Life & Style

Dubai cements position as gastronomy hub, gears up for Michelin stars

  • Michelin’s team of inspectors are in Dubai working on their first selection of restaurants, which will be revealed later this month
Published June 3, 2022
Photo: SushiSamba
Photo: SushiSamba

This month, Michelin will be bestowing its coveted stars for excellence in dining to restaurants in Dubai. It is no surprise, given the quality and variety of food options on offer, that a couple of months ago Michelin had announced the emirate will be its 36th destination.

“Home to more than two hundred nationalities, Dubai has emerged from a trading port in the Arabian Gulf to become one of the world’s most diverse business and travel destinations,” Michel, the French tire company that publishes the guides, had said in a statement.

“Thanks to this dynamism, Dubai developed a very interesting dining culture which takes influence from cuisines from around the world, including the emirate’s very own Arabic specialties,” it added.

Michelin’s team of inspectors are in Dubai working on their first selection of restaurants, which will be revealed later this month.

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Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the Michelin Guides, said “We will be showcasing the best of Dubai’s gastronomy, to reflect not just the sophistication that the city is famed for, but also the wide diversity of cuisines that the city’s location and history provide.”

Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, had told Business Recorder in a conversation in December that Dubai “has always had an amazing selection of restaurants – we have 200 nationalities that call Dubai home and a lot of these people have played an important role in creating the gastronomy scene when it comes to the quality and authenticity of the food on offer”.

More recently, he was quoted as saying that this latest accolade for Dubai is recognition of its emergence as a global gastronomy hub, inspired by the goal of its leadership to make its the world’s most sought-after destination and the best city to live and work in.

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He said the Michelin Guide Dubai will provide a fresh perspective and new insights into the diversity, creativity and multi-cultural nature of Dubai’s culinary offering.

The selection of restaurants will be made according to the methodology applied all over the world by the inspectors of the Michelin Guide, based on five criteria: the quality of the ingredients, the mastery of cooking, the harmony of flavours, the personality of the chef through the cuisine and consistency over time and across the entire menu.

The Guide conveys its restaurant reviews through an extensive system of distinctions, the most revered of which are its globally renowned Michelin Stars. One Michelin Star is awarded to restaurants for “high quality cooking that is worth a stop,” Two Michelin Stars for “excellent cooking that is worth a detour,” and Three Michelin Stars for “exceptional cuisine that is worth a special journey.”

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The selection of restaurants will also include the popular Bib Gourmand category, a distinction awarded to establishments that provide value-for-money three course meals.

Michelin’s decision to come to Dubai is indicative of the city’s food evolution. Arab News quoted chef and cookbook author Dalia Dogmoch Soubra as saying “When I came to Dubai in 2007, it impressed me on a diversity level; there were a lot of really good, really authentic cuisines.”

“I know there’s this image of Dubai’s restaurants as just being expensive with not-so-great food, but I disagree. I think it’s improved a lot… I’m not surprised that the Michelin Guide is coming; I think it’s about time that Dubai got noticed. But I don’t necessarily think the usual suspects are the best restaurants here.”

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Its anyone’s guess what restaurants will make it to the guide, but Dubai has a huge variety of incredible eateries on offer that are sure to tantalise any tastebuds.

One of the restaurants to make it to Time Out Dubai’s best new fine dining restaurants in Dubai for 2022 is SushiSamba, whose outlets are already established in Miami, Las Vegas and London. It offers Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian food on the 51st floor of the Palm Tower.

Time Out also mentioned 11 Woodfire, where chefs grill meat, fish and vegetables, as well as Basko, which is inspired by the speakeasies of America’s Prohibition Era, and is described as a “restaurant-meets-bar-meets-lounge”.

There is also the French reataurant Le Rosé that feature French onion soup and baked camembert, with the cherry on top being its amazing views.

Another restaurant that should be on every foodie’s wish list is Trèsind Studio. Located in Nakheel Mall - The Palm Jumeirah, the chef behind the eatery is Himanshu Saini, considered one of the youngest tastemakers in Indian cuisine, challenging perceptions of Indian cuisine by showcasing flavours both new and familiar through a creative lens.

And of course you can’t go wrong with some of the most famous international chains that have a presence in Dubai, including Nobu, Zuma, Hakkasan, Coya and Roka.


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