Food & Drinks

Dubai’s Premier Dining Destinations: MENA 50 Best 2024 UAE Restaurants

The annual MENA 50 Best Restaurants list highlights the top dining destinations across the Middle East and North Africa region. For 2024, an impressive 14 restaurants from the UAE have made the prestigious list, cementing the country’s status as a world-class culinary hotspot.

Leading the pack for the second consecutive year is homegrown concept Orfali Bros Bistro, which offers contemporary Middle Eastern cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere. Close behind in 13th place is Zuma, the ever-popular Japanese eatery in DIFC, known for its exceptional sushi and signature dishes.

While there won’t be an awards ceremony this year, the UAE’s vibrant dining scene has much to celebrate with its impressive showing on the 2024 list.

Orfali Bros Bistro: Securing the Top Spot

Claiming the number one spot for the second year running is Orfali Bros Bistro, the contemporary Middle Eastern eatery making waves on the local dining scene. Helmed by siblings Mohammad and Wissam Orfali, the restaurant offers a taste of Levantine cuisine with modern techniques and presentation.

Signature dishes like the Orfali Bros mixed grill platter with its array of kebabs and meats or the Ramallah-style stuffed chicken showcases the concept’s ability to balance tradition with innovation. Diners also rave about the Kunafa cheesecake, putting a creative spin on the classic Levantine dessert.

Beyond the food, the relaxed atmosphere and personable service make Orfali Bros a go-to neighborhood spot. With its consistent quality and execution, it’s no wonder Orfali Bros Bistro retains the top honor on the prestigious 2024 list.

Zuma: A True Dining Institution in Dubai

Since opening over a decade ago, Zuma has cemented itself as one of Dubai’s most iconic dining destinations. Found within the heart of DIFC, the sleek Japanese restaurant introduced the city to contemporary interpretations of washoku cuisine.

Zuma pioneered DIFC’s transformation into a buzzing culinary and lifestyle hub. Its upscale ambiance and exceptional service standards paved the way for other world-class restaurants to follow suit. Even among stiff competition, Zuma has retained its status as a go-to spot for special occasions and business meetings alike.

Exploring the exceptional Japanese fare offered at Zuma

While the atmosphere attracts visitors, Zuma’s menu keeps them coming back. Expect contemporary twists on sushi and robata grill classics using the highest quality ingredients. Signature items like the miso black cod or wagyu beef tenderloin are seared to smoky perfection on the bincho grill.

Zuma also houses an exceptional beverage program featuring rare Japanese whiskies, sakes, and curated cocktails like the lychee elderflower martini. With its masterful execution of Japanese cuisine and drink, it remains an essential destination over a decade since first opening.

Kinoya: From Supper Club to Permanent Restaurant

Hailing originally as a pop-up supper club in 2020, Kinoya has since transformed into a permanent fixture on Dubai’s culinary map. The intimate eatery in The Greens shines the spotlight on ramen, with rich broths and fresh noodles made in-house daily.

Signatures like the spicy miso ramen and the vegan tantanmen have earned the restaurant a cult-like following. After being named seventh in 2023, Kinoya expands abroad for 2024 – bringing its ramen expertise to the luxe Harrods department store in London.

As Kinoya grows internationally, chef Neha Mishra continues leading the cozy Dubai location, cooking up soulful bowls of noodle soup. With Mishra’s unrelenting passion for her craft, Kinoya retains its place as one of the city’s most beloved ramen ya.

Row on 45: Jason Atherton’s Tasting Menu Experience

Debuting on the 2024 list is Row on 45, the latest concept by acclaimed British chef Jason Atherton located in Grosvenor House Dubai. Diners embark on a 17-course voyage of creative flavors and textures masterfully presented in an elegant setting.

Dishes like the hand-dived scallop with white asparagus and black truffle showcase Atherton’s knack for combining luxury ingredients. The sensory experience continues with the wagyu striploin served on a hot river stone emanating herbal aromas right at the table.

Discussing the modular, multi-setting, sensorial safari concept at Row on 45

Beyond the food, Row on 45 enthralls guests with its unique format. The meals are served in a series of different settings – from the icy Magic Room lined with Swarovski crystals to the tropical Secret Garden filled with aromatic florals. This “sensorial safari” keeps the tasting menu journey exciting dish after dish.

With Atherton’s reputation for innovation and the restaurant’s immersive dining concept, Row on 45 makes a dazzling entrance onto the MENA 50 Best list at number 41.

LPM Abu Dhabi: Refined French Cuisine on the Waterfront

New on the 2024 list is LPM Abu Dhabi, bringing a taste of Parisian refinement to the UAE capital. The upscale French restaurant joins its sister venue, LPM Dubai, in earning accolades this year.

Located on the waterfront at Al Maryah Island, LPM Abu Dhabi impresses with soaring ceilings, marble finishes, and sprawling views. The grand interior matches the sophisticated cuisine – diners indulge in French classics like escargots, foie gras, and chateaubriand expertly executed.

Between the elegant atmosphere and Michelin-level cooking, LPM Abu Dhabi secures its place as one of Abu Dhabi’s premier fine dining destinations and a first-time entry on the MENA 50 Best list.

Lowe: Leading the Way in Sustainable Dining

Progressive Indian restaurant Lowe holds strong at number 37 on the 2024 list for its revolutionary approach to sustainable cuisine. Helmed by chef Sagar Bajaj, Lowe combines technical prowess with a deep respect for ingredients and the environment.

Seasonal produce takes center stage in Lowe’s ever-evolving degustation menus. Diners can expect creative preparations like jackfruit cooked in hay, lotus root pot au feu, or carrot halwa white chocolate ganache. The kitchen team also utilizes advanced techniques like fermentation to develop complex flavors while reducing waste.

From its hyper-local ingredients to zero-carbon dining spaces, Lowe remains devoted to eco-friendly practices without compromising on taste. Its balance of sustainability and culinary innovation retains its place as one of Dubai’s most forward-thinking restaurants.

Gaia: Exquisite Greek Mediterranean Dining

Tucked away in DIFC, Gaia has won over Dubai diners with its vibrant take on Greek and Mediterranean flavors since opening in 2019. For 2024, the restaurant retains its spot at number 35 on the MENA 50 Best list through its convivial atmosphere and shareable cuisine.

Under the guidance of chef Izu Ani, the menu bursts with fresh ingredients and complex notes in dishes like the sea bream with Champagne velouté or Wagyu ribeye with truffle butter. Complementing the vibrant food is Gaia’s breezy decor complete with olive trees, whitewashed walls, and coastal hues.

Whether enjoying a lazy lunch on the terrace or a dinner fueled by raucous laughter and flowing wine, Gaia offers a transportive escape to the Mediterranean shores without leaving Dubai.


The MENA 50 Best Restaurants 2024 proves the UAE’s dynamic dining scene can compete on the global stage. Homegrown concepts like Orfali Bros Bistro and Kinoya sit alongside imported brands like Zuma and Gaia – all offering world-class cuisine in unique settings. The nation continues pushing boundaries with avant-garde newcomers like sensorial safari experience Row on 45 and sustainable champion Lowe. Yet UAE diners also still crave the classic appeal of French fine dining, fulfilled by LPM Abu Dhabi’s elegant new waterfront venue.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *