Revealed: the top 10 thriving hotspots in Dubai's foodie scene

Number of Dubai restaurants and cafes grows by almost 10 per cent in 2018 to 11,813

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The number of restaurants and cafes in Dubai grew by almost 10 per cent last year.

That was according to a new report issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED), Dubai, which revealed that the total number of restaurants reached 11,813 by the end of 2018.

The report, issued by the DED’s Business Registration and Licensing Department (BRL), also revealed that 1,109 new restaurants and cafes had opened in 2018, compared to 1,011 which had opened in 2017.

The number of newly opened restaurants reached 641 in 2018, compared to 601 in 2017; while the number of cafes stood at 468, compared to the 410 that opened in 2017.

"The restaurants and cafes sector is one of the fastest growing in the region, especially in Dubai, as the emirate is home to people from across the world,” said Abdulaziz bin Hathboor, Director of Customer Relation Division, BRL sector.

“The city has a flourishing tourism sector and modern lifestyle that supports restaurants and cafes of all kinds. More than 200 nationalities live and work in Dubai, which is today among the top destinations in the world.”

He said that international and regional restaurants and coffee shops operating in Dubai attract all segments of the community including locals, residents and visitors.

The report highlighted the distribution of operational restaurants and cafes in Dubai’s main areas, with Bur Dubai accounting for the largest share of 7,312, made up of 4,785 restaurants and 2,527 cafes.

This was followed closely by Deira which had 4,457 restaurants and cafes (2,780 restaurants and 1,677 cafes).

The top ten sub-regions were:

  1. Burj Khalifa (590 restaurants and cafes);
  2. Ayal Nasser (405)
  3. Al Marar (363)
  4. Jumeirah 1 (356)
  5. Al Karama (349)
  6. Al Barsha 1 (310)
  7. Hor Al Anz (256)
  8. Al Muraqabat (205)
  9. Naif (200)
  10. Al Garhoud (169)

“Restaurants and cafes are an integral part of the social culture, and the sector is profitable despite their large numbers,” said Mr Bin Hathboor.

“Restaurants and cafes have a stable base of customers in Dubai as long as they offer a high standard of products and service.”

He said that a growing variety of foreign and local concepts had helped the sector to raise the level of competition.

The report also showed that Indians led the top 10 nationalities investing in this sector, followed by those from Pakistan, Egypt, Britain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and the US.

The total number of workers in active restaurants and cafes in Dubai reached 151,127 in 2018, according to the report, with an average of 13 workers per restaurant/cafe.

“Dubai is a dynamic food and beverage market in the region, and the emirate is an attractive destination internationally, generating significant revenue for independent restaurants and cafes, which are sometimes more successful in Dubai than in other parts of the world,” said Mr Bin Hathboor.

“This is mainly due to Dubai's sustainable development and the growth opportunities it offers.”