Summers have arrived in the UAE. That means spending more time indoors and finding for staycation deals post Ramadan, for me. Fortunately, all the seven emirates in the country are within few hours of driving distance, which means exploring places to eat, stay and rejuvenate without having to hop into a plane. Recently, we had been to Kempinski Ajman to try their New York style Friday brunch at their own organic Italian restaurant, Sabella’s, and spent some good family time away from chaos of the city.

Ajman is about 40-45 minutes away from Dubai and is a quiet emirate dotted with a coastal line. A drive down to this emirate on a Friday afternoon was pleasurable – the traffic was at its lowest to begin with. Kempinski Ajman is one of the oldest hotels, with its own private beach along the shore and hotel itself has its own unique charm with a cross between contemporary and traditional which is hard to miss as soon as I stepped in the lobby.  

Friday brunches in UAE are an overload of food yet this was a well thought one. I am always the one who is lost in a buffet or a brunch, so an idea of having my food cooked by the lovely chefs really helped me customize every dish I tried at this brunch. Before you are seated, the staff will take you around and introduce you to an array of live cooking stations ranging from Indian, Italian, Arabic, burgers, salad, BBQ, and of course a dessert station where chef made us a crispy nutella crepe. There is an Italian counter serving some delicious bruschettas, an Indian stand offering alluring curries and kebabs, a barbecue section to choose from a wide variety of meats and seafood to be grilled just the way you like it. Little A’s favorite was the pasta counter where he loved watching the chef toss for him spaghetti in tomato sauce and mushrooms – so simple yet so rich in flavor.

A big shout out to this innovative chef who made me this gorgeous looking salad complete with mustard and caviar right on the spot to pair with my BBQ.

Aside from live cooking stations, the restaurant has a salad counter where you can personalize your own from fresh and good quality ingredients.

There is definitely something for everyone at this brunch. Children have their own dedicated buffet corner with kid friendly menu and a face painting station although I wish they organised something more to keep the little ones entertained and would have liked to see some more food items like rice or noodles.

The brunch also featured a good variety of mouth watering desserts with creativity twists like for this unique vanilla basil cream and some with lovely seasonal mangoes too. The chef even prepares for you a hot crepe over a skillet with some nutella and wrap it up which I noticed was a huge hit with kids and adults alike. 

Overall, New York style Friday brunch at Kempinski Ajman is one of those relaxed brunches where there is abundance of food choices alongwith a chance to interact with chefs who are making you some appetizing treats instead of mall crawling umpteenth number of times. We also found few people spending some great time at the terrace overlooking stunning beach views although it was a warm afternoon.

For only AED 185, you can enjoy this brunch with soft beverages and for AED 250 you can have beach access too while children between 6 and 12 years eat at AED 92.5. And you pay AED 290 for brunch, beach access and selected alcoholic beverages. For reservations and more details, call on +971 6 714 5582, or email them at Please note that brunch remains open during Ramadan as well without alcohol.

We were invited by Kempinski Ajman to review their brunch, but all the above views and story remain my own from my personal experience. 

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