The seventh edition of Dubai Food Festival (DFF) promises to deliver more food-related fun than ever before. A central part of the 18-day gastronomic extravaganza is DFF’s Hidden Gems, which is open for voting from February 16 to March 11, with winners announced at Etisalat Beach Canteen on March 14.
Hidden Gems highlights the unsung heroes of Dubai’s ever-growing food scene. A shortlist of 40 restaurants, cafes and food outlets has been selected by users of food app Zomato representing the city’s diverse dining options – and this year’s lip-smacking list includes truly global cuisine, from Emirati to Japanese, Hawaiian to Uzbek and Ethiopian.
A key point of the Hidden Gems restaurants is that they all offer authentic tasty food at affordable prices – every outlet on the list offers an individual meal for no more than AED 100 – with some feeding two people for as little as AED 30. From Indian to American and Indonesian to Lebanese, the variety of cuisines waiting to be discovered in the 2020 Hidden Gems list will provide more than food for thought!
Through a partnership with Zomato, DFF’s Hidden Gems gives foodie residents and visitors the opportunity to vote for their favourite ‘hidden gem’ from the list. Restaurants with the highest number of votes will then secure a place on the coveted 2020 Top 10 Hidden Gems list. There’s also a chance for those voting to win, with 20 lucky voters each receiving an AED 500 gift card plus a Zomato Gold Membership (winners will be selected at random).
Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) says: “Every year, the DFF Hidden Gems creates such excitement, with many people going to try venues for the very first time, and restaurant owners thrilled to have made the list. Dubai’s culturally diverse society is fuelled by these small, popular restaurants and cafes. They stand as testament to our belief that in Dubai, anything is possible. Some of these restaurants were opened by individuals who came to Dubai with little more than a dream. Hidden Gems is a chance for them to achieve even greater status and popularity, and we salute all of the small businesses who work so very hard to feed the city night and day.”
This year’s shortlist reflects Dubai’s creative cuisine options, and all outlets have no more than two branches. Often homegrown, always satisfying, the 2020 Hidden Gems reflect Dubai’s society. Voters are invited to explore fresh dining options in different areas of the city, from Mandi in Garhoud to Bosnian in Umm Suqeim.
Votes can be cast at www.dubaihiddengems.com and through the Zomato website and app. In order to take part, users must be registered on Zomato. While only one vote can be submitted per restaurant, voters can revisit the Hidden Gems page and vote for other shortlisted restaurants.