About 55 per cent of UAE residents rank Dubai as the world’s top gastronomy hub — ahead of London and New York — according to a survey. The survey also highlighted that more than half of Dubai residents (52 per cent) dine out up to three times per week.
The city ranks second in categories such as world-class chefs, fine dining and service at restaurants, ahead of New York, London, Singapore and Istanbul.
About 1,730 residents were surveyed as part of the study commissioned by Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET).
According to the annual Dubai International Visitors Survey (DIVS), of the almost 32,000 visitors surveyed in 2021, 72.2 per cent said they were happy with the overall quality of food and restaurants, compared to just 0.1 per cent who said they were unhappy with their experience, leading to a net satisfaction score (NSS) of 72.2 per cent.
Dubai is home to around 13,000 restaurants and cafes — the most in any city in the Mena region.
These came as the DET launched the inaugural Dubai Gastronomy Industry Report.
The special report was unveiled at the first gastronomy industry briefing hosted by the DET, and was attended by more than 100 restaurateurs, culinary specialists and key stakeholders from the food and beverage sector.
Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), said: “Dubai’s unique and diverse gastronomy scene is comprised of a plethora of home-grown eateries, fine dining institutions, MICHELIN-starred restaurants and neighbourhood favourites, which together represent Dubai’s dynamic epicurean scene.
“Dubai brings together the culture and heritage of more than 200 different nationalities at tables and within restaurants across the city and we are pleased that the emirate is gaining further recognition as a globally renowned epicurean destination transforming food tourism, as revealed in our report that we have just launched. It is a one-of-a-kind comprehensive study that provides significant insights and information related to the city’s growing gastronomy sector. Its continued success is evident in the findings set out in the report including high satisfaction scores across key aspects of the gastronomy offering, in addition to a marked improvement in food choices and the overall restaurant experience for residents and visitors.”
The report is based on the feedback and findings of various research carried out by DET including the Global Brand Tracker, Dubai International Visitor Surveys and a local research survey, in addition to thousands of independent reviews posted on food and travel websites.
The report, which will be released annually, will chart the evolving elements of Dubai’s dynamic food scene and create a platform for insights into the city’s culinary sector to be shared with restaurateurs, chefs, potential collaborators and stakeholders locally and globally.
During the briefing, the DET also announced that the 10th anniversary edition of the Dubai Food Festival (DFF) will take place from April 18 to May 7, 2023.
Dubai welcomed 7.12 million international overnight visitors during the first half of 2022. The city was recognised as the No.1 global destination and the fourth leading destination for ‘Food Lovers’ in the Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards 2022.
The launch of the inaugural MICHELIN Guide Dubai in summer 2022 saw 69 culinary institutions across the city included. The city also welcomed the culinary critic brand Gault&Millau in spring 2022, featuring expert reviews. Sixteen of Dubai’s homegrown cafés, chef-helmed gourmet restaurants and fine dining institutions and chefs were also recognised in the inaugural edition of the Middle East and North Africa’s 50 Best Restaurants list that was unveiled earlier this year.
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