Dubai – MENA Herald: The third edition of Dubai Food Festival concluded on Saturday, 12 March after a successful showcasing of the emirate’s diverse culinary offerings during a 17-day run across the city that further enhanced Dubai’s position as the regional gastronomy capital.

DFF 2016, with special appearances, live cooking demonstrations and masterclasses by celebrity chefs, and unique dining attractions combined with exciting promotions and mall-based food-related activities offered enriching experiences to foodies, shoppers, residents and visitors from around the world.

Organized by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), the long lineup of events and activities unveiled during DFF 2016 under the theme ‘Celebrate Taste’, provided both residents and visitors numerous opportunities to discover why Dubai is a diner’s delight.

The wonderful spread of food that was unfurled during the citywide celebrations, commencing 25 February, was ample testimony to the abundance of ethnic cuisines on offer in Dubai, drawn from more than 200 nationalities in the Emirate, and featuring high quality street food to fine dining options.

DFF 2016 saw the return of the popular Etisalat Beach Canteen and featured some amazing new attractions such as the Dubai Restaurant Week, ‘Dine with the Stars’ event, alongside an array of Masterclasses with iconic international and local chefs, and a number of signature events and family oriented activities in restaurants, malls and favourite hotspots in the city.

Etisalat Beach Canteen
Leading the lineup of attractions, activations and activities was the Etisalat Beach Canteen at Kite Beach, which became the festival’s central hub offering families, food enthusiasts, fitness fanatics and fashionistas the chance to enjoy special food concepts by 17 home-grown food brands, celebrity chef appearances, plus all-new features such as fitness classes, open-mic nights, storytelling by the sea, a farmer’s market and fashion market, as well as musical entertainment, children’s activities, beach cinema and beach sports. The success of Etisalat Beach Canteen, the star attraction of Dubai Food Festival 2016 was made possible due to the support extended by the sponsors: Etisalat, Al Islami and Häagen-Dazs.

MasterChefs and Masterclasses

Dubai Food Festival offered a series of Masterclasses with international and local chefs presented by Al Islami at Dubai’s School of Culinary and Finishing Arts (SCAFA). The Celebrity Masterclass series featured Australian legends and MasterChef stars George Calombaris and Gary Mehigan, as well as Manu Feildel, Matt Moran, Shannon Bennett and ‘Queen of the Arabian Kitchen’, Manal Al Alem, as well as MasterChef India winner Nikita Gandhi and MasterChef New Zealand winner Tim Read. Separately, a ‘Local Greats Masterclass’ Series presented by Al Islami’ saw celebrated chefs from Dubai restaurants including Coya, TRESIND, The Sum Of Us and Jean-Georges unveil their top tricks and tips while food lovers were also able to enroll for various masterclasses held at leading restaurants. Additionally, DFF 2016 also featured ‘Taste of Dubai’ celebrity chefs Jun Tanaka and Nathan Outlaw.

Many unique experiences took foodie fun to a completely new level including the first ever Dubai Restaurant Week, The ‘Dine With The Stars’ gala dinner events, The Dubai Long Table, the Dubai Chef’s Table, The Hidden Gems campaign, Eat the World DXB, the Street Nights Dubai Food Festival Edition, the Global Village Street Food Celebrations, as well as annual favourites The Big Grill and the Taste of Dubai.

Restaurants also got in on the appetising action with a series of activities, special set menus and dining promotions through The DFF Signature Events programme. Malls organised in-mall shows, rewarding promotions, and gave shoppers the opportunity to experience diverse cuisines at food court outlets, as well as the opportunity to watch live cooking demonstrations by international and regional chefs. Fatafeat, the only Arab TV channel dedicated to food, hosted its second annual Fatafeat Kitchen.

The DFF 2016 lineup also featured retail and restaurant promotions such as the Home Edition, Kids Dine Free, Signature Tastes and Dubai International Airport ‘Dine & Win’, which ensured that festival visitors enjoyed rewarding experiences.