6 Dubai restaurants to go celebrity spotting
In the UAE, we’re in a constant swirl of high profile concerts, conferences and festivals, so it’s common to find A-list celebrities from those events mingling at some of the town’s buzzing hotspots to unwind. You may well bump into your favourite Academy Award winner randomly at the beach or doing a bit of shopping at the mall (hello, Beyonce!), but we’ve narrowed down a list of some of the best restaurants where you can dress up to ensure you look your finest for that perfect selfie with your idol. And enjoy a pretty fantastic meal, too.
Caramel Restaurant & Lounge
Spotted: Amr Diab, Kevin Spacey, Hugh Grant, Diego Maradona
It’s no wonder Las Vegas export Caramel attracts whichever members of Tinseltown are passing through. The likes of Kevin Spacey, Hugh Grant and Diego Maradona love the low-lit, trendy vibe at this hotspot popular with the DIFC banking crowd. The food is also more than worthy of mention, and rather than dishes smothered in caviar or foie gras, you’ll find creative plates like baked avocado and lobster bites. Don’t be surprised if you are still at the bar during early morning hours as the music gets progressively louder.
Spotted: Usher, Kylie Minogue, Sean Penn, David Beckham
Nobu has a dedicated following whether it's found in London or Mykonos. The Dubai outlet, located in the belly of Atlantis The Palm extends the reputatation, with its stunning, cave-like interior making you feel every bit 007, which is part of the draw for celebrities seeking privacy and elegant food. The likes of Usher, Kylie Minogue and Sean Penn have been seen nibbling on Nobu favourites, such as the miso-marinated black cod and yellow tail sashimi with jalapeno. The waiting lists are long, so be prepared to sit tight and then to shell out for a night out. Just don’t freak out when hostesses shriek ‘Irashaimase!’, a customary Japanese greeting, to each guest who walks into the upscale eatery.
Spotted: Will Smith, Kim Kardashian
Chichi Japanese eateries have been all the rage for a while now and Sydney export Toko has found its own following in Downtown Dubai’s VIDA hotel. From an outdoor Zen garden area to the ultra-sleek, dark interior and an open-plan kitchen, TOKO oozes cool. It’s no wonder that this locale has quickly become a cult favourite where celebrities including Will Smith and Kim Kardashian have been spotted dining. Share generous sushi platters with friends or indulge in their creative cocktails – lychee and jasmine martini, anyone? – for a guaranteed fun night out, whether or not you spot someone from the silver screen.
Where: Fairmont Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road
Spotted: Jennifer Lopez, Chris Brown, Steven Tyler
Cavalli Club is all about flash. We’re talking crystal chandeliers and zebra print seats, pouty girls in tight dresses and guys wearing so much gel it’s visible in the dark. The restaurant and club attracts a crowd of people eager to see and be seen, so it makes sense that this is where the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Chris Brown and Steven Tyler have stopped by to make sure they make headlines the next day. The cuisine is authentically Italian, including delicious dishes such as truffle tagliatelle with mushrooms. Tip: when you hit the dance floor, make sure to smile.You might be in the background of a photo that someone is taking of someone famous... or someone’s #nightout selfie.
Spotted: Irina Shayk, Alessandra Ambrosio, Paris Hilton, the Kardashians, Sarah Jessica Parker
A cool venue near the DIFC, Cle is drawing in celebrities and local foodies eager to try the Arabic-fusion cuisine at this trendy haunt. Irina Shayk, Alessandra Ambrosio and the Kardashians have passed by, while Paris Hilton even did an impromptu DJ’ing session one evening, so there is no telling how your night will go at Cle. Real creativity can at least be found in dishes like the hazelnut falafel with peppers and marinated feta.
Where: Madinat Jumeirah
Spotted: Ben Affleck, Salma Hayek, Bill Clinton
During high-profile events such as the World Economic Forum or the Dubai International Film Festival, this cosy cafe is the ideal place to be for some celeb-spotting. From Ben Affleck and Salma Hayek to Bill Clinton, you never know who you will see popping in for their caffeine fix. The venue enjoys a nice outdoor deck where you also have access to other restaurants willing to deliver to your table. Enjoy your double-chocolate frappuccino with a side of Hollywood, guilt-free.