After eleven months of voting, the winners of the FACT Dining Awards Dubai 2023 have been revealed.
The FACT Dining Awards Dubai 2023 saw 70 awards given out across 36 categories covering more than 250 hotels and independent restaurants.
The primary objective of the FACT Dining Awards Dubai is to acknowledge excellence within the food and beverage industry the city. The winners were chosen through a combination of public votes and the evaluations of industry critics. So, without further ado, here are the 2023 winners – according to you.
All Day Dining
Gastronomy at Atlantis The Royal
Atlantis The Royal, the new hotel on the block, has been making waves with its grand opening. Gastronomy is a casual restaurant, which is open for breakfast and dinner. Marvel at the chefs at work, and admire the fresh food on display. You're bound to something scrumptious – the space includes 17 live cooking stations, four bars and 100 dishes.
Culinary Staycation in the Northern Emirates
Ula at Mövenpick Resort Al Marjan Island
Ula is an Insta-tastic beach club, which offers picture-perfect moments. The name means sea jewel, and is fitting for this chic beach retreat. With locations on Palm Jumeirah in Dubai and at Mövenpick Resort Al Marjan Island in Ras Al Khaimah, the concept brings together live music, entertainment and poolside and beachside bars. Plus, guests can come for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Jones The Grocer at Palm West Beach
Jones The Grocer rates highly among residents, and we can certainly see why. It has brought those laidback Aussie vibes to Dubai. The Sydney-born brand is famous for its artisan food, especially its mouth-watering breakfasts, which include a traditional English breakfast, acai bowls and coconut pancakes. Now, it also offers an at-home service with an at-home pizza chef, which we tried, tested and would highly recommend.
At.mosphere at Burj Khalifa
You'll have your head in the clouds at At.mosphere at Burj Khalifa. One of the world's highest restaurants is located 422 metres above ground. The experience offers an alternative way of enjoying the view without the crowds, and a classic afternoon tea with scones, cakes and, of course, tea.
tashas at Various Locations
FACT Award-winning tashas is famous for its oh-so-chilled vibes, and serves one of the best breakfasts in the UAE. Natasha Sideris is behind the brand, which is a nod to her first name. The menu includes Carrot and Lentil Salad, Khachapuri and Tourlou Tourlou Rosti, and plenty of healthy salads and juices.
Daikan Ramen at Jumeirah Lake Towers
Daikan Ramen is a homegrown brand, which has made its mark in the city. The clue is in the name, as it is famous for its ramen. The menu’s bites include Gyoza, Kimchi and Shiitake. The ramen includes a Chef's Special, Mazemen, Miso Spicy, Shio and Shoyu.
Lock, Stock & Barrel at Rixos Premium Dubai JBR
Lock, Stock & Barrel is a cool hangout that is famous for its live music, delicious food and party vibes. With happy hours and buy-one-get-one-free offers, this is a great value-for-money option. Plus, it's the kind of pub where we take our mates and a drink or two turns into an evening out.
Surf Club at Palm West Beach
Surf Club at Palm West Beach has been drawing in the crowds. The venue brings a true Californian cool meets Hamptons glamour vibe to Dubai. It has even got you covered – literally – as it has erected its own air-conditioned pergola. With the beach views, live music nights and good vibes, it's a superb spot to chill.
Attiko at W Dubai – Mina Seyahi
If you're after a spectacular sundowner spot where you go with a drink in one hand, camera in the other, then check out Attiko. Located on the 31st floor of W Dubai – Mina Seyahi, the bar is great for the golden hour. Mixologist Andrii Knapik is behind the drink's menu, which has some fun and flavourful signature cocktails.
Galaxy Bar at DIFC
Galaxy Bar has continued to impress us with its intimate yet luxurious lounge, and its creative cocktails. True to its name, inside you will find a celestially lit-up ceiling that reflects Athen's night sky. Plus, it is one of the two bars in Dubai to make it on The World's 50 Best Bars list, as it's truly world-class.
Nammos at Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach
Located in Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, Nammos Dubai brings Mykonos magic by the hammock load. The restaurant is clearly popular with A-listers, as His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum enjoyed the good vibes back in December 2019 and singer Enrique Iglesias performed here in December 2022.
SUSHISAMBA Dubai at The Palm Tower
SUSHISAMBA Dubai is one of the most fashionable restaurants in Dubai. Located in the Palm Tower, it has welcomed A-listers and royals. Blending together Japanese and South American cuisine, the menu includes an eclectic selection of small plates, ceviches, sushi, clay pots and robata. The restaurant has energetic vibes, sky-high views, and, rumour has it, a several-week long waiting list. Go, it's worth the hype.
The Croft at Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites
When you're craving a classic pub, head to The Croft. The British pub will make Brits feel right at home, as it has photos of Piccadilly Circus and is a warm, welcoming spot. The space spans indoor and outdoor seats – we'd recommend sitting outside and enjoying the Dubai Marina views. Look out for the themed nights, from live music to a pub quiz.
Pai Thai at Jumeirah Al Qasr
Hop on board a boat and make your way to this charming restaurant. Located in Jumeirah Al Qasr, Pai Thai showcases Thai flavours. Head Chef Amara Mahayothee is behind the menu, which is an ode to the concept of nam jai – this translates to water of the heart. The mains include Choo Chee Gong Thod (deep-fried tiger prawns), Khiew Wan Nuea (braised beef), and Pla Nung Ma Now (steamed seabass).
Hakkasan Dubai at Atlantis, The Palm
The Hakkasan brand is known the world over for top-quality Chinese food. When you combine a fine dining restaurant with a one-of-a-kind hotel, the results are extraordinary. The stylish Shanghai-inspired mood is set, thanks to the dim lighting and resident DJ. The signature dishes include stir-fried black pepper rib-eye, crispy duck salad and dim sum (some of which are brightly coloured). The restaurant has had a stellar year, as it notched up one MICHELIN Star and now a FACT Dining Award.
North American and Caribbean
Tamoka at The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai
It's all about coastal Caribbean chic at Tamoka. The sunset view, beach vibes and Caribbean menu make this a FACT Dining Award winner. We love the fun and flavourful menu, which includes dry-aged rib eye with pineapple mustard, craw lobster in rum butter, baked cheesy pumpkin and sea bass in a banana leaf.
La Mar by Gastón Acurio at Atlantis The Royal
Situated on the mezzanine level of Atlantis The Royal, La Mar offers a formal dining room with comfortable seating. Gastón Acurio is a Peruvian chef, restaurateur and culinary ambassador for Latin American cuisine. Diners can enjoy Avocado, Octopus, Hokkaido Scallops and King Crab Causa. Sit by the open kitchen or the terrace overlooking the resort's Skyblaze Fountain.
Prime 68 at JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai
Located high on the 68th floor of JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai, Prime68 is a sophisticated steakhouse. Priding itself on its high-quality ingredients, it includes meat from premium suppliers, artisan produce and heritage breed beef from farms around the world. It's all about the attention to detail, as guests are spoilt with excellent service and even get to choose their own knife. Book a seat by the window and enjoy a memorable meal.
Middle Eastern & North African
Sirali Dubai at Al Habtoor City
While Sirali is rooted in tradition, it has elevated Turkish cuisine. Located in Al Habtoor City, it is a hidden gem. Carnivorous will love the menu, which has more than 20 different types of kebabs and moreish meat dishes. The desserts include Kunafah and Katmer with Turkish ice cream, and Mud of Heaven.
Lucky Fish at Palm West Beach
If you're after fantastic fish, at Lucky Fish you're in luck. Located on Palm West Beach, the menu serves superb seafood. The laid-back, vacation-style experience includes an outdoor terrace with views of Dubai's skyline. Plus, the menu is inspired by the Mediterranean and showcases Italian, French and Spanish flavours.
City Social at Grosvenor House, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Dubai
Jason Atherton has transformed Grosvenor House, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Dubai's food and beverage scene. He is behind the modern European restaurant, City Social, which offers an elegant dining experience. When we went on a tour of the venue with the chef, he declared: "I could give Dubai more" – and he has.
OPA Dubai at Fairmont Dubai
If you're looking for a fun night out, OPA comes FACT recommended. The Greek restaurant is located inside Fairmont Dubai, but feels like an escape to the charming Greek Islands. Dig into delicious dishes crafted with passion that are rooted firmly in tradition. Enthral the senses with an extensive menu and tableside preparations. Best of all, you can join the Zorba dancing and smash some plates – Greek-style, obviously.
MayaBay Dubai at Jumeirah Al Naseem
MayaBay is a Monaco-born brand, which decided to strike it lucky in the Middle East. It opened its second branch in Dubai's Jumeirah Al Naseem in 2022, and has been dazzling diners ever since. The fine dining Asian restaurant spans Japanese sushi, Thai curries and Chinese dim sum. Plus, the space is packed with personality and pizzazz, from the kokeshi dolls to sake barrels lining the wall.
Odeon at Jumeirah Beach Road
Odeon is a homegrown French concept located on Jumeirah Beach Road. The restaurant has been created by Chef Thomas Duhamel and his wife Morgan. He previously worked at Stay by Yannick Alleno and Zuma Dubai. The space offers a range of experiences, from a deli counter with grab-and-go items to the French brasserie restaurant.
The Nice Guy at Emirates Towers
You know what they say – nice guys finish last. That's certainly not the case when it comes to the bar and restaurant, The Nice Guy. The venue is popular with celebrities and critics – including the FACT Editor-in-Chief. Located in Emirates Towers, it draws its inspiration from restaurants that were loved by the mafia. Enjoy Italian favourites – think mozzarella, meatballs and Margheritas.
MASTI at The Dubai EDITION
In Hindi, Masti translates to fun and mischief – and that's what you'll have at this much-loved restaurant. With its vibrant décor and friendly staff, it offers a fusion of Indian flavours inside The Dubai EDITION. The menu includes Burrata Butter Chicken, Messy Chicken Tikka and Watermelon Bhakari, and creative cocktails.
Japanese - Casual Dining
WAWA Dining at Golden Tulip Hotel, Al Barsha
WAWA describes itself as a JAKO restaurant – aka Japanese and Korean cuisine. The charming spot is a homegrown hidden gem in Al Barsha, and serves maki rolls, hot pot noodles and stir-fries. The drinks include a good selection of sake, hops and grape.
Japanese - Fine Dining
Zuma at DIFC
Zuma is the brainchild of restauranteur Rainer Becker. In 2002, he launched Zuma in London. In 2008, he launched Zuma in Dubai. Famous for its fine dining Japanese food, the team elevate an izakaya experience. Dig into the dishes that include Barley Miso Cord Fed Baby Chicken, Grilled Chilean Seabass and the world-famous Miso Marinated Black Cod.
Dinner & A Show
Billionaire Dubai at Taj Dubai
Billionaire has led the way when it came to dinner and a show. The high-quality acts have been dazzling Dubai. Marvel at the acrobats, dancers and singers, from gravity-defying hand-balancing acts to state-of-the-art staging. Plus, the menu includes meat, seafood and pizzas.
Bar du Port at Dubai Harbour
The stylish French restaurant and bar has made its mark on Dubai. With dreamy views of Dubai Marina and Palm Jumeirah from the terrace, it has a chilled yet classy vibe. The brunch menu includes Beef Ribeye, Chicken Escalope and Pan Seared Seabass. Plus, the classic cocktails include an Aperol Spritz, Bloody Mary and Espresso Martini.
Brasserie du Park at Park Hyatt Dubai
Known as one of the most extravagant brunches in town, the dining experience serves up an array of gastronomic delights in the elegant surroundings of Brasserie Du Park at Park Hyatt Dubai. Signature dishes include Kaluga Caviar, chilled and hot seafood platters and the epic meat platter.
YAVA at Wasl 51
Fans of Mediterranean food will feel at home in YAVA. The concept celebrates the shared history of 21 countries in the Mediterranean Sea. The menu includes mezze, pasta, fatayer, mains and desserts. Great for groups, it's superb for sharing.
Newcomer - Casual Dining
Cucina at Marriott Resort Palm Jumeirah
Cucina has become an unexpected hit. Located in Marriott Resort Palm Jumeirah, it prides itself on creating Italian dishes. The welcoming venue has a relaxed vibe, and includes an open kitchen and ice cream shop. Diners can choose from artisanal pizzas to handmade pastas.
Newcomer - Fine Dining
The Experience by Reif Othman at Dubai Hills Business Park
The Experience by Reif Othman delivers a contemporary take on the traditional omakase. Reif is a homegrown hero, and has redefined Dubai's dining scene. Past special menus were inspired by cherry blossom season and Golden Week. With seating for only 12 diners, it's like stepping into Reif's private kitchen for dinner with the man himself.