Delicious decadence

From extravagant brunches to Ibiza-style beach clubs, Dubai is the place to really indulge.

Known as The City of Gold, Dubai more than lives up to its name with a dazzling array of edible gold treats. Satisfy your sweet tooth with the Ultimate White Chocolate Gold Sundae topped with gold leaf and Sevruga caviar at Fortnum & Mason next to The Dubai Mall. It costs Dhs210 (A$80), but can easily be shared between two. Or plump for the Black Diamond Sundae, flavoured with Iranian saffron and topped with slices of black truffle and 23-carat gold, at Scoopi on Jumeirah Beach Road. Served in a Versace dish that you get to take home, it costs Dhs2,999 (A$1,150).

Coffee lovers can enjoy The Palace Cappuccino topped with 22-carat gold dust for Dhs80 (A$31) in Al Bayt, a lobby lounge at The Palace Downtown Dubai decorated with Moroccan lanterns, inlaid pearl tables and keyhole-shaped doors. Tea connoisseurs, meanwhile, should visit TWG Tea Salon & Boutique at The Dubai Mall, which stocks over 800 exclusive tea blends from across the world including Gold Yin Zhen. A pot of the silvery white tea leaves coated with 24-carat gold costs Dhs998 (A$382).

Come cocktail hour, those with a love of the finer things in life should head to Skyview Bar at Burj Al Arab for the signature Diamonds Are Forever cocktail. Served in a Swarovski Crystalline glass with diamonds in the stem, it contains L’Heraud Grand Champagne 1906 vintage Cognac, bitters from Germany and 24-carat gold flake Champagne. At Dhs4,900 (A$1,875) including the take-home glass, it was, until recently, the most expensive cocktail in the world.

Friday brunch, meanwhile, is a Dubai institution. But while a leisurely café affair may spring to mind, brunch in Dubai means a lavish spread with free-flowing bubbly, resident DJs and a glamorous crowd. Most brunches take place from around 12pm until 4pm, although a growing number of restaurants now offer evening and Saturday brunches too. Set on stilts over the Arabian Gulf, Pierchic hosts one of the most unforgettable experiences, with a platter of fresh seafood to share followed by a four-course set menu, paired with Henriot or Laurent Perrier Grand Siècle Champagne. Guests are encouraged to dress with a touch of white, adding to the chic atmosphere.

Overlooking Dubai Creek, Traiteur at Park Hyatt Dubai features an elevated show kitchen where you can watch executive chef Daniel Hoefler and his team work their magic. The classy buffet brunch features lobster, prawns and meats from the grill station, along with shucked Fine de Claire oysters, and Besserat de Bellefon Champagne.

Housed in a wine cellar, the Temple of Cheese has port pairings from sommelier Remi Torres, while the mouth-watering dessert selection is just as vast.

 

Brunch at Traiteur

Set on the fairytale waterways at Madinat Jumeirah with stellar views of Burj Al Arab, Zheng He’s offers a Beijing duck brunch. The theatrical tableside duck carving from BBQ Duck Master Yin makes this one of the city’s most unique brunches, and you can also indulge in experimental cocktails, richly flavoured duck starters and dim sum, and mains that include Wagyu, lobster, fish and, of course, duck.

High tea may be a quintessentially British tradition, but it has been raised to an art form in Dubai. Most hotels offer daily afternoon tea, but when it comes to opulent settings, few can compete with the Ottoman-inspired décor at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray. Afternoon tea in the Sultan’s Lounge features tiered trays of Turkish sweet and savoury delicacies served with JING teas and Turkish coffee. Highlights include the 24-carat gold truffles and the deliciously moist pistachio olive oil cake created by master patissier, Eric Lanlard.

With a sweeping double marble staircase and French neo-classical interiors, the recently opened St. Regis Dubai exudes old-world luxury. High tea takes place at Sidra on the mezzanine floor, with bespoke tea blends or bubbly paired with sandwiches, pastries, scones with homemade jams, and petit fours. Film fans will love the afternoon tea offering at Theatre by Rhodes at VOX Cinemas at Mall of the Emirates, which combines luxurious leather seats and walnut-wood finishings with a menu devised by Michelin-starred chef, Gary Rhodes. While you enjoy the latest blockbuster, dainty sandwiches, pastries, and scones are served to your seat, along with fragrant teas in bone china cups.

Even going to the beach takes on a whole new level of luxury in Dubai, with high-end beach clubs such as Cove Beach, an idyllic new spot with a laidback, South of France vibe at Jumeirah Beach Hotel. The restaurant serves Med-inspired seafood, salads and homemade pastas, while the bar specialises in rosé wines from Provence.

Just launched on the man-made Pearl Jumeirah Island, Nikki Beach has more than a hint of Ibiza about it. The sprawling blue-tiled pool area is surrounded by white daybeds and cabanas where you can sip Champagne and cocktails and groove along to the resident DJs. The beach club is part of a 52,000-square-metre resort that will eventually include a hotel, spa and three restaurants.

 

Family indulgence at Zheng He's

 

High tea may be a quintessentially British tradition, but it has been raised to an art form in Dubai.

 

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Weather to go

The emirate has a sub-tropical desert climate, which means blue skies and beach weather in winter (Dec-Jan) and hot and humid summers (Jun-Aug). The best time to visit is from October to April when temperatures are in the mid-20°Cs to low-30°Cs. July and August are the hottest months as the mercury rarely dips below 40°C, still the city accommodates this with indoor attractions and air-conditioned facilities everywhere.

 

Best places to stay

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