Make the most of the UAE’s cooler weather at these al fresco restaurants and lounges
‘Winter’ has come: 10 terraces and outdoor dining options in Abu Dhabi and Dubai
La Dolce Vita at Filini Garden
What: The newly opened fashion lounge stands out for its lush green foliage and open-air Italian vibe, with waterfront and golf course views. The lower deck is more informal, with resident DJs Cliff Townley and Paul Hamilton spinning tunes, while the upper deck promises delicious cicchetti and “haute couture” cocktails, each inspired by Italy’s celebrated fashion designers.
Where: Yas Island
Details: The venue is open from 5pm from Sunday and Thursday, and from 12 noon on Fridays and Saturdays. While walk-ins are welcome, it also hosts themed nights, including apertivio sunsets everyday from 5pm to 7.30pm; Bellissima Mondays from 7.30pm to 2am, where ladies drink free and get 50 per cent off on food; and Dolce Thursdays, where both ladies and gentlemen drink free from 7 .30pm to10pm.
Smoking Vibes Friday Beach BBQ dinner
What: Enjoy access to Afyä’s private stretch of beach — bean bags and loungers and all — as well as an expansive array of freshly grilled meat and veggie options, salads, pizzas, and popcorn and dessert stations. Large groups can pre-request lounge furniture and private cabanas with TV screens and gaming consoles, while younger children can also enjoy the bouncy castle and face-painting activities.
Where: Traders Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri
Details: Fridays from 6pm to 10.30pm; Dh140 per person
Live Cuban music
What: The newly opened terrace section of Toro Toro restaurant will be home to a vibrant Cuban band, which you can dance to as you enjoy the mixologist’s creations each with a signature embossed orange rind. The venue, which serves dinner on the lower level, will also host salsa classes later this winter.
Where: Jumeirah at Etihad Towers
B Lounge bonanza
What: The Roman amphitheatre-style seating at B Lounge, backlit with blue bulbs, makes for a psychedelic setting to enjoy a daily happy hour at the outdoor bar.
Where: Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort
Details: Happy hour from 6pm to 8pm every day, plus four free drinks for ladies until 11pm on Tuesdays
What: Puesta Del Sol offers a range of Spanish and Pan-Latin delicacies, including chopitos and shrimps drenched in tomato sauce with cilantro and lime; Acapulco-style ceviche in a glass jar; and mixed cold platters with marinated artichokes, jumbo olives and toasted ciabatta.
Where: Fairmont Bab Al Bahr
Details: À la carte menu, plus, for Dh150 you can enjoy an open bar every day from 5pm to 7pm as you watch the sun go down.
Picnic Pantry Friday brunch
What: Enjoy an al fresco family picnic at Crowne Plaza for which you needn’t pack neither food nor furniture, as it comes with picnic benches, comfy cushions and umbrellas for the still-sunny afternoons, plus pool access. Fill up on smoked salmon bagels, breads, cheeses, pickles and gourmet salad jars, sandwiches and spreads, such as truffle-infused avocado cream. Another section serves up barbecue grills, including king prawns, lamb chops, beef brisket and veal ribs.
Where: Dubai Festival City
Details: Fridays from 12.30pm to 4pm; Dh245 per person inclusive of soft beverages and Dh345 for house beverages, both including pool access. Children under 12 eat free.
What: Women can enjoy unlimited sangria under the stars, plus tunes by DJ Michael Karrera, as the sleek Cielo Sky Lounge reopens its doors after the summer. The sleek venue also has a two-for-one deal on drinks and snacks for all every Saturday.
Where: Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club
Details: Ladies night on Tuesdays from 8pm to 11pm. Two-for-one evenings on Saturdays from 5pm to 2am.
What: Sho Cho has opened its al fresco dining area, which boasts spectacular sunsets, views of the Burj Khalifa and upbeat music. On Mondays, the contemporary Japanese restaurant will host an all-you-can-eat menu, featuring its famous sushi and other signature treats including the rock shrimp tempura and Donburi black cod, plus a happy hour.
Where: Dubai Marine Beach Resort
Details: The limitless menu is available on Mondays from 7pm to 11pm; happy hour drinks cost Dh30.
What: Pure Sky Lounge is offering a delicious-sounding set menu using seasonal ingredients, which takes in: yellow fin tuna ceviche with pomelo and shrimp cracker; pan-seared shrimps with marinated pomelo and mango dressing; Indonesian chicken satay with peanut sauce; pan-seared barramundi fish with purple potato, corn, fennel salad and saffron sauce; grilled beef tenderloin with thyme jus, pumpkin purée and green asparagus; and for dessert, banana beignets and cream cheese ice cream. Pure is the highest outdoor terrace in JBR, and offers unrivalled water-facing views of The Walk.
Where: Hilton JBR
Details: The set menu costs Dh165 per person. For an additional Dh30, you can get a lemon meringue tart to share.
Art Night at Iris
What: Iris Dubai has opened up its newly renovated terrace, which includes a cool new lighting system, two bars, a DJ booth, lounge area, greenery wall and swing set at the entrance. Also coming up are three art nights, where guests can sign up for Paint and Grape classes, complete with individual canvasses, painting material and instructors.
Where: The Oberoi Dubai
Details: The next art nights will be on December 4 and December 20 from 7.30pm to 10.30pm; Dh369 per person including two glasses of grape or four mocktails, plus the artwork you create. The venue will also host various themed evenings, including disco nights on Sundays, live entertainment on Tuesdays, Iris Sunsets everyday from 5pm to 8pm; and a Friday brunch from 1pm to 5pm with packages for between Dh140 and Dh520.