Valentine’s Day – love it or loathe it, is almost here again so for anyone still looking for a place to take that someone special, here’s my pick of the most romantic restaurants in Abu Dhabi.
Set outdoors, right on the private beach at Emirates Palace, this is one not to miss. The food is prepared nearby in what can only be described as the Emirates Palace answer to a street food truck – a food prep and barbecue area that I like to think of as a posh portacabin. But back to the romance side of things – pre-dinner drinks on the beach snuggled up on sofas and love seats followed by a meal to remember in one of their dining cabanas with nothing but the sounds of the nearby waters gently lapping… Low-lighting sets the mood for a casual and relaxed evening and the food is simple, barbecue style hearty fare but with the quality you’d expect from the Emirates Palace.
Another one that has an enviable location right on the beach at Saadiyat, and that beach, it should not be forgotten is the daddy-mac of all UAE beaches. Situated at the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi, Beach House sits on the edge of the boardwalk leading down to the beach and is beautiful both during the day and at night time. Whilst the cool of the evening and accompanying subtle lighting may make for a more romantic experience, it’s a place I love at any time of day. Even if you’ve already eaten elsewhere, the Beach House Rooftop bar is still well worth a visit for unbeatable peace and ambience that lends itself perfectly to the spirit of Valentines Day.
Part of the St. Regis Saadiyat Beach hotel, fans of South East Asian flavoursome food will love it here. Not only is it beautiful, the series of floating pavilions it’s set upon add an air of a peace and tranquility that you might only expect to find on holiday. For the most beautiful outlooks opt for a table outdoors if it’s warm enough, otherwise, request a table indoors, but near the water.
OK, so this one isn’t exactly a restaurant per se, but you can’t mention Valentine’s Day and not think of the Qasr Al Sarab – the hotel made this years’ Telegraph list of the Top 50 Greatest Hotels in the World and with little wonder – it’s pretty darn fabulous. So if dinner alone is not quite enough to impress your date then dust off your wallet and opt for the whole shebang – a two hour drive from the city, you’ll need an overnight stay (and at least one, don’t be stingy now! 😀 ) and a private dining experience complete with your own private butler set on the stunning sands of the Empty Quarter. It may sound horribly spendy but you might be surprised, Dining by Design dinners start from Dhs1200 including a glass of the bubbly stuff each, which when you look at what dinner will set you back in many top restaurants around the city that’s not so bad, and you can guarantee it’ll be an experience you’ll never forget.
And that’s my pick of the most romantic restaurants in the city. If you have any other favourites I haven’t mentioned, do let me know, I’d love to hear from you!