Located in the bowels of the Burj Al Arab, Al Mahara (meaning pearl in Arabic) is consistently touted as one of the city’s most prestigious – and most notoriously expensive – seafood restaurants. Let’s just say that the Burj, while undoubtedly luxe, was created when Dubai was definitely more flash than cash. What else could explain the ‘submarine’ ride that takes you to the restaurant itself? A virtual sea journey complete with lost treasure and animated fish is not what you’d expect from a seven-star, but it sure is fun. Al Mahara itself, on the other hand, is a lesson in refined elegance, filled with whispering couples bathed in the flattering light of the restaurant’s central, conical aquarium. Service is swift, smart and stays on the right side of obsequious. The food generally remains a class act, even if it too errs on the side of kitsch (an ice cream and sorbet dessert served with popping candy feels more Disney than designer). But if you’ve got a sense of humour and money to burn, an Al Mahara dinner is a Dubai must-do.