Dubai Food Festival 2019: your ultimate guide

Here are the top things to do at the event this year

Dubai Food Festival 2019: your ultimate guide

The Dubai Food Festival is back, and it's the ultimate celebration of all things gastronomic running for 17 days from Thursday February 21 to Saturday March 9.

And there are experiences for everyone – whether you're looking to experience the best home-grown concepts, discover Dubai's hidden gems or eat at some of the city's top culinary hotspots.

There'll even be a huge cheese festival with workshops on how to choose the best fromage – as well as a street food fair at City Walk beach canteen full of foodie treats.

In anticipation of the festival, celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian (of Iron Chef fame) paid a visit to the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood in Old Dubai and sampled Emirati dishes at the Arabian Tea House – learning how to eat a full spread of traditional cuisine. Here’s how he got on…

So grab your knife and fork and get ready to take a bite. Here are the top things to do at this year's Dubai Food Festival...

Cheese Fest

Love a wedge of cheddar? A slice of squidgy brie? How about a wheel of mature, tangy Parmesan?

Cheese Fest is coming to town on Friday February 22 and Saturday February 23 and it’s going to showcase a heap of dairy-based goodies.

SOPEXA Middle East is bringing the event to Dubai, and it will be held at The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina.

Cheese fans will be able to sample fromage from around the world and learn more about the growth of the cheese industry in Dubai.

You’ll be able to meet cheese sellers from Dubai, attend workshops as well as being able to cheeses imported from around the world. And kids will be kept entertained too thanks to dedicated activities throughout the day.
Free entry. Fri Feb 22, 7pm-midnight and Sat Feb 23, noon-10pm. The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Al Sufouh.

Foodie experiences

This is a new edition to the Dubai Food Festival, and we can't wait to try these experiences out.

There are a whole host of culinary activities going on at dozens of restaurants, ranging from masterclasses with top chefs to exclusive tasting menus and themed tours.

Highlights include the Cirque de Cuisine megabrunch at Atlantis on Thursday February 28, which lets diners try fare from iconic restaurants including Nobu, Ronda Locatelli, Bread Street Kitchen, Seafire Steakhouse & Bar, Ossiano and Hakkasan.

Or the same night you can enhance your pasta-making skills by learning authentic traditional cooking techniques at a chef masterclass at Eataly in The Dubai Mall.

To take in some more local flavours, head for La Mer's Treej Café on Saturday March 9 for a 10-course menu of Emirati cuisine with entertainment.
Various prices. Thu Feb 21-Sat Mar 9. For a full list of participating venues, go to

Hidden gems

While Dubai is full of top places to eat, there are also plenty of hidden spots to explore.

Across the city, 40 budget-friendly restaurants are offering special menus for up to Dhs35 – with diners picking their favourites.

The top 10 finalists will be announced on Saturday March 2, while ten lucky voters will win Dhs1,000 and a Zomato Gold membership.

However, the special menus will be available for a week after that meaning you've got plenty of time to try out all the places.

Options range from casual Arabic dining experiences to classic curries and bite-sized treats.
Up to Dhs35. Thu Feb 21-Sat Mar 9. For a full list of participating venues, go to

LOVE FOOD Awards at The Dubai Mall

With hundreds of eateries from cute cafés to fancy Italian restaurants, via some globally popular fast food chains, The Dubai Mall has heaps to satisfy any taste or appetite.

And now it’s time to have your say on where to find the best food in the Downtown shopping hub.

Head to to vote. Only one vote per category per email address will be accepted so think carefully.

And in even better news, there are Dhs10,000 worth of Emaar gift cards to be won to spend at The Dubai Mall.

The shortlists will be announced on Wednesday February 27, with the winners revealed on Wednesday March 6. Who will win? It’s up to you.
Voting open now. To vote now, go to

Dubai Restaurant Week

Experiencing world-class flavours doesn't always have to be a luxury, with the hottest restaurants in the city curating special set menus for just nine days.

Each costs just Dhs199 per person, and there are loads of eateries participating from Thursday February 21 until Saturday March 2.

Restaurant Week is a great opportunity to try out some of the places you've always wanted to go – and many of them are shortlisted in this year's Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards.

Carnival by Trèsind is offering diners a five-course tasting menu featuring culinary delights like south Indian ginger prawns and a raw mango and coconut fish curry.

Pai Thai's menu has breaded prawn cakes and wok-fried beef red curry among other options, while Bleu Blanc by chef David Myers is letting diners try signature dishes including charred octopus and petit pot de crème.
Dhs199. Thu Feb 21-Sat Mar 2. For a full list of participating venues, go to

Street Food Fair

Head up to City Walk to sample street food from around the world while enjoying feel-good music and live entertainment.

Galeries Lafayette Le Gourmet is partnering with Le BHV Marais to host a street food fair, with al fresco eats and exotic flavours on offer.

The event is totally free to enter with each food stall selling items individually.

There will be six stalls with top choices including meat sliders, Indian cuisine such as paani puri and egg parathas as well as classic pizzas and pasta.

That being said, we'll be heading straight for the rare cheeses.
Free entry. Thu Feb 28-Sat Mar 2. Galeries Lafayette Le Gourmet, City Walk, Al Safa street.

swyp Beach Canteen

An al fresco food carnival is coming to Jumeirah Beach offering a full spread of delicious cuisine and activities to keep guests busy.

Eateries from across Dubai will be catering to hungry customers, while children can head for the activity zone which has obstacle courses, workshops, games and a Nintendo Switch lounge.

Meanwhile, Cooking Court will host live demonstrations and 7UP-Fido's Food Truck Alley will recreate the feel of a backstreet market.

Even better, it's all set on the beach – so you can take in that perfect winter sunshine while enjoying lunch or dinner on the sand.
Free entry. Thu Feb 21-Sat Mar 9. Jumeirah Beach, behind Sunset Mall.

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