5 Tips for Planning an Intimate Dinner Party in Dubai

The past months have seen the rise of small, intimate parties to celebrate important events or milestones due to various reasons. For one, the current health threat still makes a lot of people hesitant about inviting several guests to their homes. People are also unsure if holding celebrations in venues outside would be safe enough.

Moreover, small parties also offer other several advantages. These intimate gatherings are more cost-efficient and do not require a lot of planning. After all, with this type of event, you won’t have to spend a lot of time creating and sending out invitations, making a menu, decorating the venue, and doing other prep work.

Additionally, there are more venues to choose from even if finding one for your budget is an issue.

But even if a small gathering does not require plenty of prep work, if you want to host your first intimate dinner party in Dubai, you still have to do some planning to have a fun, successful event.

Whether you are celebrating your birthday, wedding anniversary, or your loved one’s promotion at work, here are five tips for planning a memorable small dinner party in Dubai:

1. Decide on a budget

Although you are only inviting a few guests, hosting an intimate party can still cause you to break the bank. If you don’t want to spend more than you have to on this gathering, the first thing you have to do is to set a budget based on the number of confirmed guests.

If you want to host the gathering at a restaurant, visit the website of your preferred venue and check their menu. You will then get an idea of the prices of their food and how much you will have to spend on the party.

Doing this research will also help you narrow down your list of venues and find the best one for your intimate gathering.

2. Visit your potential venues

Having an intimate party at a restaurant in Dubai offers several advantages. You won’t have to prepare the food and clean and organize your home for your guests. Moreover, you won’t have to worry about the cleanup afterward.

Additionally, you and your guests will have more dishes to choose from. With a steak and seafood menu in the UAE, everyone in your party will enjoy a filling and delightful dinner.

Looking up your preferred restaurants online can help you create a shortlist of possible venues. Ensure you choose the right one by scouting out these places.

Visit your shortlisted restaurants, especially the ones you have never tried before. Inspect the place, taking into consideration its décor, cleanliness, and spaciousness. Gauge the friendliness of the staff and the quality of their service as well.

Additionally, look into the other amenities of the restaurant. Visit the bathroom to see if it is kept clean and check if there is ample space for parking.

You can also check the menu in the restaurant if you want to be sure everyone will enjoy the dinner. Order one or two dishes to find out if they are worth their prices and to have an idea of the quality of food you will get during the party.

3. Set the date

If you are still deciding on a date, you will do well to set it as soon as possible.

Keep in mind that even if parties and social gatherings are limited, there is still always the chance that you and your guest won’t be accommodated on your chosen date because the restaurant has reached its capacity.

Once you have a date in mind, confirm with the celebrant (if it is not a surprise party) and the guests if they are available on this day. Make your reservation at the restaurant as soon as everyone has agreed on the date.

4. Iron out the details

Once you have chosen a restaurant, talk with the manager or reservation staff and discuss your plans for having an intimate party there.

Ensure you give the person accepting your reservation the correct details regarding your get-together. Give him or her the right date, time, and the number of guests you are expecting.

If you want to hire a private room, iron out the details with the reservation staff as well. Find out if you can bring outside food, such as a birthday cake, flowers, banners, and other decorations, and if you can get help with setting them up.

If you are using the main dining area, ask if you can have enough tables for everyone in your party to be seated in a place you prefer. You may want to dine outdoors, especially if the alfresco dining area has an excellent waterfront view.

Consider placing your orders in advance as well. By doing so, you and your guest won’t have to wait long for your food.

However, make sure you know your guests’ preferences or if anyone has any food allergies. You want them to enjoy the party, so ensure that everyone will eat something that they like.

5. Double-check everything

A day or two before the party, spend several minutes going over everything. These include double-checking your reservation at the restaurant and ensuring there are no glitches with your pre-planned menu if you already discussed this with the reservation staff.

If your guests are coming in separate vehicles and you think the restaurant’s parking area may be full when they arrive, ask the staff for alternative places to park.

Make sure the private room you reserve is the one you signed for or that they are ready to set up the tables in the area you want.

Additionally, call up your guests to confirm that they are attending.

If you haven’t bought the decorations yet, drop by your favorite party supplies store. If you need fresh flowers, call up your florist as well.

Ensure you have the other things you need ready to complete the party, too, such as your outfit and a special gift, if you are celebrating a loved one’s birthday

Whether you are the celebrant or planning a party for another person for a birthday, wedding or work anniversary, or a reunion with your friends, you won’t go wrong with hosting an intimate gathering. And a well-chosen restaurant is the best place for such a special event.


Mohamed Farzad is the Director of Nippon Group of Companies. One of the Nippon Hospitality Division’s premium projects is Doors Freestyle Grill, a premium steakhouse and international fusion cuisine-lifestyle dining concept set across the spellbinding Al Seef heritage district in Dubai.