A recent industry report by the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) revealed that the number of restaurant visits in Dubai increased by 61% year over year in 2023, with 84% of diners choosing more affordable nibbles.

The average number of times that customers visited restaurants each week increased to 2.9 in 2023 from 1.8 in 2022, according to the findings of the second annual “Dubai Gastronomy Industry Report.”

With 84% of respondents favoring casual dining, food courts ranked as their top choice (75%), street food vendors as their top choice (72%), and the 13,000+ restaurants and cafés in Dubai clearly favored casual dining.

Owing to a growing passion for the gastronomy of the emirate, 69% of UAE citizens ranked Dubai as the top gastronomy hub in the world, with 52% of them preferring many of the upscale dining establishments in the city.

While eating out increased in 2023, inflationary pressures led residents to look for more affordable dining options; as a result, 2023 meal spending fell to AED162 per capita from AED198 in 2022.

According to the DET report, the groups that spent the most on eating out were Gen-Xers, North and South East Asians, and Western expats, with an average weekly spend of AED191, AED200, and AED237 per capita, respectively.

Value for money was cited by nearly a third of customers (36%), as the most important factor when dining out. Another 33% said that the type of food was crucial, with Lebanese and Indian cuisine ranking highly. Among the main attractions for customers dining out was good food hygiene (32%) as well.

In 2023, Dubai Marina topped the list with a 100% performance score, followed by Oud Metha (99%), Palm Jumeirah (10%), Downtown Dubai (99%), and Jebel Ali (99%). Dubai Marina also saw the highest foot traffic from dining patrons.

A total of 90 Dubai restaurants—up from 69 in the previous year’s edition—are included in the Michelin Guide Dubai 2023, indicating the city’s rising reputation as a culinary destination. Two restaurants are listed among the world’s 50 best restaurants, and 15 are listed among the 50 best restaurants in the MENA region.

In terms of the density of restaurants, Dubai ranked second globally.

Topics #Culinary Destination #Dubai Food Scene #Gastronomy #Michelin Guide Dubai #Restaurant Visits