Joe’s Crab Shack, the much-awaited American beach-themed casual dining concept hailing from Texas, has finally opened its doors in the UAE. This is the chain’s very first venture out of the United States. It’s very first UAE store in The Dubai Mall is aptly located right next to the Dubai Aquarium with scenic aquatic views. The UAE branch started operations yesterday, and we were invited to check them out last night.

The restaurant is brightly lit, and has a very groovy, fun-loving feel to it. With surfboards and quirky seafood-themed captions across the walls, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve stumbled into a Miami beach bum’s hideout.

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What I wasn’t expecting was the crowd. It was a little past 9 in the evening when we got there. It was a weekday, and Day 1 for Joe’s Crab Shack, and the place was fully packed! Tables of crab-munching maniacs and overall seafood fans were making merry like it was the weekend.