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Friday, January 10, 2014

Dubai promotes its gourmet credentials with the launch of Dubai Food Festival

Already making waves as an emerging gastronomic destination, Dubai today further strengthened its gourmet credentials with the launch of the Dubai Food Festival. 

Launched by Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing the new festival brings together some of the Emirate’s most popular business and consumer food events for business and consumers – including Gulfood and Taste of 
Dubai – with the inaugural editions of the Dubai Food Carnival and The Big Grill.  Running over 23 days, including four weekends from 21 February to March 15, 2014, Dubai Food Festival will also feature a wide range of food-related activities, tastings, offers and events, showcasing the Emirate’s diverse food offering, from Michelin starred chefs to street food, drawn from the cuisines of more than 200 nationalities.

Created for residents of Dubai and visitors to the Emirate, the Dubai Food Festival will celebrate and enhance Dubai’s position as the gastronomy capital of the region with more than 5,300 restaurants and places to eat. Intended to become an annual fixture on Dubai’s calendar of world class festivals, as well as providing entertainment for residents and visitors, the festival has been developed as an opportunity to contribute to the further development of the food and restaurant sector and support the tourism and hospitality industry through increasing the international awareness of Dubai as one of the emerging gastronomy destinations on the world stage.

His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director-General of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing said: “Dubai’s status as a culinary destination is one that has risen considerably in recent years and the creation of a city-wide food festival will contribute to enhancing this further. The Festival works on a number of levels. It creates a real reason to visit and to extend a stay in the Emirate for the growing number of global travellers seeking out food experiences.  It is a platform on which to showcase our leisure and business events sectors, as well as the 403_collage_3world-class restaurants and chefs in our city. It allows us to further extend our lead as the region’s leading family tourism destination and it provides a chance for us to share Emirati culture, cuisine and hospitality with the world.”

Her Excellency Laila Mohammed Suhail Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, an agency of DTCM, said: “The packed festival programme is designed to showcase the wealth of flavours and cuisines on offer in Dubai, and will promote the diversity, creativity and multi-cultural nature of Dubai’s culinary offering – one drawn from traditional Emirati cuisine as well as from the cuisines of the 200 nationalities living in the Emirate today. The programme brings together a number of established events such as Gulfood and Taste of Dubai with a range of new events, including the festival opening Dubai Food Carnival. In the lead up to the Festival we will be announcing more exciting events and initiatives, all intended to showcase our culinary offering.”

Dubai Food Festival will launch with the inaugural Dubai Food Carnival, a celebration of all things food, fun and entertainment, on 21 and 22 February at Dubai Festival City. The hugely-anticipated gastronomy social event, which is being organised by Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), will feature celebrity chefs conducting educational culinary masterclasses and workshops, dozens of international food pavilions, mouth-watering food tastings and a multi-cultural feast of music, comedy and family-themed competitions playing out to tens of thousands of 403_collage_5visitors on a blockbuster 360° stage.

The festival continues with Gulfood 2014 – the world’s largest annual food and hospitality trade show. Running over five days from 23-27 February, the show’s 19th outing at DWTC will boast a host of new features, national pavilions, specialist conferences, high-ranking ministerial summits and pioneering B2B programmes in a segmented format covering the entire foodservice sector. Gulfood will feature more than 20,000 brands, 4,500 exhibitors, 120 country pavilions and 80,000 visitors.

The last day of Gulfood also coincides with day one of a new event for Dubai, The Big Grill. Taking place on the 27th and 28th February at Emirates Golf Club, The Big Grill 2014 is a celebration of meat and music; a unique event dedicated to anything grilled. Top grill masters, from the high street to the high-end, will serve their delicacies in a vibrant festive and family friendly atmosphere, while a King of the Grill competition aims to seek out and showcase Dubai’s own BBQ masters. 

Attendees can also expect a fun and lively entertainment lineup featuring international artists, live music, and local DJs.

Throughout the Food Festival a range of gourmet experiences and culinary delights will take place at participating restaurants and venues across Dubai before the festival finale, Taste of Dubai.  Held at Dubai Media City Amphitheatre from 13-15 March 2014, this annual al fresco festival attracts crowds of foodies and their families year on year. For the last seven years, crowds are drawn by the fabulous food, drink and music and the chance to sample delicious signature dishes from the fine-dining restaurants of Dubai, as well as rub shoulders with a celebrity chef or two and an abundance of epicurean exhibitors.

More information about the inaugural Dubai Food Festival will be announced over the coming weeks.

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