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Prime your appetites as Dubai Food Festival (DFF), the city’s annual celebration of all things food, kicks off on 21 February until 9 March – uniting various cultures and tastes in a 17-day extravaganza of culinary events, activities and dining experiences across Dubai.

Featuring new and returning favourites, here’s a list of the top must-try events taking place during the first week of DFF:

  • Visit swyp Beach Canteen

DFF’s flagship event returns this year, featuring unique zones that will appeal to all age groups. The beachside location is perfect for a day out with friends and family, and visitors are encouraged to head to the Food Piazza or 7UP-FIDO’s Food Truck Alley to try out a variety of cuisines, watch movies under the stars, enjoy incredible live performances at the swyp Beach Canteen Mainstage, or watch culinary professionals show off their skills at the Cooking Court. Other things to watch out for are the Gaming Zone, Retail Garden, Workshop Space, Fun Zone, Sports Court and Kids Play Park for the little ones.

A celebration is not complete without fireworks and DFF 2019 is no different. A mesmerising fireworks display will open up the festival on 21 February, followed by a final closing show of fireworks on 9 March at 8:35pm. swyp Beach Canteen is also set to light up the skies with fireworks to celebrate the occasion of Kuwait National Day on 25 February.

swyp Beach Canteen will be located at Jumeirah Beach behind Sunset Mall, and will open throughout the festival from 12pm to 10pm from Sundays to Wednesdays, 12pm to 12am on Thursdays, 10am to 12am on Fridays and 10am to 11pm on Saturdays.

  • Book your table for Dubai Restaurant Week, brought to you by Emirates NBD and Visa

Take your taste buds on a journey as you enjoy bespoke 3-course meals at some of Dubai’s finest restaurants such as Scape, Morimoto, Bleu Blanc Dubai, Hotel Cartagena and much more starting 21 February until 2 March 2019. Book your table now on Reserve Out, and take advantage of a 15 per cent reduction if you book with an Emirates NBD VISA credit or debit card before 25 February. Not only that, but residents who make two more reservations at Dubai Restaurant Week will get a chance to win AED4,000.

  • Discover (and re-discover) Dubai through its Hidden Gems

Help us identify Dubai’s best undiscovered culinary spots by voting for your favourite hidden gem from a list of 40 shortlisted restaurants on before 25 February, where 10 participants will have the chance to win AED1,000 and a year-long Zomato Gold membership!

You can also try out special DFF meals priced at AED35 per person at all 40 restaurants until 2 March. The announced winners will extend their menu until 9 March, so make sure to check out all set menus for each restaurant on their pages on Zomato’s website and app.

  • Embark on a culinary adventure with Foodie Experiences

Try out a variety of unique culinary events and experiences across Dubai, including masterclasses and exclusive tasting menus amongst others. More information on experiences, prices and booking are available on Platinumlist, and here is a list of what’s happening from 21 to 27 February:

Date Venue Experience and description
21 Feb JW Marriott Marquis – Prime 68 Steakhouse Exclusive Beef and Pearls Masterclass: Led by Nicholas Narsavidze from Amstur Caviar, where every main course is paired with a unique sample of caviar.
21 Feb till 9 Mar Zhen Wei – Caesar’s Palace Zhen Wei Dim Sum & Noodle Masterclass: It’s a foodie dream – make your own dim sum and noodles, and then tuck into a three-course meal.
21 Feb miX by Alain Ducasse – The Emerald Palace Kempinski Dubai Chef’s Table: Enjoy an exclusive, exquisite dinner with a view as you take in the 360-degree views of the ocean and the Dubai skyline from the Chef’s room.
22 Feb Armani/Deli Gourmet Italian Fest – Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa Gourmet Italian Food Fest: Take a gastronomic tour around Italy and Europe, exploring more than 50 types of cheeses along with antipasti, live pasta and risotto stations, traditional cheese and cold cut rooms, and sharing style fresh meat and seafood served to your table.
21 – 24 Feb INKED – Al Serkal Avenue Out of The Blue: Expect the unexpected with this specially curated menu, aimed to deliver an experience that is fine dining meets whimsy.
21 Feb Eataly – The Dubai Mall Italian Masterclasses: Hone your cooking skills at Eataly and attend special masterclasses to make traditional Italian Pizza (21 Feb), Pasta (28 Feb) and Bread (7 Mar).
22 Feb Brothaus – The Steigenberger Hotel Friday Social: Breakfast Meets Lunch at this Brothaus special edition event, with a choice between a pretzel-baking with their master baker and cake decorating masterclass with a cake stylist.
22 – 23 Feb Culinary Boutique Café, Jumeirah Beach Road Culinary Boutique X Le Cordon Bleu: Meet, greet and work alongside two of the most esteemed cooking instructors from the internationally acclaimed Le Cordon Bleu cooking school.
9 March Galvin Bistrot & Bar, Toro, Lima – City Walk City Walk’s longest dinner table ever: It’s the perfect mix of food and vibes from three restaurants at Citywalk – all on one giant, long table!
23 Feb miX by Alain Ducasse – The Emerald Palace Kempinski Dubai Pastry master class: Create classic French desserts like Paris-Brest, Fruit Vacherin and a Chocolate Tart, followed by a delicious 3-course lunch.
23, 26 Feb Mohalla – D3 Cocktail Samosa making experience: Enjoy a soulful experience with real street Indian food, followed by a 3-course set menu.
24, 27 Feb Cova, The Dubai Mall Gourmand Experience at Cova by Chef Andrea Tarini: Learn how to prepare an unforgettable Italian risotto.
25 , 27 Feb The Meat Co – Madinat Jumeirah The Ultimate Beef Masterclass: Meat-lovers can sink their teeth into this gourmand experience, tasting steaks from all over the world.
26 – 27 Feb Bleu Blanc, Renaissance Downtown Dubai Vegan Experience at The Chef’s Table: Be one of only six guests to sit at the Grill Counter and enjoy a special Vegan meal filled with tantalising flavours and aromatic dishes created just for you at Bleu Blanc by David Myers.


  • Limited Edition Coffee

DFF’s 2019 edition is brewing a new concept especially for caffeine lovers – head down to a number of coffee shops across the city to indulge in delicious limited-edition drinks and offers created especially for the festival. Brands include Tim Hortons, Café Frei, Saddle, Cupagahwa and Costa Coffee amongst others, and a wider list of offers is below:

Coffee brand Location Offer
Costa Coffee All outlets in Dubai Superfood Charcoal Latte
Sketch Art Café Boxpark, Al Wasl Road Dubai Winter Coffee
20grams Nad Al Hammar Fahidi – A mixture of specialty single origin coffee and Arabic traditional spices served hot and over ice; a combination of past and future in one cup.
Andes The Offices 3, Dubai World Trade Centre Smoked Botanical Latte: Highlighting culinary inspirations, this coffee is smoked and contains Tonka cream (Latin American) and rice milk (Asian).
Boston Lane The Courtyard, Al Quoz Doughnut Latte Series: Combine your favourite Doughnut flavours with their signature Columbian Coffee.
Café Frei DIFC Marhaba Coffee
Cupagahwa Multiple locations Saffron Latte
Doh Last Exit Al Khawaneej, Beach Canteen Bounty Latte: Coconut-flavoured latte
Emirati Coffee Co. Dar Wasl Mall, Al Quoz Emirati Coffee: made with date syrup, wild rose water and adouble shot espresso made with 90+ coffee blends
Nusantara Coffee Roasters Nad Al Hammar Cultural Flavours:  Es Kurma, a beverage made of locally grown dates, freshly roasted coffee, baby coconut and milk
One Degree Jumeirah Beach Road Brownie shake: With ice-cream, fresh milk, white chocolate and coffee
Qiso Dubai Silicon Oasis In-house Single Origin Organic Coffee
Saddle Beach Canteen Pistachio Latte: A blend of Brazilian coffee latte with Saddle’s special pistachio cream
Tim Hortons All outlets in Dubai Donut and Coffee for only AED 10


  • Dine & Win

The classic ‘Dine & Win’ promotion returns this year in partnership with Zomato and Dubai Shopping Malls Group (DSMG), giving residents and visitors the chance to win many prizes, including a Nissan Patrol 50 Diamond Pendants from Jawhara and 1 million prizes from Zomato by dining at any participating restaurants across the city.

  • Cheese anyone?

Satisfy your mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan and other cheese cravings by tasting over 500 cheese products at the free-to-enter, two-day Cheese Festival taking place at Westin Mina Al Seyahi on 22 and 23 February.

  • Dinner and a show at La Perle

La Perle by Dragone has partnered with Al Habtoor City to create a special “Dining + Show” package, where guests can watch Dubai’s #1 live show and enjoy a delicious lunch or dinner, before or after the performance. Starting from just AED550 for a Gold ticket and meal, guests can choose from one of the restaurants located within the three hotels at Al Habtoor City, including Babiole, The Market, Zoco, The City Grill, Namu and BQ – French Kitchen.

  • Citywide Celebrations

Residents and visitors will be sure to get in the foodie spirit anywhere in Dubai, with various malls and attractions joining the festivities:

Visit Al Seef to tuck into delicious food at the waterfront Chinese Street Food Market over the first DFF weekend, take little ones to the Organic farm workshop at Boxpark from 4pm to 9pm daily, try free yoga and bootcamp sessions at Kite Beach from 21 to 23 February, or get your kids to draw their favourite meals so they can dine for free at participating restaurants at The Beach, JBR.

Starting 21 February, shop at Mall of the Emirates and get the opportunity to win AED5,000 daily, while Dubai Festival City Mall gives their visitors the opportunity to win two instant Novo Cinema tickets when spending AED250 at any of the restaurants. In addition, The Dubai Mall rewards families with the Kids Eat for Free offer when they dine at participating restaurants.

Mirdif City Centre and City Center Me’aisem are set to transform their outdoor area for DFF, featuring a variety of F&B kiosks and activities for the entire family. Deira City Centre is also set to inspire a sense of giving back to those in need through its partnership with the Red Crescent, asking people to donate canned food bought at Carrefour.

Little chefs can learn how to make their own food in a fun way in Children’s City in Creek Park with DFF’s special weekly menu through a variety of workshops and activities.

  • Retail Offers

Spend right during DFF by taking advantage of incredible promotions of up to 75 per cent on retail brands across the city including hypermarkets, supermarkets, grocery stores, homeware, dining equipment and kitchen appliances. Additionally, stay tuned to DFF’s website and social media channels to spot special weekend reveals, with exclusive offers available to one brand at one location from 10am until stocks last.

For more information and a full update on DFF activities, visit or @DubaiFoodFest and #DubaiFoodFest.

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