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Dubai witnesses 61% surge as more residents turn to dining out

by Staff Reporter
Dubai restaurants dining out.

A new report released by the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) has underlined the city’s growing status as a leading destination in the global culinary landscape, with a 61 percent surge in the amount residents are dining out, and a strong increase in satisfaction with the food scene’s value for money among international visitors.

Dubai Gastronomy Industry Report

The second annual Dubai Gastronomy Industry Report was shared with key stakeholders from across the gastronomy ecosystem – including restaurateurs, hoteliers, and key industry specialists. The report supports the industry by providing statistics and trends that both recognise progress and identify key growth areas for the coming year.

Dubai’s gastronomy excellence aligns seamlessly with the city’s broader economic vision outlined in the Dubai Economic Agenda 2033 (D33), which aims to double the size of Dubai’s economy in the decade up to 2033 and solidify its position among the world’s top three cities for business and leisure.

The findings of the report also reflect wider recognition of the city’s gastronomic landscape, with accolades including two restaurants being named in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, 15 in the MENA 50 Best Restaurants and the inclusion of 90 Dubai restaurants in the MICHELIN Guide Dubai 2023, up from 69 in the previous year’s edition.

Over 13,000 restaurants and cafes in Dubai

With Dubai’s dynamic ecosystem currently boasting more than 13,000 restaurants and cafes, key takeaways from the report, which feature surveys of both residents and international visitors, include:

  • Growing enthusiasm for Dubai’s culinary ecosystem, with 69 per cent of UAE residents rating the city as the world’s leading gastronomy hub.
  • Dubai scoring second overall worldwide in terms of Restaurant Density.
  • A 61 percent year-on-year increase in the average number of dining out occasions compared to 2022, up from 1.8 times per week to 2.9 times per week.
  • A substantial increase in the proportion of international visitors satisfied with Dubai’s value for money when dining out, up from 54 per cent in 2022 to 66 per cent in 2023.
  • Dubai Marina, Oud Metha and Downtown Dubai scoring best among Dubai’s dining destinations.

Dubai restaurants dining out.

Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) commented: “As Dubai continues to build on its reputation as a world-class gastronomic destination, there are immense opportunities waiting to be harnessed for progressive and innovative stakeholders. This report explores the vibrant culinary tapestry of Dubai and provides first-hand insights into the city’s remarkable gastronomic journey. The rapid expansion of the industry, and the global recognition it has earned, is a clear indication that the emirate’s gastronomic evolution is not just a trend, but a cultural phenomenon underpinned by the myriad of cuisines and flavours drawn from the cultures of over 200 nationalities that call the city their home.

“We would like to express our gratitude to all those who contribute to shaping the Dubai dining scene – their passion and dedication have been instrumental in making Dubai a global gastronomic hub.”

Dubai’s most popular restaurants

The report also highlights the significance of three of Dubai’s most popular restaurants attaining MICHELIN green stars, evidencing the city’s ongoing commitment to sustainability, with future plans to further align with UAE Net Zero 2050, the national campaign to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

Dubai Food Festival

Looking ahead, the 11th annual Dubai Food Festival (DFF) is scheduled to take place from April 19 to May 12 . DFF 2024 will showcase the city’s ever-evolving culinary prowess, as well as the richness, diversity, and innovation of Dubai’s culinary scene through an enhanced lineup of events and activities. The festival will celebrate locally originated concepts, and Emirati and international cuisines, while highlighting Dubai’s capacity to respond to worldwide trends. DFF 2024 will also recognise the contributions of chefs, culinary trailblazers, gourmet influencers, and tastemakers who consistently inspire Dubai’s culinary landscape.

The Dubai Gastronomy Industry Report is produced by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) in line with Dubai’s objective to further its position as a global gastronomy hub. It delivers a calendar of culinary events that highlight the city’s year-round abundance of diverse, authentic, value-based, and experiential culinary experiences.

tanvir@dubainewsweek.com

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