Friday in Dubai is the rest of the western world's Sunday. So Sunday lunch is transferred in Dubai to Friday brunch and it is big business out here.
In the international press, you will probably have read about a foolish young lady drinking far too much champagne at one of these affairs and getting into some serious trouble with the Dubai Police. But for the rest of us, we do manage to get up and stagger home without incident.
Dubai brunches range in price and nearly all of them take place at one of the large international hotels in the city and along the coast. I don't know exactly how much the most expensive one is, but we were invited to one at Al Qasr (a hotel on Jumeirah Beach) and it was a staggering 385 Dirhams per person (US$104) - albeit including alcohol. Children are charged at half price - even my four year old - but in my view, chicken nuggets, a few chips and a scoop of ice-cream isn't worth $52 (£26) and there's only so much booze you can drink when you have to look after young children without being interviewed by social services. Our family would have paid £158 for the privilege of eating there. We declined the invitation.
However, we have stumbled on a real beauty and that is the brunch at Le Meridien Mina Seyahi - right on Jumeirah Beach. For £20, you can sit in their delightful restaurant overlooking the beach, palm trees and the sea. You then move from food station to food station - everything from breads, sushi, salad, smoked and poached salmon, roast meats, curry, pasta and even more before finally committing to the chocolate fountain, miniature desserts, ice cream, fresh fruit and finally a cheese-board. What makes it even better is that food for the under 6's is free. The cherry on top is that once the children have finished their lunch, they can be booked into the children's club and be looked after and play while the adults are still munching (and drinking).
So perfect in fact, that we have a booking for 16 people next month - our brunch will probably take 4-5 hours out of Friday's crazy schedule of eating and swimming. It's such a social thing to do - even with the children!
Having said all that, when we return to the UK for our holidays in August, we have requested meals out in the great British institution - the pub! Ploughman's and a pint please!