Every Dubai Food Festival (DFF), eateries concoct extraordinary culinary experiences for residents and visitors alike to indulge in the multicultural flavours of the city. From set menus to chef-led masterclasses and food fairs, there’s no shortage of opportunities for gourmands to gorge on Dubai’s spread of world-class restaurants. It can be hard to figure out where to start when there’s so much on offer, so we have cherry-picked the most exclusive Foodie Experiences.
Out of the Blue by INKED
INKED is not your regular restaurant-going experience; it’s a culinary performance. The team of dedicated gourmands whip up extraordinary encounters that engage every one of your senses.
For DFF, the crew has cooked up a new creative venture with six tantalising courses and eccentric displays that define the INKED experience. Out of the Blue is designed to surprise you – even that which looks familiar, might only seem so in appearance. For adventurous foodies looking to tell and taste a tale, Out of the Blue is the DFF Foodie Experience you’ve been waiting for.
When: 22 – 24 February
Where: INKED, Alserkal Avenue
Trèsind Studio Gourmet Table
Prepare to be impressed. Chef Himanshu Saini is on a mission to change your perception of Indian cuisine over 16 flavourful courses. Hosted at the exclusive Trèsind Studio, the Gourmet Table is an evening of culinary exploration and reinvention. Traditional Indian recipes and ingredients will take on a new personality at the hands of Trèsind’s head chef, revitalising the legacy of cuisine from the subcontinent. It’s a unique dining experience enhanced by signature hospitality.
When: 28 February – 3 March
Where: Trèsind Studio, Nassima Royal Hotel
Afternoon tea on the QE2 bow
For those keen on a once-in-a-lifetime experience, Queen Elizabeth 2 has something truly spectacular on deck. The legendary ocean liner turned floating hotel is inviting guests on board to experience its rarely-visited bow for a charming afternoon tea.
Travel through the ship’s history-laden passageways to the very front of the majestic vessel. Here, you’ll discover breathtaking views, a spread of quintessential snacks and 10 premium tea flavours. Satisfy your savoury tooth with beef Wellington, quiches, finger sandwiches and more, and your sweet tooth with fresh scones, salted caramel choux and macarons. And don’t worry – there’s coffee, too!
When: 1, 2, 8 & 9 March
Where: Queen Elizabeth 2, Port Rashid
swyp Beach Canteen
At swyp Beach Canteen, the whole venue is your menu. Sample signature dishes from international restaurants and homegrown eateries at this dynamic beachside event. This year’s swyp Beach Canteen is bigger than ever, divided into specialised zones so everyone can satisfy their cravings. Food trucks, pop-up stalls, live entertainment, sports sections and children’s play areas – there’s something for all ages. You can even meet celebrity chefs who will be sharing secrets of the trade to food enthusiasts. Don’t miss out on this multi-layered culinary carnival that only comes once a year with .
Cost: Free entry; some events may be ticketed
When: 21 February – 9 March
Where: Jumeirah Beach, behind Sunset Mall
Culinary Boutique X Le Cordon Bleu
A good portion of is the array of immersive cooking classes taking over the city. And while all of them are incredibly insightful in their own ways, this particular one comes with a stamp of international approval. The Culinary Boutique Café has paired up with the esteemed cooking school Le Cordon Bleu to create a culinary experience for the cookbooks. Two of the institution’s celebrated instructors will lead demonstrations and cooking classes for anyone interested in upping their culinary expertise.
When: 22 – 23 February
Where: Culinary Boutique Café
Nadodi x Trèsind Studio
Chef Himanshu Saini strikes again, but this time he’s doubling up on talent. Trèsind’s master chef is teaming up with Chef Sricharan Venkatesh, the former chef of Kuala Lumpur’s famous Nadodi restaurant, for a two-fold special to push the envelope of Indian cuisine as you know it.
Each chef is rustling up seven creative courses with a mission to dazzle your taste buds this DFF. Travel the diverse culinary landscapes of India in this feast of flavours. There are few collaborative experiences as exceptional as Nadodi x Trèsind Studio, so attendees will claim the biggest bragging rights.
When: 6 – 7 March
Where: Trèsind Studio, Nassima Royal Hotel
Dubai Restaurant Week
Just because you don’t see your favourite restaurant or chef on this list doesn’t mean they aren’t celebrating DFF. Many restaurants have signed up for Dubai Restaurant Week, where the city’s top eateries curate appetising three-course menus for just AED199. Scape, Hotel Cartagena, GIA, Prime68 and more – Dubai’s signature flavours and creative cuisines are all on offer, so food enthusiasts can cross them off their must-try lists.
When: 21 February – 2 March