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15 April 2024

Dubai Food Carnival opens on Friday


The first Dubai Food Carnival,  a two-day food, beverage and entertainment extravaganza, will open at Dubai Festival City on Friday  February 21.

The carnival, which is organised by Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), will simultaneously kick-off the wider 23-day Dubai Food Festival organised by Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), aimed at positioning Dubai as the gastronomy hub of the region.

The food and beverage event at the Outdoor Events Arena of Dubai Festival City is made up of many mouth-watering portions,  giving foodies the opportunity to tuck into a diverse selection of cuisines, interact with chefs and indulge in a number of family-themed activities including cooking demos, culinary master classes, workshops, food samplings, competitions and  comedy shows.

Meanwhile, to encourage as many families as possible to enjoy the vibrant gourmet affair, Dubai Food Carnival has launched a special offer on admission prices. Tickets are now priced at Dh30 for adults, while children under 12 enter free.

The opening day will be ushered in by a colourful carnival parade at the 360° stage, which will host the bulk of entertainment acts, followed by live appearances by famous Sumo wrestlers, fun activities and a series of demonstrations and appearances by renowned chefs and food personalities.

Commenting on the Carnival’s weekend calendar of events, Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Exhibitions and Events Department, DWTC, said: “The Dubai Food Carnival will shine the spotlight on Dubai as a city where diverse cuisines and culinary arts are inspired by the multitude of cultures living in and visiting the Emirate, as well as our world-class portfolio of home-grown and international food brands. With more than 100 participating food retailers and exhibitors highlighting Dubai’s unique food culture, the Carnival will be a fantastic culinary experience for food services companies and consumers, and the perfect curtain raiser for the Dubai Food Festival that will feature city-wide celebrations of all things culinary until  March 15.”

Celebrity Chefs

Adding to the public’s enjoyment of an extensive selection of cuisine, will be a galaxy of celebrity chefs and food personalities including international stars Chef John Torode and Chef Silvena Rowe from the BBC’s food shows, , as well as regional culinary heavyweights, such as the award-winning Maroun Chedid, from Lebanon, Manal Al Alem, known as “Queen of the Arabic Kitchen”, Chef Tarek Ibrahim, of Fatafeat TV fame and the Indian cookery expert, Sanjeev Kapoor. Other personalities include Uwe Micheel, Director of Kitchens at Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek, and President of the Emirates Culinary Guild, and Chef Toh Chye Siong, Chef de Cuisine at the award-winning Hakkasan Dubai.

The culinary champions will engage with and entertain visitors at The Chef’s Dome, a live cooking demonstration area created especially for Dubai Food Carnival. The renowned master chefs will also be using locally produced or sourced ingredients including meats, vegetables and fruits as in their live demonstrations to raise awareness of the assortment of produce that is home-grown in the UAE. Fans of the celebrity chefs can also meet them at book launches and get autographs.

Fusion of flavours

With over 100 food and drinks stalls featuring  renowned local and international brands, Dubai’s most delicious weekend will give foodies a chance to explore the many gastronomic delights and munch their  way around the world of cuisines. Among the food retailers and exhibitors participating in the vibrant gourmet affair are Sumo Sushii & Bento, Chinese Connection, Cocoville, Chamas at Crowne Plaza, ,, Hakkasan, Mandilicious, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, McGettigan’s, Maison Mathis, Meat and Livestock Australia, Signature by Sanjeev Kapoor, Shake Shack, Pink Berry, Pizza Express, Pullman Dubai Deira City Centre, Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Deira Creek, Sharaf Hospitality and Wok It.

Muscle power, rhythm and laughter

Stepping up the tempo at Dubai Food Carnival will be multicultural performances by a troupe of roaming Brazilian Capoeira dancers, live music bands, Japanese Basho Championship sumo wrestlers led by three-time world champion Nara plus the region’s versatile bilingual comedy artiste, Ali Al Sayed.  Adding to the two-day pageantry will be Mina Licione, star of Broadway hit, STOMP, who will perform the “Matbakh – Kitchen Rhythm”, with the help of kitchen utensils.


For sheer gastronomy fun and adventure there is the Great Yalla BBQ, an country vs. country BBQ competition sponsored by Weber and the MLA , Beat The Heat, a marathon chili-flavoured chicken wing eating competition, and My Dad Can Cook, a competition to find Dubai’s number one ‘father of the kitchen’.

Kids Zone

Children will be spoilt for choice in terms of both food and fun. This family-friendly event will feature a Kids Zone that will include a drop off Creche, Bouncy Castles, Magicians, Face Painting, Gaming consoles, magic shows and much more.  Kids will also get a chance to learn the basics of a healthy lifestyle through competitions and initiatives from educational institutions within a secure and child-safe environment.

The Dubai Food Carnival will be open from 10am to 11pm on 21-22 February. Tickets are Dh30 for adults; children under-12 enter free. For more information, visit www.dubaifoodcarnival.com.