Bu Qtair: A beachside shack serving Indian seafood dishes on paper plates

Meet Bu Qtair, the beachside shack serving up fresh fish and seafood dishes with an Indian twist – on paper plates. This joint has queues forming from the minute it opens, with folk from all walks of life eager to bite into Bu Qtair’s fish dishes, which were caught that morning no less, and sit on plastic stalls in a very ‘laid back’ environment. It’s the definition of no frills, although you can ironically enjoy an extraordinary view of the world’s only 7 star hotel, the Burj Al Arab, whilst you tuck into your crazily cheap supper.

For something different to do for dinner look no further than Bu Qtair. This needs to be added to your hitlist, pronto. But this isn’t your ordinary restaurant visit, some prep and foresight is needed – luckily you have The Huntr:

– Arrive at 5.30pm and definitely no later than 6pm
– Start queuing to order, which opens at 6:30pm.
– Get one of your group to queue to order and the rest of you stay outside to secure a spot to eat your dinner. 
– Sit on the stools before the tables are even all set up to guarantee a seat. Grab a table as soon as one is placed.
– After you have ordered your fish and shrimp a waiter will come and take your sides order – salad, rice, bread etc.

Bu Qtair is Arabic for the place – a natural gathering of sweet water on the coast – that Emirati pearl divers would wash after a long day diving for their treasure. It first opened over three decades ago and was founded by Emirati Matar Al Tayer.

Insider tip: The price depends on the type of fish and how much is ordered. Arrive as early as possible to ensure the daily catch doesn’t run out (5.30pm is advised) and be prepared to wait…

UPDATE: Since The Huntr published this story, Bu Qtair has “upgraded” to become an indoor restaurant. The food is still cracking, authentic and cheap. Service is still basic and the unique vibes are slightly lost from the switch inside – but it’s probably still worth a visit if fish is your thing. The images have been updated.


Photography by Saman Nargund exclusively for The Huntr


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