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In the melting pot of culture that is Dubai, the food scene is equally vibrant, exotic, and overwhelming. An extra plate of the piquant flavours of Machboos here, a little too many of the oh-so-sweet Luqaimat there, Dubai has it all. And if those are not reasons enough to visit the city, we present to you a whole festival dedicated to all things gastronomic – the annual Dubai Food Festival!

Wego has gathered information about the Dubai Food Festival (DFF), returning for its yearly fiesta in 2024. Indulge in the culinary delights and vibrant atmosphere as the festival showcases the best of Dubai’s gastronomic scene.

When will the Dubai Food Festival start?

falalel - famous cuisine in dubai

© Pixabay

Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) has disclosed that the festival is set to return from April 19 to May 12, 2024. Anticipate an unforgettable experience as Dubai comes alive with a vibrant celebration of culture, entertainment, and retail experiences during this exciting event.

Get ready to plan an elaborate food-based itinerary for 2024 at the Dubai Food Festival. And no, you wouldn’t have to wait for one fateful day to wolf down all your favorites – the city-wide festival gives you one week to revel in the food extravaganza!

Where will the festival be held?

It is that time of the year when the whole city of Dubai smells and tastes finger-licking-good food. From local Emirati cuisine in and around the bustling souks to your favorite contemporary flavors from faraway lands brought to the multi-stored malls and restaurants in the city, there’s food in every nook and cranny.

There may be more popular crowd-pullers in every corner of the city next year, but seaside treats of Jumeirah Beach, high-end restaurants scarred across the city like those at Burj Al Arab, and hidden culinary gems like downtown Bur Dubai have always stolen everyone’s attention.

Events and highlights of Dubai Food Festival

lugainat - emirati food

© Wikimedia Commons

Special lunch and dinner menus, culinary masterclasses, exciting launches of limited editions, numerous retail promotions, and so much more are up for grabs! Here are some of the highlights from the past years since the festival was started in 2014:

Dubai Restaurant Week

Several sought-after restaurant outlets in Dubai such as Bread Street Kitchen, Bella, Toro Toro, Al Nafoorah come together to organize the ‘Dubai Restaurant Week’. They offer their bespoke cuisines with menus curated by the likes of Gordon Ramsay, Alessandro Miceli and Richard Sandoval.

You can savor two-course lunches and three-course dinners at starting prices of AED 95 and AED 150 respectively in the participating outlets and might as well take a virtual food tour around the world by hopping from one restaurant to another.

Participating restaurants include:

  • 21 Grams
  • 3fils
  • Akira Back
  • Al Khayma Heritage Restaurant
  • Al Nafoorah
  • Ariana’s Persian Kitchen
  • Bastion
  • BB Social Dining
  • Belcanto
  • BOCA
  • Brasserie Boulud
  • Canary Club
  • Carna by Dario Cecchini
  • Carnival by Trèsind
  • CÉ LA VI
  • City Social
  • Clap
  • Clay Dubai
  • COYA Dubai
  • Demon Duck by Alvin Leung
  • Eunoia by Carine
  • Fi’lia
  • folly
  • French Riviera
  • Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen
  • Hell’s Kitchen
  • Hutong
  • Ibn AlBahr
  • Indya by Vineet
  • Inti
  • Jaleo by José Andrés
  • Jun’s
  • Kayto
  • KINARA By Vikas Khanna
  • La Cantine Du Faubourg
  • LOWE
  • Maison Mathis
  • Mimi Kakushi
  • MINA Brasserie
  • Ninive
  • North Miznon
  • Nuska Beach
  • Pierchic
  • Reif Japanese Kushiyaki
  • Rhodes W1
  • Roka
  • Shabestan
  • Sucre
  • Torno Subito by Massimo Bottura
  • Twiggy by La Cantine
  • Yaba by Chef Shaheen
  • Zheng He’s

#protip: Make a reservation in advance.

Uncovering the hidden gems

jumeirah beach sunset

One of the prime focuses of the festival is letting the visitors discover and rediscover the foodie side of Dubai, including the lesser-known backstreets and hidden downtown gulleys. The neighborhoods of Dubai Marina and Umm Sequin are to name a few of Dubai’s culinary treasure troves! The ‘unsung’ food places participate and try to win over the visitors to garner votes and emerge as the winners. Whether you’re looking for some excellent fine dining options or a budget-friendly hotspot that serves up affordable treats, you’ll find delicious surprises at every turn.

During the Dubai Food Festival this year, there was a social media competition named ‘My Hidden Gems’ where participants could take part by posting a video or reel on their Instagram featuring 3 dishes from 3 different eateries that cost no more than AED100 in total. The winning prize was AED 50,000.

Foodie experiences

cooking classes dubai food festival

© Wikimedia Commons

Dubai Food Festival isn’t just about eating and filling your stomach – it is about ALL THINGS FOOD! And that includes the opportunity to enjoy once-in-a-lifetime-kind of experiences that gives every visitor an enlightening insight into the ever-so-awe-inspiring diverse food culture in the metropolis.

Under the foodie experiences of the festival, you can take culinary workshops, go on themed food tours, grab exclusive tasting menus, and even attend masterclasses with world-renowned chefs in Dubai. Time to take a peek into the kitchens of creative innovations!

Outside of cafes, food kiosks, and restaurants, the city is usually lit up in the glitzy colors of a celebration. You’ll find numerous thrilling activities or if you want to take it lightly, laugh your heart out at the entertainment and comedy shows.

Best homegrown hotspots

The restaurant industry in Dubai is thriving with homegrown restaurants, cafés and distinctive dining concepts. You can expect appearances by celebrity chefs and meet the entrepreneurs who have carefully crafted some of the city’s most innovative dining concepts and indulge in the specially curated menus by ‘Made in Dubai’ restaurants.

What to look out for during Dubai Food Festival in 2024?

samosa in dubai

© Wikimedia Commons

Considering Dubai’s renewed vibrancy and the flourishing local events, exhibitions, and cultural and social activities this year, Dubai Food Festival 2024 promises to recapture the spirit of celebration seen in pre-pandemic times.

The city was offering exclusive dining deals and several offers for all visitors. Diners were able to enjoy, dine, and win promotions and competitions held by the event or local food communities there as a part of their campaign. They could also get a chance to taste Dubai’s authentic culinary and other culinary from the restaurants listed in the MENA’s 50 best restaurants, like Reif Japanese Kushiyaki or Orfali Bros Bistro.

They could also enjoy the activities outside of the restaurant, such as visiting the Ripe Market, street food party curated by Break the Block and All Things Food at Bluewaters Island.


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