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You’ve no doubt heard of Dubai, the booming mega-city in the middle of the Arabian Desert. It’s home to the world’s tallest building, the world’s largest shopping centre, and numerous events on the sporting world stage. The oil rich city is famed for its opulence and luxury. Particularly well known is the amount of skyscrapers going up in the city. In 1979 the tallest building in the city was the 23 metre Al Fahidi Fort, built in 1787. Less than 40 years later the city is home to nearly 1000 skyscrapers including the 828 metre Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. What you might not know is that to help with the city’s massive transformation, the United Arab Emirates relaxed its immigration rules and now over 200 nationalities are represented in the city. The hugely diverse population has brought with them their own tastes of home, and this is precisely what makes the Dubai Food Festival so good!
The Dubai Food Festival is held in February, which thankfully is “winter” (temps from 15-25 degrees). The festival kicks off with the popular Beach Canteen. The unique concept offered beach dining from your choice of eleven restaurants. There were local favourites, internationally renowned chefs and even celebrities such as Andy Murray serving up their favourite fare.
A couple of days later, the Food Truck Convoy took to the roads. Serving up everything from hotdogs to ice creams from the side of the trucks or caravans, the Food Truck Convoy was so popular that the locals called for it to become a permanent feature!
Some of the more unique events included features other than food. For example, the Ripe Food and Craft Market featured talented locals blending their love of organic food with arts and craft and fashion. The Food and Film events take place across the city and as you eat your meal, you watch a short movie about how it was designed, cooked and prepared for you.
Some of the more popular cuisines have their own events. The Masala Food Fare was held over two days and had a number of finger-licking street food creations to taste, as well as live cooking shows. But it’s not all local, the Taste of Peru showcased Latin American fare such as ceviche, tiradito, beef anticuchos and causa.
New for 2016 are the enticing Mystery Dining Tours. Choose from one of five themes, Old to New Dubai, High Flying Dinner, From One Chef to Another, Celebrity Hot Spots or Dubai Skyline Tour and let your guide take you on an exciting voyage of discovery through the city’s restaurants.
Perhaps saving the best for last, the festival culminates in with the Made In Dubai event which showcases the best of Emirati food from Dubai and the rest of the United Arab Emirates.
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