JW Marriott Marquis Dubai is home to a standout Italian – Positano (+971 4 414 3000). The restaurant does the full range of Italian staples exceptionally well, so you don't have to look beyond the likes of ricotta and spinach ravioli, in a wonderful roasted tomato sauce. However, the saffron risotto with slow braised ossobuco takes some topping.
It's traditional Tuscan recipes all the way at the ever excellent Il Borro Tuscan Bistro (+971 4 275 2555), within the grounds of Jumeirah Al Naseem Hotel. The restaurant operates its own farm back in Italy, from which many of the ingredients are used in dishes here. The house-made pastas are particularly good - try the pumpkin tortelli with Umbrian truffle. Bellissimo.
Torno Subito (+971 4 245 5555) at W Dubai – The Palm is Massimo Bottura’s first venue outside Italy. Owner/chef of the three-Michelin-star Osteria Francescana in Modena (currently ranked the world's best restaurant), Bottura has implanted a more laid back, overtly colourful restaurant aside the sea here (think vibrant walls, hanging polaroids, names in lights, beachballs) inspired by the Italian Riviera of the 1960s. Quirks include a photo booth for diners and the chance to take a pedalo out to sea, armed with a freshly cooked pizza and bottle of fizz.
A Dubai birthed concept from Italian expats, Matto (+971 4 444 1335) at The Oberoi, Business Bay, indulges its diners in authentic recipes that have been handed down through generations of home cooks. That means pasta dishes to die for – we recommend the ragù e carciofi (homemade ricotta cheese gnocchi, lamb ragù, and crispy artichokes).
Likewise, you’d expect the Italian restaurant at Palazzo Versace Dubai to be somewhat of a showstopper, and thanks to chef de cuisine Marco Legittimo that’s exactly what Vanitas (+971 4 556 8820) is. Do bring your appetite; don't leave without trying the indulgent lobster agnolotti.