Regions explored: UAE – Dubai, Sharjah
Length: 5 days
Date: February 28th to March 4th, 2022
Availability: Limited to 12 guests
❀ An opportunity to explore one of the world’s most unique culinary destinations.
❀ Savor in one city the grand cuisines of the Levant (Persian, Iraqi, Syria, Lebanese, Palestinian, Saudi, and Emirati)
❀ Experience the best of the ethnic cuisines that developed over the last 50 years in the UAE (Indian, Pakistani, Chinese, Afghan, and Thai)
❀ Spend time in the intimate company of interesting and like-minded people from all over the world.
❀ A journey through hidden gems guided by the Hungry Tourist and his gang of local experts.
Due to its extraordinarily diverse demography (85% of its resident population comes from over 200 countries), Dubai has become a culinary hub unparalleled anywhere else on the planet.
Painstakingly created and developed over the past half-century by talented cooks and chefs from all nationalities, with the initial aim of feeding their own communities with “food from home”, today’s culinary landscape is as ethnic and authentic as it is varied and diverse.
In fact, stringent quality control standards and the use of the best ingredients have resulted in many expats saying that they prefer the food in Dubai to their home countries.
Only in Dubai, no more than a 20-minute drive separates Iraqi, Persian, Lebanese, Syrian, Emirati, Saudi, Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Chinese, and Afghani restaurants of the highest level. It is, without doubt, the last undiscovered culinary destination in the world.
The history of the Persians and Arabs is intertwined in culture, religion, trade, and of course – food, and dates back centuries.
Persian bakeries, restaurants, and cafés have dotted the Dubai skyline from when the city was a sleepy trading post to the international metropolis it has grown into today, serving succulent kababs, hearty stews, and an array of delectable rice dishes.
The grandest cuisine of the Levant.
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They say the best diet is the Mediterranean diet. Lebanese cuisine is the ultimate Mediterranean cuisine because it incorporates fresh vegetables, Mediterranean fish, and beautiful olive oil.
There are literally a hundred or more mezze dishes each more delicious than the other. If you’re a vegan, Lebanese cuisine is ideal because there are so many salad and vegetable options to choose from.
If you’re not a vegan you can try their raw meats and raw kibbeh which is delicious. Lebanese cuisine is levant cuisine done to perfection. Let’s not forget they make a mean hummus!
Iraqi cuisine is one of the most ancients in the world, if not the most. Actually, recipes found on Mesopotamian tablets are considered the first cookbooks in history.
Today, the cuisine of Iraq reflects this rich foundation as well as influences from the culinary traditions of neighboring Persia, Turkey, and the Syria region area.
The meal is always a sharing meal and begins with appetizers and salads, then a vast variety of stews, soups with or without Kubbah/Kibbeh (minced meat ground with bulghur, semolina, wheat or rice, stuffed with more spiced meat). Stuffed vegetable dishes such as Mehasha (Dolma) are also popular.
The most famous dish today is without a doubt the Masgûf (fatty river fish spiced with curry powder, pepper, and tamarind then grilled upright in front of a bonfire.
Indian cuisine is as diverse as the country itself and has been well represented in Dubai through decades of Indian settlements, starting with those who arrived by ship in the 1970s.
From street style chaat food to modern fine dining and everything in between, there are over 2000 restaurants serving food from all parts of/ NSEW India.
For never has one city seen such a vibrant mix of all ethnicities, not only from India but nationalities from all around the world, bringing their food and culture to this melting pot.
Seafood has been the mainstay of the Emirati diet for centuries. The United Arab Emirates cuisine is a reflection of a great Arabian heritage and vast exposure to civilizations over time.
Meat, fish, and rice are the staple foods of the Emirati cuisine. Lamb and mutton are the more favored meats, than goat, beef, and Camel meat.
Usually, Dates are consumed with meals. Popular beverages are coffee and tea, which can be supplemented with cardamom, saffron, or mint to give it a distinct flavor.
Dubai boasts a multitude of cultures from around the world and many from Asia. The city has authentic Chinese, Pakistani, Thai, Afghani, Sri Lankan, Malay, Indonesian restaurants along with many other small pockets of gems from the rest of Asia.
You can also find everything from British roasts to Japanese ramen, with a mix of locally sourced and internationally exported ingredients.
The City of Gold is the City of Food, with street food to casual eateries and high end fine dining options, something to suit every kind of diner.
The multi-course tasting menus are at par with global dine dining, and the ambiance and vibes are unique to the city.
The gems lie in the street eats from all parts of the world, whether it’s hummus and shawarma from Lebanon, chaat from India, or noodles from Thailand.
In my humble opinion, the best fine dining experience in Dubai.
Tresind Studio was created by Chef Himanshu Saini and his team with the aim of showcasing Modernist Indian cuisine in an intimate setting. The studio brings together seasonal menus, elevated techniques, and world-class service to provide a fine dining experience in Dubai like no other, for just 20 guests per seating.
It is virtually impossible for one person to intimately know everything Dubai offers. The selection is just too vast and deep.
Therefore, I feel so fortunate and privileged for my ring of local expert foodies friends who came from Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Iran, India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, and have lived in Dubai for at least 10 years.
These friends’ contribution to planning your tour has been immense, and some of them will also accompany us to their culinary gems.
Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai is the newest 5 stars deluxe hotel in Dubai. Overlooking both the pristine waters of the Arabian Gulf and Dubai’s glittering skyline, the hotel is a stunning destination with an enviable beach setting.
With its inviting interiors and unmatched levels of service, the resort brings a new wave of luxury to the shores of Dubai.
Itinerary and Hotels
The Mandarin Oriental, Dubai: From Feb 28 to Mar 4, 2021
Kick-off meal: Lunch on Feb 28.
Last meal: Lunch on Mar 4
Price includes all food, non-alcoholic beverages, taxes, service charges, domestic transportation, and 4 nights of accommodation.
Price does not include airfare and any travel or medical insurance.
Extra nights: in Mandarin oriental Hotel before or after the tour can be booked in advance at special rates.
A Note on Set Menus
The menus offered during the tour are selected by The Hungry Tourist with the help of our local partners. We believe they represent the best culinary fare Dubai has to offer. Guests may order outside of these menus at their own expense.
A non-refundable deposit of USD 1000 per person will be charged upon reservation.
The balance will be charged to your credit card 60 days prior to the first day of the tour.
Cancellation Policy and Penalties
If cancellation is received up to 30 days before the first day of the tour, the deposit will be forfeited.
If cancellation is received up to 10 days before the first day of the tour, a penalty fee of 50% of the remaining balance will be charged. If cancellation notice is received within 10 days of the first day of the tour or the guest is a no-show, the entirety of the remaining balance will be charged.
I just came back from a 5-day phenomenal tour in Dubai with The Hungry Tourist, aka Dudi Califa.
It was my first time there, but it was the most impactful experience I could have imagined.
Experiencing Dubai with Dudi (yes, Dudi, he is now a friend for life) is so multidimensional!
I felt like I was getting to know the city from above and from deep within, getting to various hidden gems I bet even locals might not know.
The food was beyond what words could describe but what I really take home are the memories, the company, the diversity, the warm welcome, and the hospitality of Dudi and his loyal local friends, which made this trip so special.
The most memorable stop for me was also the most emotional one- our feast @Reza.
I grew up on Persian food but Reza really took it to another level and brought back happy distant memories through his amazing dishes.
I Can’t wait for the next trip to Turkey!
Dudi you are the best!!!
Nothing could prepare me for “The hungry Tourist” way of showing you a location. It takes you to places that not even all the locals know about.
Dudi has local friends everywhere who join the trip, help , guide and recommend the best places in town. Food was unbelievable: in 5 days we ate so many different foods of so many different cultures that after you finish the tour and finish eating with Dudi Calfia – it will be super hard to go back and eat stuff as we ate before we meet him.
And above all – Dudi is one of a kind, a true friend that stays for life, starts from food, and ends with the best human relationship you ever meet.
I highly recommend to everyone to try the Dubai tour of “The Hungry Tourist” – as Dubai is an amazing location with so much food and different cultures to show.
And me? I already booked my next trips with “The Hungry Tourist”.
Thanks for all Dudi – never could have better Dubai then with you !
I Just finished the THT Dubai food tour, and it was simply phenomenal!
It was not just about food (and we had AMAZING food) – it was also about meeting the people behind the food, breaking bread with them, and being hosted in the kindest and tasty way you can ever imagine.
We were taken to cherry-picked hidden gems that we could never find on our own, as well as fine-dining restaurants – with amazing chefs that were there just for us.
I Can’t wait for the next trip with David!