Dubai’s growing gastronomy scene has become a pivotal pillar for further accelerating momentum across the tourism sector, aligned with the Dubai Economic Agenda D33, launched under the visionary leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai. Showcasing limitless creativity and variety, Dubai’s culinary offering has received critical acclaim, winning international awards and accolades that further reinforce its position as an international hub for gastronomy. With the continuous introduction of new dining concepts, Dubai’s flourishing restaurants can anticipate a future filled with more awards and accolades.
Dubai’s culinary venues in The World's 50 Best Restaurants
The unveiling of The World's 50 Best Restaurants rankings in June 2023 saw Dubai shine brightly, with two exceptional restaurants earning positions in the top 50, while an additional home-grown Dubai restaurant made its debut in the top 50’s extended list. Tresind Studio, known for its groundbreaking cuisine and inventive takes on Indian dishes, soared to an impressive position at number 11, alongside the well-deserved title of MENA's Best Restaurant for 2023. Meanwhile, Orfali Bros, with their passion for authenticity and unforgettable flavours, secured the 46th spot, showcasing Dubai's prowess as a globally renowned foodie destination. Ossiano, an incredible underwater dining experience, also made its inaugural appearance on the list, further highlighting Dubai's commitment to culinary excellence and extraordinary dining experiences.
MICHELIN Guide Dubai expands
Dubai's culinary landscape has flourished with the successive releases of the MICHELIN Guide Dubai in June 2022 and 2023. The 2023 guide, now featuring 90 restaurants, including 17 Bib Gourmand winners, showcases the city's commitment to gastronomic excellence. This edition underscores Dubai's evolving dining scene, highlighting both new establishments and returning favourites, while all restaurants awarded One MICHELIN Star in the 2022 selection notably maintained their distinction this year — a remarkable feat. These updates reaffirm Dubai's status as a global gastronomy hub and demonstrate its dedication to providing exceptional dining experiences, attracting food enthusiasts worldwide.
Global recognition of sustainable practices in the kitchens
Sustainable gastronomy continues to grow in Dubai. Launched in 2020, the MICHELIN Green Star highlights those restaurants at the forefront of sustainable practices, offering gastronomic experiences while adopting an environmentally inspiring approach. Three restaurants were given a Michelin Green Star, including home-grown Lowe, which was the only restaurant named in the green category last year, joined by two other restaurants in 2023 – BOCA and Teible. Lowe has a “Waste Not” menu which offers an eight to 10-course meal made from would-be waste products that were saved over the previous month. Followed by Teible’s scrumptious menu which illustrates a sustainable approach focusing on seasonality and integrity. In addition to receiving the MICHELIN Green Star, BOCA, was also recognized as the Sustainable Kitchen of the Year at the Gault&Millau UAE Awards 2023. BOCA follows an impressive sustainable ethos that includes using local produce, proactive and conscious waste management, valuing resources and using renewable energy.
Crowned as one of the world’s top 10 cities for foodies by Compare The Market’s 2023 findings, Dubai boasts an incredible array of award-winning restaurants, from top-ranking experiences to the most talented chefs, the city's gastronomic talents have made an indelible mark on the international culinary scene. In addition to The World's 50 Best Restaurants and the MICHELIN Guide, Dubai's gastronomy industry has also won accolades from other international guides such as Gault&Millau, one of the world’s widely respected food guides. Among the popular Dubai restaurants featured in the Gault&Millau guide are 11 Woodfire in Jumeirah, 21grams at Meyan Mall, and Amazónico at DIFC, to name a few. Notably, MICHELIN-starred gems like Il Ristorante - Niko Romito and STAY by Yannick Alléno at the One&Only The Palm contribute to Dubai's culinary eminence, solidifying its reputation as a global epicenter of fine dining.
As Dubai's culinary landscape continues to reach new heights, two prominent culinary experts reflect on their inclusion in The World's 50 Best Restaurants 2023 extended list and MICHELIN Guide Dubai 2023:
Trèsind Studio – Himanshu Saini, Head Chef, Trèsind Studio, denoted
“We couldn’t be more grateful to represent our Indian roots and Dubai at the most prestigious culinary global platform. This is an incredible motivation and encouragement for us to keep looking into our past to forge new future for Indian Gastronomy in the UAE. Dubai has always been a vibrant city and always at a cusp of fast evolution. The past few years have been phenomenal for the gastronomy Industry. With more and more homegrown concepts emerging that are promoting cultural cuisine, some of the best international chefs are now making Dubai their next destination. The MENA’s 50 Best restaurant coming to the UAE certainly has been historical in a way because it now shows the immense talent this country has. Dubai’s Tourism has always been the best and most sought after from around the world and now to have the most distinguished Guides like MICHELIN and The World’s 50 Best has pushed the gastronomy scene of this country. The evidence is clear that we had 3 restaurants from Dubai representing at the Worlds 50 Best Restaurants, it certainly is a collective win for the UAE.”
Ossiano – Grégoire Berger, Executive Chef, Ossiano, Atlantis, The Palm, commented,
“We are incredibly honoured to be included in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023 extended list. To be considered as one of the top 100 dining experiences in the world and to be amongst so many amazing professionals is such a fantastic achievement, and we are both humbled and grateful. Not only does it showcase the team's relentless hard work, but it’s testament to Dubai’s blossoming gastronomy scene, that has allowed us this space and the exposure to grow and succeed on the global culinary stage. At Ossiano the entire staff, from the kitchen to the restaurant floor, always strive to serve an extraordinary experience and we look forward to continuing to raise the bar to drive Ossiano forward as a truly unique culinary destination.”
New culinary creations, concepts and offerings
The city's culinary landscape has expanded with countless exciting new restaurants that promise to elevate Dubai's reputation as a global gastronomic destination. From home-grown concepts like The Guild in DIFC, which offers guests refined daytime dining and expansive evening menus, to Chez Wam which showcases French cuisine with a modern twist, and Kai Enzo, a fusion of bold Japanese and Mediterranean flavours on the rooftop of Hyatt Centric La Mer.
International favourites set up shop in Dubai
Dubai has welcomed a host of globally celebrated international star chefs to its rich culinary landscape, including the recent coming of MICHELIN-starred ramen restaurant Konjiki Hototogisu in Mall of the Emirates and Knightsbridge’s iconic Italian eatery, Signor Sassi, set to grace the chic St. Regis Gardens this September.
New neighborhood stars
Dubai's neighborhoods have become a culinary hotspot with a number of new and exciting eateries making waves. SOON, the first Japanese Izakaya in JLT, offers a unique blend of Japanese gaming culture and traditional cuisine and Reif Japanese Kushiyaki at Dubai Hills Business Park showcases signature dishes by revered chef Reif Othman. Another instant hit from JLT has been the new and already iconic Hawker Boi, which presents South East Asian flavours in a vibrant setting.
A year-round gastronomy destination
Under the innovative "Gastronomy Always On" campaign, the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), part of Dubai's Department of Economy and Tourism, takes an active role in shaping a year-round tapestry of culinary events and platforms that celebrate Dubai's diverse gastronomic offerings. A prime example of this endeavor is the highly commended Dubai Food Festival, which celebrated its 10th edition this year. These bold initiatives extend beyond just raising the profile of Dubai’s restaurant scene, but also championing homegrown dining concepts, showcasing the city’s commitment to value and authentic experiences, and highlighting Dubai’s diverse gastronomic offerings, attracting food enthusiasts around the world.
Reflecting the city's diversity, Dubai's gastronomy industry encompasses approximately 13,000 restaurants and cafés, catering to a wide range of price points and offering an array of culinary experiences, from authentic Emirati fare to world-class international fine dining experiences. From its relaxed eateries to fine dining destinations, Dubai's gastronomy sector caters to the preferences and tastes of all visitors and residents.
Dubai’s emergence as a global gastronomy hub is clearly demonstrated through the remarkable results of the DET Gastronomy Industry Report 2023. According to the report, findings revealed an astonishing 61% increase in the average number of occasions of dining out per week, with residents now enjoying an impressive average of 2.9 dining experiences per week compared to the previous average of 1.8. This is a mark of the city’s bolstered gastronomy sector, and the city’s value for money is evident. These notable achievements exemplify growing food tourism trends around the world and how Dubai stands at the forefront of these travel trends.
News Source: Emirates News Agency