Feb 23 2023

5 Top Spanish Chefs to Open Restaurants in UAE in 2023

José Andrés, José Pizarro, Martín Berasategui, Paco Morales, and Dani García all have projects in the works 

Several Spanish chefs are expanding their footprints at the moment, in particular in the United Arab Emirates. This is an attractive market that’s looking to boost its quality gastronomic tourism. As top chefs from around the world have opened restaurants there, Spanish chefs won’t be left behind.

At the end of January, José Andrés opened a new Jaleo outpost, at Atlantis The Royal Hotel in Dubai. At his restaurant, there’s a particularly heavy focus on traditional Spanish flavors like Ibérico ham, tapas, paella, and sangria.

José Pizarro, who’s a mainstay on the dining scene in London (and elsewhere in England) with several restaurants, including two inside the Royal Academy of Arts in London, is opening José by Pizarro in Abu Dhabi in the spring of 2023. It will be based at the luxurious Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers and he will serve his delicious Spanish tapas as well as still and sparkling wines and sherries from Spain. This includes everything from Russian salad with tuna and Mediterranean prawns, garlic prawns from Sanlúcar de Barrameda, and Cantabrian anchovies.

Paco Morales, who runs the famed 2 Michelin-star restaurant Noor in Córdoba, will open Qabú, in Dubai, by the end of the year. It makes sense for Morales to head to the Middle East; after all, Noor serves cuisine inspired by the Al-Andalus culture in its last season.

Michelin-star chef Martín Berasategui will head to Dubai in September to open a restaurant in The Lana Dorchester Collection Dubai. He will be the first Basque chef to open a restaurant there and, according to the chef, it will be a totally innovative concept.

Dani García will also jump on the bandwagon in Dubai. Although he already has two venues, Lobito de Mar and BiBo in Doha, he has plans to open a Leña outpost over the course of the year on Palm Jumeirah.