Seafood has always been an integral part of Dubai’s cuisine, thanks to the city’s past as a fishing and pearl-diving hub on the Arabian Sea. Even today, ocean-borne bounty is beloved by the city’s gourmands who are spoiled for choice with a wide offering of seafood restaurants, with new ones cropping up frequently.
Whether you’re craving the catch of the day or looking for an elegant seafood feast, here’s where to get your fill of fresh fish specialties in Dubai.
At first glimpse, Five-Star Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach seems like a palace right out of an Arabian fairytale, complete with barjeel wind towers, latticework and traditional lamps. But step inside and you’ll find yourself in an elegant space that is both modern and understated.
The beachfront Sea Fu presents an Asian-inspired menu of seafood dishes to savor along with cool ocean breezes. After sunset, the lamp-lit terrace takes on an especially romantic mood.
Helmed by executive chef Gilles Arzur, the hotel’s signature restaurant serves up creative takes on authentic Asian flavors. Expect classic sushi selections and plates like poached Patagonian fish with black garlic and jasmine rice, and grilled blue lobster in a tangy yuzu-lemon sauce.
There’s a reason this stellar seafood spot at Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Jumeirah Al Qasr is considered one of the city’s most romantic restaurants.
Its setting at the end of a pier offers a unique overwater dining experience with fantastic views of the Burj Al Arab and Arabian Sea through floor-to-ceiling glass windows. After nightfall, the ambiance is intimate, both inside the understatedly elegant interior and outside on the terrace, where tables glow under warm lamplight.
The menu features Mediterranean seafood dishes prepared alongside sustainably sourced produce. Start with delicacies such as the oyster platter, Palamos octopus with romesco potatoes, and Spanish yellowfin tuna tartare, before tucking into mains like grilled French blue lobster and tiger prawn tagine.
Leave the buzz of the city behind and escape to the ultra-luxurious Bulgari Resort and Residences Dubai for a bit of indulgence, Roman style.
On Jumeirah Bay Island, this nautical-themed venue delivers delicious Italian coastal flavors and the kind of marina views you’d expect from a Mediterranean harbor town. If it’s too warm outside, head into the cozy dining room — its comfortable leather seating seems like it was designed for leisurely meals.
For a taste of Italy, try the seared octopus with black ink chickpea puree, or the seafood salad brightened with Sorrento lemon. Next, opt for hearty plates like seabass with caponata (Sicilian eggplant stew), peas and pine nuts, or linguine with red prawns.
For a seafood feast with flair, head to Armani Hotel Dubai, a Four-Star stay that boasts the Burj Khalifa (the world’s tallest tower) as its address and interiors by renowned designer Giorgio Armani.
Perched in the heart of the city’s most fashionable downtown district, Armani Hashi offers Japanese seafood creations along with front-row seats to the dancing Dubai Fountain.
Whether you choose to dine alfresco or in the upscale dining room, expect to taste Japanese specialties such as sushi and sashimi, tempura and teppanyaki, all prepared with fresh seafood flown in daily from around the world. The scallops and sea urchins come highly recommended.
The newly opened Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai welcomes you into an Asian-inspired sanctuary along the Arabian coast that is bright and airy during the day and intriguing by night, glimmering with the soft glow of chandeliers and lamps.
Along with remarkable views of the hotel’s infinity pool and the turquoise waters of the Arabian Gulf, Portuguese restaurant Tasca by José Avillez serves up the coastal flavors of Portugal with creative flair.
The setting is both trendy and romantic, service is friendly and a slick bar pours the largest selection of Portuguese wines in the city. Pair these sips with dishes like blue fin tuna tartare, Algarve prawns ceviche, and grilled scarlet shrimp.
Perhaps one of Dubai’s oldest seafood restaurants (which is telling in a city with a frequently rotating dining scene), this popular establishment at Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre continues to be a favorite more than two decades after it first opened its doors.
The interactive setting channels the vibe of a bustling Asian market, where choosing your meal from one of the 18 seawater tanks is all part of the dining experience.
True seafood lovers will appreciate the sheer variety: French oysters, Norwegian king crabs and fresh fish from around the region such as hammour, red mullet and halwayoo — all served with Far Eastern flair.
Start with baked mussels with sriracha mayo or deep-fried soft-shell crab, before choosing how you want your fresh catch prepared. Whether you try it sautéed in spicy Szechuan chili sauce, steamed with black beans and garlic, or with Japanese-style udon noodles, the only limit is your appetite.