The barometer is rising in Dubai as summer months roll in and the glorious, cooler days, quite literally, melt away. While we might have pressed pause on the delightfully languid pastime of outdoor lunching, Dubai’s sun and ocean views are available all summer long. Swap beaches and terraces for bright and breezy dining rooms with ocean views this summer at these elegant indoor restaurants in Dubai with sea views.
Be it the waterside location, soaring windows or brilliantly lit interiors, Alici has the ability to transport guests to a beautiful trattoria on Italy’s Amalfi coast, regardless of whether they’re sitting inside or outside. The beautiful restaurant on Bluewaters Island transports guests straight to the Italian Riviera, with a soothing, Mediterranean-inspired dining room or creams, blues and whites and views onto the cerulean Arabian Gulf. Dining inside this beautiful restaurant is a treat and perfect for a sun-soaked indoor lunch in Dubai. The menu includes fresh Italian seafood and pasta with regular shipments flowing in from Italy, plus a fantastic Italian wine list.
Bluewaters Island; alici.com
Tasca by José Avillez
Few locations in Dubai are as dreamy as Tasca by José Avillez, star chef Jose Avillez’s Portuguese restaurant sitting atop the Mandarin Oriental Jumeira. The restaurant and outdoor terrace, with a swimming pool, looks out onto nothing but brilliant blue endless ocean, and the dining room with its floor-to-ceiling glass bi-fold doors offers the same views. Tasca is a modern reinterpretation of chef Avillez’s home country’s traditional tascas, and the menu features Portuguese classics with modern twists. This is one of the most chic and romantic spots for an indoor lunch in Dubai this summer.
Mandarin Oriental Jumeirah; mandarinoriental.com
Jutting out into the Arabian Sea on a long wooden pier, the aptly Pier Chic is completely surrounded by water, offering, perhaps, the most immersive sea views in Dubai – complete with views of the iconic Burj Al Arab. Located at the Jumeirah Beachfront development, accessed by Jumeirah Al Qasr, the elegant Italian restaurant has an indoor dining space (alongside plenty of outdoor seating) complete with floor-to-ceiling windows capitalising on the beautiful setting. The menu is light, simple, fresh and delicious, inspired by the Italian coastline, and the restaurant is one of the most romantic in Dubai.
Madinat Jumeriah; jumeirah.com
Twiggy by La Cantine
Twiggy by La Cantine, or just Twiggy as it’s known, is a super chic beach club and restaurant located on the shores of Dubai Creek. The sun-dappled spot lies on Park Hyatt Dubai’s peaceful grounds in the Dubai Creek Resort, comprising a sandy lagoon, infinity pool and mezzanine restaurant. Guests are swept into a world of Riviera Rêverie when entering through the stylish boutique (selling Riviera brands like Second Summer) to the lagoon, where cabanas and sun loungers frame a 100-metre infinity pool that turns effortlessly from a sandy base to tile. Come summer, the vibe is just as infectious as the mezzanine restaurant becomes encased in glass, offering the same waterfront and beach views, just with air conditioning. The menu is a mix of cuisines from the Rivieras of the Mediterranean, and classics include tartare, lobster pasta, everything truffles and lots of rosé and spritz cocktails. It’s not quite ocean views, but the soothing waters of the creek are a close second.
Dubai Creek Resort, Port Saeed; twiggy.ae
Byron Bathers Club
Palm West Beach gets all the attention thanks to its glitzy beach clubs and big-name hotels like FIVE Palm Jumeirah, Fairmont Dubai The Palm and Hilton, plus its stunning Marina and JBR views, but across the trunk lies another stretch of sand with arguably better views. Byron Bathers Club is a beach club, bar, restaurant, emulating the feeling of an Australian bathers or leisure club with its laid-back family vibe, terrace and beachfront. Entering via a discrete door on Shoreline apartments, guests head downstairs to meet a boho white-and-blue indoor-outdoor restaurant area typical of a beach shack and terrace with tables. Outside has a beach bar and swimming pool, but the bright and breezy restaurant is where you’ll want to spend your summer days. Guests look onto Palm fronds, a leafy green private island and have both the Burj Al Arab, and on a clear day Downtown Dubai skyline and Burj Khalifa in view.
Shoreline 4, Palm Jumeirah; eatx.com
From the much-loved Tashas Group (of Avli and Flamingo Room fame), Bungalo34 has opened on Pearl Jumeirah island and brings the flavours and vibes of a Mediterranean summer to the shores of Dubai. Part of the Nikki Beach Dubai Resort & Spa residences, the new space offers indoor and outdoor seating, with the outstretching ocean within touching distance. Guests can pile off the beach and into the gold- and citrus-hued space for breakfast, lunch or dinner, with a menu of Riviera-inspired dishes like wood-fired pizza, fresh seafood, pasta and pasta salads. While many Dubai Riviera spots opt for neutral hues, Bungalo34 embraces colour and joy – and there are red striped umbrellas, patterned soft furnishings and original artwork on the walls.
Nikki Beach Resort & Spa, Pearl Jumeira; bungalo34.com
One of West Beach’s most loved hangouts, Koko Bay brings the beauty of Bali’s beaches to Dubai. As one of the first restaurants to open on the West Beach development, it set the standard with its large soft-sand beachfront, laid-back seating and indoor restaurant with swinging rattan lamps and tiki-style torches. The restaurant and beach club is also known for its indoor dining space, which has the same boho-chic vibe with plenty of beachy and rattan touches, with floor-to-ceiling glass windows and ocean views. Savour the Asian and European dishes with everything from sushi to pizza. A bonus for pet owners – four-legged friends are welcome at Koko Bay and plenty bring their furry friends to play.
Palm West Beach, Palm Jumeirah; kokobay.co
Ask any of Dubai’s jet-set where they spend their Friday nights and weekend, and they’ll most likely say Nammos. The slick beach club and restaurant (and soon-to-be hotel brand) hails from the party paradise of Mykonos and has bedded down in Dubai at the stylish Four Seasons Restaurant Village overlooking the Arabian Gulf. The beach club transports you to the Cyclades and the white-washed, ultra-stylish restaurant has an impressive wine list and serves modern Greek and Myconian cuisine with a side of ocean views. Regular pop-ups from super-brands like Dior have cemented Nammos as one of Dubai’s most luxurious beachfront hangouts. Come for the views and food and stay for the vibe – which carries on long into the night with DJs and live music.
Tagomago is the latest opening by Rikas Group (of Twiggy by La Cantine and Mimi Kakushi fame), occupying the former spot of Italian restaurant Il Faro on Palm Jumeirah. The new beach club and restaurant is inspired by the laid-back, hedonistic islands of Spain, and along with 120 sunbeds, has a beautiful sea-facing restaurant overlooking the entire east side of the island with Burj Al Arab views. The space is colourful, beachy and boho and the menu focuses on simple and authentic Spanish classics like spicy beef chorizo croquetas and patatas bravas, gamba blanca shrimps, Spanish beef tenderloin tartare, and for larger groups, grilled octopus and paella. The space is also family friendly with a children’s menu, the perfect spot for a family lunch in (just not right in) the sun.
Azure Residence, Palm Jumeirah; tagomago.ae, @tagomagodubai
Tamoka is one of the most elevated and chic indoor restaurants in Dubai for, located in JBR on the golden sands of The Ritz-Carlton Dubai’s private beach and with tiered terraces, beach seating, a beach-shack-style bar and beautifully designed indoor dining space. The restaurant offers the zingy flavours of Latin America – think zesty fresh ceviche, tacos, grilled meats and seafood, fried plantain and Caribbean cake – with some of the most beautiful views in Dubai – overlooking Bluewaters Island with Ain Dubai and Palm Jumeirah. Ocean views are just as striking from the pink and green dining room, which is dotted with lush greenery and curated design touches and one of the most stylish spots for an indoor lunch in Dubai.
The Ritz-Carlton Dubai, JBR; tamokadubai.com
Piatti by the Beach
Piatti by the Beach is located at the pink palace of Palm Jumeirah, the opulent Raffles The Palm Dubai resort. Located on its stretch of private beachfront, the Italian-Mediterranean restaurant and lounge is a popular hangout in the winter months, but with indoor seating with large picture windows, it’s also the perfect spot for an indoor lunch in Dubai, too. Look over the hazy Arabian Sea, Palm Jumeirah and Dubai Marina skylines as you sip on magnums of Minuty and enjoy fresh seafood, all while enjoying the cool air conditioning.
Raffles the Palm Dubai, Palm Jumeirah; @piattibythebeach