Video: Discovering dishes, massive turnout, food from across the world on day 2 of Taste of Dubai

Video: Discovering dishes, massive turnout, food from across the world on day 2 of Taste of Dubai

UAE-based chef says food festivals open people to new cuisines

The event that started on February 3, is expected to be attended by 15,000 food gourmets across the three days. Image Credit: Anas Thacharpadikkal/Gulf News

Discovering new dishes was on top of the agenda for most people attending Taste of Dubai in partnership with Philips, on the second day of the international food festival being held at Dubai Media City Amphitheatre. The event runs until February 6.

Attendance was even higher on the second day, and according to UAE-based chef Hattem Mattar, the crowd has “quadrupled”.


Mattar, who specialises in live fire cuisine, which is anything that’s cooked on wood, fire, or coal, has been in the country for 25 years.

He said: “On day one, I was impressed by the amount of people who came. It’s so wonderful after so long to see people coming together again. Then on Saturday, the number of people quadrupled.”

The world’s cuisine in one place

Speaking about the importance of food festivals for general attendees as well as those who are in the food and beverage industry, he said: “Events like this [Taste of Dubai], help highlight new cuisines and places. Even if a dish might be off putting to some, when people interact with chefs and see it being made, it helps people open to new food.

“It’s every cuisine on the planet, all in one place. Dubai is the most eclectic city in the world, you can tell that from the number of different nationalities in the crowd that’s attending and the food that’s being presented.”

Children ran across the grass area while their parents enjoyed delicious dishes by Michelin-starred restaurants and youngsters danced to the live music.

The event that started on February 3, is expected to be attended by 15,000 food gourmets across the three days.

Gulf News reader and Dubai-based restaurateur Rupali Gopi Koirala said: “I came to Taste of Dubai many years ago. The festival has gotten so much bigger and it’s beautifully organised. I went around and saw all the kiosks by five-star restaurants and Michelin chefs, there are long queues for the food.”

The Indian expatriate, who was at the event with her husband, added: “I tried some mac and cheese balls and some other dishes.”

Her husband, Gopi Koirala, said: “There are so many cuisines from around the world in one area.”

Two friends Magdalena Radzka from Poland and Maggie Meleszczuk from Germany explored all the exciting stalls at the event.

Talking to Gulf News, Meleszczuk said: “I'm a regular to the Taste of Dubai event and I love the vibe and it's refreshing. Good food and good friends make a good pair. I love cooking and I missed the opportunity to register with the cooking classes, but I will make sure I do it in the coming years.”

Family experience

Rob Sinclair, from the UK, who works in Dubai as a marketing director in the energy sector, said: “The Taste of Dubai event is a great family experience, offering a wide range of food from top restaurants and chefs. We had chicken sliders and fries, and they were amazing!”

Dubai resident and British expatriate Jolene Catlin said: “It’s great to see people about and enjoying. It’s a great afternoon lovely music, there’s lots of choice of foods to try and free snacks. The ambience is amazing.”

The expatriate who has been living in the UAE for 14 years visited day two of Taste of Dubai with her family and friends.

“It’s our first-time visiting Taste of Dubai,” said Christina Allen, a Welsh expatriate working in Dubai for the past two and a half years.

Allen was at the event with her friend Sian Poneskis, another Welsh expatriate who recently moved to Dubai.

Image Credit: Anas Thacharpadikkal/Gulf News

The duo said that the food festival was much bigger than they had thought. “The food’s amazing, the service is great, there are so many entertainment activities for children and families,” Allen added.

Massive turnout

Anju Chadda, Events Director, MENA Live Events, said: “Taste of Dubai really is back! We've had a phenomenal turnout both today and yesterday - with plenty of family, friends and colleagues enjoying all the exceptional food and the chefs have been busy!

“Come down, enjoy the weather, sample some food and of course have a dance!"

If you are heading to the festival, make sure to come in early to find parking and wear comfortable shoes for all the walking and visiting food stalls.


The standard ticket gives visitors a single day entry at Dh75. The “Taster” ticket gives visitors a single day entry, 2 food and 2 drinks vouchers at Dh165.

The VIP ticket gives attendees a single day entry, 3 food and 3 drinks vouchers, and VIP lounge access at Dh250.

Ultimate Weekend Package includes 3-day entry, 10 food and 10 drinks vouchers, VIP lounge access, valid for 1 person at Dh650.

The Taste of Dubai team encourages visitors to get their tickets in pairs as they come at a discounted price.

A pair of standard tickets for a single day entry are for Dh140. You can get 2 “Taster” tickets for Dh300 and two VIP tickets come at a price of Dh450.

More information can also be found on the Taste of Dubai website while tickets can be purchased on

Taste of Dubai logo
Discover more from the chef at Taste of Dubai this weekend! Image Credit: Supplied

Parking and getting there

The event is taking place at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre, which is in Al Sufouh, Dubai.

Paid parking by the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is available next to the venue, however, the spaces are limited so the organisers recommend getting there early.

Taking public transport to the venue is also encouraged. Visitors can take the Dubai Metro and reach the Al Khail Metro Station and walk to the venue.

Festival visitors can also schedule a ride from Careem to the venue and get a 15 per cent discount by using the promo code mentioned on the bottom of their Taste of Dubai ticket.

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