Dubai Food Festival 2020 Begins

Dubai Food Festival 2020 Begins

Dubai Food Festival is back with a range of food experiences at discounted prices. The 18-day festival will be running till Saturday, 14th March

Dubai Food Festival (DFF) 2020, organised by Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), is back to the city, offering many new culinary experiences to food lovers. This is the seventh edition of the annual festival which will run for 18 days, until Saturday, 14th March. The festival’s programme includes many food-related events, promotions and appearances by food celebrities. Those attending DFF will also get a chance to win prizes. Here’s a look at what the festival has to offer this year:

Foodie Experiences

Debuting last year, Foodie Experiences brings unique culinary experiences to the emirate. It will run throughout the festival.

This year there are more than 80 events will are part of this segment. For those who love to cook, there is a MasterClass series, with classes taking place across the city, during which participants can learn a variety of new cuisines, such as vegan Vietnamese, and different techniques, such as for cake decoration. There will also be some fun cooking challenges, along the lines of MasterChef.

Meanwhile, the Foodie Experience Chef’s Table will give guests an opportunity to taste dishes cooked by Dubai’s top chefs. Food enthusiasts can choose from various experiences, such as Japanese Italian fusion night, Bedouin desert dining, Emirati food under the stars in a traditional setting, modern Indian cuisine, sustainable tapas and so on. Tickets to these experiences need to be bought online on

Dubai Restaurant Week

From 5th to 14th March, Dubai Restaurant Week (DRW) will offer guests the opportunity to savour gourmet food at discounted prices. This year, 36 F&B outlets are participating in DRW, with some of Dubai’s leading restaurants offering specially curated menus. Five of the participating restaurants are associated with celebrity chefs, including Vikas Khanna, Mathieu Viannay, Greg Malouf, Akira Back and Gordon Ramsay. Advance booking is required for all the dining experiences and reservations can be made only via Reserve Out’s app and website. Prices for two-course lunches start from AED75 while three-course dinners start from AED 150 only.

Etisalat Beach Canteen

Located behind Sunset Mall on Jumeirah Beach, Etisalat Beach Canteen will run till the end of the festival and showcase various local and international food concepts. This is a family friendly event, with food trucks, pop-up shops, talks and cooking demonstrations by prominent chefs and culinary experts. Members of the International Centre for Culinary Arts (ICCA) Dubai training centre and Chef Vinu Raveendran from Carnival by Tresind will be taking part in this programme. In addition, visitors will be able to enjoy live music and engage in fun activities in the gaming park, while kids can play in a special kid’s play zone.

Dubai Hidden Gems

This segment seeks to highlight some of the lesser known but top quality F&B outlets in the emirate. 40 restaurants and cafes have been shortlisted by the festival organisers in partnership with food app Zomato, and offer a variety of cuisines such as Emirati, Uzbek, Japanese and Ethiopian, at pocket-friendly prices. Prices of meals for two people start from as low as AED 30 and cost a maximum of AED165.

Those dining at Hidden Gems’ restaurants have a chance of winning a 5-star staycation for two people. Guests need to visit at least five of the restaurants and get their Hidden Gems passport stamped at each outlet.

Guests can also vote for their favourite food outlet on, with the results to be compiled in a Top Ten Hidden Gems 2020 list, which will be shared at the Etisalat Beach Canteen on 14 March. Voting commenced on 19th February and will be open till 11th March. Those voting will also get a chance to win gift card worth AED 500 plus a Zomato Gold Annual Membership. 20 winners will be selected randomly.

Home Edition

Dubai’s supermarkets and hypermarkets are also participating in DFF. Shoppers who spend a minimum of AED 250 at Carrefour, Spinneys, Lulu Hypermarket, Union Co-op or Waitrose, will get a chance to enter a weekly raffle draw in which they can win AED 50,000. The draw will be held on 7th and 14th March at Etisalat Beach Canteen.

All branches of the selected hypermarkets and supermarkets in Dubai are participating in the draw and will also be hosting some live cookery demos and food tastings for their customers.

Dine & Win

In collaboration with Dubai Shopping Malls Group, DFF is also running a Dine & Win promotion. 19 malls and several F&B outlets are participating in this promotion, under which customers can get a raffle coupon to win several prizes, including a GAC sedan GA8 by Gargash Motors, by spending just AED 50 on dining at the selected outlets.

Dubai Retail Events

Dubai Retail is also hosting a number of food-related events such as cooking competitions and tasting sessions during DFF. On Saturday, 29th February, visitors at Bay Avenue can enjoy chef demos, cupcake decoration workshops, cooking classes, music and entertainment, etc., between 2-6 pm. A similar event will be held in Mudon Community Centre on Friday, 6th March and Shorooq Community Centre on Saturday, 7th March.

Visitors to Dubai Retail destinations, such as Bay Avenue, Bay Square and the community centres at Al Khail Gate, Remraam, Dubai Wharf, Shorooq and Mudon, can participate in a Dine and Win promotion from 26th February to 14th March. Under this promotion, they can win weekly cash prizes of AED5,000, Zomato vouchers, a brand new car and an entry into the raffle draw.

During the festival, there will be a fireworks display on every weekend. The first show will be held at Etisalat Beach Canteen at 8:30 pm on Thursday, 27th February, followed by the second one at Dubai Festival City Mall on Friday, 13th March at 8:30pm. The third display will be at The Pointe on Palm Jumeirah at 8.30pm on Friday, 13th March while the closing ceremony one will be held on Saturday, 14th March at Etisalat Beach Canteen at 8.30pm.

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By Ayesha Hoda
Ayesha Hoda is a senior communications professional and writer, currently based in Dubai, UAE.