Swank global chain outposts and celebrity-chef-branded restaurants are patronized by wealthy Emiratis and foreign technocrats. Don't be surprised if you eat the tastiest and most authentic dishes at one of the legions of inexpensive restaurants geared toward Asian construction workers and service industry employees. Alcohol is criminally expensive and is only served in restaurants attached to licensed hotels or clubs; the fact that almost every food item must be imported to this desert state adds to the bill. People eat late in Dubai, with few diners at the fancier establishments sitting down before 9 pm. Days off are Friday and Saturday, so booking in advance is essential on Thursday and Friday nights, and for Champagne-soused Friday brunches.