02 April 2005

The Friday Brunch Ritual

Friday brunch is THE big weekly event here in Dubai, where everyone and their dog fall out of bed late and find a place to stuff themselves.

It happens on fridays, because it's the first (and for some people in this overworked city, their only) day of the weekend. Whole families and groups of friends make their way to their preferred restaurant, hotel or beach club to partake in an hours-long orgy of slow but steady overeating. The buffets are so long that they as thematically split up into breakfast, lunch and desert. There are pasta and egg stations (for omelettes and scrambled eggs and such), roast and waffle stations, stir-fry areas as well as quesallida toasters ans so on. There are tables with salads and fruit, bread and pasties, freezer boxes for ice-cream, juice dispensers and cappuccino makers.

It is actually impossible to eat a bit of everything if one still wants to be able to walk home afterwards. Newcomers to the Friday brunch ritual (as we were only recently) invariably overeat early on in the session, while experienced brunchers (as we are now) start slowly with a bit of breakfast and pace themselves so that there is still space to finish off with a creme brulee and a coffee at 4 pm (the brunch having started at around noon). Good, easily manageable reading matter is a must for us, but to other groups, who arrive in large family formations, it's more important that children's entertainment is provided. Scarlett's (our favourite eatery in the Emirates Towers) has face painting and computer games, while some hotels offer free access to the pools area or cartoons on big screens. This means that everyone is happy for a few hours, until it comes to getting up and rolling home.

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