Dubai 2001 vs 2011

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Eating Out
In 2001, Dubai was endowed with plenty of Indian and Middle Eastern restaurants, as well as a smattering of five-star venues and one ‘seven’-star hotel offering varying international fare. Yet the city began to realise its culinary ambitions when Gordon Ramsay, arguably the world’s most famous Michelin-starred chef at the time, opened Verre that year (significantly, his first restaurant outside the UK). Four years later and a long list of Michelin names were opening restaurants in the emirate, including Vineet Bhatia (Indego by Vineet, 2005), Gary Rhodes (Rhodes Mezzanine, 2005), Marco Pierre White (Frankie’s, 2007), Michel Rostang (Rostang the French Brasserie, 2008), Pierre Gagnaire (Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire, 2009) and Yannick Alleno (STAY by Yannick, 2010).

Through the course of the past decade, Dubai has established itself as a regional hub of high-end cuisine, though it’s arguable that as the city’s heady excess peaked in the mid-noughties, substance gave way to style and unscrupulous restaurants were able to charge prices that didn’t represent the quality of the food. But when Dubai felt the sting of the economic downturn, restaurants had to work for their customers, prices dropped and standards were raised. Though all the top restaurants may be imported brand names, the hard-working protégés of Michelin-star chefs are beginning to be recognised in their own right. Surely it’s only a matter of time before Dubai will produce world-renowned restaurants of its own.

By Time Out Dubai staff
Time Out Dubai,

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