The Dubai Food Festival runs from February 26 to March 14.


Ultimate guide to the Dubai Food Festival 2020


DUBAI – The 18-day Dubai Food Festival (DFF) starts on Wednesday (February 26) with fireworks, chances to win prizes and something for everyone in a thrilling schedule.

DFF includes the Foodie Experiences Programme, Dubai Restaurant Week, the Etisalat Beach Canteen, Hidden Gems and brand-new to DFF 2020, “Home Edition” and “Tasty Tunes”. The food fest will run until March 14.

Here’s what you shouldn’t miss

Opening fireworks

To mark the festival opening, revelers should head to the Etisalat Beach Canteen at 8:30pm on Thursday (February 27) for a beachside fireworks display.

Foodie Experiences

Foodie Experiences, a carefully curated series of incredible, one-off culinary experiences designed to stimulate all the senses. There are more than 80 opportunities to take part in either a MasterClass, a Chef’s Table or an Experiential dining experience – some of which are exclusive events for one night only.

Foodie Experience Master Class

If you love making food, the Foodie Experiences MasterClass series is for you. Try your hand at everything from vegan Vietnamese dishes to dim sum; cake decorating to MasterChef-style cooking challenges.

Foodie Experience Chef’s Table

The Foodie Experience Chef’s Table series brings guests up close and personal with some of the city’s top chefs. Indulge in a one-off Japanese Italian fusion night; a unique sustainable tapas experience or a 14-course journey into modernist, molecular Indian cuisine.

For an even more experiential occasion, why not try Bedouin desert dining; Emirati dining under the stars atop a traditional coral house in Al Bastakiya.

Dubai Restaurant Week

Dubai Restaurant Week (DRW), which runs from March 5 to March 14, is offering the chance to indulge in gourmet global food at very special festival prices.

DRW features 36 outlets, and exclusive menus at Dubai’s best restaurants, including five associated with celebrity chefs – Gordon Ramsay, Vikas Khanna, Akira Back, Greg Malouf and Mathieu Viannay.

Two-course lunches are being offered from as little as Dh75, while three course dinner experiences start from just Dh150. All Dubai Restaurant Week dining experiences must be booked in advance, exclusively through official booking partner Reserve Out via its app and website.

Etisalat Beach Canteen

Etisalat Beach Canteen, behind Sunset Mall on Jumeirah Beach brings together some of the best homegrown and international food concepts at this family-friendly event. Visitors can look forward to incredible food trucks, pop-up shops, talks, events, cooking demonstrations and live music.

Running throughout the festival, the Etisalat Beach Canteen also includes a new-for-2020 gaming park, a Beach Game alley, a kid’s play zone, and the chance to watch and learn from leading chefs and culinary experts including Chef Vinu Raveendran from Carnival by Tresind and representatives of the International Centre for Culinary Arts (ICCA) Dubai training centre.

Look out for the Lacnor Garden where you can try exciting food concepts like Emirati company DPS, Wafflypops and Keventers thick milkshakes.

Dubai Hidden Gems

Dubai Hidden Gems highlights the unsung heroes of Dubai’s ever-evolving food scene. A shortlist of 40 restaurants, cafes and food outlets has already been selected by Dubai Food Festival in collaboration with Zomato – and this year’s lip-smacking list includes truly global cuisine, from Emirati to Japanese, Uzbek to Ethiopian.

Hidden Gems restaurants all offer authentic tasty food at affordable prices – every outlet on the list offers on average, a dining meal for two at no more than Dh165 – with some feeding two people for as little as Dh30.

Dh500 gift card to win

Foodies can vote for their favourite Hidden Gem from the list at, with a Top Ten Hidden Gems 2020 list being unveiled at the Etisalat Beach Canteen on March 14. There’s a chance for those voting to win, with 20 lucky voters each receiving a Dh500 gift card plus a Zomato Gold Annual Membership, (winners will be selected at random). Voting began from February 19 until March 11.

5-star staycation to win

Diners at this year’s Hidden Gems can win a 5-star staycation for two people, just by visiting any five Hidden Gems and getting their Hidden Gems passport stamped at each unique outlet.

Dh50,000 shopping vouchers to win

Home Edition brings the city’s supermarkets and hypermarkets into the excitement of Dubai Food Festival. For the first time this year, shoppers spending Dh250 or more at a participating outlet – Lulu Hypermarket, Spinneys, Waitrose, Carrefour and Union Co-op – will be placed in a weekly raffle to win vouchers valued at Dh50,000 per week during Dubai Food Festival.

Branches of each hypermarket and supermarket across the city are taking part in Home Edition 2020 –where shoppers can also experience food tasting sessions and live cookery demonstrations.

Winners of the Home Edition raffle will be chosen at random and declared in a weekly raffle draw to be held on the March 7 and 14 at the Etisalat Beach Canteen main stage.

Tasty Tunes

Another brand-new initiative to Dubai Food Festival 2020, is Tasty Tunes. Top dining destinations across the city will be turning up the volume as the sound of music fills the air thanks to Dubai Food Festival’s Tasty Tunes. Check out a host of new spots showcasing sensational singing acts alongside their signature dishes to make it an even more vibrant experience.

Dine & Win

More rewarding experiences can be found in this year’s DINE & WIN promotion run in collaboration with the Dubai Shopping Malls Group and featuring 19 participating malls and various other F & B outlets across the city. Upon dining for just Dh50 at any of the participating venues, including outlets at the airport, customers are entitled to a raffle coupon to win an array of fabulous prizes and the grand prize of a GAC sedan GA8 by Gargash Motors. DFF diners will also have the opportunity to win instant scratch-and-win rewards.

Limited Edition Coffee Series

For the second year in a row, both Dubai homegrown brands as well as international coffee brands will be offering a limited-edition coffee – only available during the festival period. The list of those offerings the exclusive beverage includes Boston Lane Café, Café Frei, DOH, Oiso Café and Minimart, and Costa Coffee, to name a few. Plus, there will also be a coffee passport available whereby you will be able to collect stamps as you go!

Weekend fireworks

Fireworks will also mark each weekend of the event, starting from February 27 at 8:30pm at Etisalat Beach Canteen and Dubai Festival City Mall, and on March 6, 8:30pm at Dubai Festival City Mall. On March 13, a firework display takes place at The Pointe on Palm Jumeirah at 8.30pm, while a closing ceremony marked by fireworks will be held at the Etisalat Beach Canteen on March 14 at 8.30pm.

Mall promotions

What: Eat to Win a Stay at Palm Jumeirah
Where: Nakheel Mall
How to join: Spend Dh150 at any restaurant for a chance to win instant hotel stays at Palm Jumeirah’s finest destinations
Duration: February 2 – March 14

What: The Dubai Mall – Miami Vibes
Where: Dubai Mall
What’s there: An event to enjoy with friends and family complete with food trucks, Instagram installations, live music and more!
When: February 26 – March 14

What: Foodtopia
Where: Bluewaters
What’s there: A multi-themed activation for the entire family
When: February 27 – March 14

What: Feel the Heat
Where: City Walk
What to expect: Food Market & Speed Cooking competition
When: March 11 – 14

What: Festival of Flavours
Where: Dubai Festival City Mall
What to expect: An event for friends and family with a pumpkin patch, chef’s station, route 66 and candy ville
When: February 26 – March 14

What: Food Fiesta in your Backyard!
Where: Dubai Festival Plaza
What to expect: Street food activation outside the mall
When: February 26 – March 14

What: Take a Bite of Beauty
Where: Mall of the Emirates
What to expect: Fusing F&B with beauty and cosmetics
When: February 26 – March 14

What: Let your Taste Buds Guide You to the Beach
Where: The Beach by Meraas
What to expect: Food market + kids workshop + live cooking
When: February 26 – March 14

What: Taste the Beat
Where: Kite Beach by Meraas
What to expect: Live entertainment on weekends + food deliveries from food vendors
When: February 26 – March 14

What: Dine and Win during DFF
Where: La Mer
How to join: Spend Dh200 to win a staycation + live entertainment on select days
When: February 26 – March 14

What: Cooking with the Chefs + The big Tribute Weekender
Where: The Pointe
What to expect: Influencers cook with chefs, street magic, special offers on food
When: February 26 – March 14

What: A Culinary World Tour at Mercato this Dubai Food Festival!
Where: Mercato and Town Center
What to expect: Dining and entertainment hotspots with a line-up that includes restaurant offers, scrumptious food sampling, family entertainment, food related workshops and kid’s activities.
When: February 26 – March 14

What: Chef’s Table Activation
Where: City Center Mirdif
What to expect: Signature dishes throughout DFF, plus live demonstrations and chef tables
When: March 5 – 14

What: Live the Creek. Love the Dining
Where: Al Seef
What to expect: Exclusive F&B offers, dine and win, kids eat for free
When: February 26 – March 14

Tickets for all Foodie Experience events are available on For more, visit


ADVERTISE HERE Find or post new jobs, motor ads and classifieds

Explore Expat Media