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A Very Dubai Christmas (Brunch) at the Waldorf Astoria

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 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.

Christmas Brunch at the Waldorf Astoria

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).

Christmas Brunch at the Waldorf Astoria

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. Because of this, I really  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.

Dubai Christmas Brunch at the Waldorf Astoria
Photo credit: Anna Birchall
Review
  • 9/10
    Food - 9/10
  • 7/10
    Drinks - 7/10
  • 7/10
    Atmosphere - 7/10
  • 9/10
    Service - 9/10
  • 10/10
    Variety - 10/10
8.4/10

Summary

The variety of food on offer was incredible, the service great, and the drinks choice pretty reasonable. However, the atmosphere was a little lackluster – loud 80’s music wasn’t really my idea of a good time for Christmas – and it was just too short. Lengthen the time and improve the atmosphere, and it will be an amazing experience!

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The 58th Floor is the travel and lifestyle blog of Belinda Birchall, based in Dubai. It provides advice and information on travel throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East, as well as useful information for living in Dubai - and anything else of interest!

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