For regional food with modern flair, Qbara is the most exciting restaurant in town, with numerous awards under its (stylish) belt. A sultry space of dark hues and fiery touches, an evening here is as much about the scene as the menu. Foodies will delight in the fusion cuisine, resulting in adventurous dishes like root vegetable and chickpea hummus, and truffle-scented labneh. After dinner be sure to stay and soak up the atmosphere – and a few creative cocktails.
LUXOS Recommends: Syrian lamb and sour cherry kofta, barberries and pine nuts.
Bursting with character, Zaroob is open until 4am for all your Middle Eastern cravings, serving up dishes inspired by street food vendors from around the Levant. Expect colourful décor, street art, ghutra fabric everywhere from placemats to lampshades, and a terrace under a ceiling of fairy lights, with food served on wooden paddles. This place is buzzing, day or night, from office workers grabbing a speedy breakfast to late night revellers sharing stories over shawarmas.
LUXOS Recommends: Sweet fateer with honey.
Transporting you back to the 17th century Ottoman era, the opulent Lalezar is all rich fabrics, dark wood and lots of gold, perfect for an evening of indulgence. During the cooler months, the outdoor terrace with cracking view is a must, and booking is essential. Authentically Turkish, the menu boasts both classics and the chef’s take on traditional dishes, including five-star kebabs.
LUXOS Recommends: The Iskender Kebab, with sliced beef and lamb with bread cubes, yoghurt and tomato sauce.
Al Nafoorah dining patio
One of Dubai’s most established and best-loved Lebanese restaurants, Al Nafoorah at Jumeirah Emirates Towers is a favourite with members of the Royal family, no less. There is a distinctly regal feel from the outset, with high ceilings and a rich colour scheme, and the five-star appeal extends to the menu, where you’ll find a luxurious take on traditional dishes, from mezze to desserts.
LUXOS Recommends: The seafood platter, with grilled Omani lobster, king shrimps and salmon.
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Want to go back to basics? Al Hallab is on the main thoroughfare in one of Dubai’s oldest areas, Satwa, and famed for its cheap street eats. With plastic furniture on the pavement outside this neon-lit eatery, the food does all the talking, from thick, squeaky slices of grilled halloumi to shawarma made right in front of you. Totally unpretentious – dress down and eat up.
LUXOS Recommends: The generous falafel plate.
Ayamna interior dining
This new restaurant offers Middle Eastern dining on another level, with all the luxury you’d expect from Atlantis The Palm. Beautifully tiled, with splashes of colour and soaring arches, Ayamna means ‘days gone by’ in Arabic, and the menu is full of nostalgia, perfect for eating family-style, allowing you to take a culinary tour of the region.
LUXOS Recommends: Baked puff pastry stuffed with ouzi rice and meat.