For an authentic desert dining experience under the stars, journey into the dunes to Al Hadheerah at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa (+9714 809 6194). Take your pick from 14 live cooking stations offering traditional Middle Eastern dishes prepared using age-old recipes. Live entertainment adds to the ambience. Open daily from 7.30pm to 11.30pm
– try to plan your visit on a Thursday or Friday evening to catch the fireworks.
A hit among Dubai’s sizeable Lebanese community, Al Falamanki (+971 4 343 58 66) an outpost of one of Beirut’s most famous restaurants. Like the original, this sprawling Jumeirah Beach Road branch features indoor and outdoor areas, homely décor and a soft soundtrack of old-school Arabic music. On the menu are hot and cold mezze, salads, grills and manakeesh, along with a selection of shisha. The done thing here is to order a load of dishes to share and settle in for a game of backgammon.
Olea (+971 4 341 0000) at Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates prides itself on authentic cuisine, thanks to its 14-strong team of chefs drawn from Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Palestine.
Highlights include the lamb kofta, served on a 1.5m-long skewer.