It’s official. Dubai has just got its own red Michelin Guide, with 69 restaurants being included in the guide and a total of 13 stars and one Green Star among a handful of them.
Nine restaurants won one star each, and two received two stars.
The Michelin Green Star also made its entry to Dubai. This star puts the spotlight on a sustainable approach to gastronomy, and Lowe was the one restaurant awarded the coveted title.
The stars were announced by the prestigious culinary group at a chef-studded event at Dubai Opera on Tuesday morning.
Scroll through the gallery below to see more from the Michelin Guide Dubai event
A selection of restaurants in the value-for-money Bib Gourmand section was also revealed, as well as three Michelin special awards, which include the Sommelier Award for Danijela Tesic of Ossiano; the Welcome & Service award for the Bait Maryam team; and the Young Chef Award for Solemann Haddad of Moonrise.
The shining stars
Al Muntaha, 11 Woodfire, Armani/Ristorante, Hakkasan, Hoseki, Ossiano, Tasca by Jose Avillez, Torno Subito and Tresind Studio have been awarded one star each, which denotes high-quality cooking.
Il Ristorante - Niko Romito and Stay by Yannick Alleno got two stars, which stands for excellent cooking.
No Dubai restaurant can lay claim (yet) to three Michelin stars, for cuisine that is categorised by the guide as exceptional.
The Dubai guide, which is digital-only, was confirmed in March after years of speculation — and even frustration — as to if and when Michelin would bring a guide to our shores. In fact chef Gregoire Berger of the award-winning Ossiano restaurant was one of the most vocal advocates for a local guide.
“The Michelin Guide coming to town is the collective achievement of pushing standards and boundaries in the region, and something many of us have been working on for some years by raising the bar, driving sustainability and seasonality, and developing our craft and personality,” Berger told The National in March.
“The arrival of Michelin will ultimately set higher standards for the city, bringing with it many global talents and finally giving Dubai the position it deserves on the global culinary scene. It’s finally due.”
Gwendal Poullennec, international director of Michelin Guides, said the introduction of Dubai to the Michelin family is a "historic moment" and that the inspectors were so impressed by its cosmopolitan culinary offering that they selected a total of 69 restaurants to be included in the guide for their diversity and uniqueness.
The rising stars
Also released at this morning’s event was Michelin’s Bib Gourmand list. This refers to 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).
The 14 restaurants that made the cut in Dubai are: Al Khayma, Bait Maryam, Brasserie Boulud, Fi'lia, folly, Goldfish, Ibn AlBahr, Indya by Vineet, Kinoya, Ninive, Orfali Bros, Reif Japanese Kushiyaki, Shabestan and Teible.
Quality is king
All the restaurants were cherry-picked by anonymous Michelin inspectors who spent months scoping out venues across the emirate.
“The same inspector does not visit a place twice, and different inspectors visit a place at different times to monitor consistency,” explains Gwendal Poullennec, international director of the Michelin Guide. “Stars are then allocated based on a collective decision. And this is why a restaurant that has even just one star, it means a lot to the industry.”
Food quality — rather than ambience, service or presentation — 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
The venues listed in a guide also often make it to the bucket lists of gastro-tourists. These jet-setting foodies will seek out Michelin-starred outlets on their next holiday — or, indeed, plan said holiday around a city’s stellar restaurants. This in turn helps to put a destination on the global culinary map, of which Dubai is now a firm and worthy fixture.
Full list of Dubai restaurants with Michelin stars
- Al Muntaha
- 11 Woodfire
- Tasca by Jose Avillez
- Torno Subito
- Tresind Studio
- Il Ristorante - Niko Romito
- Stay by Yannick Alleno
Full list of Dubai restaurants in the Bib Gourmand category
- Al Khayma
- Bait Maryam
- Brasserie Boulud
- Ibn AlBahr
- Indya by Vineet
- Orfali Bros
- Reif Japanese Kushiyaki
Full list of restaurants in the 'Michelin Guide DXB'
- 3 Fils
- 11 Woodfire (one star)
- Akira Back
- Al Fanar
- Al Khayma (Bib Gourmand)
- Al Mandaloun
- Al Muntaha (one star)
- Armani/Ristorante (one star)
- Avli by Tashas
- Bait Maryam (Bib Gourmand)
- Bleu Blanc
- Bombay Bungalow
- Brasserie Boulud (Bib Gourmand)
- Carnival by Tresind
- Ce La Vi
- Celebrities by Mauro Colagreco
- Demon Duck by Alvin Leung
- Fi'lia (Bib Gourmand)
- folly (Bib Gourmand)
- Goldfish (Bib Gourmand)
- Hakkasan (one star)
- Hell's Kitchen
- Hoseki (one star)
- Ibn AlBahr (Bib Gourmand)
- Il Borro
- Il Ristorante - Niko Romito (two stars)
- Indego by Vineet
- Indya by Vineet (Bib Gourmand)
- Kinoya (Bib Gourmand)
- L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon
- Little Miss India
- Mimi Kakushi
- Netsu by Ross Shonhan
- Ninive (Bib Gourmand)
- Orfali Bros (Bib Gourmand)
- Ossiano (one star)
- Pierre's TT (Bib Gourmand)
- Reif Japanese Kushiyaki (Bib Gourmand)
- Rhodes W1
- Sea Fu
- Shang Palace
- Shabestan (Bib Gourmand)
- Social by Heinz Beck
- Stay by Yannick Alleno (two stars)
- Tan Cha
- Tasca by Jose Avillez (one star)
- Teible (Bib Gourmand)
- The Artisan
- Torno Subito (one star)
- Tresind Studio (one star)