The 20 most anticipated restaurant openings in Abu Dhabi and Dubai this Autumn

Image courtesy of the Bulldozer Group

Despite a number of recent closures on the UAE dining scene including The Experience by Reif Othman, Zahira, The Atlantic, Sass Cafe, 7 Elephants and Catch Dubai, the UAE’s restaurant scene continues to flourish with new ventures opening on what seems like a weekly basis.

With residents and visitors on the search for the next big thing when it comes to hospitality, we run down the twenty new restaurant openings that have us excited in this autumn

Black Tap Abu Dhabi:

The burger and freak shake phenomenon finally comes to the capital with the opening of Black Tap at Yas Mall. It’s a shame the mall location means an unlicensed opening for Abu Dhabi, especially considering craft beer is such an integral part of the initial New York concept (and features heavily in the two Dubai locations). Still, diners in the capital can indulge in the craft burgers and crazy shakes including the ever-popular cookies ‘n cream supreme (vanilla frosted rim, crushed oreos, cookies ’n cream sandwich, crumbled oreo, whipped cream & chocolate drizzle). Instagram will never be the same again. Full review here.

Date: August 2018 (now open).
Location: Yas Mall, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.


Post-modern Indian fine-dining restaurant Tresind has been a firm fixture on the Dubai dining scene for the past four years, but a recent closure has allowed for a complete new look, plus a new menu for this popular spot at the Nassima Royal Hotel. Expect molecular gastronomy and presentation gimmicks to accompany the bold flavors of Chef Himanshu Saini’s food and the mixology of bar manager Sherine John. The evolution of Tresind has arrived…

Date: August 2018 (now open).
Location: Nassima Royal Hotel, Sheikh Zayad Road, Trade Centre Area, Dubai.


Ever since the Instagram account launched for Andes we’ve been waiting with anticipation for the opening. Located in the One Central building at the Dubai World Trade Centre, Andes represents a South American fine-dining restaurant. Dishes look set to include ceviche, criolla (Angus picanha, roasted Savoy cabbage, smoked potato purée and Andes mole) and humo (smoked octopus, black quinoa risotto, purple potato and Parmigiano-Reggiano sauce). While the concept draws inspiration from the Andes Mountain range, it’s the exclusive chef’s table that has us most excited!

Date: August 2018 (now open).
Location: The Offices 3, One Central, Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai.

La Carnita DXB:

Mexican street food with a Latino twist is the name of the game at La Carnita, which takes over the space previously occupied by post-brunch hangout Ynot at the Intercontinental Dubai Marina. The taco-heavy concept hails from Toronto (with a handful of branches in the USA) and will mark the brands first outpost in the Middle East. Expect an abundance of Margaritas, churros and plenty of guac when La Carnita opens next month.

Date: September 2018 (now open).
Location: Promenade Level, Intercontinental Dubai Marina, Dubai Marina, Dubai.

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Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi launched earlier this summer with family friendly Italian restaurant VERSO and the elegant Pearl Lounge. September brings the next stage in the staggered opening of the five-star hotels F&B outlets, collectively referred to as The Podium. LEXX is not just one of the city’s only wine bars, but a cigar lounge with extensive charcuterie, all surrounded by a beautiful terrace. We’ve had a sneak peek at this one and believe us when we say, it’s worth the wait!

Date: September 2018.
Location: Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel, Emirates Pearl, Al Khubeirah, Abu Dhabi.

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Scheduled to open on the 1st September on the 31st floor of the Sofitel Downtown Dubai is Modi, Dubai’s first Georgian restaurant. Using the freshest organic ingredients direct from Georgia alongside wine (yay) and traditional folk music. Could Modi be the highest Georgian restaurant in the world?

Date: September 2018.
Location: 31st Floor, Sofitel Dubai Downtown, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai.


Atelier House Hospitality brings Mohalla to the trendy Dubai Design District. Translating as ‘community’ or ‘neighbourhood’, this homegrown Indian eatery promises value for money and a menu inspired by street food in the heart of the burgeoning new, uh, neighbourhood.

Date: September 2018.
Location: Dubai Design District, Dubai.


It would seem that Chef Izu Ani is on a bit of a roll. Following the openings of both Izu Brasserie in CityWalk and Carine at the Emirates Golf Club, Izu has teamed up with the Bulldozer Group (Toko, Scallini, Novikov, Crab Market) to open Greek restaurant Gaia. With fresh ingredients and herbs sourced directly from Greece, Gaia looks to become a popular Greek haven in the heart of DIFC’s Gate Village and another winning Mediterranean concept for Izu.

Date: September 2018.
Location: Gate Village, DIFC, Dubai.


Atelier House Hospitality are bringing two Michelin starred New York restaurant Marea to Dubai’s DIFC this September. Akin to the flagship, the Dubai menu comes from Chef Michael White and ‘will read like a map of the sea, allowing guests to experience a variety of dishes’ according to details provided by Atelier House. Marea which means “tide” in Italian looks to “redefine the seascape of high-end Italian cuisine serving regional foods of Italy.”

Date: September 2018 (TBC).
Location: Gate Village 7, DIFC, Dubai.

Akira Back:

Chef Akira Back brings his distinct Asian cuisine to the new W Hotel on the Palm Jumeirah with a scheduled September opening. Back’s global portfolio includes restaurants in Jakarta, Bali, Bangkok, Las Vegas and Seoul (with the latter recently awarded a coveted Michelin Star). We’re very excited to see what the first Middle Eastern outpost for this celebrity chef looks (and tastes) like.

Date: September 2018 (TBC).
Location: W Dubai The Palm, The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai.


Abu Dhabi’s Dusit Thani hotel will be launching a new Indian concept this autumn from acclaimed chef Kunal Kapur. Namak which means ‘salt’ in Hindi looks to change the capitals perception of Indian cuisine through bold plating and unique flavour combinations. We have to say the images on Namak’s Instagram account have got us VERY excited.

Date: November 2018 (TBC).
Location: Dusit Thani, Al Muroor Road, Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi

The London Project:

The first restaurant announced for Bluewaters Island off the coast of JBR (and home to Ain Dubai, the world’s largest ferris wheel) is The London Project. Described as “The ultimate curation of London cool, a destination dedicated to the very finest in food, drink, art, culture & unparalleled hospitality.” The concept is expected to become home to a restaurant, bar, and a gin garden – with the gins distilled in house. Meanwhile the menu is said to offer modern interpretations of British and Mediterranean classics.

Date: November 2018 (TBC).
Location: Bluewaters Island, Dubai.

Dolce Sky:

A new opening inside the  Address Boulevard hotel, Dolce Sky spans the properties 70th and 71st floors bringing together a bar, rooftop terrace, members-only lounge and two restaurants – French ‘La Vie’ and Japanese ‘Takumi.’ Little else in known about the opening other than its ‘sometime in 2018’ date but the early design renders look exceptional.

Date: Autumn 2018 (TBC).
Location: Address Boulevard, Mohammad Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, Dubai.

The Galliard:

A new addition for the Address Downtown Dubai which has re-opened following the fire of NYE 2015. Istanbul export The Galliard offers “artfully prepared Turkish delicacies alongside inventive expressions of French and Spanish cuisine.” With the popularity of Turkish cuisine on the rise, this spot off the hotels lobby is said to overlook The Burj Khalifa and hopes to give the likes of Nusr Et and Gunaydin a run for their money.

Date: Autumn 2018 (TBC).
Location: Address Downtown, Downtown Dubai, Dubai

Geisha House:

Los Angeles export Geisha House also takes up residence at the Intercontinental Dubai Marina this year. Described as a “restaurant, lounge and bar that embraces the traditional Kyoto culture since 1920 to the modern and futuristic Tokyo of 2050.” The concept blends together traditional Japanese flavours with a contemporary twist, while cocktails and artful mixology will be front and centre. The website also indicates an entertainment aspect – consider us intrigued.

Date: Autumn 2018 (TBC).
Location: Intercontinental Dubai Marina, Dubai Marina, Dubai.


This new Uzbekistani restaurant situated in La Mer North arrives from London’s upmarket Knightsbridge. Bringing a taste of the Silk Route to Dubai, Osh’s menu specialises in grills and is described as “a gastronomical intersection between traditional Central Asian food and ethnic inspired spices and flavors.”

Date: Autumn 2018 (TBC).
Location: La Mer North, Jumeirah 1, Dubai.

Torno Subito:

The opening of W The Palm also marks the arrival of Torno Subito, an Italian concept from chef Massimo Bottura. You may recognise Bottura as the man behind the world’s number one restaurant of 2018 – Osteria Francescana. Translating to “I’ll be right back” this Dubai project marks Bottura’s first restaurant outside of Italy in a concept said to take “guests on a journey back to 1960s Italy, where the vibe is sophisticated and social, but laidback.” The art deco interiors in the early renderings also look quite exceptional.

Date: Autumn 2018 (TBC).
Location: W Dubai The Palm, The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai.

Image used courtesy of Bishop Design

Masterchef The TV Experience:

The world’s first Masterchef restaurant is scheduled to open at the Wyndham West Bay in Dubai Marina this autumn. What exactly does a MasterChef themed restaurant entail we hear you ask? Well… the interiors are said to be inspired by the MasterChef set, with the menu showcasing recipes of contestants from many of the 52 territories where the programme is produced. With the concept coming from Dubai-based property developer and F&B specialist The First Group.

Date: Autumn 2018 (TBC).
Location: Wyndham West Bay, Dubai Marina, Dubai.

Image courtesy of Architectural Digest

Avli by Tashas:

Following hot on the heels of Natasha Sideris Tashas and Flamingo Room by Tashas comes Avli. Replacing La Luz at the Four Seasons DIFC, little is known about this particular opening, other than the fact that it’s an entirely new concept. We’ll keep you posted…

Date: Autumn 2018 (TBC).
Location: Ground Floor, Gate Village Building 9, DIFC, Dubai


Opening on the ground floor of the Address Dubai Mall (currently under renovation) will be Cez, described as a”unique voyage in hospitality” in which “guests will feel like they are entering the home of our Chef.” Details are still scarce but we understand Chez will be serving up international cuisine including Asian and Mediterranean dishes, while a dessert counter will offer sweet treats and desserts.

Date: Autumn 2018 (TBC).
Location: Address Dubai Mall, Mohammad Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, Dubai.

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All dates correct at time of going to press