There are certainly more congested cities in the world, but rush hour, even in lovely Dubai, can still lead to frustratingly slow-moving traffic. Therefore, if you are in Dubai for business or vacation, minimize travel times by staying in a master-planned community like Dubai Festival City.
Dubai Festival City has everything you can want and need for your Dubai vacation. It is home to four hotels, the Dubai Festival City Mall, and many recreational, entertainment and dining options.
Speaking of dining options, the following are the top six Dubai Festival City restaurants. Staying in Dubai Festival City for the duration of your Dubai stay means you can go on a gastronomic tour without going far.
Note: These restaurants have been cross-checked against Google and TripAdvisor, so rest assured they are worth a try and your time.
1. Pierre’s TT
Pierre’s TT is a French restaurant headed by the three-Michelin-star chef Pierre Gagnaire. This waterfront dining destination provides an effortlessly elegant ambience.
Everything on the menu — the beef tartare, lamb, sole, and lobster, even the crudo and saffron mussel — is thoughtfully presented and excellently made, with amazing textures and refined flavors.
Pierre’s TT offers not only authentic French delicacies but also some of the best cocktails this side of Dubai.
Location: Promenade Level, Intercontinental, Dubai Festival City
Hours: 6:30 p.m. – 11 p.m. (although the lounge is operational from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.)
If you are in the mood for grilled peri-peri anything, go to Nando’s. Nando’s has perfected the art of using peri-peri spice, a mixture of African bird eye chili, lemon and garlic, a flavor profile originated by Portuguese explorers in Southeast Africa.
Nando’s grilled peri-peri chicken is a must-try. You can also get the Peri cheeseburger, pita or wrap.
Cuisine: South African
Location: Ground Floor Dubai Festival City Mall, Dubai Festival City
Hours: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. (Mon – Thurs), 11 a.m. – 12 a.m. (Fri – Sun)
3. Hard Rock Café
It s the place for great British and American food, refreshing cocktails and live performances. Visit during dinnertime for live music or enjoy the cooler evenings by sitting out on the terrace.
Hard Rock Café is the one place you want to be if you are craving mouth-wateringly juicy burgers (i.e., the Hard Rock Café’s Legendary® steak burgers), a cowboy ribeye, a twisted mac, crispy fish and chips, and a steak salad. It also has plant-based, vegan options.
Cuisine: British, American
Location: Zone 8A, Dubai Festival City Mall, Dubai Festival City
Hours: 12 p.m. – 12 a.m. (Sun – Thurs), 11 a.m. – 12 a.m. (Fri – Sat)
4. Belgian Café
Belgian Café is a wonderful place to unwind after a busy day out. Sit on the terrace for sweeping views of Dubai Creek, and enjoy an authentic 1920s Brussels bistro experience right at the heart of Dubai Festival City Mall.
You will love their spicy garlic shrimp, oysters, calamari, and Angus beef sliders. They also have special menus, available only on certain days of the week: mussels, grilled meats, a seafood pot, and veal schnitzel.
The highlight, of course, is the beer they have on draught. They have Hoegaarden, Leffe Blonde, Stella Artois, Leffe Brune, and Hoegaarden Rosee. They even have Belgian apple cider and Stella Cidre.
Cuisine: Belgian pub grub
Location: Lobby Level, Crowne Plaza, Dubai Festival City
Hours: 12 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Anise is a buffet restaurant in Intercontinental Dubai Festival City. A buffet is available during breakfast, lunch and dinner, sometimes with themed nights, Friday brunch, and special Saturday lunch buffets.
Anise will let you go on a gastronomic journey around the world. Depending on the season, time of day or buffet theme, there can be an egg station, a carving station, a salad station, and a fresh fish and shellfish station. There can be oysters, lobsters, salmon, pizza, Chinese dim sum, sushi, and various other options, both cooked and ready-to-cook. Naturally, there’s also a generous selection of desserts.
Location: Lobby Level, Intercontinental, Dubai Festival City
Breakfast: 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. weekdays, 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. weekends
Lunch: 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on weekdays, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on weekends
Dinner: 6:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Saturday lunch: 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
6. Al Fanar Restaurant & Café
Step into Al Fanar and travel back in time to 1960s Dubai. This is your go-to restaurant in Dubai Festival City for authentic Emirati cuisine.
Experience a traditional Emirati breakfast with the restaurant’s breakfast trays and, in particular, savour breads like khameer, raqaq and chebab (Emirati pancake) with cheese, date syrup and eggs. Other delicacies to try are their machboos, biryanis and saloonas (stews) of shrimp, chicken, mutton, or fish. You should also definitely try their kebabs and grilled proteins.
While you are there, do not forget to try traditional Emirati sweets like the khabisah (sauteed flour with molasses), bathith (crumbled dates in roasted flour and butter), asidat al tamor (dates pudding), and luqaimat (crispy fried dough balls glazed with date syrup).
Location: Food Court and Waterfront, Dubai Festival City Mall, Dubai Festival City
Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. (Mon – Thurs), 10;00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m. (Fri – Sun)
Your Dubai Festival City Food Tour
When you’re in Dubai on vacation, do not waste your time on lengthy commutes by staying in a central location like Dubai Festival City, where everything you need (even shoe cleaning and repair services) is within easy reach.
You have countless dining options in Dubai Festival City. However, if your itinerary has room for only a few restaurants in Dubai, visit the top six restaurants listed above.