Dubai Eat

A very Dubai Christmas at the Waldorf Astoria

Photo credit: Anna Birchall


The Dubai brunch. It is a ex-pat mainstay, and every weekend you can find Brits-abroad getting tipsy and embarrassing themselves in public. They are expensive, rowdy, and they can get messy fast.

We not really brunch people. 

However, it was our first Christmas in Dubai. I’m basically the world’s worst cook. Matt’s sister was visiting for a few days, and our friend James (our very own Brit-abroad) had the day off. We decided that, if we were ever going to do Brunch, it was going to be Christmas day.

After much deliberation, we decided on the Waldorf Astoria on the Palm. It wasn’t cheap – I think it was 450AED per person for a non-alcoholic package, and 650AED for alcohol – but it was a special occasion. We don’t plan on doing it again anytime soon, so decided to go for gold. 

As soon as we arrived, it was clear we were going to feel at home. Everyone was friendly, in a festive mood, and willing to help. I was intrigued to see whether they would even be able to supply everything on the Christmas Brunch Mezzerie Menu. Amazingly, they did. The setup was gorgeous. I had to photograph the desserts before people ruined them by chomping on down, and the massive Gingerbread House (which James decided to steal the chimney off).

In terms of the food on offer – there were massive, massive amounts of everything. Nothing ran out. I’m not a fan of seafood, but they had absolutely every type of seafood you could want. Along with beef, chicken, pork and lamb – each provided in several variations. The food was all delicious. They had the biggest tub of hummus I have ever seen. Anna was pleased.

I actually didn’t eat as much as I thought I would. I probably didn’t get my 450AED worth of food, but that certainly wasn’t for lack of choice. I just wasn’t that hungry! The service was good – being the old grouches that we were, we asked them to turn down the music at one stage – and they even bought us a random plate of fries, something not on the 5 star menu for the day. We just wanted to test them out. 

The atmosphere was jovial. The brunch was a bit short – maybe three hours? – which probably wasn’t quite long enough to take advantage of the alcohol package. We didn’t see anyone that was particularly ‘jolly’ from drinking, which was quite nice. James was probably about the worst, and he (unsuccessfully) tried to steal a bread boat upon exiting. 

In summary, would I go again? Yes, but only for Christmas – or another special occasion. Apart from the insane cost of attending these brunches, I’d be the size of a house if I dined on them consistently. But that’s another Dubai first ticked off the list.

Photo credit: Anna Birchall

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