Abu Dhabi confirms massive new restaurant names

The Galleria will soon rival Dubai with its own La Petite Maison, Roberto’s, Coya, Nusr-Et and Loca.

Neil Churchill October 4, 2016

If you’re a regular to Dubai’s financial district then you're probably nonplussed by its plethora of fine dining options. But inside the compact Gate Village there is quite an extraordinary group of high-end restaurants in unique proximity – Gaucho, Zuma, Cipriani, La Petite Maison, Roberto’s, La Luz – to name only a few, all within stumbling distance of another and all superbly brilliant.

It is hard to imagine so many high-end eateries within such a precinct anywhere else in the world. Or, it was hard to imagine, before Abu Dhabi dropped this bombshell.

The UAE capital has announced some massive names from the local restaurant scene to grow its Dining Collection portfolio at luxury mall The Galleria. Names that were once Middle East exclusives to Dubai will now be shared with its wealthier brother, on Al Maryah Island.

The new to Abu Dhabi batch includes La Petite Maison, Roberto’s, Coya, Nusr-Et, Loca, Eat Greek and Sa-Mar. They aren’t permanent at the moment, staying until late 2017, but even so with those names under its hat The Galleria will surely become a must-visit for UAE foodies. 

When Al Maryah Island opened in 2013 it was billed as Abu Dhabi’s new financial hub, hosting the regional headquarters for global banks, law firms and the Abu Dhabi Global Market. 

But you’d be forgiven for thinking of it as more of a culinary destination. Even before the new restaurants open, the island already has several stalwart names firmly in place. Zuma, Bentley Bistro & Bar, Nolu’s, Almaz by Momo and Emporio Armani Caffe. That’s not even including the signature restaurants of Rosewood Abu Dhabi and the highly anticipated Butcher & Still and Café Milano at the island’s Four Seasons Hotel.

Charles Martinez, general manager of The Galleria summed it up best. “This is incredibly important news for the capital,” he said. “Abu Dhabi’s dining scene has been progressing solidly over the past few years, but this will propel it forward into the spotlight.”

He’s absolutely right, but just having a few big names doesn’t guarantee success. Will the new openings go down as well in Abu Dhabi as they have in Dubai? Only time will tell, but it’s a brave man who doubts it.