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15 one-of-a-kind restaurants and dining experiences in the UAE

From animal experiences to dining in the dark, these are the most unique dining experiences across the Emirates.

The UAE sure knows how to cater to all tastes, as the restaurant scene has everything from MICHELIN stars to celebrity chefs. If you’re after something unconventional, you’re in luck, as there are niche restaurants galore. Take your pick from trains, planes and owl cafés. Here are the most unique restaurants in the UAE.

1484 by Puro, Ras Al Khaimah

When only the most jaw-dropping views will do, head over to the highest restaurant in the UAE: 1484 by Puro atop Jebel Jais in Ras Al Khaimah. The restaurant gets its name from its height, as it is 1,484 meters high, and boasts panoramic views of the mountain tops. The menu includes healthy and hearty dishes, which include soups, salads and sandwiches. The restaurant is open daily from 8am to 9pm.

GO: Visit https://puro.ae for reservations and more information.

unique restaurants in the UAE

Ailuromania Cat Café, Dubai 

Ailuromania Cat Café is purr-fect for cat lovers. The café houses adopted kittens, which roam freely in the venue and you can stroke them as much as you like. The menu includes pizzas, pastas and waffles, plus coffee, tea and milkshakes. If you fall in love with any of the kitties while you are there, you can tell the owners that you are interested in adoption. The café costs AED 30 to enter but is currently relocating to a new venue in Dubai.

GO: Follow @ailuromaniacafe on Instagram for more information.

unique restaurants in the UAE

At.mosphere, Dubai

Experience fine dining 442 meters above the ground inside the world’s tallest building. At.mosphere, located on level 122 of the Burj Khalifa in Downtown Dubai, offers breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner with a view from the top of the world. Diners can indulge in a seven-course tasting menu featuring the freshest ingredients, with dishes like foie gras torchon, wild turbot and gâteaux aux pommes.

GO: Visit www.atmosphereburjkhalifa.com for reservations and more information.

Atmosphere Lounge

Boomah, Abu Dhabi 

Boomah in Abu Dhabi is a right hoot, as the café is home to nine owls. In the UAE’s first owl café, you can learn about the animals and hold them while supervised by a trainer. The menu includes mocktails, fresh juices, tea, milkshakes and speciality coffee. Tickets cost AED 70 for adults and AED 50 for children, and the café is open daily from 2pm to 1am. 

GO: Follow @boomah.ae on Instagram for more information.

unique restaurants in the UAE

BRIX, Dubai

If you believe that there is always room for dessert, then you will love 3Fils creation, BRIX. The restaurant creates a unique dessert experience, as it has the UAE’s only dessert tasting menus. The wide-ranging menu includes milk cake, tiramisu, carrot cake and cheesecake. Plus, the restaurant prides itself on creating daring dessert combinations. BRIX can be found in Jumeirah Fishing Harbour.

GO: Visit https://brixdessert.com for reservations and more information.

brix dessert

Dinner in the Dark at Bab Al Qasr, Abu Dhabi

Close your eyes and let your other senses get to work. Dinner in the Dark at Fresh Basil, Bab Al Qasr, is an immersive experience, as you eat in a pitch-black room. Over 90-minutes you’ll eat a three-course mysterious meal, and waiters with night vision goggles are on hand to help. During the night, you’ll be chatting with fellow diners and guessing the flavours. At the end, the (candle) lights get turned on and the dishes are finally revealed.  

GO: Call 056 992 2078 for reservations and more information.

Fresh Basil Dining In The Dark

Krasota, Dubai

The captivating dining experience at Address Downtown seamlessly blends culinary excellence with the world of visual arts. This extraordinary restaurant invites guests to journey through “Imaginary Art,” a showcase of international artists from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Prepare to be enthralled as this unique gastronomical theatre takes you on an immersive adventure. Take your seat at a circular table, elegantly accommodating up to 20 guests and prepare to be captivated by a mesmerising 3D multimedia performance that unfolds across the curved walls and table. Chef Vladimir Mukhin has designed an array of distinctive dishes for each act of this extraordinary gastro-show. Expect to pay AED 2,318 per seat on Saturdays and AED 1,830 for the remaining days of the week. Read our full review of Krasota here.

GO: Follow @krasota.restaurant.dubai on Instagram for more information.

Krasota Dubai

Ossiano, Dubai

Indulge in a luxurious dining experience at Ossiano, where stingrays, sharks, and fish gracefully swim by your table. Located at Atlantis, The Palm, Ossiano promises an unforgettable meal featuring caviar and innovative dishes in an enchanting underwater ambience. Ossiano in Atlantis, The Palm has been impressing not just Dubai but the world with its seafood. Not only is it a multiple FACT Award winner, but it is MICHELIN Star-quality. You may be next to a floor-to-ceiling aquarium, but the dishes are so dazzling, they will steal your attention away from the marine life. Chef Grégoire Berger’s menu is inspired by the ocean and includes unique ingredients that you rarely find in a restaurant. 

GO: Visit www.atlantis.com for reservations and more information.

weekend of dining

Pierchic, Dubai

Pierchic, often hailed as one of the most romantic restaurants in Dubai, is situated on the private pier of Jumeirah Al Qasr. This exquisite venue offers elevated waterfront dining with stunning views of the Arabian Gulf. Chef Beatrice’s tantalizing tasting menu takes diners on a culinary journey, focusing on traditional homemade pasta. Start with a selection from the Crudo bar, followed by a delightful array of antipasti. Pasta enthusiasts will revel in the simplicity and flavour of the restaurant’s signature dishes, finishing their meal with a variety of irresistible desserts.

GO: Visit www.jumeirah.com for reservations and more information.

dining and nightlife

Piquant Pick Home Restaurant, Ajman

Hop aboard Piquant Pick Home Restaurant, a train-themed restaurant in Ajman. Sit inside one of the spacious cabins, and go on a culinary journey across the Middle East and Asia. The vast menu includes soups, salads and seafood platters. Plus, kebabs, curries and biriyanis. When you’re after seconds, press a button and a porter will come to your carriage – so sit back and enjoy the ride. Piquant Pick Home Restaurant in Ajman is open daily from 12:30pm to 1am.

GO: Follow @piquantpick.ae on Instagram for more information.

unique restaurants in the UAE

Seven Paintings, Dubai 

Is it a gallery? Is it a restaurant? Welcome to Seven Paintings, an artistic dining experience at Hyde Hotel Dubai. The one-of-a-kind dining experience uses 3D graphics to exhibit art from Picasso to Pollock on your table. Over two hours, you will eat seven courses by acclaimed food artist Omar Sartawi. Tickets cost AED 390 for a shared table and AED 450 for a private table, and the experience takes place every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 8pm to 10pm.

GO: Visit www.sevenpaintings.com for reservations and more information.

unique restaurants in the UAE

The Pods, Dubai

 From the outside, The Pods look like a gimmick. From the inside, the 22 pods are perfect for private business meetings, romantic dinners, and noisy family get-togethers. Located on Bluewaters Island, The Pods have views of Dubai Marina and come in different sizes, seating up to six, eight and 14 people. The Pan Asian menu includes Chinese and Japanese dishes, from dim sum to sushi – order the beef rendang curry, it’s soft, spicy and sweet. The restaurant is open daily from 7am to 1am.

GO: Visit https://thepods.ae for reservations and more information.

The Pods

The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi

The St. Regis Abu Dhabi offers one of the UAE’s most unique dining experiences with its exclusive Sunset Helipad experiences. Catering to just 20 guests, this extraordinary event takes place on the highest active helipad in the Middle East. Guests are escorted through secret back hallways and elevators to the hotel’s secure rooftop and helipad, where they can enjoy the soothing sounds of a live saxophonist or violinist while taking in panoramic views of Abu Dhabi. The experience is enhanced with distinctive beverages, exquisitely crafted canapés and includes either dinner or the St. Regis Signature Afternoon Tea.

GO: Visit www.marriott.com for reservations and more information.

fun things to do in Abu Dhabi

Transit Terminal Food, Abu Dhabi 

If you’ve got the travel bug but can’t get away, Transit Terminal Food may well be the next best thing. This Abu Dhabi restaurant pays homage to aviation, as there’s a departure lounge, check-in counter and aeroplane seats complete with artificial clouds in the windows. The menu is fittingly international and includes fish and chips, quesadillas and currywurst. The restaurant is open daily from 11am to midnight. 

GO: Follow @transitterminalfood on Instagram for more information.

unique restaurants in the UAE

Viking Restaurant, Ajman

Game of Thrones fans will feel right at home at Viking Restaurant, which brings to life a medieval dining experience. Goblets and horns adorn the tables, medieval ballads are sung and staff are dressed in Viking costumes. Plus, the food is created using traditional Viking cooking techniques and named after Viking warriors. Viking Restaurant in Ajman is open daily from 12pm to midnight.

GO: Follow @viking.ajman on Instagram for more information.

Viking restaurant Ajman

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