Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) hosted the third Dubai Gastronomy Forum, an industry event focused on engaging Dubai’s key F&B stakeholders, showcasing new gourmet concepts and content series, highlighting key events and culinary happenings with a briefing of the Dubai Food Festival 2023 — all further elevating Dubai’s position as a leading global destination for food tourism.
The event, which was attended by 150 gastronomy industry culinary stakeholders, hotel groups, destinations, key industry specialists, and F&B partners, was hosted by DET and took place at Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai.
The Gastronomy Forum, part of DET’s Gastronomy Always On (GAON) initiative, further reaffirmed Dubai’s standing as an international hub for gastronomy, and a beacon for visionary restaurateurs, chefs, discerning foodies, epicurean travellers and culinary aficionados.
During the forum, DET shared opportunities with industry stakeholders in the gastronomy sector of forthcoming calendar of events, new content series, activations and partnerships taking place to support and promote the F&B industry, with the aim of further strengthening the city’s dynamic ecosystem of more than 13,000 restaurants and cafés and rallying their support in further enhancing the city’s reputation as a year-round global gastronomy hub.
As the industry looks forward to 2023, DET also unveiled new details of the 10th anniversary edition of the much-anticipated Dubai Food Festival (DFF).
Taking place from April 21 to May 7, 2023, DFF 2023 will showcase the depth, diversity and creativity of Dubai’s gastronomy offering through an expanded programme of events and activities.
It will celebrate home-grown concepts, Emirati and international cuisine, as well as global trends and the chefs, culinary pioneers, gourmet thought leaders and tastemakers that continue to reflect and inspire Dubai.
17-day gastronomy fest
During the 17-day DFF, much-loved activities will take place, including the return of the ever-popular Etisalat Beach Canteen showcasing homegrown foodie fun, and Dubai Restaurant Week with delicious set menus at 50 of Dubai’s top restaurants.
DFF will also feature a host of events, pop-ups and showcases such as 100 Foodie Experiences including Masterclasses and Chefs Tables, partner events and gourmet concepts and tastings with Dubai-based and visiting chefs across the city, as well as the launch of the Dh10 "Signature Dish" initiative whereby restaurants and cafés roll-out classic flavours and tastes for an affordable price across 300 participating restaurants in celebration of the 10th edition.
New concepts for 2023 will also include a brand-new Chefs in Town programme of events, plus much more to follow.
Also shared at the event, was a preview episode of the latest DET gastronomy focused content series that is scheduled to be released called Chefs on a Bus – a series which will see award-winning pastry chef Sahar Al Awadhi invite 10 of Dubai’s top chefs to show us their favourite diverse restaurants across the city.
This follows the successful launch of a number of content series over the last 12 months, showcasing the Dubai Food Scene from two Made in Dubai series with Peyman Al Awadhi, the latest series focusing on Dubai Street food scene, in addition to the well-known Meet the Chef series — interviewing top chefs with restaurants in the city from Massimo Bottura, to Jamie Oliver to newly-arrived Chef Shaheen.
These will be amplified across key international content partners, including ICE plus the DET owned social channel @Dubaieats.
Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) commented: “2022 has been a milestone year for Dubai and in particular for the city’s mouthwatering gourmet scene. Inspired by the vision of His Highness, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai the best city in the world to live and work in, we are incredibly proud to work alongside our stakeholders and partners to showcase and further develop Dubai’s unique and diverse gastronomy scene.
"During the last 12 months, we have seen the launch of the inaugural MICHELIN Guide to Dubai, the arrival of the Gault&Millau guide, the launch of MENA’s 50 Best Restaurants and a host of other accolades for the city’s home-grown eateries, fine dining institutions, and neighbourhood favourites. We are proud and thankful to come together to the table with our partners and discuss how we can make 2023 an even greater success than 2022.”
Dubai has grown to become one of the world’s most sought-after epicurean destinations. Its gastronomy scene has diversified and progressed in line with the expansion and development of the city, and remains a key driver of growth for the tourism sector. Dubai welcomed 11.40 million international overnight visitors between January and October 2022 and was recognised as the No.1 global destination and the fourth-leading destination for ‘Food Lovers’ in the Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards 2022, demonstrating the depth of the culinary scene and the diversity of culinary offerings.
The ‘Gastronomy Always On’ (GAON) campaign and dedicated team, supports the culinary and F&B industry and leads on a calendar of culinary events which highlight the core pillars which define Dubai as a global gastronomy hub with quality cuisine and experiences available for all; diversity, authenticity, value for money and experiential offerings.