The Dubai food scene is one of the world's most diverse. Approximately 180 nationalities live in the emirate, so you can munch your way around the world during your trip. With the exception of maybe Antarctica, every other continent has several restaurants that represent its fare, and eateries run the gamut from refined cuisine by the world's most renowned chefs to mouthwatering snacks from
The upper end of the market measures up against the New York and San Francisco dining scenes, as top-tier hotels vie to create authentic cuisine in beautifully styled restaurants. No half measures here. The finest ingredients wing their way around the world to be transformed into culinary tours de force. These restaurants cater to a regular clientele of discerning Western expats with fat tax-free salaries. For them, eating out and entertaining is a natural part of everyday life. Power lunches and dinners are big business and often big budget, meaning prices are high by American standards.
However, you can eat well and quite cheaply if you follow the blue-collar expat workers—hundreds of thousands of Filipinos, Indians, and Pakistanis—to basic, clean, and always friendly eateries for plates full of curry, rice, or noodles.
The restaurant scene here changes almost daily, and it's as image-conscious as a Hollywood starlet posing for the paparazzi. The latest favorites are open kitchens and cooking stations, multicuisine eateries where you can graze on, say, Japanese, Italian, and Lebanese dishes. Also a big hit are tapas-style meals where several small dishes arrive at one time rather than the standard appetizer and entrée.