enduring brunches, the Friday Marina Brunch features dishes from signature restaurants including Chamas and Cho Gao. Brunchers can get their fill of dim sum, noodles, burgers, grilled meats, fresh seafood, sushi, salads and more, all while enjoying music by DJ Cristiana and a live Latino band. Plus, there’s a two-for-one offer to inspire you to try it, too. AED 423 with soft drinks. King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street, Al Bateen. Fri noon- 4pm. Contact: 050 383 1643, abudhabi.intercontinental.com

Beach Rotana

The family-friendly Best of the Beach Brunch is a great option for a Friday spent eating good food and unwinding after a busy week. Bringing food from the hotel’s restaurants including Prego’s, Brauhaus and Essence to the table, there’s plenty to sink your teeth into from steaks, seafood, Italian and German dishes to barbecue, sushi and a number of live cooking stations. The soundtrack comes courtesy of resident DJ Miki Love. AED 339 with soft drinks, AED 170 for children aged six to 12. Next to Abu Dhabi Mall, Al Zahiyah. 12.30pm-3.30pm. Contact: 02 697 9011, fb.beach@rotana.com

Nahaam

Nahaam

Spoil yourself and soak up the weekend vibes with an indulgent offer at Nahaam Friday Brunch, which includes complimentary access to the infinity pool and entertainment from a DJ and saxophonist. Once brunch begins you can stock up on handmade sushi, enjoy grilled meats cooked to your taste and dine on a range of signature dishes served to your table, before indulging your sweet tooth with options like nitrogen ice cream, flambé crêpe and classic cheesecake. From 5th Oct. AED 375 with soft drinks, free for children under 12. Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, Corniche West. Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Contact: 02 811 5666, jadrestaurants@jumeirah.com

FAMILY-FRIENDLY

BU!

Bu

Bring the whole clan to BU!’s La Familia brunch, where a laidback Latin banquet awaits. On the menu, expect plenty of Latin favourites, including guacamole, meat skewers and main courses, as well as live cooking stations offering fresh tacos and ceviche. For smaller diners, there’s a special menu on offer, and for every adult enjoying the brunch, one child under 12 eats free. AED 195 with soft drinks, AED 65 for children. The Hub, World Trade Center Mall, Khalifa Street. Sat 12.30pm-4.30pm. Contact: 02 666 8066, butrinity.com

Safina

Kids will enjoy themselves just as much as the adults at this family-friendly affair with a dedicated playroom including movies, face painting, ice cream and more. Choose from indoor seating or outdoors on the terrace with a beautiful sea breeze. On the food front, expect live cooking stations and a barbecue, Asian favourites, seafood and a cheese bar, plus live entertainment to set the mood. From AED 299 with soft drinks, AED 99 for children from three to 12, children under three eat free. Saadiyat Beach Club, Saadiyat Island. Fri 1pm-4pm. Contact: 02 656 3500, saadiyatbeachclub.ae

Zest

Kids take control of the kitchen at the Little Chefs brunch, where they can choose from weekly guided cooking sessions including pizza-making and cookie-decorating. While the kids are entertained, adults can choose from live cooking stations, Mongolian barbecue, sushi, pizza and more. AED 199 with soft drinks, AED 115 for children from six to 12, children under six eat free. Al Ain Rotana, Zayed Bin Sultan Street, Al Ain. Fri 12.30pm 3.30pm. Contact: 03 754 5111, fb.alain@rotana.com

Sevilla

There’s nothing fishy about the Friday Fish Market Brunch at Sevilla. Tuck into an array of seafood with options such as sushi and sashimi and fritto misto, plus you can pick a fish of your choice and have it cooked to your liking. On the non-fish front, expect a carvery, cheese and live cooking stations, while children have the pick of their own buffet. AED 240 with soft drinks, AED 120 for children from six to 12, free for children under six. Al Raha Beach Hotel, off E10. Fri 1pm-4pm. Contact: 02 508 0555, alrahabeach.danathotels.com

Giornotte

Giornotte

Giornotte’s expansive brunch features plenty of options for the whole family, including fresh oysters, roasted meats, live cooking stations and a legendary cheese room. For kids of all sizes, make tracks to the dessert room, where you can enjoy all kinds of sugary delights, including candy floss, popcorn and chocolate fountains. For entertainment, expect some smooth tunes from a jazz duo. AED 320 with soft drinks, AED 160 for children, free for children under five. The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Grand Canal, Khor Al Maqtaa. Fri 1pm-4pm. Contact: 02 818 8282, ritzcarlton.com

NIGHT BRUNCHES

Pacifico Tiki

Pacifico Tikki

Set on the water, Pacifico Tiki is a great location for brunch on a breezy Thursday night. Inspired by Spanish tapas, the menu includes ten courses of international dishes, including calamari, shrimp pil pil and chicken and roasted red pepper meatballs alongside a calming views of the marina. From AED 250 with soft drinks. Al Bandar, off E10. Thu 8pm 11pm. Contact: 050 696 9298, facebook.com/pacificotikilounge

Kuzbara

Kuzbara

If you like your meat, then Kuzbara’s BBQ & Hops evening brunch is a great option. With a range of live cooking stations, you can order your meat cooked just the way you like it by the chefs on the barbecue, before accessorising with a range of sauces, sides, salads and more. From AED 266 with house beverages. Marriott Hotel Downtown Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Street. Thu 6.30pm-10.30pm. Contact: 02 304 7777, kuzbara abudhabi.com

Todd English’s Olives

Now that the weather is turning, take advantage of the outdoor section at this Italian spot where you can enjoy views of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque while a selection of hearty food is brought to the table. The Sunset Brunch includes dishes like soups, salads, flatbread, carpaccio and sweets, while the adults feast, the little ones make their own pizza with the chef. From AED 230 with soft drinks, half price for children aged six to 12. Venetian Village, Khor Al Maqtaa. Fri 4.30pm-7.30pm. Contact: 050 899 9704, venetianvillage.ae

SushiSan

A great option for groups of friends, the Fusion Brunch at this casual spot brings together Far Eastern flavours and Japanese cuisine. Start by creating your own sushi platter before perusing the different stations for dim sum, deep fried dishes, Asian salads and soups, sashimi and more. There’s a DJ on the decks and two mixing stations for crafted beverages. From AED 199 with soft drinks. Holiday Inn Abu Dhabi, Dhafeer Street. Thu 6.30pm. Contact: 800 7874 4726, sushisan.ae

Filini Garden

The new Filini Supper Club is a great way to kickstart your weekend. Grab your friends for a Thursday night soiree and enjoy beats from the DJ as you tuck into unlimited signature bites and free-flowing house beverages with enjoying beautiful views over the golf course and out to sea. AED 225 with house beverages. Radisson Blu Hotel Abu Dhabi Yas Island. Thu 8pm-11pm. Contact: 02 656 2000, filini.abudhabi@radissonblu.com

THE TRENDY ONES

Nolu’s Downtown

Nolus

The concept of brunch usually revolves around endless platters of food resulting in you wishing you hadn’t worn such tight trousers. But that doesn’t have to be the case. At the D’tox Brunch at Californian-Afghani café Nolu’s, you can visit different stations and order a brunch entrée, with a selection of healthy dishes. There are cold-pressed juice, granola, omelette, raw salad, healthy and carving stations, and even a selection of sweet treats like banana bread, cheesecake and chocolate tarts. AED 168, free for children under 12. The Galleria, Al Maryah Island. Sat 11am-3pm. Contact: 800 66587, nolusrestaurants.com

Coya

Coya

Showcasing Latin flavours in a modern context, Coya is certainly a colourful brunch option. Aside from the vibrant décor marked by mustard yellows, silver foil and fuchsia hues, the food is equally as vibrant with homemade guacamole, fresh ceviche, Chilean sea bass with chilli and lime, corn-fed baby chicken with coriander and stir-fried quinoa with vegetables all on the menu. And then there’s the impressive dessert platter fit for a king. Top it off with live Latin music and after-brunch drinks in the bar and you’ve got yourself a fun Friday. From AED 238 with soft drinks. The Galleria, Al Maryah Island. Fri 12.30pm 4pm, band 3pm-7pm. Contact: 02 306 7000, coyarestaurant.com

Dine

Living up to the restaurant’s hip image, the Funky Friday Brunch at Dine unveils a colourful collection of international dishes ranging from paella, South Asian bites and taco fries to butter chicken masala, grilled lobster, meat cuts and pasta cooked to order. A DJ is on the decks to supply the entertainment throughout the afternoon. AED 159 with soft drinks. Aloft Abu Dhabi, next to Adnec, Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street. Fri noon-3pm. Contact: 02 654 5193, bit.ly/2MmKyu3

Loca

Loca

If it’s ambiance you’re after, you’ll find it in spades at this Mexican outlet. Every Friday, the venue serves up five hours of fun and food with an à la carte selection of authentic breakfast dishes including huevos machaca, slow-roasted ribs, kingfish fajitas, plus live music from 2pm and a DJ as dusk turns to dark. AED 285 with house beverages. The Galleria, Al Maryah Island. Fri noon-5pm. Contact: 02 582 3639, locauae.com

Stars ‘N’ Bars

This lively American-themed sports bar has launched a new brunch menu for its popular FRUNCH brunch with entertainment coming courtesy of The International Playboys and DJs. Tuck into signature dishes served to the table before the party gets going from 4pm. After the party it’s the after-party with Giant Connect 4, Limbo, karaoke and more until midnight. From AED 250 with soft drinks. Yas Marina, Yas Island. Fri noon-4pm, after party 4pm-8pm. Contact: 02 565 0101, starsnbars.ae

NEW OPTIONS

The Grille

The A La Carte Brunch at The Grille highlights the best of its menu giving you a chance to sample a selection of pub favourites alongside pastas, salads and more. Naturally, the highlight are the mouth-watering steaks straight from the grill, and as a bonus, the restaurant provides a vast view of the lush golf course for a relaxing dining experience. AED 220 for food only. Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Sas Al Nakhl. Fri noon-3pm. Contact: 056 536 2230, bit.ly/2Mn3rgw

Sofra BLD

Families take the front seat at Sofra BLD with a new brunch kicking off in October. Catering for both children and adults, the family-oriented affair features food inspired by global flavours served buffet style. While mums and dads tuck in, little ones can enjoy a handful of activities such as games, arts and crafts and a dedicated kids’ buffet. From AED 279 with soft drinks, AED 139.50 for children aged six to 12, free for kids under six. All packages are inclusive of beach and pool access. Shangri-La Hotel Qaryat Al Beri, between the bridges. Fri 1pm-4pm. Contact: 02 509 8888, shangri-la.com/abudhabi/shangrila

Verso

Eat and dine the ‘Italian way’ every weekend at newly opened Verso with La Dolce Vita Saturday Brunch. Designed with families and friends in mind, the brunch – which includes pool access – features dishes like seafood on ice, eggplant parmigiana, lamb shank ragout on creamy gorgonzola polenta and, of course, desserts – all presented across different sections and interactive live stations. From AED 200 with soft drinks. Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Residences Emirates Pearl, Corniche West. Sat noon-4pm. Contact: 02 510 1234, verso.ae

SATURDAY SESSIONS

Finz

Finz

Saturlaze is back with a refined concept that takes you on a tour of international cuisine with Southeast Asian, Mediterranean and North African dishes all on the menu. DJ Miki Love provides a soundtrack while you enjoy starters, main courses and desserts brought to the table, with hlighlights including shrimps on ice, lemon-roasted chicken and goats cheese croquettes in black olive crumbs. From AED 290 with soft drinks. Beach Rotana, Al Zahiyah. Sat 12.30pm-4pm. Contact: 02 697 9011, fb.beach@rotana.com

Carluccio’s

If you’re after something super casual, head to this international chain. Enjoy views of the peaceful mangroves from the terrace or dine inside the modern restaurant. The Rise & Dine brunch features an authentic Italian selection with seafood, salads, pasta, pizza and desserts on the menu. From AED 224 with soft drinks. Eastern Mangroves Promenade, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Street. Sat 11am 3pm. Contact: 02 441 3814, carluccios.com

Sho Cho

Sho Cho

With views of the canal and iconic Grand Mosque, this trendy sushi spot is a popular place with brunchers. The Sho Cho Friday Brunch Unplugged includes a selection of Japanese bites including rock shrimp tempura, shima aji ceviche, beef tenderloin with teriyaki and more, all while DJ Kareem mans the decks. From AED 160 with soft drinks. Souk Qaryat Al Beri, between the bridges. Sat noon-4pm. Contact: 02 558 1117, abudhabi@shocho.com

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