It’s fitting that Michelinchose the recently opened Museum of the Future to announce the long-anticipated arrival of its guide in Dubai — a city that has a culinary scene that is “dynamic, diverse and opulent”, says Gwendal Poullennec, international director of the Michelin Guides.
The selection of Dubai restaurants lauded with Michelin stars will be announced in June, with no date yet set.
On Tuesday, Poullennec confirmed that Michelin inspectors have started visiting — and rating — restaurants across the emirate. And later this year, a handful of worthy venues will be able to lay claim to being Michelin-starred restaurants, for foodies and gastro-tourists across the world to know, visit and savour.
There will be no Michelin Guide books printed for Dubai. The guide will be available online and through the Michelin app.
“Home to hundreds of nationalities, Dubai has emerged from a trading port to become one of the world’s most diverse business and travel destinations,” Michelin said.
“It has developed an interesting dining culture, taking influence from cuisines from around the world, including the emirate's own Arabic specialities.”
Issam Kazim, chief executive of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said: “With Dubai home to thousands of restaurants serving a variety of cuisines — from fine dining to street food — and talented chefs, the Michelin Guide Dubai will provide a fresh perspective and insights into the diversity, creativity and multicultural nature of [the] culinary offering.”
The Michelin Guide is best known for bestowing stars on select restaurants, with three being the maximum restaurants can lay claim to.
The stars are defined as:
- One Michelin star: High-quality cooking that is worth a stop
- Two Michelin stars: Excellent cooking that is worth a detour
- Three Michelin stars: Exceptional cuisine that is worth a special journey.
“The stars are not a matter of style or decor — only the quality of the food counts,” Michelin said.
“As the Michelin Guide has an international presence, it is essential its selections are made according to the same criteria and methodology everywhere in the world. This is what ensures that a star in Tokyo shows the same promise of quality as a star in New York or Berlin.”
Star ratings aside, the team also have a Bib Gourmand category, which shines a light on restaurants that provide “value-for-money three-course meals”, that is, venues where diners can enjoy several courses under a certain amount (which varies depending on a city’s cost of living).
Food quality is the overarching reason for a restaurant’s inclusion in the Michelin Guide. This is gauged on five criteria:
1. The quality of the ingredients
2. The mastery of cooking
3. The harmony of flavours
4. The personality of the chef reflected through the cuisine
5. The consistency both over time and across the entire menu
That last point is where things can get a bit tricky. The stars are awarded to restaurants and not chefs (who may choose to move on to other pastures), and the selection is updated once a year. This means a restaurant can lose its place in the guide, should it not live up to the mark.
The full selection for the Michelin Guide Dubai will be available at guide.michelin.com
See the full list of regional outlets that made it to the first Mena’s 50 Best Restaurants list here: