What to expect at Dubai Food Festival 2020

From discounted meals to chef interactions, foodies are in for a treat between February 26 and March 14

Akira Back's Paru is one of the participating venues at Restaurant Week during Dubai Food Festival 
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The seventh Dubai Food Festival will kick off with the Etisalat Beach Canteen on Wednesday, February 26 and culminate with Taste of Dubai on Saturday, March 14. That’s more than three weeks of freebies, subsidised dishes and menus, masterclasses, chef interactions, cooking competitions and other foodie fun in locations around Dubai.

Here’s what you can expect.

Etisalat Beach Canteen

When: Wednesday, February 26 to Saturday, March 14

Where: Jumeirah Beach behind Sunset Mall, Dubai

Beach Canteen. Courtesy of Dubai Food Festival  *** Local Caption ***  beach-canteen.jpg
The Beach Canteen will be held on the strip of sand behind Sunset Mall

The festival’s flagship event takes the form of a massive pop-up with grab-and-go food trucks, and cooking workshops and live cooking sessions hosted by chefs from UAE restaurants. A dedicated family area will include live entertainment, a kids' zone, a beachside theatre and a gaming square and sports court – ideal to shave off a few calories.

Dubai Restaurant Week

When: Thursday to Saturday, March 5 to 14

Where: Restaurants across Dubai

If there ever were a time to eat out every day, these 10 days are it. When else would you get to sample signature dishes by Michelin-starred chefs Akira Back or high-end restaurants such as Scalini for a fraction of their usual prices?

Dubai Restaurant Week ropes in 35 high-end restaurants – from Back’s Paru and Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen, to Latin America eatery Coya – to curate two-course lunch menus (priced from Dh75) and three-course dinner menus (from Dh150). This year, the event will cover 18 cuisines city-wide.

Foodie Experiences

When: Wednesday, February 26 to Saturday, March 14

Where: Venues across Dubai

Back for round two, Foodie Experiences aims to deliver one-of-a-kind culinary adventures; think chef’s tables, experiential meals and unique dining venues. Some experiences revealed so far include: an organic tasting tour and farm dinner at Emirates Bio Farm; and dinner under the stars in Old Dubai’s Al Fahidi District with authentic Emirati cuisine, organised by the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Centre for Cultural Understanding.

Al Ain, United Arab Emirates- Visitors getting a hands on experience of a farm life by harvesting veggies at the Emirates Bio Farm.  Leslie Pableo for The National
Visitors get a hands-on experience by harvesting veggies at Emirates Bio Farm. Leslie Pableo for The National

Over on Bluewaters Island, Zhen Wei at Caesars Palace Dubai will host a masterclass on preparing homemade dim sum such as rose hargao, seafood siomao, shrimp money bags and chicken soup dumplings, plus hand-pulled noodles, followed by a gourmet three-course meal, featuring black-tea-smoked seabass, Kalbi-spiced BBQ short ribs, and Cantonese papaya puff with sweet hive-style brown cake.

Taste of Dubai

When: Thursday to Saturday, March 12 to 14

Where: Dubai Media City Amphitheatre

Nobu served its chicken and avocado tacos for Dh20 at Taste of Dubai 2019
Nobu served its chicken and avocado tacos for Dh20 at Taste of Dubai 2019

The carnival-like ambience coupled with subsidised dishes from dozens of UAE restaurants make Taste of Dubai one of Dubai Food Festival’s best-loved event. The weekend festival also includes live performances, demonstrations, workshops and talks by the regional and international chefs, and cooking classes and competitions. Watch this space.